The “Right” Age to Have Kids

April 5, 2011 at 7:33 am | Posted in Family Ties | 2 Comments
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photo via webmd.com

Lately it seems I am surrounded by pregnant women and new moms.  I imagine this is something I’m going to have to get used to as more and more people I know reach “the age” of new motherhood.  But I remember a time when getting pregnant was something to be feared.

There’s a lot of attention being paid to shows like Teen Mom that expose what it’s like to have a child when you are still basically a child yourself.  Growing up in a town like mine, there weren’t a lot of teen moms. There were girls that got pregnant and had the means and desire to terminate the pregnancy, probably many more than the rumor mill let on.  But I do have a few friends who had kids at a young age and while they weren’t planned pregnancies, they accepted and embraced the new path their life was going down.

I really want to commend the young single mothers out there.  I think it takes a very special person to become a mother, especially at such a young age.  You may not have had the resources but you were going to make sure that your child never went without.  There is such a high level of selflessness in becoming a mother.

I know what a lot of naysayers would say.  It’s irresponsible to bring a child into this world if there is a lack of stability, that young moms put a burden on their families.  I really think it’s crazy to think of a child as a burden.  Sure it’s not the course we all strive to take, but if a child is born into a family who is going to love and nurture him, who are we to judge?  Stability is really a man-made idea.  If the recent economic slump teaches you anything, it’s that nothing is guaranteed.

I do want to be clear that I don’t support people who have children and then rely solely on the government to fund their rearing.  Those programs are put into place to help families who are trying to better themselves and I think it’s a disgrace when people take advantage of the system when there are people who really need it.

So beyond the young and single moms, the people I know who are pregnant now range in age significantly.  It seems there is no time stamp of when the “right” age to have a child is.

I’ve thought about what I’d do if I got pregnant at different points in my life.  As much as I support my  single mom friends, I just don’t know if I could have done it when I was younger. But now, even though I’m not ready, I’m at an age where it doesn’t seem fair to pass up the opportunity.  It’s almost like there’s this invisible line between the age where it’s acceptable to terminate and when it’s not.

Luckily, I’m not and never have been in a position where this is of concern.  But it’s certainly an interesting dynamic.  I don’t know when this line appears, all I know is when I see the face of my newborn nephew, all uncertainty disappears.

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