Last June I headed to Savannah, Georgia to present at Fitbloggin 2014. My favorite part of conferences is meeting new people and getting to know bloggers I've talked to online for years. Between the sessions I vividly remember a conversation going on between a small group of girls I was hanging out with. I didn't know anyone in the group well, but had followed some of them via their blogs for a while. Most of the girls in the group had young children. They were also young themselves. Maybe mid 20's. Which, to my 30, didn't feel all too different from my own age.
Until one of the bloggers made the comment; "When my husband I married right after college we knew we wanted to have kids right away. I wanted a few and I would never have children over the age of 30. I want them when I'm young and have the energy for them, and can have a life after they leave!"
As I sat there realizing I was the spinster of the group the girl could sense a change in energy. I was 30, childless, and unmarried.
She glanced at me before quickly changing the topic.
Three months later I would find out I was pregnant for the first time. Unfortunately, that pregnancy ended with a missed miscarriage, but I was lucky to get pregnant again quickly. I am currently 32 weeks pregnant and should deliver our son shortly before my 32nd birthday.
I never, ever, would have thought of myself as an 'old mom' but I'd be lying if I didn't admit my biological clock started ticking pretty hard once I hit 30.
I was dumped by a live-in boyfriend quite unexpectedly 2 days before my 29th birthday. I took that entire year off from dating. I loved it. I traveled to Chicago alone, ran my first marathon, and had a wonderful career and home. When I turned 30 I started dating again. I had spent the previous years questioning if I wanted to have kids or not, and finally came to the conclusion that I would like to have the experience of being a parent. I lectured to my psychology students on statistics concerning difficulties conceiving naturally after the age of 35.
One part of the book talked about how celebrities giving birth at age 40+ made it look so easy, and it was giving women in their 30's false hope about postponing starting a family themselves since it seemed like 'everyone' was waiting to have kids later. The problem with those stories is that you have no idea what it took for them to conceive, and for most women (with limited funds) conceiving after 40 is extremely difficult. Conceiving after 35 is considered 'high risk.'
So, assuming you'd like to have 2 kids by the time you are age 35, spaced 3 years apart, that means conceiving the first child at age 30/31. You'd probably like to enjoy married life a bit first so plan on being married by 28/29, which puts you at meeting your future soulmate by age 26ish.
No pressure. Of course this doesn't apply as much to men since they could have a child into their 70's should they want to.
The fact that women have to abide by this type of timetable is bullshit. It's also biology. I'm glad I waited until I was 'old' to have kids. Compared to my life at 25 I'm significantly more financially stable, I'm more emotionally mature, I've traveled, and I've crossed off a lot of items on my bucket list.
Most importantly - I didn't settle. I didn't fall into a trajectory in life because it was what society expected of me. I didn't get hitched to any of the complete douchebags I dated in my 20's. I focused on making myself a better person, which will now make me a better Mom. I learned how to eat right, I realized how important fitness is, I educated myself, and I came to the deliberate, conscious choice to spend the rest of my life raising a child with another person.
I have many friends who have chosen to remain childless. They are incredibly kind, giving, and loving people. I don't care what path you decide to take in life, or when you decide to take it.
But don't call me old.
It's not my fault I didn't meet Prince Charming in college.
[Tweet "To All the "Old" Moms Out There. This One's for You."]
Were you an 'old Mom'? Why do you think more women are waiting longer to have kids now?