In the journey of life, timing can make all the difference. Easily one of the most profound milestones that you can ever experience is the transition to parenthood. Everything changes when you become a dad (or a mom), and as such, choosing to have a child is not a decision to be taken lightly. So, when is the best time to do it?
Something I’ve mentioned a few times before is that I am a member of a fairly large daddy blogger group on Facebook. We share our experiences, we offer insight and advice, and we participate in some (mostly) good-humored ribbing. With such a diverse group of men, I thought it would be interesting to learn when each of them became a dad for the first time.
Not surprisingly, most of the responses were in the mid-20s to early-30s kind of range. One guy chose to become a dad at the age of 19. In hindsight, he says it was poor planning. On the other end of the spectrum, another fellow entered fatherhood at the age of 47. He thought he might have been too old, but things have worked out for the best. The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as the perfect age to become a dad.
Enter fatherhood at too young of an age and you may not be mature enough to handle the stress. You may not be financially secure enough either. You might look back and feel like you missed out on young adulthood. That said, a younger man can likely endure more of the physical challenges (and sleep deprivation) better than an older man.
If you choose to enter fatherhood at a later age, you might be more established in your career, you may be more stable with your finances, and you may be more prepared to tackle the responsibility. You may be ready to take the focus off yourself and onto your child. At the same time, your body may be worse for wear and you may not be able to participate fully in your kid’s childhood. You may or may not make it to walk her down the aisle or to play with your grandchildren.
Even so, there are so many young dads who rise to the challenge and are fully prepared for everything that fatherhood entails. And there are plenty of older dads who say fatherhood is what helps them stay young. We may have fallen right into the so-called “normal” range when our baby girl entered the world last year, but a different age and different timing could be great for other new parents.
Circumstances can never be truly perfect. There will always be something holding you back. This applies to becoming a dad, just as it applies to starting your own business, moving to another city, or deciding to pop the question. While it’s not prudent to throw caution to the wind and simply hurl yourself into situations unprepared, we must also realize that so much of life involves learning on the job. And being a dad involves a lot of learning.