People like to talk about how if you have children when you’re younger, you’ll be able to keep up with them better. They also often point out that when they do finally graduate and move out of the house, you’ll have all this time in your retirement to do all the things you’ve wanted to do. There are somethings to be said for waiting however.
First of all, if you wait until your thirties, you’ll have all your schooling done, and you can do all that travelling that you were going to put off until you retired. There is something to be said for seeing the world when you have the energy to do it. Also, lots of people spend a lot of time in their early 20’s doing their university degrees, and trying to fit into their career. It’s easier to do that when you don’t have a child.
To me though, the biggest advantage to waiting until you’re older to have children, is you know a bit more about yourself. You know what your buttons are, you know how to handle certain situations and you have a bit more confidence. Ha! Just kidding, nothing in life really prepares you to have children. You’re winging it no matter what you do.
That being said, there is a certain amount of self centered-ness that comes with your early 20’s. It’s natural and normal. You’re finally free from your own parents, and you want to go out and explore all the things that you weren’t allowed to explore when you lived under their roof. Plus, you do learn an awful lot about life when you’re doing all of those freedom things. None of them may really prepare you to have a kid, but they do all help you to grow up some. They help you to realize just a little bit that your parents also weren’t ready to have kids and were making it up as they go along.
All the things you do in your 20’s are about experimenting with life. This gives you experience in basically making things up as you go along, which all parenting really is. I mean sure there are things that are common sense rules that you need to live by, but for the most part it’s completely just on the fly. I mean is there really something in life that prepares you for you daughter walking around pulling down her dressing going “Look at my tiny little boobies! You have big ones, but look at my tiny little ones!” No. There isn’t. If someone tells you there is, then they clearly have never been in the room when that has happened.
There is nothing that prepares you for the love, there is nothing that prepares you for being vomited on at 3 am, and there is nothing that prepares you for being told how much it’s appreciated that you apologized to the stuffed animals for throwing them and hurting their feelings.
When you’re older, you are hopefully a bit more adaptable, and have a bit more experience just going with things. You’re calmer, and not everything is a super big deal. You’ve learn how to prioritize. There isn’t a right time really to have children. But there is something to be said for having some life experience of your own before, trying to help another human get through life.