Should you have kids young or wait until you’re older? With the average age of first-time moms climbing, we thought that this was the perfect issue for BluntMoms. We put two of our writers head to head to debate this issue.

Our youngest writer mom, Christella, was 23 when her first son was born. Our not-youngest mom, Jenny, was 40 when her second son came along.

Who do you think had it easier, the chipper twenty-something or the feeble middle-aged broad?  

Conception & Pregnancy
C: Being 23 when I had my first son, my pregnancy wasn’t exactly planned. While I knew I wanted to have kids young, getting pregnant nine months after meeting my boyfriend wasn’t exactly a relationship goal. It worked out for us, but telling my friends and family I was up-the-duff felt more like a confession than an announcement.

J: Oh, please girlfriend. At least you had fun sex. Old eggs meant I took my temperature and checked cervical mucous every day for months. When I finally had a goopy vagina, I had to drag my husband away from football. “Can’t we wait until half-time?” “Now! I have mucous.”

Labor and Delivery

J: At 40, labor and delivery was like open heart surgery. Every freaking nurse on the wing was monitoring something. I was high risk, first it was blood pressure, then the baby’s heart rate. An epidural? Roll that shit over so we can shove a needle in your back. Thanks to arthritis and a disintegrating spinal column it only took three fucking tries. By then, I was mainlining Pitocin ready to pull the damn baby out myself. Water birth? Midwife? Um, no. I needed a fleet of physicians, IVs galore, and six puke basins.

C: Well, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I was so LOW risk my first set of midwives didn’t believe me when I told them I was in labour! (Ha, silly girl! Back pain isn’t labour. Except WHEN IT IS!) The second time, my midwife expected a longer labour. My body had other plans. My son decided to crown while the midwife had her back turned. He’d show her! I got a never-ending streak of judgement. How I choose to shit out another human is my choice, mmmkay?

Newborns

C: For me, having a newborn with little-to-no support, no money in the bank, and a partner who worked all the time felt like a jail sentence. I spent most days with another human pulling on my nipples. Older moms totally have the newborn days better; they’re smart enough to sleep when the baby sleeps and have more support from family and friends.
J: No. Having a newborn at 40 was like running a marathon at 90. I have never been so exhausted. I slept when the baby slept; I slept when the baby was awake. I strapped him into the bouncy seat and I freaking slept. All the time. As for support? Ha! Our family waited so long for a grandchild all they wanted was coo and visit. No, thank you. The laundry was piled up and I hadn’t eaten a real meal in weeks. For the love of God, couldn’t they just leave a lasagne on the porch?

Friendships

J: I was the oldest mom of my friends, other preschool parents, and every single skinny playground bitch. I felt like a grandmother. Nobody got my pop culture references: “Robert Duvall? Never heard of him, oh he’s old, like George Clooney.” Uh, George Clooney is my age. Robert Duvall is geriatric. And forget playing with the kids. You might have played Mommy Ring-Around-The-Rosie, I’ll just do the falling down part. And I’ll stay down. With a back pillow.

C: I had my first son so young that most of my friends thought pregnancy was contagious, therefore keeping a safe quarantined distance most of the time. Once the baby came, I tried making mom friends only to find out they were really old, like 35!  It’s kind of hard joining in on the conversations about infertility and RRSP’s when you get pregnant faster than you pee!

Finances

C: It must have been nice to afford daycare, groceries and your mortgage in the same week! Having kids young meant giving up things like savings accounts, opting instead for living paycheck to paycheck, of course, that meant paying for daycare so I could work in the first place.

J: No sympathy there, sweetheart. While I should have been saving for retirement, expenses grew every time I opened my wallet. A case of diapers $40, new car seats for every freaking stage of development $900, a 3 a.m. ER visit when the baby is burning with fever and barks like a seal? $600. It’s fine, I won’t retire, I’ll be dead soon anyway.

Youth vs. Maturity

J: There’s something wrong with a mom going to bed before her baby. At 6 p.m. My first thought upon waking was always: when can I sleep again? Old people like to sleep. Plus, my so-called maturity does not equal patience. Peri-menopause and toilet training do not mix. You do not want hot sweats and raging homicidal hormones while you’re wiping your child’s ass.

C: On the flip-side, having too much energy isn’t awesome either. No matter how hard I tried, some nights I couldn’t fall asleep until past midnight, leaving me exhausted and drained the next day. My internal clock just operated later, meaning I loved 2-am feedings, while early mornings felt like a bad hangover.

Support

C: Being a young mom meant instead of getting societal support, I got judgment. It’s like people were waiting for me to fail. Having a baby young these days isn’t the norm anymore. I had to work twice as hard to prove I could be young and a good mom. Plus, my parents were young too. They were still working and couldn’t come watch little Johnny every time I wanted to go get fro-yo.

J: When you’re over 40 and should have your shit together, no one thinks “She’s going batshit crazy at home after a career of international travel and expense accounts.” And yes, I do need my kid in daycare twice a week. Don’t give me the side-eye because I’m not working outside the home. What do you think I do at home? Diaper blow outs don’t change themselves. You have to clean that shit up, and then wash your hands 695 times. I can still smell it.

Sex

J: At 40+ with a toddler and infant the last thing I wanted was sex. A ten pound watermelon was sucking on my boobs 24/7. Plus, older moms get fun things like prolapsed bladders and rectums. When a body part that belongs inside gets so stretched, bloop, it pops out. That’ll dampen your sex drive. Go ahead and cringe, be disgusted. I was. My husband’s big idea: “Just shove it back up there.” By the way, that doesn’t work, and I almost lost an elbow. It’s a cavern up there. Two surgeries; that worked.

C: At MY age the last thing I wanted to do after having a baby was have sex, especially since my track record consistently meant that sex = babies. Unfortunately the only thing more exhausting than a baby waking me up at midnight was my partner keeping me up past midnight, if you know what I mean. *wink*

Housekeeping

C: With a partner working 90% of the time, it meant 112% of the domestic duties fell on me. The weekly cooking, cleaning and child rearing, all me, even though I had a career, too. Kind of tough to choose between clean floors or clean kids. (I usually went for the kids, depending on the condition of the floors.)

J: Again, I was ancient. I barely had enough energy to flush the toilet let alone clean it. It looked like a biology experiment. Slippers were perfect for ignoring the sticky, crumby floors. Plus, I let the environment go to shit. Global warming?  My fault. Paper plates were my best friend. Take out, a close second. If it wasn’t delivered by a family member, a pimply teen in a beat up Hyundai or eaten straight out of a can (hey, cold soup is a thing), I didn’t eat.

The Future

J: When your kid starts college, you’ll still be younger than I am now. And then you get a life. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to stand on my own, without a cane or walker, at my kid’s wedding. If I’m really lucky, I won’t be wearing five layers of SPANX and an adult undergarment.

C: True, BUT… the only thing worse than becoming a Mom in your 40’s is becoming a GRANDMOTHER in your 40’s. You may be wearing diapers, but I’ll be changing them all over again.

 

Moderator here: so readers? What do you think? Who had it better? How about you?

 

Spring Chicken Mom: Christella Morris

Seasoned and well marinated Mom: Jenny Kanevsky

BLUNTmoms
Author

An amazing collection of bright women who somehow manage to work, play, parent and survive and write blog posts all at the same time. We are the BLUNTmoms, always honest, always direct and surprising hilarious.

31 Comments

  1. Anne Radcliffe

    I was a moderate. 30! after 10 years of marriage. That’s about as good as it gets, with a little on both sides.

  2. Michelle

    I agree!! 30 felt perfect for us too! Gave us some free play in our 20’s and we will still be pretty young when they fly the coup.

  3. I was in my thirties. And now I’m a youngish grandmother. I think it all happens when it should.

  4. Pam

    Firstly that was HILARIOUS, ladies & I have so much empathy for both of you. Motherhood is by far the hardest “job” I’ve ever had. Regardless of when you (or your body) decides to have kids, you’re never quite prepared for the challenges, frustration and joy you will experience.

    My favourite quote is “Women can have it all. They just can’t have it all at once.” I never quite understood that until I lived it.

    I had my babes at 32 & 36 but if I could do it over, I would have had them in my 20s. Raised them well and then went back to my career in my late 30s/early 40s. They came just as my career was heating up and I had to make so many choices. I felt guilty (and tired) at work, I felt guilty (and bored) at home. I gave up so many career opportunities to raise my kids but told myself that there would always be another job, another project but that there would never be another time to spend with my kids. I chose my kids & am glad that I did.

  5. Jill Robbins

    I was a young mom (25) when I had my daughter. I felt I was ‘middle of the road’ although we were pretty broke. Our boys are adopted but they were born when I was 44, so I can definitely relate to some of the “older mom” perspective.

    Who had it easier? Motherhood isn’t easy…no matter which way you slice it. Namaste, bitches.

  6. Alison Tedford

    I was 25 and he was a surprise. We had been together 9 years. It was really hard. I think it’s probably hard at any age though I can’t imagine doing it low energy at 40. I’m currently trying to convince my boyfriend fatherhood again at 40 wouldn’t suck so maybe I won’t refer him here 😉 You both sound like amazing moms.

  7. Love the Ring Around the Mommy reference btw!
    I was an overachiever- 1st at 19, 2nd at 25, and the final was born when I was 30. I felt both sides of the story, except prolapsing….I’m cringing. After my last, I vowed she sucked the life, energy and anything resembling youth out of me.
    There would be no other children roaming about my insides – sent hubby to get snipped.

  8. Patricia Morfee

    You both make good cases for motherhood age. I was 21 for my first and 25 for the second. I always said I grew up with my children. Our children on the other hand were both in their 30’s before having children. Whatever age, it is the most difficult job to do. The benefits are the best ever.

  9. First off, these two ladies are hilarious! Secondly, as a mom who did both, I can say I would MUCH RATHER be pregnant at a younger age. I had my first 2 at 19 and 23 and those pregnancies were a breeze. Labor was easy. Getting up all night long, no biggie! (Plus my mom helped out. A lot.) I had tons of energy to chase a naughty toddler around too. Downside to being a young mom? Finances. It is hard to raise a kid when you’ve got a negative checkbook balance. I had my youngest child at 30 (not really “old” by any means, but old enough!) My pregnancy was a NIGHTMARE. I had zero energy. I hated getting up all night long with a newborn and I spend most days EXHAUSTED. Plus sides, I have WAY more patience and lots more life experience under my belt. I can find the humor in all aspects of her childhood, even through the really wretched toddler years. So I guess, it all boils down, to what you want more ENERGY or MONEY. You don’t get both.

  10. I had my first kid at 29 and will, if all goes well, have my second at 32, so I am sort of in the middle. I will say that how you are treated as a mom has a lot to do with where you live. I’m in a pretty well-to-do neighborhood in Brooklyn, where most moms are older, because that’s who can afford to raise kids there. I find that no matter the age, I relate most to moms with similar parenting philosophies.

  11. I’m shooting for like 32 years old for the first kid, so I’m thinking that’s going to be the sweet spot where all of these issues dissolve and it works out perfectly. Right? RIGHT?!

  12. I had mine at 26 and 30. Both decided to marinate for an extra month so I carried both 10 months, something they would never allow today. First one, guy bailed, never saw him again. Had to move in with my mother and work at night as a waitress. It so sucked, I had no patience and usually only had one eye open. The second wasn’t as bad, was married, he had a good job, was a good provider and adopted son#1. I was then able to open both eyes and managed better but still had no patience due to a step-daughter from hell. LOL I could never have done it in my 40’s, sent the man for the snip! Hilarious read on both sides!!!

  13. Mommahood is hard but you both made it seem over the top hard. I was 48 when my sweet baby was born. I had waited all my life for him – I wanted to be a momma since I was six. Being a momma is the best job regardless of your age! I can’t wait to get pregnant and do it all over again.

  14. Star Traci

    It just goes to show that pregnancy and nursing is hard all around! Young or old, we just need to support each other.
    🙂
    Traci

  15. Had my 2yo snuggle angel when I was 24 and I think I’m gonna live to see and enjoy my grand children too! But honestly, there’s no better age for it. You just decide on when you wanted kids and it sure is going to be hard as you age!

  16. This is a great debate! And so funny. I had my first kid at 40….and for that reason I doubt there will be another. One of my coworkers had two kids in her 20’s and another two around 40 and she says that younger is definitely easier but of course there are difficulties on both ends.

    On the “support” topic, the other factor of being an older mom is that your parents are also aging. While I was pregnant and taking care of my newborn, my mother, who I was extremely close to, was very ill and she died on my son’s first birthday. I have a friend who is taking care of her one-year old child and her aging mother…it is very intense and sad when the grandparents can’t fully enjoy their grandchildren due to health issues, and difficult for new mom’s when you can’t rely that familial help and instead need to help them…

  17. Jill Pond

    The dueling banjos. That’s what this reminded me of! I loved this- it was a really interesting perspective and just goes to show, no matter how old you are, having kids can really suck ass. Good thing those bastards are so cute.

  18. I was even younger than the mom in this post, being just 19 when I had my daughter and 22 when I had my son. It didn’t matter to anyone that I was married and supporting myself (homeowner by 20, that’s not nothing!), I still got hard core judged by a lot of people. While it may not be have been the ideal time in my life to have kids, bith of mine will be of to college by the time I’m 40! That leave me with a ton of time to do what ever i want! Lol

    I think the biggest thing for me being a young mom was trying to be taken seriously. By doctors, other moms, friends and family, you name it. I may have been young, but have always been and researcher, and I made sure I knew my stuff!

  19. “It’s fine, I won’t retire, I’ll be dead soon anyway.” I hear that.

    I thought I was an old mom until our 46-year-old friend announced that she is pregnant with her first! Better her than me – that’s fo sho!

    Thanks for the chuckles, Ladies!

  20. I had my first at 19 & second at 22.

    I think 22 was definitely a perfect age!

    I suffered high risk pregnancie, constant hospital admissions and scans, & emergency surgery after each birth. Definitely not something my body agreed with.. im 24 atm & my youngest is 20month. No way in hell could someone pay me to go through it all lol.
    my second was dangerously ill in icu for weeks & my eldest has a permanent hearing loss requiring hearing aids so appointments galore!

    I have much more life experience for my age under my belt from the things I have been through in growing and raising my girls. (& im married)
    Financially I struggled with my first, so here came ghethe weekend and night work and online study. .

    Fingers crossed to get into uni to do bach of nursing & midwifery come next yr!

    I will be 36 when my first daughter graduates so plenty of ‘me’ time left in my life ♡

  21. Old mom here. Totally relate to “J” on this one. My favorite line was, “Can’t we wait until half-time?” “Now! I have mucous.” Then waiting for hubby to run off to bathroom and do an upside down yoga pose trying to get that sperm up as high as it will go! Oh, the things we do for you kids!! lol

  22. I was already ‘older’ with my first but with my son I was ‘geriatric’ (seems a little harsh for 37). I love that we had our 20s to do all the solo traveling, playing and fine dining we wanted before kids. It would be nice to have the stamina I had in my 20’s with the kids these day though!

  23. I had my kids at 31 and 33. I can’t image doing it any younger (I was partying way too hard) or any later (holy hell, I’m exhausted enough as it is!). I think maybe the conclusion is that this is freaking hard no matter what age!!!

  24. I was 28 and constantly have this conversation with my 7 yr junior girlfriend who had her first at 19. One of the biggest difference for us is that it was hard for me to give up my ‘me time’ that I had for the past ten years. She never got that luxury of being a grown ass adult alone on a saturday afternoon watching a Matchmaker Millionaire marathon and eating a tub of icecream….then having a bath at noon and blow drying her hair….just to go to the grocery store. Man, I had it goooood.

  25. I think it depends on the person. I got pregnant at 25. It was planned. Had been in relationship with my husband for 5 years. Next baby at 28.

  26. As a mom who did both…my 1st at 21, 2nd at 24, and 3rd at 40. Both have their + and -, you have more energy and less money in 20s and more money and less energy in 40s. However in my case I feel like I’ve been a mom my whole life…I would not recommend it…if I had it to do over I think I would pick my thirties…I hate being the oldest mom and at times being confused for the grandmother more than I disliked giving up dance clubs for diapers.

  27. Hi all.
    I got pregnant with my first child at 17, when she was born I was 18. Ooh, boy, judgement, judgment, judgement!
    Particularly when I started university when she was 3 months old (everlasting thanks to my Mum who helped for the next 3 months – the on-campus childcare only took babies from 6 months).
    She was profoundly lactose intolerant. She’d scream from lunchtime through to midnight/2am, passing out from exhaustion for a few minutes, then she’d be woken by the pain and scream again. She was hospitalised at 25 days old because she was bleeding from her bowl. Yes, from lactose intolerance. Try drinking sugar-soap and see what it does to your insides! If anyone ever tried to tell you it’s not a real thing (those idiots are out there), kindly give them a slap from me.
    This all destroyed any sleep routine, for years. Years! Having a kid who has great difficulty sleeping before 9pm, often wakes during the night, and wakes up with the false dawn (4:30am in summer) still means you’re permanently brain dead. Even if you’re 20.
    And, yes, I was a sole parent. Judgement, judgement, judgement!
    Although I learned, when she was in primary school, there’s your age, then there’s the amount of time you’ve been a parent. I found that some (not all) were happy to take friendly advice from a woman who was younger, but who had been a parent for longer.
    I had a month and a half of “legal irresponsibility” between the first turning 18 and the next being born. I was 36; pretty average for these days. Working in hospitality is not a good thing with small children, particularly when picking up the small child at 2am involves a 34km (roughly 20 mile?) round trip to the mother-in-law’s house. While I was partnered, my husband had zero concept of looking after children. I was effectively a sole parent, working full time, often at night, with someone who just made it harder. Back to brain dead.
    Out of curiosity I kept a sleep journal; over 6 weeks I was more than 100 hours short of the 8 hour per night. I lost track of the journal, funnily enough, when I got pneumonia.
    No sooner had I gotten over pneumonia than I got pregnant with my third child. She was born just before I turned 41. Again, hospitality (hostility?) industry and small children SUCKS! So does my soon-to-be ex-husband. Although more involved with the children, he’s still not involved in actually taking care of them.
    The youngest turns 4 this week, the older one is 8.5 and my eldest is 26.
    I have run my own business (insolvent due to my major client tying up all my time then exiting the country with bills unpaid), worked various jobs, including security guard. I then left the job that paid me, gave me time off, and paid my super, to go and work with the man I married. 11 years on I have two lovely girls, ABI (acquired brain injury) from long term sleep deprivation (yes, that’s real too!) and $40,000 in debt, because charges from the business went onto my personal credit card. I’m so far beyond broke!
    If I push for the business to be sold it will mean the end of the younger two’s relationship with their dad. Just because he’s that kind of guy.
    Barring a lottery win, I will never own my own house, travel overseas or even get my teeth sorted out to my satisfaction. But I will give my daughters every opportunity I can, and I will raise them to be resilient, loving and there for each other.
    From someone who’s been there, all ages with small children are exhausting. And you get judged regardless of what’s happening. You can’t make all people happy all of the time.
    Make you and yours happy some of the time, and the rest can “eff-off”!
    One way or another, sleep will come back, more slowly for some. The long-term situation is far more important. Repeat to self:
    It will be ok. Deep breath. This to shall pass. Deep breath. It will be ok.
    Be kind to each other, cook double portions and freeze, without guilt ask for help if you can get it, earplugs are sometimes permissable (not while you’re asleep, but if they’re screaming while you’re preparing dinner and you can SEE the babe), takeaway and cold soup; if they do the trick then they do the trick! And stay the hell ouy of the hospitality industry!
    Forgive yourself, forgive them, and just ride it through.
    Enough platitudes. Even if they’re true 🙂

    P. S. At age 32 I donated eggs to a friend. Seems I only make girls!

  28. P. P. S. The girls and I are all sleeping better since I packed up the girls and moved 3 months ago.
    Maybe I’ll get some of my brain function back yet? !! ?

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