As a woman who's approaching the big 3-0, I can feel my biological clock ticking. Well, it's either that or the constant pressure from my parents to produce grandchildren.
On second thought, it's definitely the latter. They grew up, and we still are raised, believing that as soon as you hit a certain age (widely believed to be 30), that your odds of having a happy, healthy child go down. But as modern medicine improves, this is becoming more of a myth. The truth is, women are having babies later on in life -- and they're generally just as healthy as moms who give birth in their early 20s.
But what's it like for more mature moms and dads -- and how old is too old? These "older" parents sound off:
1. "I feel like being a 30 -year-old mother of an infant you get less support. As a young mother, everyone wants you to do well so they help you out but at 30 you're expected to have your shit together and know what you're doing."
2. "My wife and I got a surprise in my late 30s (my son was born when I was 39). Being an older parent has had its positives and negatives. All in all I think in my case it is a good thing that I am an older parent. I do not believe that I had the maturity to be an effective parent when I was younger."
3. "I had a kid at 39.5. I am the product of multiple divorces and it took me a long time to find an awesome dad for my kid. I actually broke up with the previous boyfriend because it was pretty obvious he'd be a horrible father (he never had kids). I've learned that there really is no 'proper' way of doing things."
4. "I'm the child of parents who had me later in life (their early 40s) and I know for a fact that they wish they'd had me earlier. The thing is, I actually prefer the parenting I've had, thanks to their age."
5. "My mom was 32, and my dad 43 when I was born. I think the way they raised me made me very mature and independent a lot earlier than kids with younger parents."
6. "I was just over 40 years old when I first became a daddy. My son is an absolute joy to me and he is a result of waiting to find the right partner to become a parent with. I got being young, free, and single out of my system and now my life revolves around him."
7. "My father was 48 and my mother was 44 when I was born. The greatest benefit is the wisdom of having older parents; my father is a true patriarch, he had lived a rich, full life before my brother and I were ever born."
8. "I think we have more energy and are more health conscious now than when we were younger. We know we're not going to live forever so we work hard to take care of ourselves. Based on what I saw when I was volunteering for a 5k training team at my eight-year-old's school, I think we're more active than a lot of the younger parents."
9. "I was 28 when my daughter was born. I was so not ready, in fact I placed her for adoption. Best thing I ever did...Ten years later my son was born and I was ready, or at least as ready as I was ever gonna be."
10. "As an 18-year-old whose mom had me when she was 38, I worry about losing her constantly. She's in great shape and everything but she's getting up there in age and I can't imagine life without her."