The 20 Perks of Waiting to Have Kids

POPSUGAR Photography | Sheila Gim
POPSUGAR Photography | Sheila Gim

It's no secret why more and more women are waiting to have their first baby. Gone are the days when their only reputable prospect was to raise children — now, a woman's options are limitless, and she wants to spend time exploring them before settling down to start a family.

There's plenty to be said for having kids young, and, yes, there are risks associated with delaying pregnancy too long, but there are rewards that come with being a more mature mom. Plenty of them, in fact. If you're waiting until your 30s or beyond to start baby-making, these parenting perks are sure to resonate.

  1. You are more emotionally and psychologically ready for the vast changes that having kids requires.
  2. Your parents are likely hitting retirement age by the time you have kids and can help watch them. (Bonus? You don't have to pay for day care as often.)
  3. Your relationships with close friends and family members who are having kids around the same time get so much stronger, and the bond you make over the shared experiences stays with you for years to come.
  4. You had more time to enjoy your prepregnancy body.
  5. Kids cost a lot of money, and by the time you have one, you've already paid off student loans and credit card debts, and you've likely saved enough to prepare a good financial plan for your child's future.
  6. Hand-me-downs! If you want to avoid spending a ton on kids' clothes, it's nice to know you likely have a sibling or cousin who's got bins of barely worn duds for you to borrow — and considering you can get away with secondhand clothes for a good chunk of their childhood, you'll be saving serious cash.
  7. The same goes for pricey gadgets and gizmos that you only need for a short period of time. You likely won't have to buy a brand-new $200 baby swing or video monitor because you've got a friend between babies who can loan you theirs.
  8. You've had time to accomplish your personal goals so you never have to wonder, "Should I have waited until . . . ?"
  9. You have more life experience, wisdom, and maturity, which guides a lot of the smart decisions you make as a parent.
  10. You are also far more patient.
  11. You spent more time finding the right life partner for you, which is never more important than when you consider the stress that a child can put on even the best relationships.
  12. You likely got to spend more quality time with your partner, just the two of you.
  13. You know more peers who are already parents who you can turn to when you need advice or an answer to a random "is this normal?" question.
  14. Your career is more established. That means you have more bargaining power to dictate your hours or negotiate for more flexibility or better office arrangements, which makes being a working mom less of a struggle.
  15. You got to be selfish in your 20s and are now ready to willingly put someone else's needs first.
  16. You already live in a home suitable for raising a child.
  17. If you wanted to pursue postbachelor degrees of study, you had the time to do so without juggling your homework with theirs.
  18. Because you've been gearing up to have kids — contrary to the unplanned nature of many young pregnancies — your kids will more likely be closer in age and thus have a closer sibling relationship.
  19. You won't ever resent the timing of motherhood. You don't have to feel you missed out on spontaneous, booze-filled getaways with your girlfriends or taking a solo, soul-searching cross-country road trip because you had the time to experience them, and if you didn't, you know it wasn't because of a baby.
  20. You have more appreciation of finally having a much-wanted, long-awaited baby.