Considering a Baby at an Older Age? Check These Cs
Having a baby gives you enough to think about on its own, but what about having one at an older age in life? Considering one in your late 30s? How about in your 40s? Or 50s?
Pregnancies among older adults have always been somewhat controversial. Some are against it due to health risks, or out of concern that parents might not be able to give proper care for the child over time. Others believe that having a child is a right and that it’s the dedication to the child’s wellbeing that really matters, not one’s age.
That debate will always rage on, and all of it can be very overwhelming. But let’s not focus on the birthing, health, and body considerations. Those vary vastly, and your doctor is the best authority for any health care questions you may have about trying for a baby at an older age. Instead, let’s explore some of the factors that may help in just deciding to have a baby at an older age or not.
You can’t avoid doing the math. Your immediate thought might be, “When the child turns 20, I’ll be X years old.” That’s natural, and even as a young adult you may make those parallels. But if you’re knocking on 40 or 50, those disparities seem to be more startling. There’s really no right or wrong answer, just don’t get too caught up in the numbers game, because that’s only one part of the overall issue.
If you’re having a baby at around 45-50, be prepared for the ordinary fact that some innocent bystanders will think you’re the grandparents. Don’t take offense. After all, you may know some people right now who are grandparents in their 40s. No two families are alike, and there’s no one way to have one. The world’s oldest mother was 72 when she gave birth to a son after 50 years of marriage. Recently, the world’s oldest new dad had his first child at age 94 (his wife was 52), and a second at 96. Wow!
On that note, don’t get hung up in how celebrities make it look easy. Mick Jagger had a baby at 73. George Clooney at 55. Halle Berry was 47 when she had her second, They have a lot of money and nannies at their disposal, things that most of us don’t have. Either way, their choices shouldn’t have much influence on whether to have a child or not. The things they buy and their lifestyles can be very dreamy, but that’s a product of their fame. Don’t let that get to you one way or another.
If your job requires long hours, non-traditional work days, and/or travel away from home, you might need to consider if you can handle all that while raising a baby. Given your own situation, you might be able to pull it off just fine. If not, perhaps a switch in jobs is what you need to do first. No person on his death bed said that he wished he’d worked more.
If you have any pipe dream about retiring at age 50, you can probably forget it if you’re considering another, unless you’re really well-off financially. Most of us don’t make that kind of coin, and you’ll not only need to provide a secure future for your family, but you’ll most have to put that little peanut through college. There’s no denying it costs money to have a child, but any parent will warmly tell you it’s so worth it.