Parenting & Family

Starting a Family: How late is too late?

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  • Oct 17th, 2021 10:01 pm
[OP]
Member
Sep 28, 2006
486 posts
398 upvotes
Toronto

Starting a Family: How late is too late?

Im in the big 3 oh club and the convos with my current GF are mostly about about settling down. Not as much casual as it used to when I was in my 20s on dating apps.

I've been freaked out by so many cases of kids with problems (Autism specially) because their parents delayed having them for too long. My friend is with the school board and he keeps seeing these numbers rising. Kids destroying walls, furniture and not knowing how to use bathrooms on their own. Really concerning stuff.

I know not every baby turns out to have this problem with older parents, but how true is the "biological clock"? I have brought this concern up to my gf and she said its not true, plenty of couples in their late 30s bring healthy kids. Im just too scared to go ahead to this stage of life.

I would've been okay with settling in my early 20s but my wages were too low and the cost of living is too high. Fast forward to 2021 and the wages are too low because the costs of living have exponentiated. So there's really no winning this from the economics standpoint.

So my question is how old is too old? Can I keep deferring this? I also want to play hockey and basketball with my kids without sore knees lol. My parents had us pretty young but I argue with them everyday they had it a million times better than we did.

Thanks
39 replies
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
18435 posts
15972 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Every generation has its struggles

Still we all manage to come out the other side

Your parents had it hard too …

Try on 20% + for interest rates

We still managed to get married, scrape together a down payment & buy a house, and have kids in spite of it all

And most of us did it in our 20s … when we were younger, and not as mature or wise, or established as folks today who delay all this stuff to their 30s & 40s

Go look at yourself in a mirror … you turned out ok

Truth is the longer you delay settling down (IF that’s what you truly want … a wife, kids, etc ) … the harder it will be

There is a reason old people cannot have kids … we don’t have the energy for it.

Raising kids is hard work … infants can see you going on just 3 or 4 hours sleep a night … every night … for months !

This is much easier done the younger you are … well cuz you have lots of practice in your 20s from all night partying and no sleep, cracking books studying to dawn, etc

Not so easy the closer you are to middle age … and ya … like or not … 40 is middle age … IF you get to live a good life and live to 80 (not everyone does get there )

Health & Kids … truth women are most fertile in their teens & 20s. Quality of eggs greatly reduce after 30. This is a long known fact … which is why OBGYNs back in your parents day said … women should have their first pregnancy by 30. Farther away from 30 … the tougher it is to get pregnant. And stay pregnant. Lots of miscarriages = lots of pain, suffering, grief. So harder physically & emotionally.

Late 30s, early 40s … lots of women who have decided to delay having kids suddenly realize it’s no longer easy. Despite the fact you see lots of celebrities having babies then. Truth … it’s cuz folks need to turn to invitro … that tends to be BIG BUCKS. And no guarantees. Easier choice for a Hollywood Starlet than the Average Jane & Hubby Joe.

Men have issues to. Just as women’s fertility drops after 30. Men’s Testosterone drops after 40 (what’s that stat … 40% of men over 40 have some level of ED). And ya … babies from older parents are indeed more likely to have health issues … be on the spectrum.

So what does this all say ?

You cannot 100% know when you’ll actually meet THE ONE. But there comes a point you need to stop wasting your good years … if you truly expect to be able to do a lot of athletic stuff with your kid … Hockey, Basketball, Coach Little League, go Skiing, Waterskiing, etc … these are all things best done when YOU ARE YOUNG & ABLE. And your kid will want to do these things with you primarily between 4 and 16 … so add 5 years to where you are now for starters and know that’s the youngest you’ll ever be to scrimmage on the outdoor rink. Add 17 to where you are now … can you see yourself still shooting hoops.

Now if you want all this … you got to make some tough calls sooner than later.

Stop dating JUST for fun … and start dating with a goal to planning the rest of your life.

If this GF isn’t it … then time to cut bait and move on … so you can find the right person for you and your future life.

You’ll be doing yourself a big favour … and her too … although she might not think so at the time. But it’s important that if you are looking to get married … that as a couple both people are on the same page as far as life goals. If not, and you just fall into marriage … cuz well it’s what’s next … that’s never a good plan. Cuz trust me … most of those marriages I have seen in my lifetime … fail / end in divorce

Marriage & Family is a life goal. And hard work. Just like anything else worthwhile … like your career, buying a house, etc. It deserves serious thought and a plan. Sit down with a piece of paper … and just like you plan out other life goals… plot out this one. And what you need to do to make it happen … and set a timeline. Then go for it.
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Jan 2, 2015
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@pointshubby Hit it bang on. There a challenges at every age. The younger you are, the less financial resources you probably have, but you have better health, energy and are more flexible. The older you are, the more financial resources (hopefully), but the energy just goes down and the risks start to increase for the mom and baby, plus it becomes harder. You won't be thinking about it now, but also this applies with grandkids. I never thought about them, but I had my kids in the middle at 31 & 34, and I realize if my kids decide to have kids at around the same age, I will have a lot less energy.

Your question is when is it too late. This is the incorrect question, as there is no answer. No one knows for their personal scenario when it's too. It doesn't matter that you know people that have had healthy kids in their late 40s (I know a few). That is them, and may not apply to you. I know many people that had challenges even in their mid 30s (I did). So the actual question one should ask is "when should I start having kids?"

The answer to this is individual but should consider
- Do I actually want them? There is another thread that the person hates being a father. If you don't want kids, don't have them. However, if you want kids are just worried about the timing, that is different.
- Are we in a stable relationship and both want the same for kids? Again, both people should want them at the minimum, but just may not agree on when the 'optimal time' is. To be honest, I didn't want kids at all, and my spouse did. So we held off (no pressure from him), and I had some career/life changing milestones and realized I wanted them.
- Can we support them financially? As parents, we want to give them the world. They don't need that. So think about what is the minimum you want to give them? Can you afford to have a roof over your heads (doesn't have to be the biggest), and food on the table and meet their basic needs? Then add from there. This is a big one for many.
- Are you and your partner willing to do what it takes, and make sacrifices and put your children first? This is probably the most important. You can't plan everything, but if you are willing to do what it takes, then thats the most important.

If you can answer these main questions, then the answer is if you want to have kids, then find a partner that feels the same, then start as soon as possible. You don't know it's too late until you realize you have been trying and its too late.
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it bothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
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Toronto
I say get on it. But make sure to just do that trip and experiences before. Simple road trip destinations count. I was in the same boat as you. Deferred, etc. Other issues. On balance, I feel we have done it right in our mid-30s.

But if I had known what I know now, my wife and I probably would have initiated more action sooner (career, travel, relationship with parents) to try to have the kids a bit earlier.

Even if it was 2-3 years sooner. But again, for us, the balance aspect of it by waiting just a bit I feel made us more able and ability to have been optimal to our kids so far. Just that it could have been tilted a bit more.
Deal Addict
May 28, 2005
2282 posts
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Women can test for autism and other genetic issues early in their pregnancy if you're concerned about that. My wife was 34 when she got pregnant, initial test showed a higher probability of our son having autism (1 in 90 chance...something like that). Then we got a more accurate test at Life Labs...i believe it was called the Harmony test. Covered by OHIP in Ontario, otherwise it was $500
signature removed for rule violations - no referrals allowed
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
10816 posts
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Markham
Age is a significant consideration. But another thing that needs to be considered is whether you and your GF are ready to raise a kind, healthy kid. Having baby is relative easy, but make a kid to a kind, responsible and willing to help society is way harder
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 13, 2010
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Start ASAP/Now. It takes time anyway so don't waste it
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
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Lol, one thing you will learn as a parent is that you'll be tired regardless of what age you have them. Whether you start at 25 or 35, you'll give it your all and you'll be tired.

There are definitely medical reasons to avoid having children later in life. 35 is often thrown out as a big number, but obviously nothing magical happens at 35 other than being called "geriatric". It's just that the risk increases as you age. Risk of miscarriage. Risk of health problems (such as down syndrome). Many risks increase as you age.

One of the challenges with waiting is that having a baby is not always like you see on daytime TV shows, it often doesn't happen "on the first try". It's not unusual to spend months trying. When you factor in the risk of miscarriage (which can sometimes happen without you really knowing such as a chemical pregnancy) increasing with age, it's not unreasonable to suggest that on average it would take longer to be successful. When you wait, it may take even longer (on average).


Going with the thought that you'll always be tired so who cares about your age, it's the age of the mother that matters more than the father. But if you want until the mother is mid to late 30's to start trying , you may find yourself having a harder time conceiving and potentially lowering your chance of being successful. My advice is to not wait until later in your 30's to start trying if you are ready now (in your early 30's). Now if you don't meet the right person until your later 30's that's fine. But if you have found the right person don't hold off waiting for the "perfect moment". There will never be a "perfect moment".
[OP]
Member
Sep 28, 2006
486 posts
398 upvotes
Toronto
The gf and most women I speak to seem to be in denial about this fertility stuff, maybe its the celebrity culture like the first poster suggested?

Its too bad that it is almost unheard of to get married in your early 20s, when its probably the best time energy and fertility wise. But instead we just work on saving up, finding the right career, investing in experiences, making the right money, and finding the one.

Reading the replies I had this thought: I finish work around 5pm. On the commuting days Id be home by 6:00 pm but now its 100% working from home. If I was commuting, that really gives me 3 to 4 hours for myself, the wife, and the kids before going to bed for next day to work. Holy lord. I need 2 hours to myself to browse the web/phone /youtube/netflix .

High fives to all the parents in here. This seems tough lol

The alternative: living alone. What are the pros and cons of that?
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
18435 posts
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Eastern Ontario
Thorkell wrote: The gf and most women I speak to seem to be in denial about this fertility stuff, maybe its the celebrity culture like the first poster suggested?

Its too bad that it is almost unheard of to get married in your early 20s, when its probably the best time energy and fertility wise. But instead we just work on saving up, finding the right career, investing in experiences, making the right money, and finding the one.

Reading the replies I had this thought: I finish work around 5pm. On the commuting days Id be home by 6:00 pm but now its 100% working from home. If I was commuting, that really gives me 3 to 4 hours for myself, the wife, and the kids before going to bed for next day to work. Holy lord. I need 2 hours to myself to browse the web/phone /youtube/netflix .

High fives to all the parents in here. This seems tough lol

The alternative: living alone. What are the pros and cons of that?
Good post …

So you are beginning to see the challenges … esp the ones in regards to time … personal time

It’s sacrifices that most parents make willingly … but ya, some begrudge it.

It’s a lot of work being a parent … esp the early years between birth and school … a lot of long days & nights, and juggling kid, work, marriage, SLEEP, chores that need doing, and any time for self.

And the expenses … kids are EXPENSIVE.

But the rewards are huge … the first coo, the first smile, the first steps, the first poop in a potty … learning to ride a bike, throw a ball, skate, swim, etc. It’s all wonderful stuff.

Memories that will fill you with such joy … and literally last a lifetime.

The MOST MEANINGFUL JOB you’ll ever have … being your kids Parent & Role Model.

Lol, it’s just the hours are long … and the pay sucks *wink* Winking Face
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2015
2233 posts
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NOT centre of Univer…
Thorkell wrote: The gf and most women I speak to seem to be in denial about this fertility stuff, maybe its the celebrity culture like the first poster suggested?

Its too bad that it is almost unheard of to get married in your early 20s, when its probably the best time energy and fertility wise. But instead we just work on saving up, finding the right career, investing in experiences, making the right money, and finding the one.

Reading the replies I had this thought: I finish work around 5pm. On the commuting days Id be home by 6:00 pm but now its 100% working from home. If I was commuting, that really gives me 3 to 4 hours for myself, the wife, and the kids before going to bed for next day to work. Holy lord. I need 2 hours to myself to browse the web/phone /youtube/netflix .

High fives to all the parents in here. This seems tough lol

The alternative: living alone. What are the pros and cons of that?
There's lots of threads here and articles about having or not having kids. The general thoughts are the experience of having kids is both the most fulfilling and the frustrating thing a person can experience. One will not have more ups and downs than being a parent (assuming one is an engaged parent). One can't plan for everything, but things will be fine if one understands that they will need to put small humans needs before our own. If one can accept that, it will be fine. If you don't have kids because you love your life, then do'nt have kids, you will be fine too, you will also have a fulfilling life, just a different one. Don't have kids if you don't want to have the sacrifice.

As for having kids early, sure, getting married early in your 20's has physical advantage, but if a couple isn't emotionally ready or or mature enough yet, then it's not ideal. With all the sacrifice parents make with kids, one doesn't want to lose the opportunity to do things just for themselves. I personally think the 20's are the best time for that. One is finishing school, and entering their next phase in life as a full adult and working. I think thirties are great time to really settle down with a family (if one wants that), even early 40's is okay, if the biology is in the cards. If we just look at the best time to have kids physically, it's in your late teens. I think this is too early for pretty much anyone emotionally.

People had kids earlier because the life expectancies were lower, people went immediately from teens to have families and babies because they were done school. Now people are going to school longer. Its really about balance these days. You are balancing the physiological biological clocks with personal fulfilment
On a 'smart' device that isn't always so smart. So please forgive the autocorrects and typos. If it bothers you, then don't read my posts, but don't waste my time correcting me. If you can get past the typos, then my posts generally have some value.
Newbie
Apr 3, 2021
6 posts
7 upvotes
We did a NIPT(non invasive prenatal testing) when my wife was very early in pregnancy with our boy exactly for the same concern since my wife was approaching her late 30s at that time. The test just requires two tubes of blood and can tell you sex and a lot of genetic information about the babies. It's not covered by OHIP so we paid it out of pocket

I remember the doctor showed us a chart and the probability of a newborn have certain genetic defects goes up from 1/2000 in 20s to 1/300 in mid-30s.
Penalty Box
Apr 19, 2017
1077 posts
881 upvotes
For Women Who Want Kids, 'the Sooner the Better': 90 Percent of Eggs Gone By Age 30

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/women ... id=9693015

"The study published by the University of St. Andrews and Edinburgh University in Scotland found that women have lost 90 percent of their eggs by the time they are 30 years old, and only have about 3 percent remaining by the time they are 40"
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17116 posts
7466 upvotes
Thorkell wrote: The gf and most women I speak to seem to be in denial about this fertility stuff, maybe its the celebrity culture like the first poster suggested?

Its too bad that it is almost unheard of to get married in your early 20s, when its probably the best time energy and fertility wise. But instead we just work on saving up, finding the right career, investing in experiences, making the right money, and finding the one.

Reading the replies I had this thought: I finish work around 5pm. On the commuting days Id be home by 6:00 pm but now its 100% working from home. If I was commuting, that really gives me 3 to 4 hours for myself, the wife, and the kids before going to bed for next day to work. Holy lord. I need 2 hours to myself to browse the web/phone /youtube/netflix .

High fives to all the parents in here. This seems tough lol

The alternative: living alone. What are the pros and cons of that?
You have now discovered why parents are tired, regardless of what age they have kids ;)

You're right, for many parents who work full time you are seeing your children for 2-4 hours every weekday. When younger, this time is then taken up by meals, bath time, bed time routine, and little else. Then after they are in bed you finally get time to spend with your partner.

The alternative is not living alone, many people do not want to have children. You just need to find someone who aligns with what you want if that's the case. You do not have to have kids, and I think it's more common these days not to have children. You need to make sure you are not railroaded into having children or not having children by your partner, it's really something you need to decide on for yourself first.
Member
Apr 9, 2004
366 posts
114 upvotes
London
Got pregnant with my second kid at 25 (hubby was 26). Guess what? Autism. Autism is actually thought to have a genetic link in some cases.

FYI - my Autistic 11 year old is as healthy as they come. She plays hockey and soccer, is in a regular classroom with a solid B average (with some accommodations). She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She has a great group of friends. She even has a best friend for the first time (and her new bestie also has autism too). She basically talks on the phone with her for hours each day. She does social therapy and speech therapy and has grown leaps and bounds since her initial diagnosis. Autism is a very wide spectrum. It likely was just under diagnosed in the past (especially in girls).

My husband and I had kids at 23, 26 and 30. It was the perfect age for us. You have to be mature enough to handle any of the potential health issues your kids may face, be at least somewhat economically stable. Having the kids "out of the house" when we retire at 55 was also something we discussed early.
Member
Apr 9, 2004
366 posts
114 upvotes
London
Wilmega wrote: Women can test for autism and other genetic issues early in their pregnancy if you're concerned about that. My wife was 34 when she got pregnant, initial test showed a higher probability of our son having autism (1 in 90 chance...something like that). Then we got a more accurate test at Life Labs...i believe it was called the Harmony test. Covered by OHIP in Ontario, otherwise it was $500
The Harmony Test checks for Down Syndrome (and other Trisomy's), not Autism. There are higher instances of autism with certain DNA sequences, but it cannot be determined with any accuracy yet. https://www.spectrumnews.org/features/d ... or-autism/ There also is a huge spectrum with autism. Many individuals with autism only require minimal support, some require none.
Deal Addict
Jan 26, 2017
1160 posts
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oddduck wrote: Got pregnant with my second kid at 25 (hubby was 26). Guess what? Autism. Autism is actually thought to have a genetic link in some cases.

FYI - my Autistic 11 year old is as healthy as they come. She plays hockey and soccer, is in a regular classroom with a solid B average (with some accommodations). She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She has a great group of friends. She even has a best friend for the first time (and her new bestie also has autism too). She basically talks on the phone with her for hours each day. She does social therapy and speech therapy and has grown leaps and bounds since her initial diagnosis. Autism is a very wide spectrum. It likely was just under diagnosed in the past (especially in girls).

My husband and I had kids at 23, 26 and 30. It was the perfect age for us. You have to be mature enough to handle any of the potential health issues your kids may face, be at least somewhat economically stable. Having the kids "out of the house" when we retire at 55 was also something we discussed early.
Interesting.
Do you mind sharing what made the so-called experts diagnose your daughter as being autistic?
Sure sounds healthy and “normal” to me. Do you agree with them that she is autistic?
Member
Aug 5, 2007
237 posts
207 upvotes
all i can share is my experience, as I'll be a father in a couple months.

My gf is 34, i'm 31. We're going to be first time parents. We started trying in 2021 so it took maybe 6 months to get pregnant.

And...

We have twins. Mo/di so 99% chance they're identical.

I wanted to start with 1 lol.. but like everything i do in life, never do shit half way.
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2015
1117 posts
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Ottawa, ON
fromage wrote: all i can share is my experience, as I'll be a father in a couple months.

My gf is 34, i'm 31. We're going to be first time parents. We started trying in 2021 so it took maybe 6 months to get pregnant.

And...

We have twins. Mo/di so 99% chance they're identical.

I wanted to start with 1 lol.. but like everything i do in life, never do shit half way.
Good luck future twin parent. I hope you don't end up with two colicky twins like me and that they sleep better than mine lol. It was hard enough when my first had colic but two is brutal! Get all the help you can.

Back to topic, it took us 2years and 3 miscarriages to get pregnant with our twins. Started at 38, husband was 42. Diminished quality eggs and low sperm count. But we did conceive naturally but took us longer than with our singletons which we conceived on first try at 29 and 33.

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