There are many great reasons why someone would want to have children by a certain age. However, there are also many valid reasons why some people would rather have children a bit later in life. Whether some people would rather travel the world, work on their career, buy a house, or wait for the right partner, here are some reasons why some people would rather put off this milestone.
Who knows maybe someone is reading this because they can relate to those who've made this up their minds about this subject. Perhaps they're a parent who decided it's best to have children during their own youth and they're curious about how older parents came to this decision. Hey, the choice to be a parent young, a bit later in life, or to be child-free are one's own to make! This list is meant to help others understand.
25 To travel the world
Traveling and having a child and partner can totally go hand in hand. However, some people just prefer their own space. Whether their preference might to be backpack the Himalayas or stay at five-star hotels, it's a lot easier to jet set around the world when you're only worrying about yourself.
Plus, some people enjoy making open-ended plans, may want to go up treks that require a top physical condition. A person that already wants to travel but have kids a bit older may also want to gather fun stories for their future family!
24 To pay off student loans
Having student loans can cause stress and strain people who are earning low wages but have high debt ratios. It also means they'll have less disposable income to save up for their kids' future educations as well.
Student Loan Hero interviewed a few people on why they're delaying having children while paying for student loans. Several people actually mentioned these concerns and how they factored into the decision to delay having children. It's pretty interesting to see how student loan debt factors into decisions we may not have expected, such as the decision to delay having kids.
23 To work on their awesome careers
Now, this isn't to say that people who have kids while young can't become a living legend (here's looking at you, Aretha Franklin!). However, some people choose to delay having children so they can further their careers.
According to ABC News, some women are even waiting to have children after age 50. U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth became the first U.S. Senator to have a child during her Congressional term at the age of 50. Technological advances and changing attitudes have made it easier for some would-be parents to wait.
22 Because technology and care have improved
When it comes to women, it used to be that they were told having a baby after the age of 35 would be extremely dangerous. Times have changed now.
In an article by Glamour, some women discussed how they chuckled over perceived biases for mothers over 35. There are some risks women over 35 should know about, as listed on USA Today. Still, those who plan to have children after age 35 should know that times, care, and attitudes about their impending motherhood at a later age have changed.
21 To pursue an education
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics states that most college students were still under 25 in the year 2015. Watch a movie and most films feature characters between the ages of 18-22 as a part of their cast.
Amy Oestricher wrote about her experiences being a college freshman at the age of 25 in the Huffington Post. She had to enroll in school later thanks to medical issues. The reality is that there are many people who delay their education for a variety of reasons and are grateful for having done so.
20 Because they were the oldest sibling
Olga Khazan wrote an article for The Atlantic that discussed how people make the decision to have children or not. In her personal experience, she felt that she had already been a parent because there was such a large age difference between her and her younger brother.
Not every older sibling with a large age gap may use this experience to inform their decision to have children in the future. Elite Daily captures some hilarious experiences that such older siblings have. And yes, some older siblings have had people mistake their young sibling for their kid!
19 Because they didn't always want kids
Not all women start out wanting to be mothers. Several women who shared their stories about motherhood in The Atlantic expressed that they were terrified at the prospect of wanting children at first.
In one instance, one of the women discussed how she ended a relationship because of a disagreement over children. After their break-up, she decided she wanted kids. Another woman explained that she met her current husband at the age of 32. Though she also didn't want children initially, she explained that at 36 she changed her mind.
18 Because they met the right partner later in life
The Guardian spoke to four mothers who were over the age of 40 when they decided to have children. Though each woman had a unique story and perspective as to why they waited to have children, two of them mentioned that they met the right partner at a later age.
Indeed, one of the women, Julia Knight, even mentioned that she had other friends who were older when they had children. Just goes to show you that the right time is different for everyone.
17 To get to know their current partner better
A Redditor posed the question, "Women who didn't choose to have kids until later in life, why did you change your mind? Do you regret it? Why or why not?" and got a lot of answers!
Again, each circumstance is unique, but one answer stood out. One Redditor who answered the call explained that she got married at age 22 but she and her partner decided to be child-free at first. She explained how happy she was to have her child at the age of 33 because it was right for her.
16 To take care of a health issue
First off, both men and women may have health concerns that cause them to delay parenthood. In this instance, Miranda shared her experiences having to delay motherhood with The Guardian.
She explained that she had to have fibroids surgically removed. Miranda started trying to have a child at the age of 33 and decided to try IVF later on. The IVF ended up not working, but she became pregnant naturally anyway at the age of 38. As such, her health circumstances seriously limited when she was able to have children.
15 To close the confidence gap
In an essay for Mother Magazine, Candace Abbott discussed her decision to wait to have children until the age of 40. Abbott listed some reasons that are common in people who decide to wait to have children—the desire to work on a career, travel, and spend time with friends.
She used one phrase that seems interesting, "confidence gap." Abbott explained that waiting an additional few years would help her be more confident, have a better career, and be a more stable parent.
14 Because they're mothering in other ways
Writer Maria Guido wrote an essay for TIME about her struggle to become a mother. At the beginning of her essay, she mentioned how actor Jennifer Aniston responded to certain questions posed by Allure magazine in 2014.
Aniston mentioned that she felt women were put under too much pressure to have children. Aniston also stated that just because a woman doesn't have a biological child it doesn't mean she isn't mothering in other ways, such as taking care of one's dogs, a friend's children, etc.
13 Because they choose to adopt instead
According to Family Formation, future parents may choose to adopt for a variety of reasons. These may be because of medical, religious, ethical, or other reasons.
Still, as stated in Psychology Today, there are many barriers prospective adoptive parents must face. This means that even if an individual or couple decides they'd like to adopt at a relatively young age, they have to go through state agencies, may resort to private agencies, and have to fulfill many requirements before adopting. This delays parenthood even for people who feel they may be ready to adopt right away.
12 To get to know themselves better
There are many benefits for people who decide to have children later in life (though this doesn't mean there aren't benefits for younger parents as well). A list by POPSUGAR mentioned 20 benefits of waiting to be a parent.
Some of these included accomplishing certain goals, being more stable and level-headed as a parent, and having more life experience. Obviously, parents of any age can also reap these benefits, but people who wait to have children give themselves more time to get to know themselves.
11 To buy a house first
Yes, there are plenty of couples who have children while not owning a home. After all, that's what apartments are for! Writer Laurel Niedospial wrote an article on POPSUGAR about what it was like to raise her son in her small apartment.
However, writer Rachel Morgan Cautero mentioned that not owning a home yet is one of the many reasons she decided to put off having children. This is according to her essay on Daily Worth. She also mentioned that she's unsure if she and her partner will ever buy a home. A sense of space is important to some would-be parents, after all.
10 To save for the cost of retirement
Like everything else, saving up for retirement takes time and patience. According to Forbes, people who become parents later in life have better chances of saving up for their retirement.
This article stated that women between the ages of 25-32 saved up $5,000 or less for their retirement. Meanwhile, women who were between the ages of 33-44 had saved an average of $60,000 saved up for retirement. Though it's clear that not everyone is able to do this, those who can save up more as they wait to have children can have more retirement funds.
9 To save for childcare costs
New parents usually have two choices when they have their children: one of them can stay home, or they can both pay for childcare. Should they choose the latter, they may be up against some serious odds.
According to an article by MiTu, childcare can be more expensive than the cost of college in some states. In California, for example, parents may pay an average of $901 per month in places such as San Francisco and Los Angeles. People who wait a while may be able to further their careers or save up for this expense.
8 Because of fear
Having a child or deciding to adopt essentially means deciding to take responsibility for taking care of another human life. It's only natural that some people get scared when they think of parenting, at least according to Live Science.
An article by Ravishly also addressed writer Liz Lazzara's fear of hurting her children as she felt her parents had hurt her. Lazzara mentions that her career may not be conducive to being a parent, she doesn't want to to give up her cat, and the fear that she may not have learned how to be a parent.
7 To wait until certain benefits kick in at work
This depends on where you live, but in countries like the United States, employers have 90 days to activate employee benefits according to Gusto.
Not all parents have access to paid parental leave or any leave at all according to an article by Bustle. Those that have access to benefits might have to stay at their company long enough to accrue benefits that will let them take care of their children, have health insurance, and even enough sick days just in case.
It only makes sense that some would-be parents decide to stick to a new job long enough to reap promised benefits.
6 Because of other family obligations
The term "sandwich generation" was coined in the 1980s to describe adults who'd have to care for their young children and their older parents. The Washington Post published an article about how to take care of parents while also caring for younger children.
Those who are a part sandwich generation have a lot of work to do if they must care for children as they take care of their parents. People who are in a position to wait to have children may decide to so in order to avoid having too many responsibilities at the same time.
5 Because that's when they feel ready
It's still common for people to warn women in their late 20's, 30's, or 40's against the perils of waiting to have a child. Yet it an article about New Zealand women, Now To Love spoke to different women about their motivations behind waiting to have children.
One of the women, Professor Cindy Farquar, is an expert in gynecology and she highlighted that even with the increased risks of a later pregnancy, it's best to have a child when one is ready. That could mean the early or late 30s, 40s, or even 50s for some parents.
4 They're happy in their current situation!
Some people of reproductive age may still be deciding if they still want to children. For some women, this may mean they'll decide not to have children at all. SELF Magazine spoke to 9 women who actually decided never to have children.
Everyone has a different reason why they'd rather not have children. One thing that rang true is that many of the women who were interviewed were happy with the way their lives are now. Enjoying one's current life is a valid reason to decide to remain childless until they change their mind, or even to stay that way.
3 To accomplish personal goals
Some people put off having children until they can improve their careers and life circumstances. At least according to Daily Worth. However, some people have other personal goals they'd like to reach, and this may mean waiting longer to become a parent.
Some people wait longer to become parents to travel the world, get really good at chess or an instrument, or to chase another personal goal. This doesn't mean they won't become capable parents once they decide to take the plunge.
2 That's how life worked out
Writer Jean M. Twenge wrote a touching essay for The Atlantic where she discussed her first marriage and the things that led to its end. Getting a divorce was hard for her because she knew she wanted children and she was already 30 years old.
In the end, things worked out and she met someone she was more compatible with. This is who she ended up having children with, and that's because this is how her life worked out. Sometimes waiting longer to be a parent is dictated by life's circumstances.
1 Because they want to!
According to POPSUGAR, there are plenty of perks to waiting to have children. According to Mirror, a study showed that many women were influenced to have children later in life because of their own familial backgrounds.
Studies are just another way of trying to understand the trend of waiting to have children later in life. That being said, one doesn't really need a reason to wait to have children. Some people want to delay being a parent for no apparent reason. This is also valid.
Sources: moneyinc.com, studentloanhero.com, hotcountrybull.com, abcnews.go.com, glamour.com, USAToday.com, buzzfeed.com, nces.ed.gov, huffingtonpost.com, ohhcouture.com, elitedaily.com, theatlantic.com, theatlantic.com, theguardian.com, tumblr.com, reddit.com, pretoria.getitonline.co.za, mothermag.com, time.com, independent.co.uk, padhamhealthnews.org, familyformation.com, psychologytoday.com, popsugar.com, thrivingchildcare.com, telva.com, moneytalknews.com, popsugar.com, dailyworth.com, forbes.com, wearemitu.com, livescience.com, ravishly.com, gusto.com, bustle.com, huffingtonpost.com, washingtonpost.com, nowtolove.co.nz, self.com, theatlantic.com, mirror.co.uk, biography.com, rockabillyclothingstore.com