why wait to have kids?
Most people understand that having kids is costly. But some people will tell you to just “take the leap”. This is misguided and sets up your family for a difficult life, and puts your kids on track for a lifetime of negative outcomes. Parents who wait to have kids are better able to pursue higher education, become stable in a career, save money for a home and kids, and provide more for their kids throughout their lifetime.
The numbers are undeniable: education plays a pivotal role in social mobility.
Over a lifetime, the earnings of an associate’s degree recipient are roughly $170,000 higher than those of a high school graduate, while the earnings of a bachelor’s degree holder are $570,000 more than those of a high school graduate.
– Brookings Institute
Waiting to have kids makes that possible.
Family stability refers to the characteristics that contribute to healthy child development, defined by consistency in routines and activities. A reliable and stable home life is one of the greatest factors in child development and children’s success, and it is often overlooked in family planning. It has been found to have strong links to behavioral, cognitive and health outcomes of kids.
Stability is determined by consistency, rather than by family structure. Disruptions or changes such as divorce, re-marriage, relocations are instability factors that can affect kids.
Waiting to get married reduces the likelihood of divorce and familial instability, as age is one of the most significant factors in marital success
60% of marriages for couples between the ages of 20 and 25 end in divorce.
– National Center of Health Statistics
According to Jennifer Glass, a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin “It appears that the cessation of education, early marriage, and early parenthood, set[s] up relationship conflict, financial stress, and dissolution.”
In other words, waiting to have kids decreases the risk of family instability.
Higher Standard of Living
Research indicates that women who delay motherhood and have smaller families are significantly better off economically than their peers who started families at the average age. Read more.
By waiting to have kids, we can take the time to develop our own passions, become involved in the community, and better understand their strengths and life goals, which will make us more confident parents.
The Whole Picture
More women are delaying their first pregnancy. This good for women, kids, families as a whole, and their communities. Parents who wait to have kids are more successful over their lifetimes, have more stable relationships and are also more likely to have support systems of friends, co-workers, and neighbors that can share in child care responsibilities. At the same time, communities who support better family planning can provide greater well-being for all kids, and lay the path for an economically and environmentally sustainable future.
Delaying having kids gives families a fair start!