Would You Rather # 6: Have your First Child when you are 18 or 40?


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First of all, I think these are the most extreme phases in life one can propose having a first child. I personally find both points not ideal. The nine-month gestational period is no game neither is nurturing someone for the next two decades or perhaps more, mere child’s play. For one to be up to the task of raising a child to be a responsible adult, one has to be prepared physically, emotionally and even financially. Lacking in one aspect will create a world of hardship for both child and parent.

The eighteenth year spells the transition of a teen into a young adult. Most teens can’t wait to turn to that age as if merely attaining it is some magical requirement to grow up instantly and be prepared for adult life. The legal age to vote, drive, drink, get married seems to appeal to most teens. But most middle-aged people would advise the youth of today not to rush to become adults because it is not as ‘fun’ as they think it to be.
Recalling my 18-year old self, I don’t think I was ready to have a child. I was still a child then! Apart from my body not ready to handle the responsibility, I was not mature in any way to take care of a tiny, crying and helpless infant.

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Preparing to enter the university, the whole idea of being by myself, being responsible for my choices and taking care of myself was freaking me out. I couldn’t handle stress very well; the least obstacle would put me in tears. Imagine my baby’s cries making me cry as well. Who would comfort who?

I am still wrapping my head around what it entails to be an adult and how to play my cards right so I don’t mess up. If I’m planning to bring a human being into this world, then I should ensure that I’m prepared to give him/her the best of myself and what the world has to offer. Falling short of that wouldn’t be fair to the innocent newcomer.

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They say, life begins at forty. I’m pretty sure the mental picture of that expression is enjoying the fruits of your labor after having your kids and having achieved some level of stability in life. I doubt it implies now beginning the Parenting course 101.

Aside the health implications of giving birth that late, having to change diapers and deal with baby tantrums along with the temperature swings and body rashes at such an age sounds like torture. If that were to be a second, third or last, at least one has experience with the whole baby drama and so can play his/her role without much stress. But the first? It could even trigger premature menopause!

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But on the other hand, one would be much more stable and more mature emotionally and financially to take care of a child. One would have gather much more experience in life in order to bring up a child the right way.

Being a mother at eighteen to me sounds like a bigger baby taking care of a cuter one; and being a mother for the first time at forty is a preliminary for still being in the ‘active parent’ status even after retirement.
However, if I were to choose, I think I’d opt for being an older parent.

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Photo credits to Google Images.

What about you? Does the idea of being a young parent excite you? Having your child being referred to as your younger sibling because he/she catches up with you with time? Or you prefer to be much older before taking on such a responsibility? Please share your thoughts.

Josephine Amoako © 2016

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. if i cud, mine was best at 16. now i shd try before 30 comes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joseyphina says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sharon! ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. vhuvu says:

    Since you put two numbers id say 40. But in reality foe me its neither of the two. 18 is too young and 40 is too old. For me it’s in between. Ages 25 to 35 maybe. I’d love to have a child in my late 20s and early 30s so as get over and done with. The stress of carrying about child when you near menopause doesn’t appeal to me much. Plus when your kid is 20 you are 60? No. Lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. joseyphina says:

      I know, right? They are both too extreme. I agree with you perfectly!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Joel Jemba says:

    This question is a good one to pay a deaf ear to, since it doesn’t have 20s or 30s included! so I was here, I enjoyed the read and I am now leaving!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. joseyphina says:

      Haha… Please don’t run away, Joel!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. TheRealEtsey says:

    And I have held so often that having children early is the best option. Makes life easier and less stressful for both partners and that bit about having your children feel like your younger siblings is so enchanting. You inspire me greatly with your writing. Don’t stop writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. joseyphina says:

      Thank you and thanks for sharing your opinion ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Amanya says:

    I can feel my ovaries nodding in approval. 18 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joseyphina says:

      Lol… The mental picture it gives me is amusing. Thanks for sharing, Amanya👍

      Liked by 1 person

  6. nogr8trlove says:

    Imagine Sarah form the bible, having the promise of a child at 70 years of age and actually having the child when she was in her 90’s! For me I am going to factor in Gods plan here, I was 21 when I had my first, and if God so chooses to give me another at 40 I will not argue with him He knows what best for me. 😄 This is the only way I could answer this one lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joseyphina says:

      Wise answer; in the end, it’s God’s will and timing that matter.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I could not imagine pushing a baby out at 40 yrs. old. I had my children at 18 and 22 yrs. and personally feel that was the ideal time in my life to go through pregnancy and labor, and all the sleepless nights (and days). My siblings all had children later in their 30’s and I’m quite glad to be past that stage, I can relax with my teenagers while they run ragged after their toddlers. But all in all they are worth it, at any age. If I were to turn 40 and find I was pregnant I would be just as happy as I had been at 18, but my body might not…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joseyphina says:

      True, it is physically more stressful to be having children at 40. Thanks for sharing your opinion on this. Have a nice day ☺

      Like

  8. If I have to definitely at 40. I was born to a teenage mother, it hasn’t been easy but God was faithful. I was a child myself at 16 and grateful for the past ten years for being (almost always) single and childless. This is a personal preference. I still am not big on kids hey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joseyphina says:

      Thanks for passing by, Sinawo! ☺

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ufuomaee says:

    Forty! At least I would be more prepared, enjoyed my youth and have more wisdom to pass on 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joseyphina says:

      True! You’d have lived your life and experienced enough to raise a child. 👍

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Desaha says:

    It is said that life begins at forty… but honestly wouldn’t want my child to be twenty when am sixty… this is a tough one

    Liked by 1 person

    1. joseyphina says:

      I know, right? Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

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