Tuesday, 3 July 2018

What is the Best Age to Start a Family

What is the Best Age to Start a Family - Newborn being bottle fed.
Having children is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and many thoughts will cross your mind as you consider your options for starting a family. Maybe you've always known how many children you would like and what age you hope to be, or perhaps life has made that decision for you. Either way, there is always a lot of debate and advice about the best age to have children, with really no right or wrong answers. I have got together with some brilliant parent bloggers to give you the low down on the best bits of parenthood, at different ages and life stages to help you get some perspective on what to expect when the time comes.

When I started writing this post, I hadn't realised how many parent bloggers I knew who had their children at different ages! I think we've covered nearly every age, up to 36, but many people these days are choosing to have children later, which is something to consider too. There are so many positive stories to tell about parenting at different ages, it's been really lovely to put together!

A floral number 16
I had my first at 16, I didn’t intend to be a young mum but I have no regrets. Having my son young made me more determined than ever to make an amazing life for us and not be another teenage pregnancy statistic. Having had my 2 girls later on at 28 and 30, I found myself much more tired and stressed than I ever was with my son. 

A floral number 17
I had Alyssia at 17 and it may not have been the most ideal time in anybody else's eyes, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me and totally changed my world for the better. 💗 

A floral number 18
I had my first child at 18. Personally, I don't remember feeling too young or worried about the responsibility. Maybe I was so young that I didn't really have any fear and just got on with things. I loved being a mum, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world, give or take the usual sleepless nights and hormones that you face at any age. Jade is now 22 and turned out pretty damn fine, if I do say so myself, so I don't think having children young is necessarily a bad thing, if that's the hand you are dealt. 

I fell pregnant with my eldest when I was 18. Having her so young was probably the best thing I’ve ever done. I was single and half way through a college course so it wasn’t perfect timing and it wasn’t met with a great reception but I was so happy. Terrified. But happy. She’s 8 now, we have grown together and have the most amazing bond. I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

A floral number 19
I had my first child at 19 - he just turned 19 on Wednesday! Looking back I was in no way ready (he wasn’t planned). Life was seriously hard work, I had little help and no money but so much love for him and being a mother came naturally to me. I was 33 when I had my last baby and the sleep deprivation hit me hard. I know I coped with that better as a younger mum. I feel that no matter what your age there will be ups and downs but you get through it because you have to and because there’s a child depending on you. Being a mother at different ages to be incredibly rewarding yet very different experience.

I fell pregnant with my first at 19, and was 20 when she was born. I was terrified at the time, and so many people commented on how crazy and too young we were. I wouldn’t change a thing though, and she honestly changed our lives for the better! We’re young enough to run around with the kids now, and will then be young enough to do the same with our grandchildren (if we’re lucky enough to have them!). There’s still plenty of time for my husband and I to enjoy kid free holidays once they’re grown up too! 

I had my first child at 19. I was fit, healthy and energetic. I had a full time job and felt ready. My daughter has recently turned 5 which now gives me the opportunity to educate and train for a career and then go straight into a job rather than taking years out after completing the degree. 

 Ashleigh - 3 Girls Mummy 

I was 19 when I had Jax and although he was unexpected, one of my favourite things about having him young is Christmas got fun again just as it was getting boring hahaha! My mum and nan were 20 when they gave birth so we’re all the same age basically which I love. 

Jeorgia - Jeorgia Cook

A floral number 20
I fell pregnant at 20 after trying for a baby for a few months. We were told I would struggle to have children due to a unicornuate uterus. One ovary and one Fallopian tube. I was desperate to be a Mum so thought we'd try to see if it happened and started trying early in case it took years. It was the best feeling becoming a mum there's really no best age just what works for you! 

I had just turned 20 when my first son was born. He was planned, which horrified everyone who knew, but we desperately wanted to have our kids young. So far it has been the best decision we made and although there are some difficult times, I think there will be no matter what your age is. 

Fern - Mumconventional 

I had my daughter at 20. I love being so young which means I have the energy to chase her around. It might not have been ideal but it works for us. 

Charlotte - Cups of Charlotte

A floral number 21
I had my first child at 21, it was amazing and I feel whilst I got a lot of sideward glances, we totally made the right choice. We’re still both super young, full of energy, I’m not sure I could have done sleep deprivation when I am a lot older. And even when the boys are 18 - I’ll be just turning 40. 

I had my first child at 21 - it was the perfect time for us as we’d just got married and I fell pregnant on our honeymoon. I’m now 30 and am glad to have my 3 children and won’t be having any more so I can enjoy these years with my children as they grow.

I had my first child at 21. I felt too young, immature and had to grow up extremely quickly but nearly two years down the line I think it was the best thing that could’ve happened. Not only do I have an amazing son, I’ve been more careful when it comes to career choices and I’ve learned exactly what is important to me. Plus I’ll be back on the Ibiza scene by 38...

Kirsty - Life with Boys

I didn’t plan it but had my first child at 21. I have now finished my family at age 29 and I’m really glad I did it all in my twenties as now I feel I can get on with the rest of my life and enjoy my 3 children. I know that I will also still be fairly young when they move out of the home etc too which is quite nice. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, and I don’t feel having my kids young has held me back or stopped me from enjoying my twenties. 

Emma-Louise - Even Angels Fall

A floral number 22
I had my first child at 22, I was young, healthy and full of energy which was great. My son is now almost 11 and will turn 18 when I am 40. I feel like this will give lots of freedom to experience life different at that age! It also means that he had a large extended family with great grandparents that he wouldn’t have been able to get to know if I had had him older. 

Jennifer - My Mummy's Pennies

I had my daughter when I was just 22 and for me it was the perfect age. I wanted to stay at home with her and I wasn’t in a career I particularly loved so it wasn’t hard to give up work. I love that I’ve got so much of my life ahead of me still, but now with my little sidekick by my side. 

Hanna - Little Snippets

I had my little boy at 22 fresh out of uni and to be honest it wasn’t ideal timing but I can honestly say I don’t regret one second. I was young but not too young and it’s matured me so much and turned me into the person I am today and I don’t think that I would be where I am if it wasn’t for him ☺️ he taught me responsibility, how to be confident and best of all how to love 💗 

Gemma - Gemma Louise

I had my son when I was 22, I'm now 24 and pregnant with my second (and last) I'm glad that I have my little family complete while we're still so young, we were always an old couple trapped in a young couples bodies! When they're adults we'll only be 40 and living it large on cruises 😂

A floral number 23
I had my son a few weeks after my 23rd birthday.  At the time, I felt really isolated and judged as I was still quite young and felt as though people didn’t think I could cope/be a good parent. Also none of my friends had babies so I really felt so alone. He’s now 9 & I had his sisters aged 27 and I love that I’m still quite a young parent and have such a brilliant fun relationship.  I also love that when he’s 17 I’ll only be 40. Looking back I am so glad I had him young. No regrets of lost youth as I’ve spent most of my 20s with him 💓 and they’re the best memories to have.

Beth - Twinderelmo

I had my first child aged 23, I felt way too young in all honesty. Yes I had the energy to cope with the sleepless nights, but I hadn't developed much in the way of patience. I was a single mum, trying to figure out how to parent whilst also trying to figure out my own identity at the same time. Looking back at now 38 and having had a child in my 30's I wish I had waited a little longer so I had the opportunity to find myself first before adding a little one into the mix. I've already had the talk with my now 15 year old daughter about waiting till her thirties, so she has chance to travel, to live and to figure out who she is first. She knows I wouldn't change having her for the world although I'm hoping she takes my advice for herself.

Sophie - Wife Mother Life

I had my first at 23. I was pretty much the first of all my friends to have a baby and it was quite isolating and tough at times as my husband was forging his career and I was alone a lot. Now, at the school gates I feel by far like one of the youngest mums there. Most are mid to late 30s. I really like that I'm a young parent now though, she gets to have spent more time with great grandparents and older family members, plus I get my independence back in my mid to late 30s as she grows up. That seems like a nice age to me, for my husband and I to have time back for ourselves. 

I had my daughter when I was 23. Honestly it wasn’t the best timing. It really affected my mental health throughout pregnancy and the newborn days. However it completely changed my perspective on the world and grounded me from thinking I’d tour the world with rock bands until I was 40. It was the best time for me even though I didn’t know it at the time. 

Lisa - Oh Luna

A floral number 24
I had my first child at 24. She was very unexpected and at first I felt too young as I always planned to have kids when I was 30 after I’d achieved all my other life goals (career/house etc). Now I look back I feel silly for wanting to wait and I’m glad I had her at 24. My body bounced back and she didn’t stop my life goals from happening, she just made the journey to reaching them lovelier. 

 I had my son at 24 and am now at 28. It was perfect timing for us as we had been married for 2 years and it just felt the right time.

Joanna - Joanna Victoria

I had my son when I was 24. At the time I felt young and unprepared but now he’s almost ten and my friends are only just starting their families I can’t help but feel a little relieved that my baby making days are now done and dusted and I’m only 33! 

Caroline - Mrs Magovern

A floral number 25
I don't think there necessarily is a "right age" to have children at. I had my first at 25, and Poppy at 33. Money was tight first time round and I was in a bad marriage but had youth on my side. This time round I was older and wiser and didn't give a damn about people's opinions like I probably did first time round! 

A floral number 26
I had my first when I was 26 which was great for me. I’d always wanted children and this felt like a good time in our lives. I wanted 3 or 4 kids so couldn’t wait much longer and my biological clock told me I had to have my first baby! 😊 (I’m now 30) 

Petra - A Mum Reviews

A floral number 27
I had my first child at 27. It was amazing because I was madly in love (and I still am!), plus my friend had a child at a similar time so our kiddies are growing up knowing each other. It made Playdates a whizz too! 

I had my daughter when I was 27 and it was the perfect age for me. I had money, felt confident and was in a strong relationship.

Katy - Katy Kicker

A floral number 28
I had my first child at 28, I always wanted children younger than this, but this was the time it felt right, everything fell into place and I was ready. It was so content when he arrived! 

 I had my daughter Amelia at 28. We'd been trying for 4 years and it was such a hard pregnancy and birth. I found out just after my birthday and it was the best gift I could of ever hoped for. 

A floral number 29
I had my first child at age 29...I always said I wanted children before I was 30 and although we didn’t plan on falling pregnant when I did, the universe sort of made it happen for me anyway as I’d started to go off track. I’d become swept up in the idea of everything having to be perfect before we had children - needing the right amount of savings, the right career level, the right house, right car etc .... none of that really mattered and the things that did matter changed sooner because of it (eg my husband finally learnt to drive because he had to!) it was the best thing that could have happened to me at that point in my life and I’m pleased I didn’t wait. I’m 33 now and I’ve found it much harder 2nd time round, I feel old and much more tired. It’s not the age you start either is it? It’s the age you are when you have your last, and I’d like enough time left that the choice is still there if I want to. 

Sarah - Arthur Wears

I had my daughter when I was 29. I loved having her just before I turned 30, it was the best birthday present I could have asked for. Personally I felt 29 was a good age for me to start a family. I had worked hard for a career and had a good position, we owned a house, we’d travelled as a couple and had a good support network around us. 

Sarah - Surrey Mama

A floral number 31
I had my son at 31. It actually felt quite young at the time as very few friends had babies. Before having him, I went to university, worked in academia for more than 10 years, travelled extensively and also lived abroad. I'm glad I had those experiences before having him but at the same time I don't think there is a best age to have a child as it depends on the individual and so many factors. Having a baby is a joy at any age I think.

For me, I think it’s less about the numerical age and more about your state of mind. My first pregnancy when I was 30 ended in miscarriage. I was devastated but it left me feeling without a doubt that I was ready to become a mum. I had my children at 31, 33 and 35 and am now 40. In contrast, I have a friend who had her first child in her mid-20s and it wasn’t planned. She struggled because we were all still going out partying and she was at home with a baby and although she was a fab mum I think she felt a bit resentful and struggled at the start because she still had a lot of living she wanted to do. She also didn’t have any friends with babies whereas when I had my first and second, so were a lot of my friends and that really helped. 

Cathryn - Cardiff Mummy Says

A floral number 32
I was 32 when I had my first baby. I had wanted to have children by the time I was 30, but actually I was in a really unhealthy relationship in my mid twenties, so ending that and meeting my future husband at 27 was the best thing that could have happened. We bought a house at 29, got engaged at 30 and married at 31. I found out that I was pregnant a couple of months later, the day after my 32nd birthday. It was perfect timing for me, if a little later than I’d hoped, as everything had fallen into place and our children (we’ve since had another baby, at 34) have been welcomed into a settled and secure environment. 

A floral number 33
I had my first child at 33. I had finished my degree and worked for 5 years and was ready for a new challenge /change of pace and had got my partying /travelling out my system. I am 46 now and on reflection had I not had my children in my 30's they would have missed knowing their grandparents and great-grandparents as we have lost many now. I love that they had that time with them. 

I had my first child at 33. We started trying at 30 after we were married, been travelling and bought our own home. I loved the fact my husband and I spent lots of time together before we had kids. I think being in your 30's means you have seen more of the world and lived! But this was our decision. 

Rachel - Rachel Bustin

A floral number 34
I had my first (and last) at 34 years old. I think it's a great age. Most people are still fit and healthy at that age, you've reached a point in your career where you've a steady job and income, you're mature while still young enough to enjoy things, have lots of self confidence in making the right decisions for you and the family, and can say no to family and interfering people. (I'm now 41) 

A floral number 35
I had my first at 35 and 2nd at 37. I’m glad I waited (although I didn’t meet my husband until I was 32 so didn’t wait too long after meeting him) because it meant I got to travel and work abroad, and do all my partying in my 20s and early 30s and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything now. I’m one of the older mums at the school gate now but that doesn’t bother me - my mum had me when she was 36 and she never seemed old to me, even though she was a lot older than all my friends’ mums, I hope my boys think the same. 

I was a first time mum at 35 and second time mum at 38. I love it. But I was known as a geriatric mother on my maternity forms. 

A floral number 36
I had my first child at 36 - it was at a time when I needed it to help me see my situation and move away from a bad relationship. My daughter helped open my eyes. I am now 47 and had my second at 46 - the age gap is fantastic and it means I get plenty of help! I personally feel that my life experience helps with parenting. 

So there you have it, cast iron proof that it's not about your physical age, but more about where you are along life's path and whether it's the right time for you. Sarah makes a great point too, about it being more about when you have your last child, not when you start your family, since there's age gaps to consider as well as what else you want to do with your life. As with a lot of life choices, really, sometimes the best-laid plans can change at a moment's notice and, even if they don't, things can still turn out differently to how you expected. The important part is making sure, whatever decision you come to, that it's right for you and your family and the rest will follow. 


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