Your nosy relatives can suck it.
If you have overly involved parents such as I do, you've probably heard the question "When are you going to give me grandkids?" at least a hundred dozen times. Or, if you're in my family, it's more like, "When you gonna give me some damn grandkids?"
Well now, Mom and Dad, I finally have an answer. And it's one that doesn't make me feel like the timer on my biological clock is almost up.
According to a recent study by the University of Southern California, scientists now believe that best age to have a baby and give birth is after the age of 35, as it improves the mental abilities of the mother.
So maybe the whole "How can I raise a baby when I still feel like one?" excuse isn't too far off.
Researchers tested 830 postmenopausal women on planning, visual perception, verbal memory, concentration, and attention. They found that women who had their first baby after 24 performed better on mental acuity tests, problem-solving and verbal skills compared to those who became mothers between the ages of 15 and 24. Women who had their last baby after 35 had better verbal memory and cognition.
This increase in brain power is actually related to the surge of hormones — estrogen and progesterone — that happen during pregnancy. So basically, when you're pregnant you become kind of a superhuman and your superpowers only get stronger the older you get.
Being a woman kind of rules, right?
So don't let your high school friends who popped out a kid and put a ring on it a few months after graduation make you feel like you've missed your window. Timing is different for everybody, and there's no right or wrong way to start a family.
Having kids is a very personal choice that shouldn't be determined by circumstances like your age and marital status. I know I've felt the push to "settle down," but at 24 years old, I don't see that happening anytime soon.
Only recently have I felt like I can completely take care of myself. I still sometimes forget to feed myself dinner or do my laundry. I certainly don't need to multiply that by two.
Also, you should be much more concerned about if you can afford a place with another bedroom or if the job you're in will give you enough time to spend with your child if you're seriously considering getting pregnant. Though not everything is in your control when it comes to having a baby, there are hundreds of things more important than your age.
It's your body, your life and only you know when is the right time for you.