View Poll Results: Which is better in your opinion?
Be a young mom, have a career later
Career first, be a mom later
my choice is not one in your poll--but I don't plan on ever having a "career". I will be homeschooling our children.
Just to add some food for thought: in the Netherlands (where I live as a transplanted American) a young mother is one who has her first baby at 30. Most women here wait until their 30s to start having children, and everything between 30 and 40 is a "normal" age to have kids. And over 40 is not seen as particularly "old".
The concept of job-sharing and part-time work is much stronger here, too. As a result, most women work full-time for several years before having kids. Many of them then continue to work part-time (but many also stay at home). So the career-vs-kids issue is not *as* black and white here.
I didn't vote because I can't make that generalization. My parents startef their family young, and they had their kids out of the house and their mortgage paid off and having tons of fun themselves in their mid-40s. Mom just turned 50 and has 2 grandchildren and is so happy.
But I had my daughter at 30, after establishing my career and having fun with my dh and creating the home that we want to raise our family in. That is what works for us. There are pros and cons to both situations.
First off, to each his own.
Here was one of my biggest reasons. I felt if I had kids young and SLOWLY continued my education throughout.. it would be better for my family. I want to have all my stuff taken care of and "retired" at a much younger age because I want to be young and energetic and a very active part in the lives of my grandchildren. I didn't get that with my grandmother because she was so old, and I honestly felt sad for it.
Plus, I didn't want to run the risk of NOT being able to get pregnant, and I feel I'm a more confident, educated, improved career person SINCE having kids. I can stand up for what I know is right and work to the point of exhaustion. I also understand things about others and life that never occurred to me before.
Well I can't vote because I think it's so different for everyone. But for myself, I had kids at 16, 24, 31 & now I'm pregnant at 33 so I've pretty much always had kids.
My dream was always to be a mom, never to "have a career". My "career plan" from here on out is to homeschool my kids & take care of my home.
career/education/life experiences first, kids second. Like a PP said, things don't irritate an older, wiser, more patient mommy as much.
In my case, I skipped the career and education, and just spent a lot of years gaining life expereinces and growing as a person before I had my babies.
It's a tossup- depends on each individual situation- but I have to say I'm leaning towards "be a young mom, have a career later" because I've known too many people who went for the career and later when they wanted to get pregnant, had a hard time because of their age. I had my son when I was 18 and I've always wanted more children. Now, at 31, I'm being told that I most likely will not be able to have another child (long story, in short, my body seems to think it's 35-40). My lifelong dream was to be a Mommy, since I was old enough to talk. If I had not had my son when I did, if I had gone straight to college and then gotten a job like I'd planned, I would never have been a Mommy.
Very interesting reading everyones replies and opinions.
I also chose the one that corelated to my personal experience. I wasn't ready to have kids at a young age. I wanted to live my life to the fullest without being tied down. I went to school, got the degree (because it's easier and faster to go to college when you're right out of high school and don't have children), and got a good job. I can say that I've been there. I plan to be a SAHM when we have our first. And I think the skills and knowledge I gained in school and the work place and the maturity level I've been able to grow into will certainly help me mange and navigate motherhood to the best of my ability. I also won't feel like I'm missing out on my career because I've been there, done that. Again this is just my personal opinion from my own personal experience.
Like several PPs say, I don't think it's possible to say what's "better" on a grand scale. There are reasons for making either choice--life often just "happens".
I wouldn't have minded having children in my 20s--in fact, I probably would have, had I met someone who would have been a suitable partner. (I didn't want to--and still don't want to--raise children alone--but admire those who do.)
But I went through a series of major personal transformations in my beliefs, actions, and activities in my mid- to late-20s, which included major dietary changes, a discovery of the wonders of exercise, an abundance of international travel, and learning about a lot of ideas I had never encountered before.
Could I have done all this with children? I suppose yes, I could have. But it probably would have been much more complicated, and maybe my attentions would have been focused elsewhere and I wouldn't have even thought to make the changes. Does it really matter? It only does to me now--it wouldn't if it hadn't happened.
I'm kind odf in the middle. I went to school first and had my first at age 26 while in an internship.