In one of my earlier blog posts, I talked about the benefits of being an older Mom, and gave referenced some research that showed how it is not all gloom and doom for women who choose to start a family a bit later (you can read that article here). That article, especially on its Bella Naija post (here) drew a lot of mixed reactions, and understandably so. Whilst there were a number of people who agreed that waiting to be more settled in life before starting a family had its benefits, there were quite a number who believed it was a case of the earlier the better. So, I have decided to write this article to analyse the pros of each one, side by side. I didn’t bother with Cons, as the Pros of one would automatically count as Cons of the other.
Let’s start with the younger Mom.
In my early 20s, I would have done anything to be a Mom. I was an only child for 10 years, after which I got just the one sibling, so I have almost always had a craving for babies. But I wasn’t in a meaningful relationship at the time, so I didn’t have the opportunity. So, if I were to have become a Mom at, say 22, here are what the pros would probably be:
- I would have had a 19 year old child by now….which would have been friggin amazing! Imagine being able to borrow my daughter’s clothes!!!!
- I would definitely be done with childbearing by now, and ready to move on to other things
- I would be young enough to still be a Sisi Eko at my children’s weddings, and also be a funky Grandma 😉
- I might (and that’s a big might) have not had had the kind of fertility issues I had, especially considering the fibroids I had later in my 20s
Those were really all the Pros I can think of. One of the common Pros of early childbirth I have read is that one’s body is able to spring back to its pre-pregnancy easier. Well, I beg to differ! I had my babies at 34…and twins for that matter…and I had quite a decent spring back. So, I won’t count it as a Pro for Young Moms! Another thing I won’t count as a Pro is “having more energy to play with/handle the kids”. By maintaining a decent exercise regime, I believe I am as energetic at 40 as I was at 22….maybe even more so 😉
So….now on to the older Mom.
After 3 years of marriage, at the age of 34, I had my beautiful twin girls. So, I guess this qualifies me to be an older Mom :haha:. Without batting an eye, I can tell you what the pros have been:
- I had had enough time to mature emotionally and mentally. I’m not sure I was selfless enough in my 20s to have taken on the responsibility of bringing another person’s needs above my own, every single second of the day. But by the twins arrived, my selfishness became a thing of the past
- I had been able to live life. I had done things just because. I knew what it was like to be able to fend for only myself.
- I was financially secure. Yes, I have a great Partner, who has been very supportive, but it helped that I had a decent financial bed of my own
- I had put in enough years into my career to be able to take time off work, relatively guilt free. When the girls came, I had worked in my company for a number of years, and was able to get 5 months paid maternity leave (2 months more than the standard 3), along with time off for all their medical appointments afterwards
- When the girls turned 2, I was able to decide to give up my 9 to 5 job and work towards something that would give me more time with my family. This decision was relatively easy for me, as I had already been working for 13 years, and had built an impressive resume, which would enable easily return back to the workforce anytime I want
- In a nutshell, I had had more time to prepare
So, you know what team I clearly belong to! If I were to choose, I’d do it all over again. What team are you on?
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