We got married when I was fairly young, just out of college, while my husband was older. I think it depends on the couple. I think it's more difficult if both have not gotten their education first. It's SO hard to try to go back to school once kids start arriving, although possible, it's difficult. Without an education, getting jobs that pay a decent amount to live on is nearly impossible.
As for kids, I work with new mothers all the time. Some "Older" mothers (over 35 when the first baby is born) tend to be really worried about when "life will get back to normal." They had decades as adults and don't seem to realize life will NEVER be as it was, at least as long as you raise your own kids
. I see a LOT of anxiety about getting things "back on track" with older mothers. I kind of wonder sometimes, "Why did you do this, if you want your life exactly the way it was before
you had kids? If you were so happy without kids, why have them?" Not ALL older mothers are like this of course, but we do see a much higher rate of post partum mood disorders, less contact with the children and unrealistic exceptions of what parenting is about from older parents, with years of fertility treatments only adding to this issue. Again, it isn't ALL older moms, but many of those who return to work within a short period of time. Those who stay home (of the older moms) seem more willing to go with the flow that things are going to be very different and never again be the same
than those who rush to "get their life back."
Of course, those who can stay home also somehow either got their finances in order before the kids came OR were willing to change immensely and live on a LOT less, this realizing their lives would change completely, tend to have less stress as parents as well as are willing to go along with the changes that parenthood brings.
Having kids isn't like... making some new friends. It's a life altering event, bringing human beings into the world that are completely dependent on you for at least 2 to 2 and a half decades. I think TOO many people just don't think it through.
I don't quite understand the "I need my life back" moms. There is always the choice to NOT have any kids. If one's life is perfect without kids, why have them?
I say this having had my first two kids fairly young and being fully cognizant that my life was going to change completely. Then having our youngest a time later, and knowing for SURE that things were to change completely.
I do admire people who admit they don't want kids and stick with their decisions. (As I admire people who have kids and put their heart and soul into raising them.) I think making either choice mindfully
is the key.
There's no perfect age for having kids, but if one is either too young to realize what the challenges will be or too old to make major life changes, having children will be unbearable... especially for the children.