(This is from a man’s perspective.)
If fate lined up, I’d have started having children at 31-33. This is the perfect age. Life doesn’t always work that way, but let’s talk about the math.
You can’t escape math.
I had my first at 39. If my first waits until 39, I will be 78 when my first grandchild appears. Even if you take care of yourself, that’s old. You’ll be 84 when the kid is 5 and running around.
Some would then say that you should have children when you’re very young. Maybe.
Think about all of the dads who were still boys themselves when they had children. Too much testosterone. Screaming at their kids.
We see this cycle of boys raising boys play out in some communities, and generally the results aren’t great.
25 is probably the right age to start if the person is mature and with a good partner. It’s a bit young, but you have some sense.
You are taking a huge risk that you married the right person. Judgment can be clouded at that age due to being “driven” by prurient interests. How many vet bros end up as drunks after having their kids taken away from them in family court? It’s a real issue.
Another problem is that life is getting expensive. You need to work a few years to get a head start.
But by 33 (probably 28), a man is fully formed. You’re on a path. There are some “late bloomer” exceptions, but even then the soil was already set upon a seed.
You won’t be rich by 33 (the average age of a millionaire is 55 or something), but you should be on a good path.
And you won’t end up with a psycho baby mama.
If you’ve lived right, and done enough stuff, you won’t resent your kids or see them as having “held you back.” (That is almost always DELUSIONAL. It’s really hilarious how many people think they would have done something truly epic if only they hadn’t had kids. Kids often inspire you to become more.)
Hard to have a midlife crisis when you were in those “beer commercial” scenarios, and overall found it pretty gross and chaotic.
Let’s say you start at my age and love having children. You want more. How many can you realistically have?
While men don’t have a biological clock the way women do, you still don’t want to die on your kids. Imagine being 70, having a kid, and dying when he’s 10. Hello? That’s creating cycles of trauma, and the number one rule of parenting is that your job is to close off cycles of trauma.
Anything can happen, that’s life, but I do my cardio (balanced between lots of low end stuff and weekly interval sessions), lift, track my macros, and avoid what Charles Munger called “cocaine and racing against trains.”
It’s possible that I’ll make it to 80-90. That means my kids will be well into adulthood (their 30’s and 40’s) before I die. It’s always sad to lose a parent, but it’s different when you’re fully grown vs losing one when you’re a kid and barely have any memories of the parent.
Had the timing worked out a little different, my 6 year would would be 11, my 4 year old would be 10, my newborn would be 5, and I’d have two more kids.
With some luck and God’s grace, we’ll end up with one more. (We are grateful for three.)
Anyway, that’s how you want to think about this subject.
Cold hard math and a little bit of biology.
You don’t have “all the time in the world.”
You get one ticket to the ride, and today is the youngest you’ll ever be.
Children are great, by the way.
Children will add years to your parents lives, if you’re are alive, and probably to your own, too.
They will be your greatest teachers, because you can’t hide from yourself anymore.
And you must become a role model and spiritual leader. Which, again, is why it’s often better to have children when you’re a bit past your teenage years. You have something to teach.
If you don’t have children yet, always remember that you can’t run from math.
Set up a game plan and make it happen.