when to have children 11 reasons why “perfect timing” is nonsense

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Of: Jana Stabener

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What is the perfect age to have children? Don’t ask yourself that question – we have 11 reasons why. © Westend61/IMAGO

Too old, not enough career: Women in particular often ask themselves when is the “perfect time” to have children. 11 reasons why this is rubbish.

On average, Germans who have their first child are 29.9 years old. And they are getting older, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Although 60 percent of millennials would rather have a dog than a child, birth rates rose again slightly in 2021. According to Destatis, 795,492 babies were born in 2021 – about 22,000 more than in 2020. The reason for the increase is the relatively stable situation on the labor market in connection with the corona pandemic, where some couples decided: “Now is the perfect time to have a child”.

When should you have children – what age makes sense?

But does the “perfect time” to have children even exist? Especially when it comes to careers, many people – especially those who give birth – ask themselves what the ideal age is. Because the “working world of the future” looks bleak, one only has to look at working parents who find it difficult to combine caring work and family. It’s no wonder that even politicians like Anton Hofreiter bring their child to a ministerial meeting – after all, career and children are still a tight deal for many working people and prevent them from having children “too early”.

On the other hand, there are many who advise against late pregnancy and believe that so many things can go wrong. It is said that young mothers and fathers have no money – old parents are cerebral and read too many guidebooks. Yes, now what? The journalist @plastiktanne from Stuttgart has never cared about such outside opinions and just listened to her heart – she had a child exactly when it felt right for her, she tells @naberwasgeht in an interview (see the video below).

11 reasons why there is no “perfect time” to have children

She is thus the best example that there is no such thing as the “perfect time” to have children. But here are 11 reasons why it really doesn’t make sense to either wait for the ideal time or put your own desire to have children on the back burner because of your career.

  1. According to reproductive medicine specialists, the biologically “perfect” age to have children is between 20 and 25. But it is so rare in today’s society that it cannot be used as a guideline anyway.
  2. Yes, it’s true: If you’re a person with a uterus and able to have children, your fertility starts to decline after about 32. That means it’s harder to get pregnant at 35 or even 37 than at 30.
  3. But: A study from the University of Southern California found in 2016 that a woman over the age of 35 – at least mentally – is in the best shape to have children. This is apparently due to the increased sex hormones, which improve brain functions, especially in “older” mothers.
  4. Another study in the United States came out high Business Insider finding that women who had their first child in their 35s earned over $50,000 more per year on average than those who had their first child in their 20s. So this is precisely what speaks for having children a few years later than before – having a child is now a luxury for many people – it costs 230,000 euros to study.
  5. In an interview with World says Claudia Wiesemann, medical ethicist from the University of Göttingen: The higher the level of education the parents have, the more they can support the child and raise it consistently. The reason for this is the conscious decision to have a child, because “wanted children are happier children,” she says World.
  6. On the other hand, young parents are more robust, can stay up all night and are sometimes more relaxed because they don’t think too much about the “perfect” upbringing. According to a paediatrician, parents should generally treat parents differently – perfectionism is not a solution.
  7. In addition, as a young mother or father, you learn what is really important and how you can more easily handle spontaneous challenges, write time young. Younger parents learn not only to multitask early, but also to prioritize their lives better and gain a whole new perspective on the world through their child.
  8. An example of this is Sylvie Nicol, the only woman on Henkel’s board of directors who World says: “My kids really boosted my career. The bigger they got, the more they motivated me.” She always tried to make her own decisions about the next steps in her career and didn’t allow herself to be pressured – this also worked well in conjunction with her role as a mother.
  9. According to Katharina Wrohlich, who leads the research group Gender Economics at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin, as a mother/person who can bear children, you should not focus on the right time at all – but much more on your partner :in . Why? Because the question of how unpaid care work is shared after the birth is more important than anything else. Here we write about the fact that care work is still a woman’s job: “The state depends on daughters who take care of their parents”.
  10. Ecotrophologist Karin Uphoff guesses out loud World more patience – also at work. “We have many active years available, so we don’t have to be done with our whole life in our early 40s.” It is important to keep house on your own and to share the caring work as partners – then the career can take off later.
  11. So if you and your partner want to have children, don’t wait for the perfect time – because there is no such thing as that. There are just as many arguments for becoming a mother young as there are arguments for waiting longer. It is important that a child fits into YOUR life. Don’t let other people pressure you or discourage you from your “career” and then have children when it feels right for you and your partner.

More lists? Here are 11 warning signs that you are too nice to others.

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