I had my child at the age of 33, and even though I consider the possibility of a second one I wonder if being a “late bloomer” could have its shortfalls.
I suppose the anxiety comes when the ominous age 35 creeps closer, and I am reminded that I am nearing that higher risk zone for pregnancies. This very dilemma has also been the subject of issue for many of my friends and colleagues who are just now attempting to have children in their 30’s and beyond.
Some are finding it very difficult to get pregnant and are turning to alternative methods.
Being a first-time parent in my thirties has some distinct advantages. For one, I am much more confident and able to raise a child whereas in my twenties I was still trying to get my life in order. I have a much more stable relationship, having married also in my thirties at age 31, and am more financially secure in my job.
I think I am able to raise my child more patiently and have been able to reflect more through my personal experiences both in my youth and in my adult life. Does this make me a better parent, I think in some ways, yes.
However, I have since encountered some pitfalls. My parents and in-laws are much older now and have a difficult time keeping up with a very energetic and active toddler. I already notice the strain on them after carrying our child around or running around with her at home and outdoors (their back pain, their tired arms and legs) for a full day.
Then I think about the future…of the possibility of their absence in her later youth.
My parents had me young in their twenties as did many from their generation and I remember all the great memories of my teen years from visits from my grandparents and seeing them at holidays and celebrations. I couldn’t imagine not having those memories for my child.
It has made me wonder about bringing up a second child in my late 30’s. I have one sibling and we are very close. She is my best friend and confidant and I simply can’t imagine my life without her, so I worry about my own child not having that bond with a sibling herself.
Then there are a whole host of other issues I feel I contend with: adding to an already booming population, fertility issues, financial worries, etc. that’s surely enough keep me up at night.
My question to all the new parents out there in their thirties and beyond: Are you happy you chose to have children later in life, or do you find the challenges of parenting later outweigh the advantages?