What is wrong with being a mum later in life?

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There is no right age to have a child and there is no wrong age either. The right time to have a child depends entirely on your life and your situation. Even then, the universe has a habit of not listening to our needs and throwing us a curveball when we least expect it. If you are going to become a mother in later years don’t worry. There are many reasons that this is the perfect time to have your child.

Many years ago it was believed that the best time to have a child was in your teens. Since then our views of society have changed a little (I think for the better) and we are having children later and later in life and having far fewer. Still today women in their 20s and 30s face untold pressure from their family to start having children soon. There is a biological clock element at play here, as you get older it does become more difficult to get pregnant and there are some increased health complications of being pregnant in later years. However, most of these pressures are born out of societal expectation not the health and well being of a child.

In the past women were expected to only perform the role of mother. Men would carry the career torch and women would stay home and mind the kids. Thankfully this is improving (slowly) and we now recognize that women have as much of a right to life as their male counterparts. This does mean that many women are choosing to put off motherhood until later and later in life. They want to reach a certain point in the career, travel, hobby, (insert whatever you like here) before having a child. That is perfectly fine. 

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In addition, when we look at the ages the average age of being a parent is getting older and older. What you consider to be old today will likely be the average tomorrow. This is not only because of changes in society but because of improvements in healthcare meaning it is increasingly possible for older women to have kids.

Still, being a young twenty-something-year-old parent has its advantages. You are closer in age to your child so may share more of the same interests and you are generally fitter so you can chase them around a lot more without endangering your own health. Yet there are advantages to being an older parent too that no one really talks about.

Older parents on average have smarter children. Without going into nature versus nurture debate, the more time you spend with your child teaching them things the smarter they will be. If you are more educated then you can teach them more things. Simple. 

As a role model, the older generation are often better too. Children of older parents are proven to be safer and more sensible based on hospital records of children admitted for accidents and their parents’ ages. Being an older parent can be a huge physical drain but there are numerous examples of a child in an older person’s life forcing them to become active again and it is a huge help in their later years. So we can count this as a plus too.

Given the age difference, it is important that you don’t allow the generational gap to create a distance between you and your child. Make the extra effort to understand the technologies and terms they are using so that you can be part of their maturing. Whether that means helping them set up a Zoom call with their teacher or recording a TikTok to embarrass them, do it. Having a child when you are older is different, it is a challenge, but it is no worse than having one at a younger age.

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