How old is too old?

‘My neighbour just had her first baby at 49’ my mate said last week.  My jaw hit the floor; initially I thought she must be insane and can’t imagine how exhausting that would be.  I was a slightly older mum and was classified as geriatric by the NHS being nearly 36.  A friend of mine has three children; her first was when she was in her mid 30s and the last was when she was 41.  She said it was a lot more tiring with the last one, I don’t know if it was age or if it was the fact of having three.  I’m reluctant to have another one facing 40 this year.

I would never want to deny anyone from experiencing the joy and pain of having children but I can’t help thinking there are limits.  Advances in science allow us to push the boundaries but is it still a good idea?  Please note, I also think they keep people alive a lot longer than they should these days and I do apologize if this offends anyone

I can’t help thinking of Carole Hobson, the single ex-barrister, who gave birth to twins using donor eggs and sperm from India when she was 58 years of age.  She herself said ‘Be careful what you wish for. . . you might just get it.’  Technically most women would be well into menopause at her age.  Is it irresponsible to bring children into the world when there is a good chance you won’t be able to care for them??  Who is going to be left to care for them and in this case, they have no biological bond to anyone in the UK. Her own parents are elderly, her brother thinks she’s crazy and her long-term partner left when she set about the mission of becoming a mother.

There is a good chance she will live to 81, the average life expectancy of women in the UK, which means she will have 23 years with her children but with what quality.  We have just gone through a difficult time with my hubby, who was born when his mother was 43; we lost them both within 18 hours of each other last summer.  Sadly, they were in their mid 80s when our daughter was born; they never really got to enjoy her fully, they were too scared to hold her, nor in a state to care for her and she will have no memories of them.

The fact that menopause sets in must be nature’s way of telling us it’s time to throw in the towel????

I can’t help feeling it’s selfish and irresponsible???  How old is too old?  Thoughts….