Saturday, July 13, 2013

Repost: No, being an older parent isn't the worst thing in the world

I've contributed to the Orlando Sentinel's Moms at Work blog since 2010. The blog is changing content management systems and my old posts will no longer be available to the public, so I'm reposting them here, in the order that they were originally posted.

Dec. 12, 2012

It seems as though every month there's a new study or article designed to convince parents that everything they've ever done is wrong and will ruin their children.

This month, the chattering class wants you to know how absolutely terrible it is -- for you, your child and society at large -- for you to become a parent to a newborn when you're older than 35.

I get it: fertility declines for both men and women after 30 and there are definite studies linking a father's age at the time of conception to the likelihood that a child will suffer with schizophrenia or have autism.

As someone who became a parent for the first time when I was [*cough*] older, however, I'm unimpressed by all this hand-wringing.

For example, I knew well about fertility and birth defect issues before I conceived and was willing to be tested during my pregnancy so my husband and I could prepare ourselves in advance for any problems with our child (there were none).

I also think older parents like me are more likely to have the patience and the emotional and financial resources to deal with such issues if they arise. Although lots of people deal with it just fine, I know I certainly wouldn't have had the patience for a toddler in my 20s; I was too busy working on my career, traveling and otherwise enjoying life in ways I don't think I'll want to revisit as I get older.

What do you think? Is becoming an older parent a bad idea?

No comments:

Post a Comment