When Should You Start Worrying About Having Kids?

When Should You Start Worrying About Having Kids?

In general, I have two types of clients: women in their late 30’s who want to settle down and have kids, and women in their 40’s and 50’s who are divorced, jaded, frustrated, and confused about how to navigate the ever-changing dating space.

Surprisingly, a lot of women have never bothered to get the facts about their own fertility.

Both are near and dear to my heart, but I do hold special affection for helping women who thought that their dream of biological children was never to pass. Somewhat surprisingly, a lot of women have never bothered to get the facts about their own fertility, and largely work under the mindset that if she’s in great shape, her ovaries should be, too. Many women even factor this into their life plans. “Make partner by 40, then start dating, get married, and have kids.” They’re often shocked to find out that they waited just a little too long to pull it off.

A new article from The Atlantic sheds some light on the real statistical odds of getting pregnant, which is both hopeful and sobering:

“The data, imperfect as they are, suggest two conclusions. No. 1: fertility declines with age. No. 2, and much more relevant: the vast majority of women in their late 30s will be able to get pregnant on their own. The bottom line for women, in my view, is: plan to have your last child by the time you turn 40. Beyond that, you’re rolling the dice, though they may still come up in your favor.”

The actual numbers are surprisingly encouraging.

“With sex at least twice a week, 82 percent of 35-to-39-year-old women conceive within a year, compared with 86 percent of 27-to-34-year-olds. (The fertility of women in their late 20s and early 30s was almost identical—news in and of itself.)

Another study, released this March in Fertility and Sterility and led by Kenneth Rothman of Boston University, followed 2,820 Danish women as they tried to get pregnant. Among women having sex during their fertile times, 78 percent of 35-to-40-year-olds got pregnant within a year, compared with 84 percent of 20-to-34-year-olds.

A study headed by Anne Steiner, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, the results of which were presented in June, found that among 38- and 39-year-olds who had been pregnant before, 80 percent of white women of normal weight got pregnant naturally within six months (although that percentage was lower among other races and among the overweight). “In our data, we’re not seeing huge drops until age 40,” she told me.

My wife and I got married right before she turned 39 and immediately started trying for kids. In one and a half years of trying, we had two chemical pregnancies, two miscarriages and one fibroid surgery. But at least we were fertile. We ended up having a girl and a boy naturally, without any fertility treatments. The girl was born when my wife was 41. The boy was born when she was nearly 43. We are really lucky.

This is not a normal recipe for success. Do as I say. Not as I did. Concludes the Atlantic article: “Fertility is relatively stable until the late 30s, with the inflection point somewhere around 38 or 39.”

If you are younger than 35 and reading this, please, don’t wait.

To sum up neatly, because this is a dating/relationship blog, if you want your own biological children, you are still in pretty good shape until your late 30’s. But if you want to start getting pregnant at 38 or 39, that means you have to be married. And if you want to be married, you have to start taking your love life seriously at a younger age. That means your early 30’s, not your mid 30’s. When you date in earnest in your early 30’s, it gives you time to date, make mistakes, learn, and fall in love by 35, so that you can marry at 36 and start trying for kids at 37.

Sadly, I almost never get clients who are younger than 35. If you are younger than 35 and reading this, please, don’t wait.


Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated below.

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  1. 1

    What’s wrong with adoption? Why do so many people turn their noses up at adopting a child?

    (EMK – Who is turning up their noses at adoption? This is about women who want to have their own biological kids. For MOST people, adoption is Plan B, not Plan A. Nothing personal.)

    1. 1.1

      There is NOTHING wrong with adoption.  IF that is an acceptable alternative for you.  Adoption is a wonderful thing, because there are so many unwanted children, and so many loving families who want to adopt them.   A very good friend of mine, who unfortunately just passed away, was adopted.  He loved his adopted family and was loved by them.

      Having said all of that, adoption is not for everyone.  In plain English, adoption “does nothing for me”.  I want MY OWN FLESH AND BLOOD.  That’s in caps, because your comment makes it seem like that might otherwise go right over your head.  My flesh.  My blood.  That’s what I want.  I want to look at that child’s face and see my face, my wife’s eyes, my father’s nose.

      I love children, but I have no desire to raise another man’s child.   Adoption is wonderful, and the people who do it are saints, but it doesn’t make my dreams come true.

      My flesh.  My blood.

      P.S.  To everyone who has had the dream of biological children since they were a small child themselves…..Lynn says to give up your dreams.  Adoption is the same thing and you should just settle for that.  Listen to Lynn, she knows everything.

  2. 2

    Im 34, no kids. I was divorced at 32 after 11 years. I’ve dated and have had no problem FINDING men but so far the relationships I’ve had (2 months and 8 months) just were not it. I’m learning! 
    I don’t want to feel as if I’m on an agenda but I realize I’m getting there in age. I refuse to stress about it but I will be very conscientiousness about my dating life.

    1. 2.1
      Mrs Happy

      you are not getting there in age, you are there.
      I had my children at 37 and 39 which was normal for women in my professional field. Thankfully I could bear kids then. Now I’m 41, attending mothers’ groups, playgroups, kiddy gym classes, etc, and I keep meeting mums who, knowing they wanted a family including kids, set out to achieve that goal in their early-mid 20’s. So they might now be in their late 20’s – 30’s because they are on baby/child number 3/4, their oldest is 12, our 4-year olds are in swimming class together.
      This echoes with a recent Ted-x talk I saw on You tube. The topic was, not wasting your 20’s. Speaker was a psychologist who counselled people in their 20’s and 30’s along the lines of – set up your career, don’t spend imagined freetime mucking around on the job/training front, move to that new city, actively develop new contacts, and to the women, if you want to be married around 30 and having children after that, you must use your 20’s to date efficiently, weeding out men who are not good for you. (She said many of her female clients know the man they’re with isn’t future material but think being in their 20’s they’ve time to drift.)
      It is hard being in my 40’s and running around after 2 very active kids. I am exhausted every day (and I am fit). I could post a whole page on the effects of cumulative sleep deprivation alone. Bringing children up well, is emotionally and physically draining. Not to mention physiologically – I type this while breastfeeding/nursing my sleeping 15 month old, my energy is literally being sucked out!  Some of the advantages of being older are a maturity/knowledgeable worldview, power/position in my career so I can work in paid work for myself my own chosen hours that suit our family unit, and financial comfort. But I often think – if I had had these 2 lovely but exhausting children in my 20’s or early 30’s, would I be this tired?

      1. 2.1.1
        Mrs Happy

        The reason I mentioned these women who did their childbearing from a younger age, is the following. (See – forgetfulness – cognitive effect of too little sleep!) Until I became a mother, I never mixed with women who were primarily wives and mothers rather than career-focused. These women are bemused/aghast/horrified by how late my professional crowd leave their childbearing. They just don’t understand taking such a time risk, and see it as cutting things very fine. Now I’ve lived both sides, I agree with them.
        My advice would be -Don’t leave childbearing too late. If you want kids and your partner does not yet/at all, have a strict timeline for yourself to leave him/see if he changes his mind. I think there is no greater thing than being a mother, and if this is what you want, no job/career/ambivalent partner is more important. And do not underestimate the time it takes to structure the preferred-for-most setting for children (dating, engagement, marriage, time just together, time to try to get pregnant, each time, with miscarriages/fertility/marital/health/financial difficulties thrown in).

    2. 2.2


      That’s  funny all my relationships have been less than 8 months. Always been wanting more than just a breeze. But I have no idea. A friend asked me once “can you make someone happy?” I said “yes” but “if I can’t, than something is wrong with that person”. Haha.

  3. 3

    This is so true. My mom raised me to wait to have kids until after college, career, and marriage occurred. She said with advances in technology that I could have children up until my late 30s.  I was married at 28 and my ex-husband and I waited so we could enjoy life. Before I turned 35 we talked about having kids, but he was never truly onboard. Seems the some day he was thinking he could wait for finally arrived an then he didn’t want it.  Although, for my happiness, he would have moments where he would say lets try to get pregnant.
    Due to an extramarital affair on his part and him wanting to be with her, we divorced when I was almost 39.
    I’m now 42, nearly 43. I’m finding there are few select men in their 40s and 50s who do want children, but the chances of me having a natural pregnancy are probably slim. Not only due to my fertility, but their’s as well.  Then there are the group of men who have children from a previous relationship and don’t want other children, but are okay if their partner has children.  Then there are the group of men who are a certain age who don’t want kids or want kids SOMEDAY.  Calculate dating, engagement, and setting up household time…I don’t have that time.

    Since dating has been slim, I’ve have had to decide to become a single mom via adoption.  Not my fairytale dream I envisioned in myself when I was 18 to 22 going to college. I really have a dream of at least one child. I can’t afford is sperm donor & invetro or surrogate & sperm donor, so I’m choosing to adopt through the foster system.  Even now, I’m wondering if I should just give up that dream and hope I meet a man who has children where I at least be a great step-mom.  Yet, I’ve always had the dream of my own child since I was playing with dolls as a toddler.

    Don’t wait ladies.  It’s a lot of heart ache heaped onto being single and find your clock is ticking or has expired.

    1. 3.1

      I understand how you feel trying to have a child late is a struggle on its own. I’m a 41 year old male and I am trying to meet somone that in the same situation and wouldn’t mind having kids.we have somthinh in common here.

  4. 4

    @ Lynn – It’s expensive to private adopt with cost near $30,000 to over $50,000 and no options for loans. With open adoption you can get near the birth of the child to have the mom back out and you are still out of pocket money until the next birth mom chooses you.  The birth moms prefer couples rather than single women.  Which leaves international adoption which is just really long. International prefers couples. There are single parent programs, but the wait list is long because those programs only allot a few people at a time in comparison to their couples adoption program.  Sometimes the program then closes due to Haague rules and then you have to start over as well.  Most people want babies and well, honestly, single parents are usually only given options of older children or handicapped.  I’ve done a lot of research as well as have friends who mourn our lost opportunities for a baby.

    Foster parenting can be tough too from an emotional standpoint. The goal of foster program is to reunite the child with the parent. Foster to adopt is emotionally tough because you may have to give that back to the parent.

  5. 5

    This is clearly why I became a client of yours at 31. I am able to make my mistakes now. I really would like my first child at 35 so I have 3.5 years. I guess we’ll see….

  6. 6

    Is it really such a great idea to be such old parents? My parents were married 8 years before having me at 35 and 40. Now I’m saddled with a 70 year old dad when most people my age get a 60 year old dad. I have less years to be with my beloved father and he probably won’t get to see his grand kids graduate. A 29yo male friend proudly told me he’s going to be like jayz and have kids in his 40s, to which I rolledu eyes. It’s one thing to have a child late bc you haven’t found the right person but its another to intentionally put it off and not think about the consequences to children. children nowadays will get less of their lives with their parents, caring for old parents while caring for their infants. 

    1. 6.1

      Well my dad had me in his early 30s and he died when I was 14. I would have been thrilled to be in your situation. There’s always someone that has it much harder than you.

    2. 6.2

      Were you an only child?


  7. 7

    It’s always difficult and painful to deal with ageing parents however old you are. one could argue that it’s no easier when you’re old yourself.
    My father is 86 and in great shape. My mother is ten years younger and not. 
    friend of mine had children in her teens and  so have her children.She could be a great grandmother in her fifties, with a horde of youngsters around her. Sure, many might say she did the dumb thing but maybe she gets the last laugh!
    you just don’t know how things will turn out but I don’t consider 35 to be old at all to be a parent, and 40 is hardly out there.

  8. 8

    Jenna, you probably also had much more stable parents than your contemporaries whose parents were in their early twenties when they were born.

  9. 9
    Peter 61

    My estranged wife was 41 years old when our son was born.  She was 38 with our daughter and we had a stillborn son in the middle.  Conception always occurred within a few months of trying.  We did undertake various preconception practices (lots of chocolate, mineral and vitamin supplements and plenty of exercise) after our stillborn son.  Both surviving children have been physically healthy.  Varying opinions about the origins of their mental health problems are the cause of the rift between us.  A older woman can be too grateful for the gift of a child.  And as MaryMary says, a difficult child plus ageing parents can be a struggle.

  10. 10
    Karl R

    Jenna said: (#6)
    “My parents were married 8 years before having me at 35 and 40.”
    “I have less years to be with my beloved father.”
    My parents live in the Midwest. Two children live on the Pacific coast, one on the Atlantic coast, and one on the Gulf coast. I suspect your father has already spent more time with you (since you left the house) than my parents have spent with all four of their children (since we left ours).
    Seriously, age is hardly the deciding factor in how much time parents spend with their adult children. (And I’m not even going to get into the estranged relationships in our immediate and extended family.)
    Jenna said: (#6)
    he probably won’t get to see his grand kids graduate.”
    My parents already had two grandchildren graduate. Thanks to a messy divorce, nobody on our side of the family (including my brother, the children’s biological father) attended the graduation.
    All of my grandparents died while I was in elementary school. One of them might have lived long enough to see one or two of her grandsons graduate. I’m not sure.
    Jenna said: (#6)
    “children nowadays will get less of their lives with their parents.”
    My parents were 35 in 1970 when they had their youngest. The average life expectancy was 70.8 years.
    My sister and her husband were 44 in 2010 when they adopted their youngest. The average life expectancy was 78.7 years.
    That’s one year difference.
    Jenna said: (#6)
    “caring for old parents while caring for their infants.”
    My parents are 78. They live over 1,000 miles away from any of their kids. None of us are worrying about having to care for them. Not even my sister with the toddler.
    My parents lived less than an hour’s drive from my grandparents, but they still didn’t have to spend much time caring for old parents. Three of my grandparents were quite independent up until the day they died (one heart attack, two homicides). The fourth couldn’t care for herself for the last six months (lung cancer), but she spent that time in the hospital or hospice. Visiting consumed a fair bit of time, but it was only for six month.
    You’re worrying about things you can’t control.
    We no longer live in a society where children live in the same town they grew up in and take care of their aging parents. The more educated and affluent the children are, the less likely it is to occur. Why should people make family planning based on a outdated view of society?

  11. 11

    I see Jenna’s point somewhat – while I don’t see mid 30’s to 40’s that terrible, back in the day of online dating I routinely ran into men in their late 40’s early 50’s wanting to have children (I was early 30’s) and saying men really don’t have a biological clock.  That really annoyed me because they do, just not in the same way.  Besides lower sperm count, risk of autism and other chromosomal issues, men who are fathers in their 50’s will have a harder time keeping up with their kids in their 60’s. what about playing catch, basketball and soccer and all that?  And the kids don’t get as long with their parents.  They have a 70 year old dad in college!

    1. 11.1

      Yes that kinda annoys me too. While there’s truth to it there does come a time where a man ages to a point that he doesn’t attract women young enough to guarantee a child for sure. And some men don’t look so great after awhile and dont seem to get that just because they are hot for young women those women are not feeling the same way. Also the stamina sexually and health wise is another barrier. Although they have a much larger window they do have a window and I think they’re lying to themselves to believe otherwise. When my son was 5 and in little league and there was one dad who was 70 years old. The poor son was embarrassed. The mom was about 50. No other parents were anywhere near that age.  Even though people are becoming parents later there is generally a cut off for most. Besides the stamina of keeping up with a young chikd when they become teens there’s alot of late nights worrying about them getting home safely. So seeing a child through to adulthood is no easy task and takes alot out of you even when you’re a younger parent.

    2. 11.2

      I also think that most of the men who postpone for such a long time marriage and fatherhood are only going to talk about it but probably never actually do it. Ive got no judgement t words them for it its just what I’ve observed. Ive seen some bachelors get married and have kids in the early forties like 40 or 42 but after that no only seen it when it was their second family with second marriage. I think some men can’t handle that much responsibility or intimacy and maybe too picky. That’s my humble opinion as just an observer. I got married in my mid twenties and had a child a year later so I guess I didn’t put it off.  

    3. 11.3

      And dont think young women dont sometimes royally screw ovee the older guy. My sister in law told me the story of her brother who divorced in his forties and had three little girls. He talked online with a twenty year old beautiful Russian girl and brought her to the united states. His family kept warning him do you really believe this young girl wants you for you cone on. The brother wasn’t ugly I’d seen him before I’d say he was average maybe slightly lower than average. Anyway he couldnt be dissuaded. He did get exasperated with her at one point and tried to put her on a plane but she threatened suicide so he kept her. She was an awful person and his girls complained about her treatment when they stayed with him. He ended up losing custody of his daughters completly until he sent her packing. In the end my sister in law said he refuses to date at all now in his fifties after the experience.

    4. 11.4

      Men generally are able to have healthy kids much later in life. However, it doesn’t mean they should. Not only bc they may die before the child is grown or bc they might not relate to kids/young people as much, but because we women just don’t find old dudes attractive! Despite what many older men don’t want to hear – women are visual and we don’t find wrinkling, sagging, bloating, balding any more attractive than they do.

  12. 12

    Marymary: “It’s always difficult and painful to deal with ageing parents however old you are. one could argue that it’s no easier when you’re old yourself.”
    I’ve been thinking about this recently. I have a friend (70) who is very concerned about her mother. Her mother is 97 and lives with her sister who is 94.  Her mother doesn’t want to live with her and my friend doesn’t want to go live with her, but has considered it. She cries and prays nightly and dreads it when her phone rings.
    My parents are in their early 70’s and are doing okay mostly, but they’ve had health problems for the last 10 years. I’m prepared for the day when I have to care for them, but I wonder how well I will be able to do that when I myself start having health issues. I’m 21,22 yrs. younger than they are. How well will this work if one or both live into their 90’s and I’m in my 70’s?
    And my son is 22 yrs. younger than me. If I live into my 90’s, will he be in good enough shape to help me?
    There are advantages and disadvantages of having children at any age. Can’t say which is better over the course of a lifetime.

  13. 13

    This is extremely tangential to this article, but I suspect you have MANY clients under 35, EMK. Perhaps many of us can’t afford your private coaching, but we (or at least I and at least one other friend of mine) have bought your books and read your blog religiously, not to mention assiduously applying your advice to our love life. I may never be a private client because I started reading you at or before I was 24 and am now, at 28, engaged to my boyfriend of over 2 years (my other friend is also recently engaged)… but I still want to be acknowledged as part of your client base. I desperately needed the advice, just not in its most expensive and intensive form. Thanks for everything!

    1. 13.1

      Me, too. Unfortunately, he’s too expensive for me to have as a private coach and all that other stuff, but I did buy the Finding the One Online set and I do read the blog quite frequently. I’m only 32 years old, but I woke up one day after I turned 30 and said to myself, I do not want to be like my poor aunt, who lives alone, never married and has no kids. It scared me into changing things, because after 30 I realized that if I didn’t get my butt in gear, it might never happen for me. I have never experienced love and I badly want to. Just to know what it feels like to be able to step into someone’s arms and know that they love and accept me, and find me irresistible. I have been waiting for that ever since I hit puberty. I like Evan’s style because he doesn’t pander to women. He tells it to you straight and gives you the male perspective. The only thing I’m still skeptical of is the whole “emailing men first” thing. I really don’t think it works that well, but I’m willing to try.

  14. 14
    Sparkling Emerald

    Lynn 1 What’s wrong with adoption? Why do so many people turn their noses up at adopting a child?
    Adoptions is expensive, goes in cycles, and sometimes healthy new borns are in short supply.  I greatly admire those who are willing to provide a good home to an older child with medical problems, but I don’t blame people for not wanting to go that route.  And many adoption agencies “turn up their noses” at couples who would make great parents, because they are “religiously incorrect”, or some other arbitrary standard.

  15. 15

    Freeze your eggs! Just freeze em if you’re younger than 40!

  16. 16

    I had my daughter the year I turned 30 and my son at 34. Looking back, I think this was ideal, also in terms of child spacing.  
    At the time I got pregnant with my daughter however (immediately after stopping birth control) I was feeling scared and unprepared – I thought we will be trying for at least a few months and I could enjoy some more childless freedom. But my husband was pressing for children from the day he proposed, so this was the longest I could postpone.
    When my daughter was born the doctors found she has a cleft palate, which is a minor birth defect, incidence 1/2000. We never has an explanation why she had it  – the old age of the mother is certainly one of the factors for birth defects. My doctor at the time explained to me that by nature’s standars (disregarding society) 30 is already advanced age for the mother…
    Anyhow, I have been thinking whether to have a third child – I am 40 and my window of opportunity will close soon.  My husband is all for it (as always) but I am concernced first because having had a child with a birth defect, and now getting pregnant at an older age seems quite risky.  
    Similarly to Evan, I woud say – if you wish to have your own biological children do not delay due to career, housing or whatever non-health related reasons you may have. Several of my friends who had their first children at around my age then had one or more miscarriages tryin for a second one.  Several girls who postopend bith until 35 or after 40 had to go through in-vitro. In most cases it works, but not right now – only after at least 3-4 procedures which are expensive, stressful, and from what I have seen – experienced like major loss by the parents every time the procedure failed.

  17. 17

    What an intersting and important article! I wish I had read this 20 years ago when I was in my mid 20’s. I was always the one who thinks as long as you have PMS, and healthy, you can get pregnant without problem. Since I knew women’s PMS can last until late 40 eveshould even when I was 40 I didn’t think I would have problem with getting pregnant if I were married. What a mistake. I learned this a few years ago when one of my new single friend got married at the age of 42. Obviously she knew more than me and she visited so many doctors even before she was married. Shocked me!! 
    very good article, 

  18. 18

    Omg too funny… I feel like this post was created just for me! I’m 35, and I pretty much fit the exact profile of the women that Evan described. 
    I was married at 26, and went through divorce hell in my early 30. I have some reproductive challenges, and I’m only dating men that want to have a family within the next few years – either naturally, assisted or adopted. 
    After a few failed relationships post divorce (I wasn’t ready, we weren’t sexually compatible, a few other issues) I’m putting Evan’s advice to work. I’m ready for an amazing and fulfilling relationship. Evan’s advice has been working for me really well since I committed myself to it. 
    Anyway, I’ve gotten off topic here. I just had to laugh because this post was soooo my life! 

  19. 19

    I am not exactly sure what the point of this blog is…. Yes, women have a very real timetable in their ability to have biological children.. and yes marriage and love make the best situations to bring a child into… and delaying marriage and baby making could very well be detrimental to that life long dream….
    Here I go sounding like Eeyore again, but life isn’t a Disney fairytale where everything works out perfectly, much as I wish it did (I seriously think Cinderella is a relative of mine) Saying keep calm and have a child before 40, maybe wishful thinking…..

  20. 20

    EMK, thank you for the heartfelt wisdom here.  As a woman in her early 40s, I couldn’t agree more with your conclusions.   Folks, this is the reason why I recommend this blog and Evan’s services to other women who are serious about looking for a partner.  Even though he runs a business and is trying to sell his services, he is diligent about telling the truth as he sees it and I greatly respect that, I would add:  stay focused your dating life if you want to have children.  If a man isn’t serious about having kids or has a history of non-commitment (in various forms, such as partying, etc), take that into consideration.  Create timelines for yourself so you don’t waste your precious fertile years on a relationship that will not result in a committed partnership and child/ren.  Envision your future children and selfishly protect the time that you are allotted to bear them. Also, adoption is not always easy and, where I live, more expensive than getting donor sperm.  I’m 100% for adoption, but people should be aware that by taking on single parenting, you are bringing 50% fewer resources into a child’s life than if a couple were to adopt a child.  Adoption is always experienced as a loss at some level (as in the loss of the original parents), so you should be prepared to help your child process that loss and not take it personally.

  21. 21

    Evan, you asked our thoughts, so here are mine. First, I don’t understand why everyone is in such a rage to have their own biological children, or any children for that matter. Children cost a hell of a lot to raise and tend to make people unhappier (see all the economic studies showing how people’s happiness decreases when they have children). A big part of what drives people to think they want children is conformity to society’s expectations. If you take that away, you might find that a lot fewer people really want children than say they want them.
    Second, nowadays it’s a lot less necessary to be married to have children. Many more women are having children out of wedlock, so I am not convinced of the urgency of securing relationships and marriage early in their lives. Man are really turned off by women who are too desperate or who clearly want to have children and just see the men as sperm donors and potential daddies. I guess I am not sure that this is the right advice to be giving, though I do agree with your basic statistics about ages of fertility and infertility.

    1. 21.1

      I’m a woman, but I hear you on that one. When I was a kid, if I said something about not wanting to have children, the standard response from adults was, “You’ll change your mind when you get older.” I guessed they must be right. But time went on, and one day I realized I was pushing 30 and still was never hit with that desire. The thought struck me that maybe one day I’d open up to dating a man with kids, and maybe that would be the kind of family for me. Instead, I met a man without kids, and no strong feelings about having them one way or the other. Also, I am a biologist and care a lot about the environment, so I think about how overpopulation is ruining the planet all the time. I am already in my 30’s, so I am at a loss about what I should do. On the one hand, I think that if I don’t feel a strong urge to have biological kids, then it’s probably a good idea not to. But on the other hand, I also don’t see myself not building a family at all. But since I’m not particularly good with kids, and seeing babies doesn’t do much for me, maybe adoption isn’t a good route for me, either, because if anything is to bring out a latent maternal instinct in me, it would most likely be biological motherhood. My mother (she’s biological) never really bonded with me. I don’t want to be like that. I’m almost about to fall into the small but growing category of ‘people who don’t particularly want kids, but want to have them because they don’t want to regret not having them.’ ugh. Maybe I should take a course in decision making!

      1. 21.1.1

        my thoughts exactly! What did you decide to do?

      2. 21.1.2

        I am 33 this year (married for 4years) and my husband want biological kids of our own since day 1. But I am not into kids and don’t feel the urge to have one of my own. I even asked my husband recently on the idea of adoption if we really want kids in future. His answer was “i prefer to have our own”. He is also worried about health consequences of me and “the non-existant child” if I happen to be pregnant later. Honestly, the only motivation for me to hv own child is maybe to let my parents meet their first ever grand kid (my dad is 71 and my mum is 66 and i’m the only married child in my family) and maybe it is fun to bring them around the park n swimming with them (my condominium unit is right infront of playground and swimming pool and I see young couples with their kids on weekends and seems fun). But not to forget raising a child is NOT easy and there are a lot of Responsibilities and Challenges that you can’t just take a break unlike a job/career, which I still have doubt on either I am up for it. I feel like I’m a irrisponsible adult if I become pregnant when I’m not fully into it :/

        1. Bala

          Won’t you feel resentful if you allow your body to be used as an incubator?  Also, the way you describe having children makes even adoption problematic.  It’s not the pregnancy you are having the most problem with – it’s the actual children and the responsibility.  My very real concern would be that he convinces you he will do ‘everything’ etc., you give in and then as is very usual he realises ‘nope, not that much fun’ and tunes out and checks out and where does that leave you?  If you are sure you simply cannot put in the work – then do not be swayed.  Also, shouldn’t this have been a discussion prior to marriage and not after??

    2. 21.2

      I don’t understand why biological urges and drives that exist in every species are nowadays seen as shameful. Definitely societal expectations play a part, but society is not an invisible blob that controls your actions and desires with a remote control. Society is you, the shopkeeper nearby, the driver, the teacher in the community college just 3 blocks after. This anti natalism trend that shows children as nothing but burden is dehumanizing and troublesome for future.

      No misunderstanding here, if you don’t want to have children, you shouldn’t. You don’t owe anyone that. But don’t make it look like an inferior thing either. If everyone was on the same page we wouldn’t even have been here to discuss this. Not everyone who chooses differently from you does so because they are brainwashed.

      And as long as you’re financially stable and emotionally available for that, there is no reason that it would decrease your happiness. My father always says he is more happy with us. He never pressured me or any of my siblings to have children. Neither did any of the family. I was not brainwashed by “society”. Being a lesbian, I would like to have my biological children and I am planning accordingly to support them with a suitable woman while dating prolifically. I would like adoption as well but in my circumstances it would probably too hard. My desire to have children is no way an indictment on yours lack thereof.

  22. 22
    Sparkling Emerald

    josavant 21  First, I don’t understand why everyone is in such a rage to have their own biological children, or any children for that matter.
    The BIOLOGICAL urge to have children is perfectly natural, and needs no defense.  None of us would be here if not for the biological urge.   I don’t expect those who wish to remain child-free to defend their choice (as it was my choice up until my late 20’s), but those who don’t want children shouldn’t demand an explanation from those of us who want to do what we were biologically designed to do.  You almost might as well demand an explanation for why we like to eat.  Society didn’t give that parental urge to us, nature did.  Society just REFLECTS back what most people desire naturally, due to our biological make up.

    1. 22.1

      Thank you.

    2. 22.2

      ” I believe MOST people want children eventually, and that it is a very natural, in born biological desire, and not something that society has twisted their arms over. It makes no sense to me to treat this NATURAL DESIRE, as some sort of anomoly. ”

      Are you sure? What about stuff like baby – shower porn, Hello magazine porn and not forgetting wedding porn. And oh dearie me isn’t that a Duchess of Zcambridge cute as we get a blow by blow account of her latest pregnancy. After all – that is what women should really be doing – look good, smell nice, please men, know their place and have babies. Now….
      Society is highly influential – speaking as one who suffered for some time because I felt really out of it because I was single. But I no longer care about that,
      I really understand how social pressures make one vulnerable eg to spending copious amounts of cash on self help/ coaches/ fertility clinics/ sex clinics/ marriage guidance/internet dating/ dating coaches and miscellaneous consumer products and so on and so on.

      1. 22.2.1

        No. These things are products of consumerism. Before that people had the urge to have children as well. And baby shower porn etc. are not at all universal. It depends on the culture. Having kids does not.

        And no one is telling you to emulate that duchess. By the way what’s wrong with smelling nice and looking good? Should I want to smell like 1 week stale poop? As for pleasing men, there is nothing wrong with pleasing your partner man or woman. I would definitely want to please my woman. There is a vast difference between being subservient and pleasing. If you have a victim mentality even to be offended by the account of some irrelevant royalty woman’s pregnancy you would look at everything looking for a victim. I am no victim of brainwashing. Companionship, intimacy, trust and sometimes having kids are natural desires. You don’t have to look for these services if you are not interested. Some people are. That doesn’t make them pathetic creatures who do whatever is told to them. Stop pathologizing normal and perfectly healthy desires.

  23. 23
    The InBetweener

    I have a 48 year old female friend that has no children and when I asked her why not her response was that in all the relationships that she’s been in, she felt that none of the men were husband or father material. She has this thing where even though she has always wanted at least one child, (she says because she has a big family) she feels that if she can’t have kids with the right guy, she’d rather not have any.  I concur.  Better to have no children at all, than to have any with the wrong person.
    Sometimes people covet something so much, they are willing to forgo discernment and common sense to have it. 

    1. 23.1

      It is very much possible to have a child with the wrong person AND still be a very happy mother after a break-up / divorce.

  24. 24

    It’s a funny  world where grown up adults  feel they have to justify wanting children. 

  25. 25

    I met my husband at age 32, married at age 33 and had my daughter at age 37. Once we decided to try, it took one month to get pregnant. (It was so easy it was scary. So glad I had used strict birth control all of my life!)
    Genetics must play a role. My mother had me at age 39, becoming pregnant in month 2 of marriage.
    As to the issue of older parents, my daughter was placed in an accelerated program for highly capable kids in our school district. 90% of those kids had older parents, most very well educated and doing some kind of research at the U (my husband included). 
    My own experience in school was very different. I felt like an oddball with parents so OLD and my mother went out of her way to hide her age. No one suspected she was 15 years older than the other moms. She had so much energy she always ran circles around me. She is 96 now and still lives alone in her own house and drives, does her own shopping, banking, etc. And has an excellent relationship with her 19 year old granddaughter.

  26. 26

    #22: calm down. No one demanded an explanation or a defense from you or anyone else.
    #23: your friend sounds reasonable. Of course, another option is that she could have had her own child biologically without a partner, if she was so worried about winding up with the wrong man. Being a single parent is difficult, but it would have been another option that would have freed her from the constraint of an inappropriate partner.

  27. 27
    Sparkling Emerald

    Josevant #22: calm down. No one demanded an explanation or a defense from you or anyone else.
    I stand corrected, you didn’t demand an explanation, you just insulted those who choose parenthood by implying that women who want children are needy, raging, & desperate and see men as nothing more than sperm donors, and are just mindlessly going along with what society demands of us.  The only men who are “turned off ” by a woman’s natural desire to have children is a man who doesn’t have a natural desire to be a father.  Men who DO want children are turned off by women who are so adamantly against it. Or women who desire motherhood, but lack the kindness and patience for it.  So there is a pot for every lid.    And since as you have aptly pointed out, children cost a helluva lot, that’s why most women don’t want to do it alone.  Not only does it make more economical sense to raise children in a 2 parent home, but with the right person, it is more satisfying.  Not only does your partner provide additional financial resources, they also share the labor and the joys of parenthood. 
    This is a blog for women who want to fall in love, get married, and have children.  (As well as some older women, like me,  who have been there done that, and just want another LTR )  If the idea that many women desire motherhood is so bloody awful to you, why are you on this blog ?

  28. 28

    #27 wrote: “This is a blog for women who want to fall in love, get married, and have children.”
    Huh-uh, I don’t think so. Right up there on the top of the page is Evan’s statement that he is a personal trainer for women who want to fall in love. Doesn’t say anything about the blog being for people who want to marry or have children. Not everyone here wants these things.
    “The only men who are “turned off ” by a woman’s natural desire to have children is a man who doesn’t have a natural desire to be a father.” Nope again. Plenty of men who would be happy to be fathers still are wary when women treat them as potential husbands and daddies on first dates. Desperation is not attractive.
    That’s why I’m not on board with the title “when should you start WORRYING about having kids”, because worrying doesn’t do anyone good. Thinking about having kids – planning and considering options – that’s okay. Worrying about having kids is something men can pick up on in women. Even if they want kids themselves, they’d rather have a partner who didn’t only consider them for parenting potential. Best to be cool, or play it cool if you can’t be cool.

    1. 28.1

      I agree with you on the “playing it cool” part and it is equally important for men who are looking to get married and have kids. I went on a first date with a man 10 years my senior (I was 31, he was 41) and even I could hear HIS biological clock ticking! He wanted to get married and have kids with me… like yesterday! It freaked me out. While I’m on my own timeline and I want the same things, the sheer desperation was enough for me to decline a second date.

  29. 29
    Sparkling Emerald

    [email protected] 28 . . .
    From the beginning of the article . . .
    “In general, I have two types of clients: women in their late 30′s who want to settle down and have kids, and women in their 40′s and 50′s who are divorced, jaded, frustrated, and confused about how to navigate the ever-changing dating space.”
     I acknowledged the 2 types of women that EMK mostly caters too.  You cut my quote in half to make it look like I said HE ONLY catered to women who want marriage and motherhood, but I didn’t.
    I don’t judge your choice to be child-free, but you obviously have a boat load of judgement for women who are “raging” to have children.  
    When I first started dating (around 16), I was adamantly against motherhood for myself EVER ! My honest feeling then,  was that I NEVER wanted kids. (wasn’t even sure if I wanted marriage)    I never judged anyone else for wanting children, I was actually quite supportive of my friends who had them.  My not wanting children  actually cost me at least one relationship,(which was probably a good thing)  & was probably the reason for some relationships that never got off the ground.   Eventually, my stance softened (I believe due to a brief first marriage where I was a step mother) and I became open to the idea of motherhood.  Again, as I began to warm to the idea of motherhood, I didn’t judge those who did not want children. (that would be rather silly, since I was one of those women for a long time)  I believe MOST people want children eventually, and that it is a very natural, in born biological desire, and not something that society has twisted their arms over. It makes no sense to me to treat this NATURAL DESIRE, as some sort of anomoly.   However, I do not judge those who do not have this desire. I wish they would return the favor.
    I have experienced IRL child-free women who say mean and spiteful things to women who are mothers.  Women who feel compelled to scream “I HATE children” when we mothers are talking about ours. Or tell us that mothers are so “boring” because their kids “are all they talk about”.  One woman with whom I was in community theater with,  had a fit, when another actress and I  were sharing “mommy stories” with each other.  We weren’t even talking to that b****, and she started screaming at us to talk about something else, because she NEVER wanted to have children, and she is so sick of society telling her she SHOULD have wanted children, and she couldn’t stand hearing women who talk about their children,  yada, yada, yada.  Methinks the woman doth protest to much.
    I am a little baffled by women who come to this blog and act like it’s some big discovery that many women want marriage and/or motherhood.  It’s not exactly brand new information.

  30. 30

    @Josavant #28
    Plenty of men who would be happy to be fathers still are wary when women treat them as potential husbands and daddies on first dates. Desperation is not attractive.

    Now this, this, is exactly why you are being offensive. Believe it or not, there is tons of nuance in life and believe or not, those of us who are still single and childless in our 30 who want marriage and children don’t all act like men are sperm donors. So stop insinuating that this is how we act.

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