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Old 05-08-2013, 07:41 AM
 
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28 - 35... but definitely not sooner....
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:39 AM
 
2,612 posts, read 5,327,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimz View Post
What would you consider the best age to have a baby?

My boyfriend really wants a kid, while I am unsure if I still want kids, I have been thinking about it. But I want to do it right. I'm 19 and in college. I want to be a dentist, so I'm looking at 8+ years of schooling. By the time I get out of dental school, get established and pay off my loans I'll be in my mid thirties. Would it be better to have a child while getting my bachelors, so that while I'm in dental school they'd be a toddler and my boyfriend would be supporting us, or should I wait to my mid or possibly late thirties to have my first child?

The second option makes the most sense financially, while the first option makes the most sense biologically.
If you have a child while getting your Bachelor's degree, you will be likely to not finish that degree. You really cannot begin to understand the effects of having a child on your life until you actually do it. Aside from the obvious necessity of a minimum of 6-12 weeks maternity leave (which will probably mean one semester lost), you also have at least 6 months of pretty difficult parenting/breastfeeding time when it's extremely difficult to do anything at all except try to keep your child alive and yourself sane. I lost 3 semesters before I was able to go back and then only part time (teaching, not studying). There is also the possibility of problems during pregnancy that make study impossible - I've had students leave for bedrest, for example. So you're now looking at a possibility of a whole year to two years of school interrupted. And it isn't that much easier when you have a toddler - they still need constant care. Mine is 4 and I still struggle to work part time and afford child care for that. The cost of full time work/childcare would nullify my earnings. So forget having a child (on purpose) while getting a BA. It's a bad idea financially, emotionally, and relationship-wise.

Dental school will be difficult. I do not think you will be able to complete it while getting pregnant and having a child. Also, I doubt that they would allow you to take a year or two off and then go back and finish.

I would say table the idea for now and see what happens. You are very young and have a long time ahead of you. Plans and circumstances may change. Also, a child is a huge commitment and one that will have serious effects on your relationship. It is not a romantic thing, believe me. It makes people argue and bicker who never argued and bickered before, and on top of that you're both tired all the time.

Also, there is no rush biologically to have a child. Late 20's, early 30's is a perfectly good age. Problems don't begin until 35 or later.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Thornton Park, Orlando
492 posts, read 971,946 times
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I had two at the age of 21 (10 months apart) and then another at 31. 21 is too young for exactly the reasons the PP stated. However, there is a HUGE difference in my overall energy level between the 21 and 31. When I was 25, I had no problem running around with my kids at the playground. With my youngest, I sit while she plays. And I feel a little guilty for that. Even things like Disney are much less appealing to me now.

Having said that, my tolerance is improved. My first two drove me freaking crazy, but I cope much better now that I'm older. I've heard this same thing from others with kids far apart. So, it's a trade off, in my experience.

I think I'd split the difference and do mid to late 20s if I had the option.

Having said all that, do NOT have a baby while in school. If you don't want to wait until your 30s, finish school, have the baby, then start your career after a cpl years.

Just my opinion, though.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,255 posts, read 74,425,065 times
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We had our first two when my wife was 25 (I was 29). That was a very good time for us. We had a lot of energy, she was able to recover quickly, we were very active. We were not rolling in cash, but we got by ok with lots of help from friends and family. The next came when she was 29 and that was pretty good too. The next when she was 30. That was still good but recovery was getting difficult. We still had plenty of energy, and we had lots of money. Th last when she was 35. The pregnancy and recovery were much more difficult for her. Sure she was still well withing the "safe" age where you are not super likely to get birth defects, but as your body slows down the travails of pregnancy are more difficult and recovery is slow and hard. Most people have slowed down physically by then and as other mentioned you are not as likely to do physical activity with your child, especially given you will be 40 by the time they are 5. Will the child be deprived? Not really. Will you wish you had more energy to keep up with them like you did when you were younger - in most cases, absolutely.

The appropriate times depends on a million factors and priorities. If recovery and getting fit and/or slender again are important to you than younger is better. Also if you want to be able to go on long difficult hikes, climb trees with them, ride horses, go on 100 mile bike rides. ect. You have a bettrr chance of being able to do that when they can if you have them when you are young.

Financially you need to look to the future, not really to the present. Babies do not really cost much at all. Our first cost us nothing. What wasn't given to us was covered by insurance. Babies just do not cost that much. Take your leftover food from meals and put it in a blender - baby food. Diapers can cost a bit, but we had people give us diaper service subscriptions because they wanted us to be "green" Even if you have to buy diapers, what you save by drinking less and eating out less makes up for that cost. Toys and clothing - gifts and hand me downs is all you will need. What you need to look at is where are you likely to be financially when they start to get expensive (say around 10 - 12).

More important is where you are emotionally. Are you patient and flexible. Are you read to take a year or many years off of school, or go part time if it becomes necessary? Are you willing to park career goals for five or more years? Is it important to you to own a house or drive new cars? Are you in a stable and committed relationship that is proven by the test of time? Are you married to someone who is equally committed and responsible? Are you 1000% certain you will stay married and committed to each other and to the baby? Once you have a child, there is no turning back, no walking away. It will control your life for 18-20 years. You will be a mom first and a Dancer, or accountant or Dr. or whatever second. Are you ready for that now? Most are not, but a few are ready for parenthood at a young age. There is no general rule.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:49 AM
 
32,524 posts, read 35,099,666 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimz View Post
What would you consider the best age to have a baby?

My boyfriend really wants a kid, while I am unsure if I still want kids, I have been thinking about it. But I want to do it right. I'm 19 and in college. I want to be a dentist,
Does he know you want to be a dentist?

You might think about the fact that he wants what HE wants. He should be supporting you in what you want before he even starts to talk about babies. JMHO but..... yikes! 19 and he wants you to have a baby? Has he got a career? Money in the bank? Any stability at all? What does he have to offer a kid who will be in the picture for the next 18 years?
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Dallas area, Texas
2,351 posts, read 3,553,641 times
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I would say after you finish school is plenty of time to think of having children. Get your education.

You CAN have a child while paying student loans.
Other things to consider though:
What if your boyfriend becomes unemployed? That is happening to lots of people. Insurance and child care are expensive.
What if, heaven forbid, your BF decides to break up with you because he gets tired of being the sole bread winner and taking care of your toddler, because you are spending the needed hours in dental school? It happens. Do you have plans on how to finish your degree as a single mother?
What if your child has some physical problem? Some babies have birth defects, even when the mother is young. 1 in 50 children are now found to be on the autism spectrum. (As the parent of two ASD children, believe me when I say it is expensive and time consuming. Autism Rate Rises To 1 In 50 Children – Cause Still A Mystery | Singularity Hub ) Any of these things could disrupt your education, perhaps for an extremely long time; and, having your degree could help pay for treatments and/or help.
If you are not sure that you even want children, then why hurry into it? If your BF is good father material, he will want you to be fully vested in this lifelong commitment.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:27 PM
 
Location: The hills of western Washington
251 posts, read 488,525 times
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We had ours at 25, 27 & 31. That was a terrific age for us. Now they're all grown up, and we've got our first grandson.

My parents had their three at 35, 39 & 43. They we're well established in professional careers by then, owned a very nice home, etc. It was good for them, but I'll tell you, being the last they were always "old" when raising me. Working a lot, meetings in the evening, etc. Not much play time as it was about their lives, not the kids so much.

I vowed to PLAY with my kids. I don't get involved in a myriad of community committees, etc. I was always there for them. So was their mom, who devoted herself to raising them and maintaining our home quite harmoniously. For my wife (who is a very talented lady) no "career", or outside endeavor could possibly be better than the joy and responsibility of raising our three beautiful kids. I guess you can chalk that up to her solid self-image and confidence.

In a nutshell, I think it's all about priorities. If you're not totally committed to your husband (yes husband, not boyfriend...) If you value a job more than kids. If your husband is not totally, unshakeably committed to you AND your kids to fully support you and care for his family FOREVER. Then don't bother having kids...
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:56 PM
 
1,259 posts, read 2,165,443 times
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Wait until after you are married and done with schooling. What if you have a child and then break up?? Now you're a single mom having to support a kid which is a big job trying to get through a dental program. A lot of times when couples have kids before marriage, those relationships don't last because having a baby changes your relationship and that's whether you are married or not. It's a lot easier to walk away from a bf/gf situation than a marriage. Wait until you have a bit more of a stable life first.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:11 PM
 
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If you're not sure, it's too soon. If you're still in school and planning more education after your bachelors degree, it's too soon. If you're 19, it's too soon to assume you and your boyfriend will still even be together by the time you finish school.

I got my graduate degree and worked for 10 years before having my son at age 35. Before I had him, I had the chance to travel to many exotic places for my job as an entomologist, go out and do things in San Francisco, where I lived at the time, and enjoy being childless. By the time I had him, I was ready to focus on caring for my child and truly enjoying the next stage of my life.

I'm not suggesting waiting until 35, but waiting until you finish school and get your career started is the best idea, if that's really the career you want. (And you may change your mind about that, just as you may change your mind about your boyfriend.) One of my friends finished veterinary school and worked in a vet practice for a year before having her first child; now she has two and has been able to continue working in the field she loves.
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Old 05-08-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Dallas area, Texas
2,351 posts, read 3,553,641 times
Reputation: 4158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimz View Post
What would you consider the best age to have a baby?

My boyfriend really wants a kid, while I am unsure if I still want kids, I have been thinking about it. But I want to do it right. I'm 19 and in college. I want to be a dentist, so I'm looking at 8+ years of schooling. By the time I get out of dental school, get established and pay off my loans I'll be in my mid thirties. Would it be better to have a child while getting my bachelors, so that while I'm in dental school they'd be a toddler and my boyfriend would be supporting us, or should I wait to my mid or possibly late thirties to have my first child?

The second option makes the most sense financially, while the first option makes the most sense biologically.
Not that I would change my answer, but trying to understand your relationship:
How old is your BF and does he have his degree?
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