Posted by Fitz

Many of us grapple with the idea of the “perfect” time to have a baby – for some, it’s two years after the wedding, for others, it’s right after that next promotion comes through.  Every couple makes this very personal decision based on their own goals and dreams of the future, and TheBump.Com and ForbesWoman decided to collect some real data on what those goals and dreams look like with a recent survey.  Here are the highlights:

25 TO 29 IS THE SWEET SPOT WHEN IT COMES TO THE “IDEAL AGE”. 42% of women surveyed responded that 25 to 29 was the “ideal age” for a working woman to have or adopt her first child. Women aged 30 to 39 were most likely to think 30 to 34 was the ideal age for a working woman to have or adopt her first child.
 
FINANCIAL SECURITY, NOT FERTILITY, IS THE TOP REASON WHEN CHOOSING AN “IDEAL” AGE TO HAVE A BABY. Despite all the ongoing research surrounding fertility and age, interestingly enough, fertility is not the number one factor when it comes to deciding when to have a baby. The top two reasons were financial security (33%) and being emotionally “ready” to become parents (31%).
 
YOUNGER MOMS MORE CONTENT WITH TIMING OF THEIR FIRST CHILD. Respondents who had their first child from 25 to 29 were the most content with the timing of their first child (82%). More than a third (35%) of moms who had their first child from 30 to 34 wish they’d had their child at a younger age, and 57% of moms who had their first child from 35 to 39 wish they’d had their child at a younger age.
 
62% OF WOMEN FEEL MOTHERHOOD NEGATIVELY IMPACTS A WOMAN’S CAREER. Yet working moms who were surveyed didn’t feel as strongly when it came to their own career. Non-moms were more likely to think that motherhood had a negative impact on women’s careers compared to moms and moms-to-be (71%, 59% and 58%, respectively).
 
NEGATIVE FEELINGS DOMINATE WHEN RETURNING TO WORK POST-BABY. Working moms surveyed chose “guilty,” “overwhelmed,” “stressed,” “sad,” and “anxious” as the top five feelings when it came to how they felt when returning to work post-baby. Working moms who “chose” to return to work were less likely to feel as negative.
 
59% OF WORKING MOMS NO LONGER CARED AS MUCH ABOUT WORK POST-BABY. Although 59% of working moms are “glad to be back at work” post-baby, 59% also said they “no longer cared as much” about work.

About the survey:

  • 2,210 women responded
  • 49.38% of those women already had children; 26.95% were pregnant, and 23.67% were childfree
  • 45% of the women surveyed were still working
  • 30 – mean age of respondents; 27 – median age
  • 93% were US residents
  • $87,500 – median household income
  • 83% – college grads; 36.6% – graduate degrees

We’d love to hear you sound off on these results: do you agree?  Are you surprised?  Please comment below with your thoughts and opinions of this issue…once we hear from you, Duff, AVM and I will chime in with our own thoughts.

Thanks to TheBump.com for sharing this information with us!

photo credit: www.more4kids.info

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