Social Question

zenele's avatar

At what age should one stop having kids?

Asked by zenele (8252points) August 16th, 2010

And what makes you think so?

I have my reasons for asking it vaguely. I’ll reply in time.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

67 Answers

bob_'s avatar

Dude, did you knock someone up?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

When one doesn’t feel the energy to raise another human for years and years and years.

Winters's avatar

I feel that after forty is entering the risky area. For one thing, the risk of retardation increases significantly. Another reason is that the child may not be able to get the full experience of childhood. My Dad is pushing fifty right now and due to serving in the military along with his age, has a few injuries that make it near impossible to play football, baseball, or the like with my little brother. So I have to take up that father figure roll which I have no problem with, however, I’m in college on the other side of the country and no longer can be there for my little brother who also has the misfortune of living in a neighborhood where there are no kids his age for him to play with.

Coloma's avatar

There are no ‘shoulds.’

The old, ‘don’t should on yourself.’

If the person, parents, are psychologically and physically sound and have healthy motivations for having a child, that is all that matters.

Life is unpredictable, kids of all ages can lose a parent, (s) to death, such is the nature of things.

There are plenty of grandparents raising grandchildren for a variety of reasons and as long as a child has the proper amounts of love and attention, age ‘should’ not matter.

The real issue is the often unhealthy psychological and emotional reasons people have children at any age, not age itself.

zenele's avatar

You gotta love @bob_ .

AmWiser's avatar

In my personal opinion, I would say 40–45, so that parents can enjoy more of theire own youth with their children. I like the ideal of raising your child while you’re young enough and enjoying your older years enjoying yourself without the stress of teenagers and toddlers. I hope this is understandable, I’ve got errands to run;-)

jca's avatar

i think sometimes more mature parents can be more stable emotionally, lifestyle-wise, financially. I think it’s hard to put a black and white number on such an issue.

There are advantages disadvantages to having a young parent and there are advantages and disadvantages to having older parents.

I had my daughter when i was 41, and i am now 44 and she is 3. I have a great job, supportive parents and i give my daughter lots of love and attention. She is a smart girl and a sweet girl. if someone told me “you should not have had your daughter due to being over 40,” i would tell that person to fuck off.

Coloma's avatar


I agree. :-)

I had my daughter at 28, she is now almost 23 and I am almost 51.

I am no longer interested in having a child and am embracing this time of my life, but…I think better older than younger. 40 is far preferable to 14. lol

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Men? 90.
Women? 40 (and that’s pushing it).

Men do not carry the burden of having to take care of children. That usually falls to the mother (despite all efforts to change it in society). Yes, there are a lot of househusbands now, but they are still in the minority. So, men, basically can continue to father children (like Charlie Chaplin did) until they keel over. They won’t be changing nappies or driving kids to school. The mothers will.

I say 40 for women, because honestly, exhaustion sets in. Hormonally and physically, your body begins to change in your forties. My grandmother had my father in her 40’s and she stayed home to care for him, and she lived to be in her nineties but she had her daughters and an extended family to help her out.

So, 40 (give or take a few years) is a good age to stop. However, there will be exceptions to the rule… that IVF is allowed on the NHS you can have children into your 60’s! If a woman decides to do that, she takes her health and her well-being into her own hands and she may well end up raising the children alone. There are a lot more hazards, I think. That being said, if you have unlimited amounts of dosh, family support, help at home, a great relationship and all the ducks in place…a woman can keep having babies as long as she wants. But she will have to still tax her body to do it. And you have to bear in mind, that your children may be left without parents. That would be devastating.

Frenchfry's avatar

I would say 40 as well. I am 37 with a three year old. I can keep up and can finicially take well care for my child. I have no regrets. She is a blessing.

truecomedian's avatar

I think that people shouldn’t have kids at all, at least not more than two. Too bad there wasn’t a way to cap the population so that the rainforest didn’t have to be torn asunder and be fed the fast food from the livestock that grazed there. Like why do we need more people, like for sure totally, I’m like a Eugenicist from The Valley, like oh my god. What if we did what the Chinese did and like, put a limit on how many kids you could have, for sure.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I always think about how old the parents will be when the kid is 10 years old. If the parent (especially the mum) is over 50 when the kid reaches 10 years old then I tend to think that is too old. However, I agree with @Simone_De_Beauvoir .

ucme's avatar

Dried up little acorn + wizard’s sleeve =.................well you do the math!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Stop? I’m 53 and considering becoming a father for the first time. Have to get the vasectomy reversed to do it.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@jca What a refreshing answer!!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

The age at which you physically are not capable anymore. Beyond that, it depends on the specific set of parents.

CMaz's avatar

All depends on what age you can afford.

BoBo1946's avatar

Someone knock @bob_ in the head! lmao…......

wundayatta's avatar

@BoBo1946 I thought you were going to say. “someone knock @bob_ up!”

BoBo1946's avatar

LOLL…....don’t look for me to help!

Coloma's avatar’s about time men were able to get knocked up! lolololol

Frenchfry's avatar

I hear a rumor not sure it is true but the first man to get knocked up in the world get a million dollars.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I agree with @Simone_De_Beauvoir that people should stop when they don’t feel they’ll have the energy to actually raise their children for the years to come. I have seen people in their 50s and 60s get around and do more than some people in their 30s and 40s. Putting one set age on it would be really hard.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir‘s wise and thoughtful answer surpasses any answer I could imagine. I bow with great respect to you Simone!

Coloma's avatar

You are probably too old….

If the battery on your hearing aide fails and you cannot hear the baby crying.
If it takes you five minutes to get from room to room with a cane.
If you forget where you left the baby.
If changing the baby throws your back out.
If you, yourself wear diapers. lol

bob_'s avatar

Or if your doctor says so.

rooeytoo's avatar

Con (for older parents) – can’t play with kids like younger parents
– kids worry about parents dying

Pro – parents die while kids are still young enough to enjoy spending the inheritance.

Opinion based on personal experience.

@bob_ that is exactly what I thought when I saw the question, @zenele seems to be such a horny guy

bob_'s avatar

@rooeytoo Hey, who isn’t?

zenele's avatar

@rooeytoo and @bob_ this is your final warning – before I change into Seven of Nine and we see which of you is humping my avatar.

By the way: I’d get pregnant for free – don’t need the million bucks – if it were possible. Well, maybe not now – but twenty years ago – I’d do it. And there was a guy who did it – twice.

Pregnant Guy Thomas Beatie

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@zenele Thomas Beatie has parts that make that possible, though – you, I guess, do not which is too bad because I’m all for men having babies themselves.

zenele's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I think you are correct. Checking. Yep, I don’t have the right parts.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@zenele Too bad. It’d be great.

zenele's avatar

Oh baby. The possibilities would be endless.

camertron's avatar

When you no longer feel as though you can give your new charge the best life possible and can provide for all their needs.

YARNLADY's avatar

I wish I could have more, even at my age. Thank goodness my youngest son has given me two sweet little grandsons to help out with.

rooeytoo's avatar

@zenele – the avatar you are using at the moment does nothing for me, I am not even too impressed with the Shat, given his current condition, but Picard, swoooooooooooooonnnnn!

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think there’s any “should” about it. The decision to stop having kids is just as personal as the decision to start.

BarnacleBill's avatar

One good thing I can thing of about being an older parent is that getting up for the 2 am feeding and getting up to pee in the middle of the night could probably be worked out to be on the same time table. You’re up anyways, might as well feed the baby and change the diaper.

perspicacious's avatar

As a woman I cannot see having a baby past age 40. I certainly would not want to be dealing with teens when I am past 58.

meagan's avatar

Maybe 38.
I have a family member that had a child at an older age.
I’ve gotten so many conversations about “when she dies” and how responsible I’ll have to be for him.
Plaguing the community with children you can’t take care of is not right.

zenele's avatar

@rooeytoo So noted. Should I do the accent, too?

rooeytoo's avatar

@zenele – omg, that could bring forth not only a swoooooooooooon, but probably the vapors as well!

zenele's avatar

Engage. Make it so.

Coloma's avatar


Well how old was she when she has this child?

Even if she was 50, and that’s a huge stretch for most, on the far, far, side of older, she is still not likely to be dead before she is 70.

I think ‘plaguing the community with children you can’t take care of’ is a bit overly dramatic.

jca's avatar

@meagan: i agree with @Coloma. usually women can’t bear children past about 45. chances are the parent will see 65 and the child would then be 20 – at the point the child could go on just fine. i had my daughter at 41 – even if i died tomorrow she has grandparents who are in great shape, an aunt (my sister), age 25 who makes more money than i do – some rich cousins that live in the city. would the community be plagued with my beautiful child? i think not.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@meagan Both a sister and a SIL had a child when they were past 40, and my mother was almost 38 when she had me. Both nieces turned out well because of the love and attention their mothers (and fathers, for that matter) provided. Like jca, they have other family members that are there if they ever need help in any way. My mother is 85, and other than a bit of eyesight and hearing loss, is still quite capable of properly advising me.

Coloma's avatar


Yes, I forgot to mention extended family that would certainly not allow the child to become a ward of the state. lol

My mother was 38 when she had me and my father was 45, everyone in my family lives into their late 80’s to late 90’s. My grandmother died just shy of 98, she also had my mother at 38.

YARNLADY's avatar

P. S. I plan to be around for another 30 years or more, so I could conceivably be a good mother.

meagan's avatar

She was older than 45. Her doctors told her that she was in menopause, that its a miracle that he was born.
I’m sorry, but having children when you look like their grandmother is all wrong. So many people ask her about her “grandson”, and I know she hates it.

Even if she lives to 70, his mother will be dead around the time he graduates high school. People still need their parents.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

The prospect that frightens me is that if I become a parent in my mid-50s, there’s a very good possibility that I won’t live to see my child grow up.

Coloma's avatar


You cannot possibly know when she will be dead.

You are predictng her death at around the age of 65–70…really!

Nothing is ‘all wrong’ your opinion is based on programming, conditioning, not fact.

I still say that better to be a grandma than a middle schooler. delivers surprises and one of those surprises can be a menopausal pregnancy.

I think you are far too judgemental.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@meagan It is understandable why you feel the way that you do in the particular situation you just described. Please take into consideration Coloma’s point that predicting someone’s death at 65–70 is unrealistic. It can also be disproved over and over that people over 65 are quite capable of keeping up with their children and grand children, for that matter.

Some of us were only pointing out that saying women should stop having children at 38 doesn’t always end up in a bad situation.

meagan's avatar

I’m sorry, but she is the one telling me how I’m going to be responsible for him after she dies.
I’m not the one saying she’ll die soon – she is. And the fact that she expects everyone else to take care of this is ridiculous.

I’m not being judgmental about something that the mother is openly aware of, too.

Coloma's avatar

She sounds unbalanced.

But in general, most people will live to 70.

zenele's avatar

I don’t want to derail – but here’s a thought; there are so many kids in need of adoption. If someone “older” (without mentioning an age) were to adopt an otherwise parentless child, this would benefit both – for however long the parent lived.

Coloma's avatar


I agree.

Holy shit, whats happening here? lol

zenele's avatar

^ OMG – I just gave you a GA! Going to get silly drunk and do some flunking now.

Coloma's avatar


Should we officially announce our truce? lololol

Hey everybody @zenele and I have kissed and made up! kissing, but our relations look promising! haha

The old vinegar pot gave up a little honey! lol

zenele's avatar

What are you doing later this evening?

Coloma's avatar


I might invite you over but, I’ll need to strip search you first, make sure there’s no axe and duct tape in your bag of tricks. haha

jca's avatar

@meagan : you are making your one personal situation into a generalization about the world not having children beyond a certain age due to the fact that they will plague the community with them. i think we all have given enough examples of how this is the exception, not the rule.

YARNLADY's avatar

My youngest son was 7 when his brother had his first son. I once took my son and grandson out for ice cream, and the girl handed my son our order, and said “How nice of you to help your grandma”. He said “She’s my Mom” and the poor girl was very embarrassed.

He used to love explaining how I could be his Mom and his nephew’s grandma at the same time. They still enjoy befuddling people when they go out together.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@meagan Your situation sounds like it is weighing very heavily on your heart and in your mind. If you are interested in getting some perspectives from the Fluther community, how about starting a new thread? I think a fair amount of us have some similar scenarios that could be shared that might help out.

meagan's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer It doesn’t bother me. It isn’t my problem to be bothered with.

zenele's avatar

@Coloma Still flirting, eh?

Strip search is foreplay, woman.

MooCows's avatar

35 for the mom….

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