Tick-Tock, Goes the Biological Clock



I hate how much I think in timelines. It’s one of my least favorite things about myself.

I turned 26 earlier this month. This week I was getting my hair done when a came across an infographic with facts about women and aging. There, staring back at me, was 27 – the age fertility starts to decline. If you’ve been around these parts for a while you’ll know that I have no babies (just kidding, I have Archie and he’s my baby. But he’s adopted. Shh…don’t tell him.). All babies that I do have in the future will be born after I turn 27. Are other women as terrified as I am about this?

pacifier #babies #twentiesThis starts the downward spiral of timeline thinking. If I’m 26 now and we get engaged sometime in the next year, then we’ll probably get married when I’m 27. Statistics say you should wait for 5 years to have kids (if you can) but that would put us at 32 and we wouldn’t have time to pop out a few before age 35. Plus do the years of living together count towards that 5 years? I’m going with yes. So we’re back to 27. Do we wait 2 years? Start at 29? One at 29, one at 31, one at 33? Is that plausible?

Maybe I’m not modern enough but  having kids in my late 30’s scares me. I know women are supposed to want crazy successful careers. And I do! I really do. But more than that, I want a family. Scientifically speaking, having kids in your late 30’s and early 40’s is more risky. It just is. So even as society evolves and women aren’t expected to marry and pop out the kiddos in their twenties, our bodies have not.

I’m not saying I have baby fever. I don’t.  Babies are still pretty much cute blobs to me at this point. I see one and I’m like “awwww” but no part of me is like “i want one”. It’s just that I think about those timelines a lot. About how life will go for the next decade or so.

But for now I’ll stick to spending my extra money on too many lipsticks and home decor for my crappy rented apartment and not diapers and nursing bras. I’ll be that person some day. I promise. Just put me in the “future mommy blogger” category because that’s the end goal here. But not yet. Still, that doesn’t stop the timeline thinking from sneaking in every once in a while and causing a panic attack or two.

How did I get to be 26? Because in my head I feel like I’m the same I’ve always been.

The good news is, that very same article that scared the crap out of me also said that the age women reported being the most happy was 74. We’ve got a lot to look forward to! (stereotypical, end it on a positive note strategy right there. I can’t help it. I’m secretly an optimist).

xo,

Nadine

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  • Girrrrrrl. I’m 30. This is something I think about on a daily basis. But even as I’m on an airplane to meet my nephew (by my younger sister thank you very much) I’m thinking “babies are cute…but do I want one soon?” And that scares me. Because I’m 30. How much longer am I gonna wait. Will I ever feel ready?

    • You both just need to meet Ella. She’s the coolest. I was scared when I got pregnant (surprise!) & I’m still scared to have another one. But… it’s worth the leap. I still have a life. We still travel & do fun stuff. We just have a cute sidekick with us now!

      • Ella is the cutest. I got married at 23 and am 26 now and kids are sooo not in the immediate future. My mom was 29 when she had me and 38 when she had my little brother and he’s a totally normal dude.

        I think having kids is a personal choice & everyone’s timeline is different. Just because the average age for fertility decline is 27 doesn’t mean that getting pregnant post-27 is going to be impossible. Ignore the stats and just live your life, ya know? I have coworkers who are in their mid-30’s and just starting to think about having kids.

        But, I totally understand your conundrum. I’m in the same boat as you, but then I see a small child and think (like LIsette)…”Hmm…do I want one right now?” But, if one more person asks me when we’re having kids, I’m going to rip my hair out.

        Basically, you’re not alone. And you are all (Nadine, Bri, & Lisette, et al) awesome.

        xo

  • Let me tell you…you NEVER feel 100% ready. My daughter is 14 months old and sometimes I STILL don’t feel ready. That said, don’t feel the urge to stick to some arbitrary timeline. Have babies when you feel mostly ready, if it’s something you want. I have friends that had kids early, some that had them late, and some that don’t want them at all. And it’s all fine. Don’t put pressure on yourself on timing…after all, don’t celebrities have healthy babies into their 40s? You’ll get there when you get there.

  • I’ve thought about those timelines too. I do not have baby fever and never have, and I’m almost 28 years old. I’m the type that would rather ooo and aww at someone’s dog rather than a baby. I don’t plan to even start having kids until age 30. I’m beginning my business and want it to be at least somewhat successful before babies are torn into mix. Plus, I am nowhere near ready. I don’t even know if I will be at age 30. Guess I’ll have to wait and see.

  • 35 is the big scary number to me. I don’t even want children but I am terrified of possibly deciding I want them when I’m already in my mid-thirties. Your plan of 29, 31, 33 sounds perfect!

  • I’m only 25, but I know I won’t be having kids until I’m in my 30’s (since I probably won’t be married until I’m 27/28 according to my bf). But yes the whole “biological clock” thing worries me at times, too. But honestly- there is no way I’d be able to afford kids now or within the next 5 years, so it’s just the right thing to do.

  • I have some news that might cheer you up (because it def cheered up my 32-year old a$$ when I learned it). I read an article earlier this week that said the info we had about fertility decline starting at 27 was WRONG and it actually doesn’t begin until 32 (so me, right now …). Even then, the real major decline in fertility doesn’t happen until 35. So you still have plenty of time! And, on a non-scientific-but-still-slightly-uplifting note, my sister-in-law, who will be 36 in three weeks, just had her second kid two weeks ago and my cousin-in-law, who’s 37, is having her first next month! And everyone is perfectly fine & healthy. Most of my in-laws had/are having kids in their mid and late 30s so it makes me feel like there’s still hope. 🙂

    • This is so great to hear. Thanks!

  • this post was exactly how I feel DAILY! I’m 25 and we’re getting married this summer BUT! I don’t want kids in this picture anytime soon. And as soon as you get engaged, every single person you meet has an opinion on getting a family started. I say–do what suits YOU best..and Archie, of course. He should always get a vote 😉

  • JC

    My fiance were talking baout this the other day since i turn 26 this week. We realized that we both had this idea of having kids well before 30 and now that we are getting there we are both like hell no. Not yet. We kind of decided it was gonna be a we will just wait and see bc right now/next yr/2years from now just isnt happening for us. lol

  • I turn 27 in 2 weeks and am still babyless. I just read last week that fertility peaks at 27. Fantastic…

  • Jess

    I’m 29 and have been dealing with infertility for over 3 years. I know someone who accidentally got knocked up in her late 30’s (seriously, she should have known how birth control works by that age!). I guess my point is that sometimes the statistics don’t matter, life is what it is so don’t get too caught up in the numbers. Enjoy where you are now, and work on the rest as it comes.

  • I’m very similar to you where I’m always thinking in timelines! Ha, I got married younger than most of my friends, and they will probably all be getting married in about two years or so (trust me, I’ve planned out their love lives too!). When I told my husband I didn’t want to be pregnant for all of their weddings, he said “you can’t plan our babies around their lives!”

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the timeline. You have to be ready for it too!

  • Do you feel like having a dog has made you want kids more? I never really knew if I wanted my own kids until I got Monja and now it actually seems like something I’d enjoy. If it makes you feel better, my mom was 35 when she had me and I think my stepmom was about the same age when she had my younger sister. 🙂

  • I’m glad it’s not just me! I’m 26 as well and have been married for almost 2 years, and I’ve been thinking a lot about babies. I feel like society has basically made the pendulum swing to the other extreme, and now even saying out loud that you want to have kids before 30 is a no-no, and you are somehow ruining the advances women have made. I think it’s totally fine to plan ahead and figure out what’s right for you–whether that’s kids at 25 or 45.

  • I am with ya girl! I am 29 and not ready in the least but get nervous waiting too long and with my husband being a few years older not wanting him to be too old once we do start. Ugh stressful for someone that has 0 desire right now to have any kiddos.

  • I turn 30 this year and just got married 4 months ago. People are already on our case about having babies and although we have been together for 7 years I just don’t think we are ready to have a child yet. I worry because I don’t have a career oriented job yet and we don’t have a house. I do also worry because I am going to be 30 and well I know the older I get the harder it will be to get pregnant. Ugh! Life!

  • I am soooo glad I’m not the only one who does this mental time line breakdown business. But I do. And then i’m like crap! I’m nowhere near any of this and next week is my 25th bday. And I’m just concerned with finishing a darn undergrad degree which means I will most certainly have to wait until 27 in order to even consider popping out children. YIKES!

  • Seriously, I’m only 23 and I feel the same way! I still feel like I could still be 18! Well, maybe not mentally…but I don’t feel 23!

  • I feel ya! I did far too much thinking about my life timeline. Before we got engaged I was already working backwards. Like, if I want kids by 30 and want to be married a year or two before we get pregnant that means we have to be married at 28. But what if it takes over a year to get pregnant? Then we have to get married by 27, which means I’d need to get engaged by 26 to plan a wedding… And the idea of having kids by 30 was pretty arbitrary, but the added risks of pregnancy for ‘older’ women does scare me (more than) a bit!

  • Kai

    I’m almost 21 and majority of my friends from high school have babies/toddler so, admittedly, i did have baby fever for awhile last year. but things changed and i’m good now im scared to even get a dog, lol!

  • I’m with you on this. We got married at 23 and weren’t even thinking of kids until a year ago and now I’ve just turned 28. Ideally, I’d be pregnant now. I’m not, so I’m just counting on the fact that some of best moms I know didn’t have babies until their early 30s. Let’s not let statistics get us down!

  • I got married at 23 and am now 28. When we were first married no way was I going to be the girl that started popping out babies. I really wanted time to enjoy marriage with out children in the picture. Over the past 3.5 years of marriage I don’t regret it one bit, I have learned so much through struggles that have been placed in our path. I had wanted kids some days and then months later thanked myself for dodging that earlier. Now I’m 28 and I am wanting to start a family. There is something in you that tells you its time… I know that statistically 30’s get harder but honestly women in their 30’s & 40’s have healthy babies all the time. I still believe that best gift you can give your future family is Not regreting waiting. Enjoy your marriage when it happens, once that baby comes you can’t take them back.

    http://www.simplyadapting.blogspot.com

    • P.S- totally just read your “rules of blogging” and I am calling myself out on #3… I had always seen commenters leaving their links at the end and thought it’s “What you do”. After reading your post I’m thinking “Wow, that really is a rude thing to do”. So my apologies.. lesson learned- I do love this post though and have enjoyed seeing blog. I was an East Coaster gone Midwester now. Ugh.. miss those Mid Atlantic Beaches… they are the bees knees.

  • Literally all of my friends apart from my roommate and I are married with children so I think about this on the daily. I’m 24 (soon to be 25) and I’m thinking, “if I do this in the timeline I should, I should have met my future husband like, yesterday”. And then I stress eat.

  • Kelsey

    I can understand that feeling. I used to want to have my first kid by the age I am now(24) and close to having my second but now I am on my fourth year of saying we will have kids in five years. And honestly it doesn’t worry me too much. My mom had me when she was 32 and my mother in law had a baby just 3 years ago at she 43 so I know it will all work out 🙂

  • I’m pretty sure my ovaries burst the other day when Cody told me he wanted to wait until he was 28, which would make me 27. Part of me completely agrees. Part of me thinks that the only responsibility I need is Exo. Hello, I can barely make it to my grown up job everyday (currently contemplating calling in) but part of me hears that clock ticking right along with ya.

  • I waited until we bought our house and then we had our first (I was 26) and I still didn’t really feel ready but I am so glad that I did.. I had our 2nd at 28. Now that I am divorced and with someone who doesn’t have any kids, the conversation has come up about maybe having one together so that he has one of his biological own. But I am 34 and he’s 36 and we worry that we are too old… I think you are good for a few years… Just make sure that you two have a life before having kids… I think that is important.

  • Yet another post of yours where you all but took the words out of my mouth (or brain). I’m 28 which is the age I thought we’d start having kids (we got married when I was 24) between the statistics and my family’s not-so-ideal health records, the thought of having kids after 30 absolutely terrifies me. However, I’m with you. I don’t have baby fever just yet. We were actually telling MIL recently that at this point we may just try adoption to be on the safe side and she thought I was out of my mind.

  • I’m 23 and I have these thoughts. I try to. Plan out the absolute latest I can start having kids. I want to be done by 33 I think but that also feels too old to me since so many of my friends have kids and will be/are done way before that

  • Wow Nadine, I started reading and then had to skip some of it, I turned 27 just over a month ago and now I am freaking out.. #sigh!

  • Oh I know this feel! About to turn 25 this month and NO plans for babies anytime soon… but having some repro health issues and the fact that most of my friends are on the marriage/baby fast track I can’t help but think about my timeline sometimes too. And then I remember how late I get to sleep in or stay out and how on nights I don’t feel like cooking it’s perfectly acceptable to feed myself chips and hummus for dinner and I feel just fine haha 🙂

  • I think in this kind of timeline and I’m 22! But the fact is that I do want to up my chances of a easier pregnancy, a quicker healing and recovery. My Mom had a baby every couple years from when she was 20 to when she was 36, and she says, ‘Yep–the earlier, the easier.” And I want to be a young mom when my kids are grown. But I also think in timelines for my husband. I mean, I know in theory that guys can basically always have kids–but I’d prefer him to still be young and energetic in the early, energy-draining years, and he’s a bit older than I am. They’re real things to think about, but we can only have so much control over the timing of children, not 100% control.

  • The bio clock is such a bitch. Glad yours isn’t ticking out of control yet!

  • I’m totally with you on not being modern enough, haha! I think that with the increased risk involved in having babies in your late 30’s/40’s, women should not PLAN to START having babies at that point in their lives. Not to mention how exhausting children can be. I’m 29 (this week) and I have two and some days I feel like I can barely open my eyes in the morning. But with all that being said, I also understand that not everyone meets their soul mate at the same time. And yes, if you haven’t found the right person to share your life with and raise a child with…by all means wait until you do. Parenting is hard enough as it is, I can’t imagine doing it with someone who isn’t committed to you or your family.

    Just my conservative two cents =)

    Mimi
    http://thisdomesticateddiva.com

  • Gurlll I feel ya! I’m 28(I almost said 27 because I forget!) I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 10+ years and we have 2 little boys and let me tell you, getting pregnant at 25 was NOT on my timeline! I LOVED kids but just graduated college and wanted to look for that career job and travel and save money and eat out whenever I wanted to and sleep till whenever I wanted to! But the truth is, if I didn’t get pregnant then I don’t know when I would. I have an amazing career now, we just bought a house, had a second babe this past July, travel, eat out, go out, have a life. As you are worrying about NOT having kids and following a time time for how long to wait when having babies to getting engaged, I’m over here trying to figure outa timeliness to when the hell I’ll have time to even get married haha
    Timelines are for the birds, enjoy the now and don’t let anyone else timeline or yours get in the way:))

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