I waited until I was 30 to start having kids, which is something that definitely seems to confuse (and even upset) some people. You would not believe the comments people have made about my age, my health, and my biological clock. Ugh. There are so many things new moms in their 30s are tired of hearing and, well, I have sadly heard them all.
While I (and no one, really) should have to explain their family planning strategies or timeline because it's no none else's damn business, I want to set the record straight. Not just for me, but for the other 30-something women who shouldn't be harassed for waiting to decide to start their respective families, or who are constantly asked rude questions about when or whether they are going to even have babies.
To be honest, I always planned on waiting to have kids. I wanted to get a good start on my career first and to find some financial stability. In the meantime, while it seemed like all of my high school and college friends were having babies, I got a Master's degree, a house, a job with great health insurance, and a savings account. I also traveled, lived overseas, and had some great times as a single woman in my twenties. This is not to say I am smarter than they are. I just made different choices than they did.
The bottom line? There's really nothing more personal than someone's choice about whether or when to start a family. It's time for other people to shut up about it. You do you and let me and other moms in their thirties do us. It's not about you.
"Aren't You Tired?"
All new parents are tired. Every single one. Why is that even a question? Besides, as a mom in my thirties I have trained for and run more than 10 half marathons and one full marathon, climbed a volcano, completed yoga teacher training, and a few other pretty bad ass things, if I do say so myself. My age has nothing to do with my ability to keep up with my kids.
"You'll Be Ancient When They Graduate From High School"
Really? Ancient? Yes, I can do math. I may be in my forties and fifties when my kids become adults, but age is a number and does not determinant of quality of life or how much energy I will have. When I was 24, I had debilitating rheumatoid arthritis. There is no way I could have kept up with a toddler back then. I am so glad I waited.
"Aren't You Scared?"
Yeah, becoming a parent is scary. You are responsible for the care and feeding of a tiny human from infancy to adulthood (and sometimes beyond). That is about the biggest responsibility there is. So, yeah, of course I am scared. I am glad to have some life experience under my belt to allow me to meet parenting challenges with more grace and a sense of priorities.
"Is It Safe?"
Pregnancy and child birth suck. They do. I honestly have no frame of reference for whether it sucks more in my thirties than it would have in my twenties. Yes, there is a bit more risk to me and my babies now, than there was a few years ago but, at the same time, science is amazing and as more people wait to start and expand their families, the medical community is working to make sure we can do so safely.
"Did You Have Fertility Issues?"
Not that it's any of your business, but no. I was, however, privileged to have access to a broad range of birth control options, and to be able to wait to get pregnant and have babies when I wanted to.
For people who do need fertility assistance, isn't it amazing that we have the technology to help people who can't conceive on their own start families? That's nothing to joke about.
"Why Did You Wait?"
So many reasons, actually. I wanted to see the world, have some fun, and make some money. I also wanted to achieve some financial and educational goals, too. Other people wait because they did have fertility issues or other health issues they needed to address first, or because it wasn't the right time for them or their family, or because they experienced pregnancy loss. It's super insensitive to ask, and quite frankly none of your business.
"You Are The Same Age As My Baby's Grandma"
Wow. That makes me both feel old and wonder if everything in your life has gone as planned. Of course, I would never ask you why you had children so young because that's just rude and none of my business and OMG are you sensing a pattern? A hint? Please?!
You're absolutely right, I am selfish. I had goals and plans and having babies didn't fit into those plans. If you think about it, hat's not really selfish; it's more a combination of planning, luck, and privilege. I know that I was lucky to be able to plan my family. Of course, not everything in my life did go as planned, which is why I am having my third (and final) baby at an "advanced maternal age" with my second husband, who is also in his thirties. In my case, things not going as planned ended up really damn good.
"Aren't You Going To Miss Out?"
Not really. I was privileged to do so many things while I was young; travel, education, career, definitely too many tequila shots. Yes, when my friends become empty-nesters, our house will still be full of chatter and children's programming, but my partner and I don't mind a bit. Our lives are different now (maybe even better, actually) and we like that we have the chance to our kids the world.
"Are You Afraid You'll Die Before They Are Grown?"
Seriously? We could all die tomorrow. I know it's morbid, but it's true. You can't and shouldn't live your life thinking only about when it might end. Besides, I plan to live forever. My kids will keep me young.