The "right age" to have kids

[deleted account] ( 51 moms have responded )

Yeah I'm sure this topic is so overdone, but I'm feeling bad and I guess I want to have a good reason for it, lol.



What age do you think is most appropriate for having kids and why? Do you think younger parents are being irresponsible?



And while I'm at it, let's throw in how long to wait between kids too...might as well, maybe my parents are right, lol...

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Krista - posted on 03/23/2012

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MeMe, I would never use money as a reason to say someone should or should not have kids. For whatever reason they do or do not have money, money and wealth should never dictate someone's rights.



It's not a matter of rights. Nobody here is suggesting making it illegal. All we're saying is that it is a REALLY bad idea to be popping out babies when you don't even have the financial wherewithal to feed, house and clothe that child. Rights are all well and good, but with rights come responsibilities. And if you are going to exercise your right to procreate, then you have a responsibility to provide that child with the necessities of life.

Elfrieda - posted on 03/25/2012

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This is interesting, I've read all the responses!



I think that ideally, you should be married for at least a year, not be totally broke, and have reflected on your own upbringing and considered the good parts that you want to pass on and the bad that you want to change. Age-wise, I think age 22-30ish is the best time to have babies because of the energy levels and ease of pregnancy.



And the time between kids, I think 2 to 4 years is a good gap.



There are lots of circumstances in life that don't allow this, and you just have to work with the situation that you're in. I'm not following it myself. I think there can be lots of happy families that don't adhere to that, but I think it's ideal, and that's what you asked! :)

Jakki - posted on 03/24/2012

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I had my kids at 35, 37 and 40, which makes me a bit older than the other mums I know, but not much older, and not the oldest. We were having too much of a good time and having adventures to get around to having kids earlier than that.



I can see that having waiting that extra bit and having established a career first (and bought a house early) means that now our lives are wayyyy easier than others who didn't get that head start first.



I don't notice that me and my hubby have less energy than the other parents - we do energetic games with them as much as any body else, maybe more!



I do feel sad when I think that I'll be really old by the time my kids have their own kids, but I'm keeping myself healthy in the hope that I'll live to be a grandma (and a useful one).

Mrs. - posted on 03/23/2012

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Oh no, I was quite fat after I had my kid....I'm not anymore. It is quite hard to work in an industry where you making a living depends, sometimes, on how you look (although I think it is rampant in all professions in some way or another), but it is the reality. I just wish women were given the time to heal and not expected to look exactly like they did before weeks after they give birth...but as we see with big name actors and celebrities, that's what is expected. I earned that fat ass growing my kid in my stomach, I just wish I could have had the time to work it off or the consideration of its largeness for at least a few months after.....but that is not how it rolls with those who are professionally doing jobs that require them to be up front and centre.

Mrs. - posted on 03/23/2012

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Many people who work in a restaurant, like say my husband, only work nights and only a few nights a week (it is high end and you make a shit load of money in a short amount of time), are not by law considered "full-time", even though they make a living out of it. If I worked his job, I wouldn't have received that.



So many people work freelance, work several jobs building up another career (actors do this a lot, I know I did...teaching an odd workshop, doing promo work, doing print work or an odd trade job which they might have a skill set for) and there is nothing there for them. I mean, I'm part of a union and I got two weeks of mat pay total...I think it was like 1000 dollars altogether and then nothing until I had to try to whip my ass into shape and get back out there trying to sell my fat ass....and start all over again.

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Sherri - posted on 04/01/2012

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Didn't even know each other a year when we got married. We weren't married with our first (not planned), married 2mo's when we got pregnant with second not planned, 3rd was very much planned, 4th not planned.

[deleted account]

we weren't at all ready to have our first but i think we've done pretty good for ourselves. we didn't plan our second either but i'm sure we'll do just as fine. it's just annoying to have people look at us like we're bad parents because we're young and i'm pregnant while our first is only 15mo. it's especially annoying when people ask "you know how that happens, right?" and i always tell them we're done, we've got our girl and our boy and we're happy. all i have to do is sign the consent form and i'll be fixed the day after our boy's birthday. sure, they're a little close, but it's not that bad, is it? they'll be 18mo apart, and at least we're taking measures to make sure we don't have another oops.



all we ever wanted was a boy and a girl and we've got them so that's all we need :)

Merry - posted on 04/01/2012

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Elfraida you said it so well here

"I think that ideally, you should be married for at least a year, not be totally broke, and have reflected on your own upbringing and considered the good parts that you want to pass on and the bad that you want to change. Age-wise, I think age 22-30ish is the best time to have babies because of the energy levels and ease of pregnancy. "



I'd have to agree completely 100% except we were 19 and 21 when we conceived Eric on purpose, we had been married just over a year, had a few thousand in the bank, two stable full time jobs, a two bedroom apartment, a car, and we were making more money then we used every single month by far. We had discussed being parents since our first date at 16 and 17 years old. I can't say we are perfect parents, and I can't say if waiting longer would have made us better, but we had all of our ducks in a row before we chose to have a baby and for the most part I feel very happy with how our family has grown!



I also love the show sixteen and pregnant! I watch every episode faithfully :) I loved the last episode where the mom planned on refusing the epidural and endured a 14 hour labor all drug free! So proud of her! And then she was still breastfeeding at two months which is amazing! And it sure seems like younger moms handle pregnancy better, those teens run around and seem so peppy lol.

Merry - posted on 04/01/2012

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I think the right age is the age where you are prepared and want to have a baby!

For me I was 20, married, and planned to have a baby and it all was and is wonderful. I feel I am and was a good age to have kids, my body handled pregnancy very well' uncomplicated deliveries, etc.

For me we chose to space kids two years apart and so far it's worked well and we hope to have 4-6 kids.



It's going to be different for everyone but for me I love it how we have done it and if you're mature and prepared, young moms can do wonderfully!

Sherri - posted on 03/30/2012

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I watch 16 & pregnant and have rarely missed an episode it is one of my very favorite shows on TV.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/30/2012

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Sarah---



im an avid watcher of 16 and pregnant



I love this show. I cry when I watch it, from everything they go through. I agree, many of them are some AWESOME Mom's! They try sooo hard... I give Kudo's to many of them. ;)



ETA:

I do not advocate getting pregnant at 16 or before school is complete, being a good idea, however. Just wanted to comment that it is a good show. ;)

Sarah - posted on 03/30/2012

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im an avid watcher of 16 and pregnant, and i have to say some of these young mothers put older mothers to shame. i dont think i would like it if my daughter was young and pregnant, but mistakes do happen and i guess its all about how to handle it. i think its really up to the individual. some people are made to be mothers from a very early age, some people have babies to gain a house or money and some people have a baby that was a mistake.

i didnt have a baby until i was 26 but i was never a baby person. some people have loads of kids and just clearly shouldnt, the way they talk to them etc.

i think personally mistakes are impossible. you either get pregnant or you dont. everybody knows what happens if you dont use protection, so i think mistakes are avoidable. im sure ill get shot down for saying that, but having been a ra*e victim many years ago i fell pregnant, so yes that was a mistake, but thats not the kind of mistake i mean xx

Patricia - posted on 03/29/2012

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never a right time. when you get pregnant your blessed with something so i guess at that point its the right time..no1 knows and its never gonna be easy for anyone i dont care how old you are or how many kids you have my kids are all 4 yrs apart and it never get easier.. but my advise do wait you tend to have more patience as you get older... patience is the key..

Christina - posted on 03/26/2012

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i dont think there is the best age to have kids. i have 3 kids all 7 years apart. got preg with first one at 17. it was exciting. me and her dad were engaged. then the bottom fell out. i wasnt prepared for that but guess what i delt with it. i have worked 2 jobs to support my kids when i ve been single. if you wait til you are stable then you might just want to wait til your getting ready for menopose. if you want a baby even if you just got a new car or a morgage on a house. you figure out how to afford what you want without a child why cant you do it with one.i did it with the first one . when my second child and his dad split. guess what i went and got 2 jobs again. i did what i had to do for my kids and i dont regret the choices i made either way. if you want a kid bad enough do it. you will figure it out

Janice - posted on 03/26/2012

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I definitely think finishing high school and being in a long-term committed relationship is best. You need to be old enough to support yourself. If you are too young to support a baby financially (not extras just basic necessities) than you are too young to have a baby. I think older moms can be great moms but I would like to be done having kids before I'm 35. I just dont want to have young children at home while my older ones are starting their own families. And I wouldnt want to be too old to enjoy my grandkids.



As for spacing between children, I don't think there is an ideal gap but I think no less than 18 months and no more than 10 years is best. I think having babies extremely close together can be very bad for moms health. And more than 10 years just seems too long to me. But I guess if you have a baby at 16 and then wait till you are 28 when you are stable for the next baby than more than 10 years is a good gap.



Really though it all depends on the individuals having children. I think whatever works best for a family is the ideal.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/26/2012

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Chrystal---If you don't agree with it from a purely financial standpoint than would you say you agree that it's better for a parent to put their child on the street or in a homeless shelter exposing them to any number of things than with a grandparent (assuming they are safe of course)? I am in no way saying sponging off a parent is the right thing to do but if a person where to lose everything and have eviction notice in hand which would be a better option for their child?



No, I don't agree. If this were me I would pull up my boots and go and work at Tim Horton's, McDonalds and a Convenience store (3 jobs, more if I needed). If need be I would get a roommate, to help temporarily pay the bills. THAT is called being an adult and a mature one at that. I would never move back in with my parents. They have done their job already, it is their time to enjoy their life they have worked darn hard for (and I can't stand my mother).



In addition, I would expect this from my children too. However, I would help them as much as I could. I would not be impressed if they had to move back in with me at age 36. They should be able to figure it out. If they had to, as long as they were working and providing for their self and children, I would have no issue with giving them a roof over their head. Temporarily. I would not be supporting their ass, however. Life is not a bed of roses. There are times you have to struggle, parents are not there to make life easy. Although, many do it and this is why they end up with spongers that feel entitled to do nothing and get everything.



It is a terrible feeling to lose everything but if you don't pick yourself back up to take care of your children and self, then you are not being responsible. Period.



Tell me what would an adult of 54 (my mom's age) do? If they have no parents or grandparents to move back in with? They would have to figure it out. They would have to get multiple jobs to make ends meet. Some people at that age still have kids at home, some people do not have kids until their 40's. At age 50 I will have 16 and 28 year old.

[deleted account]

Chrystal, I was merely explaining my situation, why I feel the way I do about it. I don't feel I need to explain myself any further. I don't know you, and you don't know me. Agree to disagree.

[deleted account]

i don't think there is a right age to have kids. i think that if you have the money to care for them and have a secure job and living situation and relationship that is when it is a good time. and as a young parent, i think that it just depends on the maturity of the parent.

Chrystal - posted on 03/25/2012

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Jamie

"MeMe I did realize most are not referencing it that way. However the statement I quoted implies for no reason should a person live with their parent after having a child I just wanted to point out one possible reason not to say that is what most of the posts have been referencing. Perhaps I should have stated a financial reason rather than a cultural reason as to why it's an unsound statement but it was the first reason that popped in my head to be honest."



I'm not sure if you saw my post in response to another questioning my comments so if not there it is. I do admit a financial reason would have been better suited to your comment. If you don't agree with it from a purely financial standpoint than would you say you agree that it's better for a parent to put their child on the street or in a homeless shelter exposing them to any number of things than with a grandparent (assuming they are safe of course)? I am in no way saying sponging off a parent is the right thing to do but if a person where to lose everything and have eviction notice in hand which would be a better option for their child? I know I'd choose a relative over a homeless shelter no matter if I were sponging off them for a time or not because well at the homeless shelter I'm sponging off as well with the added benefit of complete strangers (that often times have untreated mental illness and/or addiction problems) as roommates. Sometimes it's easy to say you'd never or there is not a good reason until a person really draws out a thought to it's end conclusion and the end conclusion can very well be a child is homeless. But this isn't what this thread is about so I am sorry for taking up space on this side issue and I agree to disagree about it.

[deleted account]

Chrystal, i'm sorry but i figured that by mentioning the loss of stability being a reason to move back in with parents would show that i meant i didn't agree with doing it for purely financial reasons. my mother and grandmother live off of my great grandmother. there is no "respect" in that arrangement. they aren't there to help her, they're there because they refuse to help themselves. that is extremely sad and angering to me, as i would never be able to do something like that to my great grandma, who is like a real mom to me. there are other reasons i wouldn't move back in with my parents (one of them being that i don't agree with how they'd try to raise my kids) but the fact that my great grandma has gone through so much hardship because of her kids "sponging" off of her is the main reason.

Shelley - posted on 03/24/2012

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I was 22 when i found out i was pregnant. I had only been married 4 months was working full time and in total shock. We had a mortgage and i didn't think we could afford it nor cope. As the months went on, the excitement grew and our priorities changed we found we were going to be fine. I have loved being a stay at home mum. Its harder than i ever thought it would be but i wouldn't change a thing. So for me 22 was a great age my husband was 32. I think its different for each person.

My girls are 20 months apart and we have loved it my oldest is 4 and my youngest turns 3 next month they play together all the time and i often find them asleep in the same bed at night. I hope that they continue throughout their lives to be close friends.

April - posted on 03/23/2012

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I can only speak for myself. I simply wasn't ready before 26 (when my son was born). I was busy enjoying the college life and I was actually still learning how to be responsible for myself. I have always wanted to be a mother, so it wasn't like I didn't want babies. I was just learning how to do my own laundry, how to balance a check book, and how to prioritze things so that I had enough money for both rent and food.



Now, for the age gap, I have a pretty specific reason for not wanting babies too close in age. It is important to me that all my babies have an equal chance to make it to natural duration (at least 2 1/2 years old) before I get pregnant again. If they self wean before natural duration (earlier than 2 1/2), I would feel okay about ttc again (but not while I have an infant--maybe 18 months but i don't see myself having a child wean that early anyway)

Sherri - posted on 03/23/2012

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My feeling is not before 24. I think it is perfect as the parents get to live a bit before being tied down being married and having kids. I find they have some more life experience under their belts and honestly yes they tend to be better parents than a 18yr old.



I think a space of at least 18mo's between children is best as well.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/23/2012

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Yeah, that is truly crappy! Again, it is true that if you are self employed or not full time or had 600 hours within the past 52 weeks, you wouldn't have the labour board backing you up with Mat leave and keeping your job and pay. If you did not pay into E.I, you would not be eligible for E.I during the mat leave period either. So, you are correct. I guess I was just speaking of a full time employee of a business.



Ummm - I am sure you are not a fat ass. That is not nice to say about yourself Rebecca. ;)

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/23/2012

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Sorry, you are right. If you are a self employer no, that would not be the case.



If you work in a restaraunt? Yes, that is in place for you. Any restaraunt, even a bar.



As long as you are a full time employee. You pay your taxes and you have been with the company for a period of time. You are ensured to have your job when you come back, - perhaps a different role - guarenteed the same wage and you are entitled to a year mat leave. If anyone does not get this on their behalf, they can take it to the employment board. It is a part of the employer/employee act.



I just went through it. I called the government of Canada. As well as my Employer provided me with the rules around mat leave in Canada. It is different in the US.

Mrs. - posted on 03/23/2012

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MeMe - Not all careers in Canada have that going for them. For instance, if you run your own biz, if you are, like me, in the performance field, if you are a freelance anything, if you work in some restaurants...actually there are a lot of them. So when you take the time to have the kid, you really don't get to have your exact same job back with the exact same pay....nor do you have any mat leave/mat pay. It really depends on what you do for a living.



As well, the same applies to people who don't live in Canada. Some people really do have to start all over again and it is a real consideration when deciding (if you get the chance to decide) to have kids.

Chrystal - posted on 03/23/2012

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MeMe I did realize most are not referencing it that way. However the statement I quoted implies for no reason should a person live with their parent after having a child I just wanted to point out one possible reason not to say that is what most of the posts have been referencing. Perhaps I should have stated a financial reason rather than a cultural reason as to why it's an unsound statement but it was the first reason that popped in my head to be honest.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/23/2012

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Yep, it is much different for everyone. Since I am now a morning person. I am up at 6am, regardless.



When I was in my 20's I wanted to sleep lots. lol



I was settled in my career when I had my boy and almost 35. I took a year off, then went right back into my same career at the same place of employment. Here in Canada, they have to give you your exact same job back or in the least another role with the exact same pay, after a year of mat leave (unpaid for most places).

Mrs. - posted on 03/23/2012

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Sometimes I'm glad I waited to have a kid until I was in my thirties (well, I didn't really wait, I thought I couldn't have any), had some education and a career. However, I think it can really stunt your career if you haven't gotten to a point of some success and accomplishment. It seems you have to start all over again in some careers after you have a kid(s). So, part of me thinks, you might as well go to school, finish, then have kids - then start the career you would have to start all over again anyway. Of course, you'd have to work some crappy job, not in your field either way, but for some people who have had some success and then have to let it all go.....that's harder than having never started.



As well, it is hands down harder on your body when you are older. That is not just the pregnancy, but the lack of sleep and huge rise in stress afterward. I've noticed the people I know in their twenties just bounce back and handle it all a lot better physically.



I'm kind of thinking mid twenties is optimal. However, everyone is so different and it totally is adjustable according to the individual.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/23/2012

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Chrystal---



What about those who's culture dictates they live with their families? We lived with my grandfather while I grew up because to abandon your parent was a shameful thing to do (they cared for you should care for them) and I still care for both my mother and grandfather though I do not live with them because there wasn't enough space in our family home but I still go weekly to cook and clean for them and would love to be able to live with them again someday. It's a sign of respect and responsibility for an adult child to live with their parent not a lacking in some cultures. Just saying.



I don't think most of us are speaking of those that actually live with their parents and help support them. We are speaking of those that still live with their parents at 25-40 and their parents still support "them". ;)



A cultural reason is much different than a "I am going to sponge of mom and dad" scenario.

Mother - posted on 03/23/2012

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I don't think anyone but the people involved can answer this question. And as far as age between children....same thing. Some people like them really close in age and others like having time between so they feel like they all got "quality time" with mom and Dad. It's a personal choice.

Jenni - posted on 03/23/2012

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Yeah, I didn't mean everyone has to have a post secondary degree before they have children. I meant *if* that is an aspiration of yours, it's best to get it out of the way before having kids because it does make it a lot harder (not impossible of course) to accomplish once you have children. It's got to be damn hard to balance a family life, a school career and possibly employment, to help finance school/family.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/23/2012

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Jodi---

MeMe, I would never use money as a reason to say someone should or should not have kids. For whatever reason they do or do not have money, money and wealth should never dictate someone's rights.



MeMe---

Some people just should not have children. No matter the age. If they cannot afford them or are not trying to get to a point in life where they can satisfy all the child's needs on their own, then they should have waited until they could or not had any children.



Yep, what Krista said, in response to my comment, Jodi picked out.



I don't care if you are 16 or 40. If you cannot provide for that child, than you should not be procreating. I understand, once you have the child, things can happen. However, if you are not trying your absolute damndest to get back on your feet and you are just sponging off of Mom/Dad, you should not have had that child. It takes a certain amount of responsibility. Yes, having a child speeds that process up BUT you need to be somewhat stable and willing to work and have a permanant job before you start making these types of plans.



I am not saying you have to be completely set. You do however, need to understand that it is not a walk in the park. You need to be on your own and making ends meet before taking part in bringing another child into this world.



I should have NEVER gotten pregnant at 22. I had nothing. I had no business getting pregnant. However, I did NOT live at home. Hadn't for 5 years. When I found out I was pregnant, I worked my skinny little ass off to get to a spot where I could support my daughter. ;)

Chrystal - posted on 03/23/2012

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"i also don't think someone should still be living with their parents, no matter what age, and have a child. there are reasons people lose their stability, but i know i personally would never move back in with my parents even if i lost everything."



What about those who's culture dictates they live with their families? We lived with my grandfather while I grew up because to abandon your parent was a shameful thing to do (they cared for you should care for them) and I still care for both my mother and grandfather though I do not live with them because there wasn't enough space in our family home but I still go weekly to cook and clean for them and would love to be able to live with them again someday. It's a sign of respect and responsibility for an adult child to live with their parent not a lacking in some cultures. Just saying.

Ania - posted on 03/23/2012

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As for age difference...personally I wanted to have my kids close in age. Another thing some moms said that they wished they had college degree. I don't think that college degree will define you as a parent. I have two BA and one MA and I'm a stay home mom. Maybe the only thing that I got from my degrees is different outlook on different things - brighter horizons ;) and the fact that i do research and still educate myself on what is good or bad or neither for my kids. i don't blindly follow doctors recommendations etc, but I guess it also depends on what type of personality you have. You don't need to have a degree to be curious in life, but reading with understanding....of the text and critical thinking would help....not everyone without college degree posesses that skill

Ania - posted on 03/23/2012

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I had my first at 27 second now at 29 I'm the youngest of all moms I know in New York. I don't think twenties is the irresponsible age. It depends how mature you are and what your life experiences are. There are plenty of idiot parents at any age....

[deleted account]

I don't know about a 'right' age to have kids. I do think they should be married first (yeah, I know... unpopular belief). I hope MY kids are graduated from college first as well because of my personal experiences, but I don't think that's a 'requirement' for everyone. I do think past high school AGE is important though. I have also told my girls that I WANT to be a grandma, but not until I'm around 50.. 45 at the youngest. ;)



I had the girls at 25 and my son at 31.

Jenni - posted on 03/23/2012

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My SD is 4.5, my son is 3.5 and my daughter is almost 2 years. I'm not going to lie, it's hard in the beginning and demanding. But you adjust or adapt and it gets easier once they're older. Just the first year can be a bit trying. Like I said; I think 2-3 years difference would have been easier. But I do like that they're all close in age and play well together.

[deleted account]

i personally prefer the idea of being financial secure before having a child, or at least making sure security is an option. i also don't think someone should still be living with their parents, no matter what age, and have a child. there are reasons people lose their stability, but i know i personally would never move back in with my parents even if i lost everything.



i'm a young mom, will be 22 next month...i hesitate to say that because i have a second child on the way and my first will be 18mo when her baby brother is born. i've gotten a lot of flack from my parents and from complete strangers saying i have no business having kids that close. but we have a lot more going for us than my parents ever did, and strangers don't know anything about our family life, they just see that we're younger parents and automatically assume they know everything about us or think they don't need to know more because young parents can't possibly take care of two kids under 2 and have good jobs.

Krista - posted on 03/23/2012

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Cool your jets, Jodi. I wasn't picking on the teen moms. I am simply saying that for the most part, it IS rare for a 19 year old to be able to fully support herself and a baby. But if she can, then good on her.



As far as older parents who can't support their kids? It depends. If you already HAVE kids, and fall on hard times, and have to live with your parents and can't support yourself, then that is simply bad luck and I would be the last person to criticize you. That could happen to any of us.



But if you can't support yourself, you definitely shouldn't be (deliberately) getting pregnant, whether you're 14 or 40. I don't care if you're in your 30's. If you're living with your parents, and are on welfare, you have NO business making babies.

Jodi - posted on 03/23/2012

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MeMe, I would never use money as a reason to say someone should or should not have kids. For whatever reason they do or do not have money, money and wealth should never dictate someone's rights.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/23/2012

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Jodi--

Some people just should not have children. No matter the age. If they cannot afford them or are not trying to get to a point in life where they can satisfy all the child's needs on their own, then they should have waited until they could or not had any children.



If they are 19 and have permanent jobs/careers and are stable enough to support a child, I say go for it. Although, I promise it will be tough! If they are 35 and have no permanent job/career, still live with mommy/daddy and cannot afford to pay for the child in most ways, they should not have had a child. A 19 year old has many years to grow stronger and more mature. A 35 year old is getting close to a lost cause, if they are still walking around with their head up their ass.



However, if they were doing good and something devastating happened that set them back. Hey, shit happens. Just make the best of it and work to get on top again. It's the lazy buggers that I speak of at age 35, still living at home and expecting their parents to financially/emotionally support their child. No babies for them! Is how I see it should be.... ;)

Jodi - posted on 03/23/2012

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Kirsta E- "I don't think that younger parents are necessarily irresponsible, as long as they can support themselves and their child. If you've got two 19-year olds with decent jobs and their own place, and they're able to pay for the baby's expenses, then well, I'll still think they're awfully young, but I won't criticize."



But what about the parents that live with their parents, don't have decent jobs, are on welfare and can't afford diapers, formula, clothing, toys, carseat etcetc? And what if those parents are mid 20's, even 30's? I'm really not trying to be picky, but is it ok for those parents having a rough time, while the 19 year olds get crucified, or would they be "just as bad" so to speak, as any 19 year olds in the same boat? Worse maybe, or indifferent? The teen parents I know, are doing pretty well, many need assistance from the government, but then again, we have a high poverty rate in my community, so do a LOT of the moms in my community who are older. Whereas, with moms in their 20's and 30's, I see and hear of many who live with their parents, either for short periods or years. I personally couldn't care less, I would love to move back in my parents, they live in the country and I would love to get away from certain neighbors I have! lol

Jenni - posted on 03/23/2012

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I can't really speak for other people. Everyone is so different. I'm sure there are 20 year olds out there who are more responsible than me! I also think having children makes a person grow up and mature, leaps and bounds (at least most people).



From a social standpoint however, optimally it'd be best or easier rather to wait until you're finished college/university. Have a job and finances in order and a stable relationship.



The stable relationship... this is where I could see some problems. At least for me, it took me some time to figure out what type of person I was compatible with in a relationship. Late teens and early 20s is a time to figure out who you are, what you want to do in life and what type of person you are compatible with in a relationship. It's a very huge transitional age. Between being a child and becoming an adult. But then again, some people take until their 40s to figure all this out!



For me the optimal age was my mid 20s. By then I was past my me-centric age, I was more mature, able to to manage "adult life". Knew what I wanted. I had my first at 26 years old and I don't regret anything as far as the age I had children is concerned.



For the second part of the question. Again, answering for myself... the best time in between children 2-3 years apart.

Louise - posted on 03/23/2012

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I was a younger mum at 21 when I had my son. But I was married and had been in a relationship with his father for 4 years. So the relationship was stable and we were financially secure. Not rich, just had enough to live on. I then went on to have my second son 2.5 years later. This was a good age gap as one son was coming out of nappies and old enough to understand that his little brother needed my time. It was also the time that playgroup started so I had a couple of hours every day to spend with my younger son and get things done around the house.



I raised my boys in a happy marriage. I was a stay at home mum as that is what we both wanted until my youngest son went to school. I then retrained to be a preschool teacher and speech therapist. The years passed by and before I knew it my youngest son was 15 and my eldest son was 17 and there was something inside me that said I am not done with this mummy thing yet. So after a lot of heart ache I had a daughter who is now 3.



I am now classed as an older mum at 42 but I have so much more to offer her. I have the time and money to invest in her and I have been able to give her so much more than I could offer the boys. Again I only work when she is at playgroup and I will not go back to work until she is at school and again I will only work school hours.



So you see I dont think there is a good time for having children, if you wait until you are financially secure you never will. In my humble opinion you should be in a stable relationship and committed to each other, whether that is married or not and you should both agree on how you want to raise your child.



As for the age gap it really does not matter either, but I would say having several children close together is making life hard for mum in the early years with nappy changing, potty training and playgroup expenses. Putting a few years between them is always advised to make life a little easier!

Stifler's - posted on 03/22/2012

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I think if you can support yourself and have finished school at least. 14-15 year olds having kids? Irresponsible.

Celeste - posted on 03/22/2012

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I agree with the majority, at least graduate HS. I would even go as far as say to graduate college. I am not a college graduate and I wish I would have completed college before I had kids. I know it can be done-my mother got her RN with three of us in tow, but I still wish that I would have gotten my degree before my kids.



How long to wait? Gosh, that's hard. I don't think there's a right or wrong on this one. My twins and my daughter are 4 years apart and I haven't had any regrets!

Chrystal - posted on 03/22/2012

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Personally I think the best window for having kids is 25-35. Old enough to have matured yourself but young enough to not spend your retirement raising kids. A persons age doesn't necessarily predict if they will be good parents. I've found though if they aren't good parents that age can play into why. Young parents tend to not think enough about their influence on their child and older parents tend to think way to much about it keeping their child in a bubble. That's not always the case but it's been true more than false in my experience. As far as spacing I think 1-3 years is ideal it allows the older child to gain some level of independence before the next arrives but not get so used to being the only child that they have trouble accepting a sibling.

Krista - posted on 03/22/2012

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I agree with the others that ideally, the parents should have at LEAST graduated from high school. I don't think that younger parents are necessarily irresponsible, as long as they can support themselves and their child. If you've got two 19-year olds with decent jobs and their own place, and they're able to pay for the baby's expenses, then well, I'll still think they're awfully young, but I won't criticize.



As far as a wait in between kids? Hard to say. There are pros and cons to everything. I like the idea of there being about 4 years in between kids. Close enough that they can play together when they're little, but you don't have two in diapers (or in university!) at the same time.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 03/22/2012

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Well first let me say it all depends on the person. I do feel though, at least high school should be completed.



Now let's talk about me and what I believe for me and my children. ;)



I have done it both ways. I was 22 when I had my girl. I did not have a career nor was I married. I was flat ass broke. Even though I struggled while raising her and getting my life in order (for her) I still enjoyed it. I did however, miss out on so much, since I was too busy trying to get to where I am now. I could not afford the things I so wanted to for her either.



Now that I have a career and have for 7 years. I am very financially stable and married. I feel so much more content, the second time around. I am able to enjoy every single part of my boy, I am not having to burrie my head in books to get through school. I can afford all the cool little things for him, that I just could not for my girl.



After having lived motherhood through two very diferent experiences. I think "older" is better. I am way more confident. Way more developed emotionally. Way more patient. Way more willing to get down and dirty with my boy. Way more stable financially and companionship wise. I think my boy gets more out of me, than my daughter did (sad to say). She gets it out of me now though but it is different.



For me, waiting 12 years was perfect! Although, now I would like to try it closer. I would like to have another at 4 years apart. So, we will see. I would like to experience the age apart, both ways too... as I did with my own age as a mother....;) I know what it was like with only one child for 12 years and then another added for the past 17 months. I would like to see how it is with two closer together, now. Tell my husband that though, he isn't so keen. lol



With that said though, as I first said, it is different for everyone. Not everyone was or is in my position. I don't think there is anything wrong with younger parents or older parents. I think we all do our best at the time. Just when we are older we can look back and see, in hindsight, the differences. Doesn't mean anything, since no matter what we all get older! ;)

Jodi - posted on 03/22/2012

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Whelp, I guess personally, I think one should do their best to wait until at least after highschool. I would say after college, but I wanted kids over a career, so it didn't make sense for me to get a degree in something, then take 5, 10 maybe more years off and put everything on hold so I could have my kids. I think it's different for everyone. Age has little importance, I have seen some absolutely wonderful teenage mothers, my best friends sister is a prime example, she is GREAT with her son.



As for space inbetween kids, again, I think it's different for everyone. I had always wanted my kids close together, then I got what I wanted. lol I had my twins just a couple of months before my oldest turned 2. Now, I wish I had put more time between, but I'm not sure if I would feel this way still if I had only had one. Now, I can see the benefit of waiting until your older child is 4, even 5 to have your next. Being able to give each child more one on one time, more attention. What a life that would be! *dreamy gaze*



lol, but, I know some moms who have Irish twins, then have another one barely a year later and then another who claim to love it (I say claim, because I only know these moms online! lol). To each their own, what's right for one person is'nt always right for the next. (And that's OK, people forget that part...it's OK!)

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