What is the right age?

For starting a family?  Check out the article on Forbes.com, brought to my attention by a Tweet from Working Mothers Against Guilt. Excerpts and comments below – please let me know your thoughts.

“The growing ranks of working women–half of the workforce is female, filling 51% of management and professional positions, and they are the primary or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of American families with children–opens up a new and increasingly heated debate that moves past the working mother vs. stay-at-home-mother battlefield.”

  • The battlefield is not between mothers who work outside the home and those who do not.  The battlefield, I think, is making sure everyone is happy and all the bills are paid.

“Currently, U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that the national average age for women’s first birth is 25, which can be higher on a state-by-state basis (in Massachusetts it’s 28). However, there’s no doubt that the numbers of women who wait are growing. In 2006 about one out of 12 first births were to women age 35 and over, compared to only one out of 100 in 1970. The American Fertility Association (AFA) uses an even higher number. It reports that 20% of American women now wait to have their first child until after age 35.”

  • Well, I only have my own experience here, and had my first at the age of 31, but have got to believe that it’s easier (fiscally) as you age, but easier (physically) when you are young

“The idea of having to balance young children at the same time that you’re up for a high-pressure executive position (with the added possibility that your aging parents may need help, too) might make some working women reconsider having children in her late 30s or 40s. Starting earlier would allow them to raise children during a career period when they have less responsibility and more time and, as the average age of an executive is often in the 40s or more, their children would be nearly independent. The perfect solution, right?”

  • I am certainly not an executive at all, but I do find it extremely challenging some days to manage work responsibilities and two toddlers.

In summary, as with all important things in life, a lot of things can’t be planned.  So, hey, whatever works.

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