I’m 25, and I feel like time is running out. Yeah, 25 is the new 15 or whatever, but try telling that to my biological clock, won’t you? Maybe it’s my quarter-life crisis, but my 30th birthday, and in turn the significant decrease of my fertile, baby-makin’ eggs, seems creepily close. I’m sure you’re already shaking your heads, thinking that there is no real deadline to have children in the newfangled “you-can-have-it-all” world we’re living in. However, since not all of us have that invincible Adonis DNA and Tiger Blood (ahem, Charlie Sheen), I’m not so sure if we can really, er, win against nature’s will.
How many women are actually able to have babies naturally, easily in their mid-to-late 30s and beyond? A story in the March 2011 issue of Marie Claire chronicled three different women, one who first conceived at 21, another who had a baby via In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) at 38 and one who got pregnant after years of waiting at age 39. The stories of the two older women further scared me—both had gotten too busy with other aspects of their lives and suddenly found themselves, at a less-than-ideal age, trying to get pregnant. As someone with that similar go-go-go mentality, I fear that the same could happen to me. Yes, I may make it to my dream editing/writing job, but what if the “family” part of my future falls to the wayside?
Another unrealistic expectation is set by all the older celebrities having children. While some of the pregnancies are natural, many use IVF, which can cost around $50,000. That’s lunch money to Celine Dion, but I don’t have the set of pipes for her kind of paycheck. Even if you’re not enduring expensive fertility treatments, there’s all that dough you’ll shell out for acupuncture, the kooky “natural” stuff and specialists if you can’t get knocked up.
Money aside, and love for all the older active moms, but I also don’t want to be the elderly matron in the PTA, the granny-mom picking her kids up on the playground. I’d rather have my kids young when I have the energy and chutzpah to deal with a few little critters. And, since I lost most of my grandparents very young, I’d like to be around for my grandbabies as long as possible. Plus, if there’s a problem with me having kids, I want to know early so I can fix it ASAP; not find out when I’m older and the figures are less in my favor.
But forget fertility and biological clocks, here’s what scares me most of all: If I want to have my dream two boys and one girl about two years apart each, I should probably start around age 30. Which means I’ll have to get engaged, married and pregnant in the next five years. Gulp. Considering my current lifestyle of career-obsession during the week, plus weekend nights that turn into 6am mornings and eating imitation pop tarts because I’ve just bought a new dress, that’s a tall order. But I want to ask you, our readers: What age did you start having children? Do you think there is any “ideal” age to start a family? Share your thoughts and opinions to (hopefully!) ease my worries.
GIRL TALK TIME: What age did you start having kids at? If you haven’t had children yet, what age do you think you’ll start? Do you think there is any “ideal” age?