It seems I am at ‘that age’. My Facebook page is full of weddings and new babies. Graduation photos have subsided, travelling photos diminished and boozy all nighters with mates are becoming few and far between. Instead I am marvelling at wonderful wedding gowns, fancy dinners shared with a loved one and keys to home ownership. Everyone around me seems to be moving to the next chapter.
It got me thinking, these people are my peers, my age give or take a year or two, and a lot of them seem to be doing similar things. So is there a right age or time? A right age to marry? settle down, have a baby?
I have read over the years and discussed this with various people and there seems to be a consensus that 25 is the ‘right’ age to have a baby. **Ddisclaimer – this has not come from a scientific study nor is it in any way fact**. Anyway, yippee, I was 25 when fell pregnant with my first, I have done something ‘right’ I have finally ticked a socially acceptable box, conformed, got it spot on. Hmm. Really?
If you were to ask Mr Tammy I think he would agree. You see to his mind, I have youth on my side. The sleepless nights in your twenties don’t take their toll in the same way, you can re-bound quicker, you don’t struggle as much the next day. Hmm. Make no mistake they still take their toll. You are still earth shatteringly exhausted when you are existing on 4 hours broken sleep. Yet Mr Tammy, who is a little older than myself, proclaims that the night shift is harder for him because he is ‘older‘ and ‘it is his second time around‘, he ‘cant cope with it‘ like he used to. Hmm. OK having come out of the majority of the sleepless night trauma that is the early baby days, I have no desire to go back. Perhaps I would find it harder having spent 10 years having blissful sleep to be pulled back into new baby insomnia 10 years older than my 20 something self. I don’t know. Although it certainly wouldn’t be a deal breaker.
Having had some twenty-five years prior to those two blue lines appearing on that white stick, I was lucky enough to have indulged in a fair bit of travel. I had frequented several continents, had some beautiful holidays and even lived abroad for a short period. I haven’t however seen everything I wanted to see and experienced everything I want to experience. Mr TM and I had several ‘big’ holidays planned the year we found out we were expecting a little baba. We were going to Hong Kong and Thailand and then Cuba. Places neither of us had been but somewhere I desperately wanted to. These trips were put on hold, and remain that way. I have visited them via my childless friends on Facebook, but for now the reality is as many miles away as the countries themselves.I was however able to finish my studies pre babies, I went to university, obtained a first class law degree, completed my Legal Practice Course, got a job in said field and started to build on my career. I worked hard in the years post university. I had started to make head way into my field, I ran important cases to trial and was trusted with hundreds of thousands of pounds. I had in fact just secured a much sought after promotion when BANG pregnant. Cue time off, absence from the office, the working world, which continues to move on and evolve whilst I change nappies and battle breastfeeding. Being only 25 my career was far from where I wanted it be. I still had many a step on ladder to climb. Had I been in my thirties when we started our family then perhaps I would have been able to call myself ‘Associate’ perhaps I would have been more established and taking the time out to raise my family wouldn’t have had such a detrimental impact on my career? Perhaps financially my position would have been better than it was at 25. There are many things I haven’t yet done that I cannot do for some time yet. Yes my youth may help me get up in the middle of night, time and time again. It may make climbing up and down the stairs twenty billion time a day and night, often with two babies in my arms easier. Yet my youth had its draw backs too. There are many things that I haven’t done or achieved that perhaps another 5, 10 or 15 years would have given me. I still have and had the mentality of a twenty something, some naivety about me, self-doubt, confidence and inexperience that hopefully will diminish in time. Had I been older I would have had more life experience and perhaps more knowledge? More confidence? More self belief?
Yet, I will also still only be in my mid forties when my children turn twenty. They will also grow up and fly the nest, leaving me with time to fill, countries to visit. It won’t be the care free way of my twenties but it won’t be impossible either. Should I need to or wish to rejoin the working world it will be there when the time comes. It might not look the same, I might not be able to walk back into the position I once held but it will be there, as will Thailand.I think its fair to say we can always find a reason not to have a baby, there will always be a promotion, a new or first house, a holiday, an experience that we want first. I don’t believe there is a ‘right’ time. Scientifically there may be, but life is more than science. The only answer I can justify is there may be a more suitable time or a time that is right to you and yours. Only you will know if and when the time is ‘right’, what everyone else is doing is irrelevant.
What do you think? Was there a right time for you? Had you achieved certain things or did you want to do things before you started a family? Did you do them? Does it bother you? Do you think there is a right time? I would love to hear from you.