Getting children early in marriage versus late

Name 13

Gettingchildren early in marriage versus late

Manycouples consider a union between a man and a wife (an opposite sexmarriage) as a complete marriage while others feel that children arenecessary for a marriage to be considered complete. However, the mostdebatable or controversial issue in the modern society is the timewhen a married couple should start getting children. This controversyhas attracted two camps where one of them argues that gettingchildren early in marriage is more beneficial while the other campholds that a married couple should wait a little longer beforedeciding to get children. The time it takes for the wife to getpregnant is not necessarily the main source of controversy. Studieshave shown that about 25 % of married women are able to get pregnantwithin the first month of marriage, while about 90 % of the women areable to conceive within the first 12-18 months of marriage (Evans 1).This implies that couples make deliberate decisions on when theyshould have children using economic, religious, biological, societaland other personal reasons as opposed to fertility constraints. Thispaper provides a discussion of the benefits of getting children earlyand late as well as the demerits of both alternatives in order torecommend the best alternative.

Background

Whilescientists continue to insist that young parenting is healthy andsafer for both the child and the parents, many people are opting togive birth in advanced ages, the late thirties and early forties. Forexample, trends shows that the average age of childbirth among theBritish women is about 29 years, but the number of those who aredeciding to get children in the late thirties and early forties hasbeen increasing exponentially within the last one decade (Hill 2). Asimilar study conducted in the U.S. also confirmed that the number ofwomen who are postponing childbearing has been increasing with time.The study indicated that about 46 % of infants born in the year 2000were the first children of mothers aged between the late thirties andearly forties, but this proportion increased to 47 % in the year2009, and 48 % in the year 2010 as shown in Figure 1 (ITV PLC 1).

Figure1: Changes in the number of infants born of mothers aged late fortiesand early forties

Source:ITV PLC (1)

Figure1 show that indicate that the number of infants born of mothers agedbelow 25 years and between 25 and 34 years has been decreasing withtime, but the number of infants born of mothers aged 35 years andabove have been increasing exponentially since 1980s. Married couplesdecide to postpone childbearing for different reasons. Some basedtheir decisions on personal, biological, religious, economic,societal, and lifestyle factors as considered in this paper.

Argumentsfor early parenting

Thehuman fertility peak period

Althoughsome people may have their varied reasons to support their intentionsto postpone parenting, the biological clock does not wait for anyone.Scientific studies have shown that human fertility declines with timeafter reaching its peak in the early 20s (Stein 3). It is estimatedthat women have between 78 % and 86 % chances of getting pregnantwithin the first year of trying. Fertility in women starts decliningand some women losing it completely at the age of between 35 and 40years when the majority reach menopause.

Figure2: Human infertility and chances of getting pregnant in one’slifetime

Source:Stein (3)

Figure2 show that infertility continues to increase and one loses itcompletely at the age of 50 years. Similarly, the likelihood ofgetting pregnant declines steadily starting from the age of early 20s and becomes completely impossible at the age of 50 years. Thisimplies that making a decision to get children in early age or evensoon after marriage increases the ability of the couple to competewith the biological clock.

Childrenwho are born by young parents have high chances of being healthy andhaving a stable immunity against common diseases. This is because thequality of reproductive cells that are produced by a young couple isof higher quality. Some people argue that men, unlike women, canproduce sperms even at the age of eighties. Those who hold thisargument believe that men can marry at their older age and still havechildren. Although may be true, research has shown that thereproductive cells of both men and women retain their requiredquality from the teenage to late 30s (Reed Business Information LTD1). This means that children of parents aged between teenage and thelate thirties are healthy, both physically and mentally. In addition,the sperm count remains at the optimum quantity for men aged between16 and 35 years, which means that attempts to get pregnant and givebirth to quality children is higher for young couples.

Strengthto carry out parenting roles

Youngcouples have the strength and the ability required for goodparenting. Parenting is a huge responsibility that requiresdedication and strength. The young couples are considered to beflexible and are able to multitask (Stein 3). This means that youngpeople, especially the mothers are have the ability to give parentalcare to children and pursue other activities of daily living at thesame time. A group of young parents also feel that there are morechances of establishing bonds with their children when they givebirth to them when young compared to the old age. Research has alsoidentified that young parents have the energy to keep up withchildren and bounce back from pregnancy much easier than their oldaged counterparts (Evans 2). For example, a young parent finds iteasier to be awakened several times by a child and still manage tofunction in the following day.

Anopportunity for self discovery and growth

Agroup of people believe that being alone or remaining a couplewithout children is the only way to achieve growth in life, butstudies have proven otherwise. Being a young parent provides anincredible opportunity for the parents to discover their deep-setissues, shortcomings, and strengths (Mills 3).It becomes moretransformative when people have the opportunity to see themselvesthrough the lens of the new life (children) that they have created asopposed to people who go for solitary introspection. Young parentsgrow up and manage to be the best self. In addition, parenthoodchallenge parents to do more, and do it better, especially when theyremember that someone is looking up to them as a role model and as aprovider. This helps young parents to stop living a self-centric lifeand start embracing key values of life, such as empathy and thedesire to take care of others (Mills 1).In essence, the push to domore and the opportunity to embrace good virtues allow young parentsto grow socially and financially since they no longer live forthemselves only, but also their kids.

Argumentsfor having children late

Abetter opportunity for career development

Marriedpeople who choose to spend more time without children have more timeand resources to pursue their career goals. Most of these couplesincrease their competencies in their respective fields of professionby going for higher education, such as college, bachelor’s degree,and the postgraduate qualifications. Higher levels of educationalattainment give couples the opportunity to go up their career ladder,which is more practical when a couple decides to postponechildbearing. Studies have established a positive association betweenlate childbearing and tertiary or post-secondary school educationalattainments among the married couples (Mills 7). This relationship isattributed to two major factors. First, both parenting andpost-secondary school education are involving endeavors, which makesit wiser to forego one of them for a moment. This implies thatcouples that wish to attain higher education are more likely topostpone childbearing. Secondly, partners who attain higher levels ofeducation are, in most cases, given job responsibilities that aremore demanding. This leaves them with little time to focus onparenting, which delays childbearing further. However, these parentstake pride in their academic success and career development.

Emotionalpreparedness

Olderparents have a relative advantage in terms of emotional orpsychological preparedness for childbearing compared to otherparents. The emotional preparedness can be attributed to a wide rangeof factors, including the educational attainment and general lifeexperience. The overall quality of parenting improves the age of anindividual. Studies have established a positive correlation betweendelayed childbearing and positive maternal as well as paternal affectand less frustration when transitioning to parenthood (Martin 14).Although all parents suffer from depression and confusion duringtheir first experience with childbirth, older parents recover andachieve emotional stability, faster because life experiences havealready enhanced their maturity. In addition, old age increases thefather child dyad where the father who decided to postpone parenthoodgets involved with kids’ upbringing, experience less depression,and a positive paternal effect (Martin 14). All parents like spendingmore time with their newborns, but older parents often engage withtheir kids even in extra-familial issues.

Financialstability and housing needs

Economicconditions and the financial stability of an individual are criticalfactors that determine the childbearing age. Many people spend muchof their early adulthood pursuing academic successes, looking forjobs, and a large number of the young graduates finish college withheavy loans. The young adults find it challenging to startchildbearing given the tough economic conditions affecting the world,coupled with the financial obligations that they are faced with soonafter graduating (Mills 8). It makes sense for such young adults topostpone childbearing in order to give them an opportunity to createwealth and enhance their financial stability before they can decideto give birth. Older parents who have spent their young adulthoodpreparing for their parenthood are better positioned to meet thefinancial needs of their children than younger parents. In addition,the postponing childbearing gives parents an opportunity to cater forthe housing needs since they can spend more on mortgage than theywould have done if they were paying school fees for their childrenand meeting other financial obligations that come with childbearing.

Ideationalshift and new lifestyle

Demographictransitions and changes in lifestyle have changed over time and thesechanges have created conditions that make late parenting morestylish. For example, the fertility rate has changed over time wherethe members of the modern society want to have a lesser number ofchildren (Mills 7).With such a mentality, it makes sense for amarried couple to take time and enjoy life together before gettingthe children. Young couples that hold this school of thought spendmuch of their initial years of marriage travelling together andplanning for the future instead of paying all attention to kids.These couples manage to give birth to one or two kids later, and leada happy and satisfying life. This kind of decision is attributed to asignificant departure from conventional values, ideas, norms,ideologies, and beliefs where the current set of values gives peoplethe autonomy that they need to make parenting decisions (Mills 9).For example, ideational changes have helped people see childbearingas part of personal development, instead of seeing it as anobligation. Therefore, a couple that postpones childbearing is ableto lead a more fulfilling and satisfying life.

Equalparticipation in paid labor

Menwere seen as sole breadwinners in many families, but this perceptionhas changed over time. Women are increasing gaining an interest inlabor force. Although the postponement of childbearing among womenwho choose to play a key role in the labor force is mostly associatedby the incompatibility between the paid labor and parenting, itdepicts the level of freedom and autonomy that these married coupleshave acquired (Mills 7). A shift from the notion that women shouldstay at home, give birth, and take care of kids in the currentsituation where they can do paid jobs by postponing childbearingindicates that giving birth late helps them overcome traditionalpractices. This gives them close to an equal, if not equal say in thefamily since they have the capacity to contribute towards thefinancial needs of the family.

Timeto establish stable relationships

Ittakes time to understand the likes and dislikes of an individual,especially when two people meet concessionary and allover suddendecide to move in together. A decision by a new couple to avoidgiving birth to children for some years gives the two partners anopportunity to study each other and assess whether their relationshipwill last long. Taking some years without children also helps suchcouples strengthen their relationship to an extent that the attentionthat they give to children will not have a negative impact on theirmarriage. This is important because, the introduction of children inthe family draws the attention of either of the parents away from theother parent and directs it towards the children (Stein 3). A newcouple may fail to understand and accommodate these changes, and thismight lead to divorce or a sour marriage. Studies have shown that thenumber of unstable unions has been increasing over time, which makesit difficult to determine if partners in a given marriage are willingto commit themselves even after childbirth (Mills 6). In essence,postponing childbirth creates time for partners to assess thetrustworthiness, commitment, and the readiness of each one of them totake care of children. This leads to a strong family and reducechances for unreasonable divorce.

Argumentsagainst early childbearing

Financialchallenges

Takingcare of children and their basic needs is quite expensive and callsfor adequate preparation. Research shows that parents taking care ofchildren in the U.S. spend between $ 8,760 and $ 24,510 every yearper kid (Loop 1). The amount that parents spend on children variesdepending on their respective levels of income and geographiclocation. In most cases, young parents get their first kids beforethey get jobs, establish some business, or attain career stability.Some parents give birth during the teenage, just after or graduatingfrom high school. Unfortunately, high school graduate and dropoutsearn more than $ 10,000 less per year compared to those who haveattained post-high school education (Loop 1). In addition, even lowerpaying jobs are hard to get since young parents lack adequateacademic backgrounds and work experience. Other studies have shownthat about 50 % of the children born of teen parents end up living inpoverty while 75 % of these parents are forced by circumstances toaccess welfare before their kids reach the age of 5 tears (Wren 1).This implies that young parents may not have adequate funds tosupport their children and their families. In essence, earlychildbearing increases the risk of being poor and leads to poorquality of life for the family.

Limitedability to pursue academic

Parentingand education are difficult to carryout simultaneously because bothof them require time and financial resources. Young couples, in mostcases have limited resources to finance academic and parentingactivities at the same time. This force parents who decide to givebirth to children at a young age (between the late teenage and thelate twenties) are forced to forego their academic goals in order totake care of their kids. Research shows that only 50 % of the womenwho get children in their teenage are able to pursue post-graduateacademics compared to 90 % of those who postpone childbearing (Loop1). A similar research indicated that 40 % of women who get childrenbefore the age of 18 years drop out of high school and rarely pursuetertiary education (Wren 1). The lack of tertiary academicqualification implies that the young parents remain in the low-payingjobs for the rest of their lives. This creates an inter-generationalproblem because the children of younger parents do not get qualityeducation for their parents lack sufficient resources to finance theeducation of their children, let alone their own education.

Interferencewith the social life

Thesocial life or the lifestyle of every person plays a critical role indetermining the well being of an individual. Childbearing changesthe social life of the parent drastically. The young parents have tochange the lifestyle and forget some practices, not because theywould like to, but demands that result from child care cannot allowthem the freedom do all that they like. For example, young parentsare forced by circumstances to avoid nigh-clubbing, attendingparties, and dance concerts with their age mates (Wren 1). Inaddition, young parents stop hanging out with their colleagues sincechild care activities consume most of their time, leaving them withclose to none for social life. In some cases, the society considersearly childbearing as an irresponsible behavior, especially when themother or the father of the child is still within the teenagebracket. This affects the young parents psychologically because theyfeel guilty. Most of the young parents end up feeling resentful oftheir situation. A study conducted in 2010 indicated that about 25 %of the young parents suffer from depression because of the limitedtime that they have for social life (Wren 3). In overall, earlychildbearing affects the social life of the young parents in anegative way, which in turn affects their well-being.

Healthrisks of the young mother and the infant

Thereis a direct relationship between young age and pregnancycomplications. The existing scientific evidence shows that youngwomen, especially those who are within the teenage and early twentiesexperience more pregnancy complications, sudden death of infants, andcases of low birth weight (Wren 1). In addition, children who aresuccessfully born by young mothers experience more health problems,which in turn lead to additional stress to young parents, who have alimited experience of parenting and life in general. Although it isestimated that women become mature to carry a successful pregnancy atthe age of about 16 years, there are two major cause complicationsthat are common among these women. First, underdeveloped pelvic amongwomen in the late teenage and early twenties results in seriouscomplications during childbirth, and these complications might affectthe rest of their lives (Spriggs 2). Secondly, nutritionaldeficiency, which results from poor eating habits that are commonamong women, affects the health of the mother and the child. Thisimplies that the infants born of young parents have high health risksthat might affect their mental and physical growth.

Lackof psychological preparedness

Youngparents often lack a proper plan for their lives and end to live theday the way it comes and address challenges as they face them withouta suitable plan for the future. Similarly, young parents get pregnantbefore they get psychologically ready to assume the responsibilitiesof parents. Studies have shown that many youths feel unready forparenthood and will only think about parenthood once they get there(Spriggs 2). Unfortunately, the youths still engage in activitiesthat lead to parenthood, which including cohabiting with persons ofthe opposite sex and getting married in early age. The lack ofpsychological preparedness for parenting affects both the youngparents and their children. This is because they are caught up byparenthood in a surprise, which reduce chances for the infantsgetting the quality of life that would be desired by every child andparent.

Argumentsagainst late childbearing

Medicalcomplications

Itis generally perceived that medical risks of postponing childbearingaffect women only, but the current research indicates that it affectsboth men and women. The medical risks of old age childbearing amongwomen are confirmed by a significant in fertility and fecundity,which occurs starting from the age of 35 years (Kirkey 1). Thequality as well as the quantity (sperm count) starts declining andthis contributes towards the poor health status of children of olderparents. Moreover, research indicates that children born of olderfathers are at a higher risk of suffering from genetic disorder,autism, different forms of cancer, and schizophrenia (Kirkey 1).Moreover, older women have less strength to carry the pregnancy anddeliver safely. Medical complications are common occurrences amongwomen who give birth to their first children during their earlyforties. The medical challenges associated with old age parentingforce the society and the affected families to spend more in specialcare nursing, intensive care, and community care since their childrensuffer from many health challenges, including developmental, hearing,and language problems.

Inaddition, the old age of the father has been associated with the highrate of children with mental illness among the old coupled.Researchers have identified that the genetic mutation of the fatherincrease with age, which means that the probability of sharingdefective genes during fertilization is higher for an old man (Gray2). Moreover, the relationship that exists between psychiatricdisorder and the old age of the father is multi-factorial.Researchers take the consideration of epigenetic, biological, andpsychosocial factors. The increase in age is associated with anincrease in the exposure of the man to environmental toxins, leadingto altered genetic expressions that are passed on to children of oldcoupled. In some cases, the metabolic functions of the children bornof older parents are affected negative, which could lead to illnessthat last for their entire life and contribute towards their demise.

Theloss of independence

Olderpeople who have dedicated most of their lives in career and educationfind it difficult to change and assume parenting roles. This isbecause it is more challenging for a dedicated career man or woman tolose their career independence. Pregnancy and parenting in generalimpacts the lives of both the father and the mother and in most casesforce them to change their lifestyles (Wren 1). Changing thelifestyle of people who have been accustomed to it for more thanthree and a half decades is quite challenging and calls for a lot ofdedicated and sacrifice. This means that older parents are forced bychildbearing to forego things that toiled hard to get. For example,older parents postpone childbearing to pursue their career, butchildbearing at the old age takes away the joy of committing theirfull time in that career.

Limitedcommunity and social support

Peoplewho postpone childbearing often do so with the objectives of pursuinggoals that do not give them enough time for social life. Whenreaching for a decision to postpone childbearing, people have to beconvinced that they have limited time for parenting and other issues.For example, spending too much time in career, education, or businessleaves people with limited time to build social networks, other thanthose that they have with professionals and business partners(Spriggs 2). The implied separation of an individual from thecommunity and the family for that matter in pursuit of career pathsaffects they health during pregnancy as well as delivery. Olderparents need time to mend the social bond that has weakened overtime.

Non-normative

Latechildbearing is associated with non-normativeness with respect tousual ordering of life events and birth timing. The physicalappearance of human beings starts changing from early forties to theold age. Although older parents demonstrate quality parenting, somestudies have reported that children born of older parents feelembarrassed about their parents, rapid decline in health,non-normative age, and deterioration in physical appearance (Martin17). This is because the age gap between parents is children are toolarger to an extent that children feel that their biological parentsare equivalents of the grandparents of their schoolmates. Inaddition, older parents die, leaving children at a stage in whichthey need a lot of guidance and support in all matters of life. Forexample, the current life expectancy of 71 years indicates a childborn of a 45 year parents will be orphaned at the age of about 26years. During this time, the young offspring could be graduating fromcollege, still looking for job, or trying to have some identity insocial life. The wide range of complex issues requires the support ofthe parent, but unfortunately the parents are gone or experiencinghealth conditions that do not allow them to offer parental guidancethat their children need.

Synthesis:Weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each option

Weaknessesand strengths of early parenting

Thefacts documented in this paper indicate that young parents have ahigh fertility rate and the strength to take care of their children.Facts on the biological cycle shows that human fertility peaks andstarts declining in early twenties, where youths in the earlytwenties have about 78 to 86 % chance of getting children withintheir first year of trying (Stein 3). Although these biologicalfactors seem to favor early childbearing, parenting is not just aboutconception and fertility of parents. Children have a myriad of needsthat their parents should fulfill and failure to which the quality ofparenting will reduce and affect the well being of the kids. Thisimplies that parenting is an expensive endeavor that requires money,knowledge, and experience.

Unfortunately,early childbearing denies young parents the opportunity to acquirethe basic resources that they need in order to give quality parentingto their children. For example, people who get children within theirteenage or early twenties miss the opportunity to pursue tertiaryeducation as well as their career goals (Loop 1). The limitedresources that young couples have may limit their ability to leverageits strengths and direct it towards parenting. The young couple willbe forced to use its strength in odd jobs that requires a lot ofstrength and time to earn a living for the parents and children. Thisis because people with low academic attainments have difficultyfinding professional and better paying jobs. Therefore, it would notbe wise to give birth to children and deny them a quality life.

Inaddition, the health risks associated with early childbearing negatesthe benefits that result from the high rate of fertility. Althoughyoung people are quite fertile, the underdevelopment of their organscauses significant complications, such as the risk of gettingunderweight infants (Wren 1). Moreover, many young parents do notplan for parenting and find and opt to live each day as it comes.This is a significant challenge that opens up the eyes of the youngparents when they have already become parents and there is no roomturning back. Failure by the young parents to plan for parenthoodimplies that they already planned to fail. Although parenting givesthem and opportunity for self discovery, they learn through their ownexperience, but experience may not be the best teacher. The decisionto practice parenthood at an early age denies the young parent theirfuture happiness, academic as well as career excellence, and affectsthe well being of their kids in a negative way.

Strengthsand weaknesses of late childbearing

Latechildbearing a many benefits to parents and their children, but thereare a few demerits of postponing childbearing. Postponingchildbearing gives couples an opportunity to lay the foundation fortheir relationship, their future, and the future of their children(Mills 8). This is accomplished pursuing academic and career goalsthat would otherwise be difficult if the parent decides to combineparenting and professional endeavors. People who decide to postponechildbearing are well informed that parenting is an expensiveendeavor that requires finances and time. The academic and thefinancial breakthrough that older parents acquire during their earlyage reduce their parenting struggles and enable them to give qualityparenting to their children. In addition, the experience that olderparents have in general life increases their ability to deliverquality parenting services.

However,late parenting takes part of the time that older parents should havespent in career that they have spent the rest of their lives tryingto establish it. Nevertheless, older parents have adequate resourcesthat they can use to pay for childcare services whenever they needmore time for professional duties. This helps them overcomechallenges associated with the loss of independence. Moreover, oldercouples have established a stable relationship, which means that theytrust each other and can share family responsibilities when one ofthem requires more time for professional duties. The relationalstability is also healthy for child up-bringing. However, aging mayaffect the wellbeing of the children and the expectant mother due tosevere medical complications (Kirkey 1).

Moreover,the majority of older parents tend to spend too much time pursuingcareer and educational goals, which creates a distance between themand the members of the community as well as the family (Spriggs 2).This distance may create a scenario in which the older couple has alimited social network during pregnancy and childbearing. However,with the current rate of technological advances, the elite members ofthe society are able to establish and maintain social relationshipswith the members of the community and families. This implies thatpeople can decide to postpone childbearing and still be able topreserve social networks through technology. The older parents can,therefore, be able to solicit the support of the community andrelatives whenever they decide to enter into parenthood.

Thenon-normative and changes in the physical appearance occur in allparents, irrespective of the time they decide to enter parenthood.This is because parents should not expect to age at the same ratewith their children.

Table 1: Comparing and contrasting late and early childbearing

Strengths

Early childbearing parents

Late childbearing parents

Strength

Have the strength to carryout parenting roles on their own.

Parents have accumulated wealth and can pay for childcare services.

Self discovery

Challenges force them to discover their weaknesses and strengths

Life experience and educational attainment allow them to discover themselves without troubles

Career development

Forego career development and assume parenting responsibilities

Have ample time to pursue their career goals

Emotional preparedness

Have no plan for the future, which reduce their emotional preparedness

Take time to plan and prioritize, which enhance their emotional preparedness

Financial stability

Have low income

Have high income

Housing needs

Experience housing needs give the high cost of acquiring houses and their limited resources

Have accumulated adequate resources to meet the housing needs for the family

Educational attainment

Most have a high school or below high school educational attainment

Most have acquired tertiary education

Lifestyle

Forego their lifetime happiness to take up parenthood

Enjoy life and adopt modern lifestyle where parents give birth to few children depending on their ability to give them a quality life.

Stability of relationships

Enter into parenthood before establishing the stability of their relationships

Take time to establish a good relationship among parents before childbearing

Health risks

Experience risks of pregnancy complications, low birth weight, and sudden death of infants

Infants have a high risk of genetic disorder autism, different forms of cancer, and schizophrenia

Fertility

Have a high rate of fertility

Have a low rate of fertility, which decline with age

Loss of independence

Adjust easily to parenthood roles.

Find it difficult to assume parenting roles after spending most of their time in professional duties

Community and social support

Have a strong support from the community and relatives

Experience difficulty in maintaining social and community relationships, but can use modern technology to reduce the gap

Non-normativeness

Undergo minimal physical changes during the early stages of kids development

Drastic changes in physical appearance can distance them from their children

Overall quality of parenting

Low quality parenting because young parents learn through first hand experience

High quality parenting because older parents have learned parenthood from the experience of others and through education

Althoughboth early and late childbearing has merits and demerits, postponingchildbearing has more benefits than demerits and it is morepreferable than early childbearing. The majority of couples thatdecide to postpone childbearing do so with the objectives of pursuingnoble courses that benefit both themselves and their children. Forexample, advancing education and career increases the financialstability of parents, which in turn enhances their ability to givetheir kids a high quality life compared to young couples that fail totake some time to accumulate wealth before engaging in childbearing.The lack of financial resources affects the quality of life and theoverall wellbeing of young couples and their children.

Mostimportantly, couples that decide to postpone childbearing are able tostudy each partner and learn how to stay together before bringing anew challenge, children. There is a high probability of a peacefulcoexistence of the family members after childbirth for an oldercouple than the younger couple. Although postponing childbearing iscriticized for the medical complications that affect the mother andchildren, Table 1 indicates medical complications affect bothcategories of couples. For example, cases of low birth weight anddeath of infants are more among the young couples while cases ofmental challenges are more among the older couples. Moreover, theolder couples have some alternatives to overcome the challengesassociated with their age. For an instant, older couples do not havesufficient energy and time to take care of their children, but theyhave the resources to pay for child care services that are deliveredby professionals. Therefore, postponing childbearing is the suitablealternative, but couples should be prepared to face some challenges,such as a decline in fertility and the possible loss of independence.

Conclusionand statement of final opinion

Thedecision to get children early in life or to postpone childbearinghas benefits and limitations, but arguments that support latechildbearing are more convincing than those that support earlyparenthood. Couples that decide to get children in their teenage orearly twenties enjoy three major benefits. The first benefit of earlychildbearing is the high rate of fertility, which increases thechances of conceiving within a short time of trying. Secondly, youngcouples have the strength to multi-task, which helps them take careof children and engage in activities that help them earn a living.Third, early childbearing enables the young couples to discover theirweaknesses and strengths early in life. However, the large number ofshortcomings (such as the financial constraints, limited chances topursue academic excellence, the lack of opportunity to pursue careergoals, interruption of social life, health risks, and the lack ofpsychological preparedness) of early childbearing negates thebenefits attained by the young couple.

Latechildbearing, which is the most appropriate alternative, has numerousbenefits. First, people who postpone childbearing have ample time topursue their academic goals. This allows them to attain tertiaryeducation and better-paying jobs. Secondly, older parents take enoughtime to develop their careers which give them an opportunity tooccupy well compensated positions in their organizations. Third,older couples that postpone childbearing are psychologically preparedbefore getting their first child, which enhances their ability togive quality parenting to their kids. Third, the high ranking jobsthat older couples get coupled with their tertiary educationincreases their financial stability, which in turn enhances theirability to meet the needs of their children. In addition, theirfinancial capacity helps them meet the housing needs for theirfamilies in spite of the current challenges (such as the high cost ofmaintaining the mortgage) in the housing sector. Fourth, postponingchildbearing gives couples an opportunity to enjoy life and learnfrom life experiences before they can start getting children. Thisenhances their ability to settle down faster when they decide tostart getting children. Fifth, postponing childbearing allows peopleto take advantage of the ongoing campaigns for gender equality in thelabor market. This is because couples that postpone childbearing haveeducational qualifications, experience, time, and resources they needto take advantage of emerging job opportunities. Sixth, partners whopostpone childbearing take time to study each other, which helps themto establish stable relationships.

However,partners who postpone childbearing to the age of the late thirtiesand early forties should be prepared to face some minor challenges,such as medical complications, the loss of independence, limitedsocial support, and non-normativeness. In conclusion, postponingchildbearing has relative benefits compared to early childbearing,which means that couples should consider delaying parenthood in orderto pursue other goals.

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