More and more people are having children at an older age. This could be because people have settled down later in life.
Becoming a new parent brings with it a lot of joy as well as its own set of challenges. For those parents who’ve waited very long to get a baby, there’s a feeling of fulfilment.
Even so, every couple needs to make certain adjustments when the baby arrives. Most couples find they need to make some changes in their finances and lifestyle to accommodate the baby’s needs.
Bearing this in mind, below are the benefits and challenges of becoming a parent at an older age.
Benefits of becoming a parent at an older age
i. Older parents are more prepared
Becoming a parent requires emotional, financial and psychological stability, aspects that many couples find in later years. For some people who choose to have children at an older age, they find that they are better able to handle the demands of parenthood when they have settled in other areas of their lives.
ii. Financial stability
Nowadays, it takes a little longer to find a good job with stable pay. This means that many people are getting financially stable and ready to have children at an older age. Older parents have enough time to plan and prepare for a child so that handling bills, school fees and other costs becomes easier.
iii. Relationship stability
Generally, healthy relationships are not solely dependent on age. After all, age does not always equate to maturity. However, young people, searching for the ideal partner, tend to date different people before settling down. This means that children will come when the couple are older and more stable in their relationships giving the children a conducive environment for growth.
Disadvantages of becoming a parent at an older age
1. Health factors
The older we get our health deteriorates and it becomes easier to develop different complications. This makes parenting at an older age more difficult due to the strain pregnancy and parenting as a whole can put on your body. Health complications on an expectant mother can end up affecting the child.
2. Fewer number of kids
This is also one of the many challenges of becoming a parent at an older age. It becomes harder for women to conceive and carry a pregnancy and recover from childbirth the older they get. Menopause is another health challenge that women have to contend with.
These factors result in women having fewer child-bearing years the older they get. As such, it can get difficult to have many children.
3. Overall parenting
Having kids when older means there will be a bigger age gap between the parents and children. Relating with them can be difficult, which can create a rift. They [the children] might feel like you have nothing in common and become distant especially in their teens. In addition to this, their grandparents might also be too old to interact with them as much as they’d like to.