How old is too old to have children?

First of all, I better apologise for the distinct lack of action – one may think that people have more free time during the holidays, but that is never the case, is it?

Now, I have a seven-year-old brother, and as a result, our family has befriended many other families with similarly aged children. This generally creates situations where people look at our family, and do not understand where I fit in (my parents are rather youthful – personality and appearance – hope it is hereditary).

This often triggers discussions about ideal times for childbearing. So, when does a woman become “too old” to have children? Is there a similar rule for men?

When a friend celebrated her 20th birthday, she announced: “I have now entered the ideal five years of my life for childbearing!”

I thought: “Good lord…”

A comment that could be applied to the following cases:

In 2007, the oldest father in the world had his 21st child aged 90. The youngest mother who gave birth, after assumed consensual sex, was nine years old. Her husband was 27. These are, as disturbing as the images may be, extremes.

I guess there is no way of treating this objectively, so I shall go it my own way.

To have child, I believe you must be able to give it a so-called proper upbringing. It involves all the routine procedures – providing for him/her/them a home, food, material possessions, education, morals, etc. – required to let them evolve into a responsible adult, but also the more hands-on aspects. The parents should have enough energy (without feeling forced) to, for instance, take the children on holiday, play in the sandpits, push (or compete!) with them on swings, and hopefully enjoy it.

In the end, which elderly parent wants to deal with a teenager’s hormones when they themselves may need taking care of? Which young parent wants to deal with teenage hormones when they have barely got their own hormones under control?

That would be my thoughts, what about yours?


One thought on “How old is too old to have children?

  1. I have a friend, 20 years old, who announced that if she hadn’t had a child when she was 25, she would never have one at all. Her reason was that there are so many risks with pregnancies at a later point in life. That is of course true, but I think 25 is an extreme limit. To me, 35 is more reasonable. (Coincidentally, the age my mother was when she had me.) I myself wouldn’t have wanted older parents than that – because of the reasons you’ve mentioned (energy-related).

    I still believe that my friend, despite her very firm conviction, would change her mind if she happened to meet Mr Right when she was 26. I really doubt she would say: “to bad, but my body expired two months ago.”


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