It seems a trend in the Sphere to recommend that you have kids when you hit your 30s. It’s important to be aware that there are issues of having kids too late. Quality of sperm decreases for one, and here’s another that I’d never thought of until I read it here. You want to be able to spend good, healthy years with your kids if you want them, which I certainly do!
Dr Meg Jay recounts the sobering story of ‘Billy’. (Buy this book, it’s brilliant. This is from pages 135-137).
Dr Jay: I worked with Billy in his mid-thirties, as he married, had a son, and turned more seriously toward work. It was stressful, trying to do everything at once. He often felt his job and his family needed more attention than he could give. One day at the office, he had such chest and head pains he called his wife to drive him to the hospital. The next day, he underwent an MRI, which fortunately turned up nothing serious, except his own personal reckoning…
Billy: So I went for my MRI and it was a really fucking scary thing… and the funny – no, sad – thing was my life didn’t flash before my eyes. Not at all. I’m thirty-eight years old and there were like, two things I had in my mind – the way my little son’s hand feels when I hold it and how I didn’t want to leave my wife behind to do it all on her own. What seemed plain to me was that I wasn’t scared of losing my past. I was scared of losing my future. I felt like almost nothing in my life mattered up until just a few years ago. I realised that all the good stuff is still to come. I was so sick and panicked that I might never see my son ride a bike, play soccer, graduate from school, get married, have his own kids. And my career was just getting good.
Nothing is wrong, thank God But this has made me face some things… What I can’t figure out, and what I feel like I am grieving a little, is why I spent so many years on nothing. So many years dong things and hanging out with people that don’t even rate a memory. For what? I had a good time in my twenties, but did I need to do all that for eight years? Lying there in the MRI, it was like I traded five years of partying or hanging out in coffee shops for five more years I could have had with my son if I’d grown up sooner. Why didn’t someone drop the manners and tell me I was wasting my life?
I was really impressed by the brutal and brave honesty of The Audacious Amateur Blogger looking at ageing:
That’s the thing. I’m not as concerned w not lookin so good. I mean I take well enough care enough physically and have good skin. Skin, and grey hair age people, nowadays theirs hair due and Botox… It’s that I wanted to DO so much. I had so many PLANS.
I still wanted to travel more, I’ve always wanted to live abroad and learn another language, figure out what i reaaally want professionally and build a career. Meet “the one”, travel and do exiting things like hike the Pacific northwest trail w him for 4 months, find a place to settle down, build a home and a family, host dinner parties and join local community efforts to prevent obesity and increase physical activity in youth and adults… I guess I’m one of those typical “21st century” women who want it all… And at 25 it seemed.. Within reach. Now… I know I have to make sacrifices.Not bc I think 30 or even 40 or 50 is old. I know 50 year old women who raised families, built crazy successful careers, sustained a loving marriage, and look freaking hot and are still physically fit to ski runs that make my quads sore just thinking about them.
I just can’t stop my bio clock. I can’t make my eggs stay young. And every year I get more emotional baggage. While getting older does mean knowing more about life and the world etc. maybe… I liked being a little naive. Because bad things happen! To good people. As you age you gain wisdom but you also gain… Awareness that shit happens, it happens to you and you become jaded (you can’t tell me your failed relationship hasn’t affected the way you approach love and relationships now). You find jobs you love and get axed or don’t climb the ropes bc of corporate bullshit, you see that working hard and intelligence don’t mean as much as ass kissing. You see parents get sick. Your father lose his mind to Alzheimer’s at 63! You cry knowing the man you grew up with, your hero, your children will never meet. That he might not even know who you are or what is going on when walking you down the aisle… Ugh. Just so much SHIT. In 7 years how much shit you realize in wrong with the world. I mean i stood on a rooftop less than two miles from ground zero and watches the twin towers collapse.
THOSE things age you as much or more than a few wrinkles.