The Trend for Starting Families Later in Life
Time has changed. Not overnight, but over the course of several decades, women have postponed starting a family until later in life. A few years here and a few years there have amounted to many women waiting to marry and waiting to have children.
The trend started in the 1960s when the birth control pill allowed women to decide when or if they wanted to have children. Most opted to take the pill and wait until they had graduated from high school and enjoyed a couple of years of freedom before settling into motherhood.
Climbing the Ladder
The following decades saw the trend continue as women opted to enter the workplace in positions other than the traditional secretary or nurse role. Women now wanted to be the boss or the doctor and had the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. Marriage and children were put on the back burner until the career was solidified.
What birth control and the corporate ladder started, education has brought full circle. Women are now postponing becoming wives and mothers so they can further their education. Instead of climbing the corporate ladder along-side their male counterparts, they are opting to remain in school and take full benefits of all the scholarships, grants and various other programs available to them before they ever enter the workplace and before they consider motherhood.
Armed with degrees garnered from years of higher education, women are afforded the luxury of entering male-dominated workplaces at more than just an entry-level position. Often with a more and better education than their male peers, well-educated females can start closer to the top rung of the corporate ladder, secure their position and finances, and then start their family.
The age of marriage and motherhood used to be early teens. Ten years ago it was mid-twenties. Today the median age of motherhood (with or without marriage) is close to 30, with many working, women are postponing having a family until around 40. As medical science advances, the ages of first-time mothers will grow older.