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Maternity Benefits Is There Really A Best Time (Age) To Have A Baby And How Do You Know?

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

They’re cute and cuddly and loveable and YES, lots of work. In fact, I’ve often joked that my husband and I would adopt a 21 year old; a “child” that’s done with the terrible twos, the tumultuous teens, is finished with collage and is just about ready to go out on his/her own. Then one of my friends reminded me: “Why would I want to do that and miss out on getting up in the middle of the night?” In fact, there’s a card that says: Babies are nature’s way of telling us “we’re getting too much sleep”.

That’s precisely why parents should be READY to have a baby. But how and when will you know when you are READY? Well, just like falling in love, “You’ll Just Know”. But you ask, isn’t there a “best time” to conceive? especially for woman who are “battling” a ticking biological clock.

Surely chronological age remains a primary consideration but moms and dads agree that it’s most important to be psychologically prepared, an issue age has little to do with. They concur that every age has it’s own unique benefits (and disadvantages) to starting a family. Here are a few for you to consider:

Late Teens to Early and Mid Twenties:
With a substantial shift in “family” values, many couples are once again getting married sooner these days…and that means starting families in a fashion perhaps our parents or grandparents were accustomed to.
Baby Boons: Couples in this age group tend to have more energy for their children and all their demands. Also grandparents are generally (still) young and energetic enough to help out if and when needed. Young couples may also be able to relate more to their children. Pregnancy (and delivery) is generally not an issue for women and men in this age group, women’s’ bodies bounce back pretty easily, and moms usually have more leeway in putting their career(s) “on hold” to take care of their children and either pursuing an education part-time or online and prepare to go back to work when their children are school age.
Obstacle Courses: Young couples are generally still in the process of defining and discovering themselves. Additionally, they generally lack financial resources and education to secure a promising position and provide for their family. Salaries are low and expenses are high. Grandparents, while able and willing to help may not be able to since they are still probably working themselves. Finding peers to associate with may be difficult considering most couples with children may tend to be older.

Mid To Late Twenties and Early Thirties:
The societal norm for couples to get married or for those married younger to consider starting a family.
Baby Boons Couples generally have had the opportunity to finish their studies and secure a good job before settling down. Also, they have probably dated longer and know each other and themselves better, lived on their own and have explored life enough to be independent before they are co-dependent. Additionally, they are probably more prepared to the emotional demands and sacrifices of starting a family and have more financial resources on which to rely. Grandparents are also probably still young and energetic enough to offer assistance and close to retirement, so couples may have an alternative to day care. Couples in this age group also have the added benefit of not only being mature, but still very young…and maintain ample time in having more than one child. Plus, chances are you’ll have plenty of friends in your situation and a great support group.
Obstacle Courses: After Age 25 “complications” with regards to conception may become more prevalent. Plus the body may begin to “loose” resiliency and you may have to deal with a significant “figure” change. Individual and joint (financial and lifestyle) demands may be greater and demand both parents to work, not offering the mom the option to stay home with her children. Grandparents may still be working and not as available to help…or may retire and decide to travel or move as an option.

Mid To Late 30’s:
The new “20 something’s”. Many women (especially those who are bi-products of the excessive 80s) fall into this category. They are those women who pursued their individuality and career, and sowed their “wild oats” before settling down. They may have even gotten married in their early 30s but decided to put their family on hold because of work and other demands and obligations.
Baby Boons: These couples bring maturity to the relationship. Both are probably settled in their personalities, finances, careers, and relationship with others and each other. Parents in this age group are usually able to provide a stable environment for their children and generally the woman will be able to take a leave of absence from her job to focus on her family without dire financial consequences. Also these moms and dads are calm enough for the job…but, young enough in body, mind and attitude to have more than one child and meet all the demands of being a parent emotionally and financially.
Obstacle Courses: Women in this age group may be risking some complications, including certain potential birth defects (though modern technology has made great strides for protecting both mother and child). Some moms and dads may lack the time and energy needed for a high-energy family environment. Also grandparents may be older, live far away (after retirement), friends’ children may be much older and there may not be many couples their age to associate with (though this is the new age trend in parenthood for many)…and of course the woman’s body may not be as resilient.

40 Something’s:
While not necessarily the trend, an increasing group statistic. More and more couples are getting married and having families “later in life”, either by choice or circumstance. Many such couples are often also starting over from a previous marriage.
Baby Boons: Couples are likely to be financially and emotionally prepared for parenthood. They most likely have secure jobs and good homes to offer their offspring and are still young enough to enjoy their new role. Grandparents are usually retired (maybe for a while) and eagerly looking forward to enjoying their grandchildren, a big help to couples in this age category. Moms have also been in the work force most of their lives and are likely to be more able and willing to give up their career for their family.
Obstacle Courses: Besides obvious medical concerns, most other moms may be younger and there may not be enough time to consider a second or third child.

A new phenomenon. Women, who perhaps didn’t marry until later in life, are getting married for the second time (but never had any children) or those who remain single but have that maternal yearning.
Baby Boons: According to women in this age group, there is a personal confidence, patience, wisdom and appreciation for love and family that was not previously there. There are also fewer “obligations” and more time and resources to offer a child.
Obstacle Courses: The main issue is the ability or rather “inability” for couples in this age group to conceive. Also moms (though they may still have lots of energy now) may loose their energy at a time when their children demand it most. Also, other moms/parents in this age group are probably hard to find. And, there may be great generational differences between parents and child.

Long Island Family Life & Parenting Articles > Maternity Benefits Is There Really A Best Time (Age) To Have A Baby And How Do You Know?

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