Millennial Man Questions If He Should Have Children Despite Being In His Late 30s — 'I Never Felt Stable Enough To Have Kids Prior To This Year'

He doesn't want to be an older parent with a teenager but has been thinking about what it would be like to finally start a family.

Father Holding Newborn Baby Son In Nursery Monkey Business Images | Shutterstock

The decision to start a family can be such a profound and life-changing choice that will effectively alter your life as you know it. Serious thought should go into it, especially if you're actively planning, and one man admitted that he's torn on whether starting a family later in life is a better option.

Posting to the subreddit r/Millennials, he claimed he and his wife started questioning having kids but is nervous that he may have waited too long.


He questioned if he should start having kids despite being in his late 30s.

In his Reddit post, the 37-year-old explained that he and his wife, 34, have been together and childfree for the last 12 years and recently started talking about what it would be like if they tried having a baby at their age. He admitted that he could see them having a child within the next year and a half and wanted to wait until the end of this year to start trying.

sad middle-aged man sitting with hand on the side of his face Inside Creative House | Shutterstock


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"I turn 38 in October. I grew up where I got moved around a lot, [my] parents split when I was 5, and then again when I was 16 (stepdad and mom split that time). Divorce(s) sucked. I felt like an afterthought as a result of the blended families," he recalled. He also shared that he never felt "stable enough" to become a dad and have children until recently.

He and his wife are not rich by any means but are well-off and able to support themselves and their two dogs. They don't have any outstanding debts outside of the mortgage on their house, and their original plan was to pay off their home when their mortgage was renewed in December 2026. All of their financial plans were pretty much set in stone, but he's more than aware that children obviously change plans, especially because they're so expensive.

"Now I'm staring down the reality that the youngest I'll be if we have kids is 38. I don't want to be a geriatric dad, but I don't feel like I'm old. I already have back and neck issues, though. I have friends with 16-year-olds. Do I want to be 56 with an 18-year-old?" he questioned


It's definitely a difficult decision because just like having children early in life has its pros and cons, so does having children later in life. 

While it is smart to wait until you can financially afford children, most people who have children in today's society have admitted that no amount of financial preparation can fully prepare you for some of the unexpected costs.

In a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. parents conducted by The Harris Poll for NerdWallet, more than 1 in 5 U.S. parents of children under 18 say they don’t plan to have another child because the cost would be too high.

@sheisapaigeturner We need to talk about the cost of childcare. The childcare industry is in a crisis. Childcare centers cannot afford to pay workers. Families cannot afford to be as single income home, but also not afford the cost. States childcare cost double the rent prices. #chilcarecrisis #daycare #childcare #millennialparent #millennialmom ♬ original sound - Paige

"The cost of children looms large in the minds of both parents and prospective parents, making people think twice before growing their family," Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet, told Parents Magazine. "For many people, the cost of children is so high that they delay having kids, skip having them altogether, or have fewer children than they would have otherwise."


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More and more people are also waiting until they're older to have children.

The decision to become an older parent isn't as peculiar as he thinks. Sure, it might be nice to be a younger parent and be able to keep up with your children and see them through all phases of life, but being an older parent can also be a more seasoned and mature approach to parenting.

Interestingly enough, it seems women are the ones choosing to have children later in life. According to new federal data published in April, the average first-time mother in 2022 was a little older than 27 — a record high for the country, and a sign of a major demographic change.

Teenagers and women in their early 20s are having fewer kids, while the opposite is happening among older age groups. In 2022, for the seventh year in a row, the birth rate among U.S. women in their early 30s was higher than the rate among those in their late 20s.


Proud mother and father smiling at their newborn baby daughter NDAB Creativity | Shutterstock

The number of babies born to women 40 and older, while still low, rose steadily from 2021 to 2022: up 6% among women ages 40 to 44 and 12% among those older than 45. There have even been studies that suggest children born to older parents often grow up to be healthier, better educated, and better behaved than children with younger parents

"People are waiting to have kids until they feel ready, they’ve got a good job, they feel mature enough to devote themselves to parenting, they feel like they’re going to have a good partner," Karen Benjamin Guzzo, director of the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told NBC News


The decision to have children later in life will ultimately come down to whether or not a couple feels they're ready. Only he and his wife can answer these questions, and, realistically, being in your late 30s isn't old in the slightest. Everyone's experience as an older parent is different, and children have a way of keeping you young if you let them. 

Regardless of when you start your parenting journey, the love, care, and dedication you pour into them is what's most important.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.