Should You Start A Family In Your Mid 20’s?

The following post is by MPFJ staff writer, Catherine Alford. Cat is a freelance personal finance writer who blogs at www.BudgetBlonde.com

Just a few weeks ago, I got the surprise of my life. I went in for a routine ultrasound after getting a positive pregnancy test, and my husband and I found out we were having twins! We had planned and hoped for a baby, but getting two was pretty exciting and shocking all at the same time! It didn’t take me long to realize that at 26 years old, I’d be a mom to two kids, not just one!

I thought a lot about the perfect time to have children for my family, and I realized that being 26 (almost 27) when they are born just seemed to work out perfectly for us. Do I wish we had more financial stability? Yes. Do I wish we had less student loans? Yes. However, we’ve learned so much about our finances and being responsible over the past few years, and I think we’re ready for this next adventure!

 

Pros:

 

1.      Peak Energy and Fertility

Just recently, I read that a woman’s peak fertility is between the ages of 16-28, so I had some concerns about waiting until I was in my 30’s to have kids. Many women safely have them during that time every single day, but I am a worry wart, and I wanted to make sure I could have a family when I wanted without running into fertility problems later. Another perk is that when you are in your mid-20’s, you are young and have a lot of energy to chase around a toddler (or in my case, two!) Your body bounces back faster according to some moms too.

 

2.      Lots of Time to Re-Enter the Work Force

Because many women are just starting their careers in their mid-20’s, they likely won’t be stepping away from or giving up high profile careers just yet. While many women in their 30’s successfully balance both their work and home lives, they have extra challenges to contend with and sometimes find it hard to gain acceptance about their new role as a mother. When you are in your mid-20’s you might have similar challenges, but many women in this age group often report feeling more comfortable with taking longer maternity leaves and even staying at home with their children for a year or more. At that age, you have a lot of time to re-enter the work force at a later date and “catch up” to where you were before.

 

3.      You’ll Still Be Young When They Go To College

If you have kids in your mid-20’s, you still have a ton of years ahead of you when they go to college. You’ll miss them for sure, but you’ll also have a lot of energy and youth on your side to head on trips with just your spouse while your kids are buried in their college textbooks.

 

Cons:

 

1.      Financial Instability

While not all people in their 20’s experience financial instability, it is the time where people tend to make financial mistakes, figure out their relationship with spending, and hopefully start saving for retirement. Most people in their mid-20’s are still relatively fresh out of college. They only have a few years of work experience and might still be paying back loans. Additionally, depending on the industry, they might not be in a high pay grade just yet and might have to put in extra hours to prove that they are worthy of promotions. All of these things combined make many people wait until they are in their late 20’s and early 30’s to have their first baby.

 

2.      Halted Travel Plans

Many people say that they want to see the world before having their first child. They are often able to start traveling in college during spring break or on a study abroad trip. However, having a baby in your mid-20’s can sometimes put at least a temporary halt to extensive travel experiences. While I do plan to travel with my children, as I want them to become good at it, I won’t be making any international trips for quite some time.

 

3.      Tendency for Lifestyle Inflation

One of the first things I noticed when I got pregnant and started talking to other pregnant women is that so many of them wanted to buy a new car. One of them was even adding on a room to her house! I think when many people get pregnant with their first child, they instantly think they need to upgrade everything to fit in with a cultural mold.  Furthermore, when people are in their mid-20’s, it’s harder to resist some of these temptations. While I’d love a new car, I know we can’t afford it, and I’m lucky to have a fully paid for safe vehicle for my kids to ride in, even if it is 12 years old!

Ultimately, there are many pros and cons to having kids in your mid-20’s. For us, it was a good decision, one that worked well with our current phase of life and my husband’s time frame with school. He will be in between semesters when our twins are born and thus will have a solid month to help me get used to their arrival. We thought through a lot of pros and cons and tried hard to choose the right time for us to have a baby. I really think that’s all anyone can do: exactly what’s right for them and their families!

How about you all? When did you have your first baby? Do you wish you would have waited until you were a bit older?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/houghtonbird/9601034003/s

Comments

  1. Emily @ evolvingPF says:

    You didn’t mention what I would think would be a common “con” and for me is the most important one – if you’re in even in a relationship that’s ready for kids by your mid-20s! Personally, I want to have been married for five years before we try to get pregnant. I know not everyone has as long of a desired period of marriage as I do (my husband doesn’t), and if we had gotten married older I probably wouldn’t have such a high bar. As it stands, we’ll probably start trying to get pregnant when we’re 30 and have been together for 10 years total. But still, the average age of marriage for men and women is creeping toward the late 20s, so that would rule out having (planned) kids in the mid-20s for most people.
    Emily @ evolvingPF recently posted…Blog Statistics Update September – October 2013My Profile

  2. Mark Ross says:

    Nice post Jacob! I really think having your own family in your mid 20s is a nice choice. I plan to have mine when I reach 25 years of age. I think the pros would outweigh the cons and come to think of it, it really is nice to have your family while you’re young. We can just travel the world when the kids become college students, right?
    Mark Ross recently posted…Life Insurance: 4 Policy Types You Can Do Without And Should AvoidMy Profile

  3. I’m all for starting a family and taking the responsibilities, but I feel the right time is somewhere towards the late 20’s instead of mid 20’s as one can settle in his/her job by that time and a little fun along the way as well.

  4. It looks like it’ll be the 30’s for me! I’ve been taking the path of building up my career and getting my finances in order before having kids. In this year alone I’ve gotten married and bought a house! I want some calmer times before it gets really crazy for years on end.
    Christine @ ThePursuitofGreen recently posted…Cleaning out JunkMy Profile

  5. Ițm 35 and will give birth in about 3 months. I didn’t want kids for a long time, wanted to have a decent income, travel, make sure the guy I’m with is the ‘real deal’. We decided some months ago that it’s time for us and I got pregnant on the first try.

    I think a couple should have kids when they really feel they are ready. Nothing else matters, only the 2 of you. We’ll resume our travels as soon as it’s possible (we actually plan on taking her to a late summer holiday next year, when she’s 6-7 months old.
    dojo recently posted…How our frugal ‘non-wedding’ turned into one of the best events in our livesMy Profile

  6. Congrats! One of my friends from college had twins earlier this year, one boy one girl. I personally don’t think I could have been ready to start a family in my 20s, but everybody is different. Most every parent I know says there is no perfect time to have kids. What’s more important is finding ways to make things work no matter what your age and circumstances.
    untemplater recently posted…The Case For Getting Into Credit Card Debt While Young To Live BetterMy Profile

  7. I was only 22 when my daughter was born, I know I’m too young to be a mom but honestly I never regretted it. She is the best gift for me and now she is already six years old, we are just like sisters! When I’m tired she gives me a massage with her cute hands and when I’m sick she gave me medicines. She is the perfect package for me, she is my daughter, my sister, my cute nurse and my best buddy! 🙂
    Clarrise @ Make Money Your Way recently posted…How to save time managing your ad dealsMy Profile

  8. My husband and I were 27. We traveled some before baby came, but having a baby hasn’t stopped us from continuing to travel (we got baby his passport when he was three months old). In terms of lifestyle inflation- yes, daycare is costing us an arm and leg- but since the babe needs to be in bed early in the evening, we find ourselves saving money from the lack of eating out and socializing with friends.

    I wished I was a little further in my career and had more of my mortgage debt paid off, but for our family, the timing was perfect. My vanity likes being called “the young mom” at work (:
    Emily @ Urban Departures recently posted…5 Ways to Exercise without a Gym MembershipMy Profile

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