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Young cheerful parents are happy for the baby
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There Is A Perfect Age To Have A Baby And That Age Is 32.5

There is only one right age to have a baby. I learned this the hard way, by never having my babies at the right age.

There is only one right age to have a baby. I learned this the hard way, by never having my babies at the right age. The Internet and most of my relatives and the people I play pickleball with tell me that a woman is either tragically too young or embarrassingly too old to fall pregnant in most cases. Sometimes, she’s too young to take on the responsibility, too young to understand she is giving up her life, too young to have enough money in the bank or enough earning power to really pull her weight as a parent. Other times, she’s too old for the sleepless nights with a baby, too old to raise a child to adulthood, too old to wear cute maternity clothes.

I didn’t know I was the wrong age to have babies until I saw the disappointed look on people’s faces when they found out I was pregnant. Instead of the parade I had secretly been expecting, I was met each and every time with that look, like someone tripped over a toy on the bottom step and they’re pretty sure I was the one who put it there. That silence. One beat, then two. Then came the comments, “Honey, it’s not that we’re not happy for you, it’s just…” and then came all the reasons, reasons they are right not to be happy for you, like getting pregnant was a test you have failed.

Thanks to all this extensive, unsubstantiated research, performed by me, I have figured out the exact right age to get pregnant: somewhere between 32 and 32 plus 6 months. Ideally not exactly 32, because then it’s weird to announce that you are pregnant right on your birthday. This announcement could cause people to think that you are a double-dipper for attention or have main character syndrome, and your friends will write in to Reddit about you, and you might go viral in the way you don’t want. Wait until you are at least one month after your 32nd birthday, but definitely wait until you are 32 for sure. Just being 32 is not enough to gain universal support for your pregnancy, though. According to my research, you need to be married for a minimum of four years but not more than eight. If you are 32 and married for eight years, this means you were married at 24, and I fear this will mean demerit points for you. (I know getting married at 26 was the wrong age, so I can only assume being 24 is even worse.)

So now that you are married for four years and 32.5 years old, that’s a pretty good age for everyone to be happy to find out you’re pregnant. But don’t stop there. If you want to guarantee yourself constant congratulations and fanfare and, best of all, actually really great gifts for your baby, it’s best if you are working full time but in a hybrid job with lots of flexibility. Let’s say two days in office, three days at home to be safe, doing the kind of work that gets called a career and not a job, and ideally, for the pregnancy critics, you will have been working in this career for at least as long as you’ve been married. You know, for stability, that word they love to use. They are just worried about your stability. For the baby’s sake, of course.

I’m honestly excited for the seven people in the world who fit this description and get to have everyone celebrate when they announce their pregnancies.

You might want to also ensure you are living in a big city in a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in a good neighborhood with a park. A park will be where you walk your rescue dog, who also happens to be a purebred golden retriever. Not that you chose him for that reason; his eyes just spoke to you at the shelter. He is also 4 years old, and this is just for me, but I would just love it if he was the ring bearer at your wedding. He is the perfect age for having a baby around. Active enough to play but calm enough to leave you alone while you take care of your baby. He should be named something ironic and fun like Gary.

That apartment in the city is where you and your spouse spend your weekdays, but on weekends, you head off to your fixer-upper on a lake no one has really heard of to paint and spackle and kayak when the wind is right. You are both nature lovers, and when your mother (who is presumably 64 years old but doesn’t look it — this feels important) finds out you’re pregnant, she’ll start knitting a little wool cap for the baby just like yours. In shades of oatmeal and vanilla. She is retired, obviously; preferably single, with disposable income and energy, always ready to help out. I’m honestly excited for the seven people in the world who fit this description and get to have everyone celebrate when they’re pregnant. I hope they don’t rub it in the faces of their 21-year-old pregnant neighbor or their 48-year-old pregnant boss. They just have to be excited about their own pregnancy in private lest someone sees them celebrating and reminds them that they are not stable, not healthy, not young enough, not old enough, not enough enough to have a baby.

If only they had known about the 32.5 rule. Or been obscenely rich. Because come to think of it, that’s the only time this equation doesn’t really apply.