Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It Could Have Said, "Smart Parents Have Kids Young"

Another upside down story from yuppieland. The Washington Post has "Bringing up babies, and defying the norm: some young college grads embrace parenthood as their peers postpone it." The mere striplings interviewed for the story were a dewy 27 and 28 when they had kids, and their husbands were older. The interesting statistics with the story is that about a third of college-graduate moms are under 30, vs. about two-thirds of less-educated moms.

By any world-historical norm, having your first child in your late twenties is about a decade later than average for women, so the lamentations over the youth of these aberrant moms should be muted. Still, they are doing something unusual in their social class, which makes them feel odd. In the world of 40-somethings with toddlers, they felt like kids themselves.

I thought the better response came from Amir and Luma Eftekhari, who had their first child at 29. When they take their kids to tot soccer, the older mothers "sometimes seem envious about the Fairfax County couple's head start on child-rearing."

The Gruntled kids were born when we were 28, 29, and 34. Starting earlier meant we could have more kids than most of my colleagues, who wait longer. We had more energy when they were little. We will be in the prime of our careers when the last tuition is paid and the nest is empty. We should be able to get to know our grandchildren for a long time.

I don't feel the least foolish for being among the first in our group to have kids. I feel as if I bought McDonalds or Microsoft at $10 a share, and now am enjoying the fruits of being ready to take the plunge.

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