Sunday, June 9, 2013

The 30s are the new 20s or Something

I had Ari when I was 28 years-old. I was the first one of my friends to have a baby. When I started to meet other mothers in the playground, I noticed something; they were 10 years older than me. In a funny way, I felt like a teen mom. I mean, I was in my late 20s, so I was clearly not a teenager. But yet, the parents that had kids my age were much older than I was.

Then I started to take stock of my own friends. Some of my friends started to have babies, but there were plenty of my friends who went into their 30s still unmarried with no kids. I continued to feel weird and like an anomale. Were people in their 20s not having kids anymore? 

Then I thought, maybe it's a geographic region thing. Maybe people who grew up in New York City in the 80s are waiting to get married and have kids.

Plenty of my friends are perfectly happy being single and/or in a committed relationship with no kids. They're living life pursuing their passions or trying to figure out what they're passionate about and do that. 

Here's another thing, even though I have kids my life is still not figured out. I'm still trying to find my way in my career. I have half a masters degree and haven't decided what to do with myself vocationally. I know I want to write in some capacity. I'd love to be a published author someday, but I still haven't found what I'm looking for. That's also a U2 song.

I think the point is, there is no right path. We're all figuring it out. 

I have a friend who's a lawyer, making a lot of money who's still unhappy. He's looking to change careers. To me that says something. Money isn't everything either. You could be "successful" on paper, making a six figure salary and still not have your life figured out.

I don't know, are the 30s the new 20s? What do you think?


  1. We've shifted childbearing more than a decade from where it sat up until not that long ago. I suppose that's not necessarily a bad thing, but there are potential downsides. There has been a sharp rise, apparently, in Down's Syndrome pregnancies, related to the increased age of mothers, although increased terminations mean that fewer are born. There's also the phenomenon which to me is rather selfish, of having kids so late that you're into your retirement years by the time they're in high school. I would also expect that there are more and more people who keep waiting for "the right time", only to realize too late that there is not necessarily any such thing and that it's too late now.

    Crista and I had the odd experience of some people being surprised we had our kid (with hopefully another to come, eventually) so early. When we had him, we were both over 30, and had been married almost a decade! I know that ideally we would all be established in our careers, financially comfortable, and fully mature before we reproduce, but I think that the realities of life have changed significantly enough over the past few decades that such a goal is no longer reasonable. We get jobs now, not careers. Houses cost the earth. Pension plans hardly exist. A generation ago, if you weren't well on your way to being established in the world by your mid-20s, something was off. Now, most of us are flailing around at pre-career jobs, renting, and dragging round 6-figure student loans into our 30s.

    Of course then there are the people that say it's selfish to have kids at all the because the world is a horrible place and the only responsible thing to do is have us all die off. And quite honestly, if that's the way you feel, you probably shouldn't be having kids.

  2. I'm so glad to know that I'm not alone, Justin :). I can't entirely understand the idea of waiting for financial security until having children. I feel like if everyone did that, there wouldn't be any children born. And I couldn't agree more, there is no "right time." That doesn't exist. The time is when you feel ready.

  3. I think it is a reginal thing. I had Daniel at 25 and where we were living that was pretty average. But in Southern California where I grew up...a lot of people have their first kid between about 31-35. So right now people are having their first babies. Now where we are Military town a lot of people started at 18, 19 or 20 years of age. So a lot of people my age have teens it seems like. Those with kids my age are a lot younger than me.

    This is strange because it makes me feel like I waited a long time to have kids but I know when I go to my high school reunion I will have some of the oldest kids out of the people there.

  4. It must be somewhat regional. I think 25 is a great age to have kids because you've experienced life.

  5. Living in NYC, I also feel like a teen mom, even though I had my 1st child at 29 & my 2nd at 31. And, like you, I'm not sure what to do "when I grow up"--I dropped out of my PhD (at my dissertation-writing stage) because I realized that I hated it, and have been exploring other options since. There definitely isn't a "perfect time" because, no matter what, kids dramatically change your life's trajectory. Having kids at this time in my & my husband's lives felt right and, while we sometimes wonder what it would be like if we waited 5 years, we have experienced so many cool kid-centric things and have an amazing circle of friends-with-kids (who we wouldn't have met otherwise), we're happy with our decision.

  6. I'm so glad it's not just me! Teen moms in their 30s unite :). And you're right, there's no right time. Ugh! I don't know what to do with my life :)

  7. Not having a child until I was 34, I feel like the "old mom" among my friends. But I have no regrets about waiting. My husband and I were planning on waiting longer, but our little Muffin surprised us. I disagree that at 25, life has been experienced. At 25 I think life is just starting! There's a lot to do out there. My life changed at 25 when I packed up my car and moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. I'd have missed out on a lot of experiences if my focus was on starting a family rather than figuring myself out first. I love being a mom now and I would have loved being a mom if it happened earlier, but I also love that I took time for myself first.


What do you think? Feel free to agree or disagree, but hateful comments will be deleted.