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Challenge: Follow Your Dreams

Should You Put Your Career Before Having Children? Benefits of Late Motherhood

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It used to be normal for women to marry young and begin having children right away. They were dependent on husbands and were given instructions for marriage, having kids, and keeping the house in order. As times change, more and more women are discovering the sense of fulfillment that comes from having a successful career and financial independence by waiting to have a family until they are older. While there is a lot of discussion about the health concerns of waiting to have children, there are some obvious reasons why more and more women are putting off the decision to have a baby.

More Time to Establish a Stable Relationship

Many problems arise in marriages with two young people, and even more show up when faced with all the difficulties that come with having children. When we’re young and naïve, we often jump into relationships impulsively, and wind up in unhappy situations. Several years of break-ups, failed relationships, and figuring out who you really are means that when you wait until you’re older, you’re likely to be in a much healthier and stable relationship, which will be better for your children.

Easier to Maintain Healthy Friendships

One of the biggest problems that many people find when beginning the journey of parenthood is lack of a support system. As more people are choosing to wait to have children, having babies young is a good way to isolate yourself. Your friends will still be enjoying parties and cultural events while you’re trying to keep up with the laundry and changing dirty diapers. As we get older, we gain the experience of solid friendships, and we know who we can depend on, and when to ask for help. This support network is critical when you’re a new mom, no matter how old you are, and friendships tend to be stronger and more meaningful as we mature.

Easier to Pursue Higher Education Young

College is an experience that requires energy and endurance that you’re much less likely to have when you’re older, especially if you try to return to school while balancing a family. You’ll also have a harder time fitting in and taking part in study groups, and will probably feel very left out of the social circles at Universities. Interrupting your education to have children will make it very difficult to get back into the swing of things when you return, so it’s best to get that taken care of before you think about having a family.

Established Career and Reputation

Ducking out of an entry-level position in the first few years to have a family can make it very difficult to come back into the fold. You’ll need more income to support your family and afford daycare when you return, and you’ll be up against college graduates with the same level of experience, that are more willing to work for less money. If you wait a decade or two, you will have built a name for yourself, proven your worth, and have a fully established CV to bring with you if you decide to head back into the workforce after having a baby.

Financial Security

Being successful in your career usually means more financial stability. You’re more likely to have paid off your student loans, built some equity in a home, and made all of your financial mistakes in your 20’s. By now, you know the value of money, you likely have some savings, and you’re bringing in more than you would have been right out of college. This can make it easier to afford things like daycare and all the other expenses that come with having a baby.

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