If you scroll through your Facebook feed, it seems like pretty much everyone around you is racing ahead with their lives; buying houses, getting engaged, having babies. Having babies. Aren't we too young for all that shit? (Literally, so much shit.)
But while no-one can judge how ready you feel to pop out a sprog aside from you, we can take a look at recent data from the Office of National Statistics to find out the average age women across England and Wales are becoming first-time mamas these days. And it's got a lot older as the years have gone on.
While, decades ago, it would be have been more unusual for a woman not to have had kids by the time she approached 30, nowadays the average age for women to become first-time mums is 28. Well, 28.9 if we're being specific. Which we are.
That data comes from the 2019 statistics, which are the most recent ones available, and what it shows is that women are getting gradually older as they become first-time mums. Although the average age of first-time motherhood has stayed the same from 2018, and has only increased slightly from the 2016 and 2017 statistics (the average age was 28.8 for those two years), the age has been steadily increasing since 1970. Then, the average age for first-time motherhood was 23.7, and it's been climbing ever since.
Unsurprisingly, men appear to be leaving it later a few years later before they put their dad hats on. There's no data for first-time fatherhood specifically, but the average age of all fathers to babies born in 2019 was 33.6 years old - a figure that has increased for 10 consecutive years. In comparison, the average age of all mothers last year (not just first-time ones) was 30.7 - a gap of almost three years. Well, they do say women mature quicker...
All of this information isn't surprising, given the number of women who give birth over the age of 40 is now consistently higher in the UK than the number of women who gave birth under the age of 20. That switch has only happened in the last few years, and reflects key changes in society. It indicates both that sex education is perhaps becoming more effective, and that women are likely focussing more on their careers before embarking upon motherhood.
So that's what everyone else seems to be doing; now it's up to you to decide when the time is right (if at all).
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