Age of Spawning

My dad had me (his firstborn) when he was 28. I had my first kid when I was 26. I’m a second-generation university graduate, first generation PhD.

Dear Reader, how old was your parent with the same sex as you when they had their first kid? How old were you when you had your first kid? Is the length of your education significantly different from that of the parent in question?


  1. #1 Klara
    April 30, 2009

    My mum had me (also firstborn) when she was 29 (almost 30). I had my first kid when I was 31.

    Mum has a univeristy degree in journalism (2 years). I’ve studied 3,5 years at university without ever graduating at all.

  2. #2 Lars L
    April 30, 2009

    My dad was 24.
    I was 29,5 years old.
    Dad had 7 years of school and some sporadic courses in his youth. I´m sort of a power MA-graduate, and a PH D-not-wannabe.

  3. #3 RG
    April 30, 2009

    Dad had firstborn (me) when he was 22. Mine arrived at age 34. I’m first in family with PhD, but there are many college degrees on both sides of family. Dad had a BA (Art) when I was born, later got an MBA.

  4. #4 DianaGainer
    April 30, 2009

    In my case, I guess spawning isn’t the word. It’s more egg laying. My mother had me, number two, at age 23, with high school education (father had a BA and was working on an LLB). I had my daughter at age 26, after I had my BA but before the MS. Never managed to move on to the PhD. Ran out of moolah. Her pa was 30, almost 31, when she was born and he was a high school grad, had a couple years of college, never a grad. His son was born a year after our daughter when the pa was 31 (and I 26 still but on the road to 27). Both kids have a degree, she a BS, he a BM. That’s more than you wanted to know, I suppose.

  5. #5 Barn Owl
    April 30, 2009

    My mom had me when she was 20, right after graduating with a degree in Child Development (whether this was a plus or a minus for my own development, I’ll leave others to decide). She was fast-forwarded through a couple of grades in grammar school, which she blames for her life-long discomfort with mathematics. She got her MA later in life.

    I have two undergrad degrees (biology and anthropology) and a PhD. No children, and no intention of having any. My father also has a PhD, so this is no big deal in my family. In fact, my father is fond of pointing out that I took a year longer than he to complete my PhD program, dissertation, and defense.

  6. #6 Allison
    April 30, 2009

    My dad didn’t graduate from high school until he went to night school when he was in his 40’s (it was necessary so he could be promoted to sergeant). I got my M.Sc. at 26.

    When it comes to children I’m only a few years behind my parents… they had my brother and I in their 30’s. The difference is, they had biological reasons, ours are career/social ones.

  7. #7 BD
    April 30, 2009

    My mother had me when she was 22. She has a GED and I am her firstborn.

    I am 30 and will complete my PhD within a month of my 31st birthday. I have not yet had my first child but hope to in 2010.

  8. #8 Ethan
    April 30, 2009

    My Dad was 33 when I was born. (His firstborn was when he was 30.) My children were born when I was 30 and 32, respectively.

    We both had PhD’s at the time, as did our spouses.

  9. #9 becca
    April 30, 2009

    My Mom was 39, I’ll be 25.

    I’m an only child and my Mom has her Bachelor’s, but my parents ‘had been trying for 16 years’. (My Dad was 37, I think,- he was a course or two shy of officially getting his degree but his uni still hits him up for alumni contributions).
    I’m due in August. I got the Bachelor’s at 19. Technically it remains to be seen if I’ll make it through the PhD with kid in tow (I’m 5 years in. I’m ABD on paper but need some decent novel experimental data to get close to actually graduating).
    I want my kid to know their grandparents.

  10. #10 Martin R
    April 30, 2009

    If dropped contraceptives led to immediate pregnancy I would have been a dad at 20, shortly after my BA. Instead my first kid arrived somewhat unexpectedly when I was four years into my over-long humanities grad-school period. It was a good age for me to become a dad, though I suppose my thesis would perhaps have been printed in ’02 instead of ’03 if I hadn’t. This wouldn’t have been much of a boon anyway.

  11. #11 Martin R
    April 30, 2009

    Becca, you beat me to the bachelor! Well done!

    As for getting through grad school with a kid, I don’t know what daycare is like where you live. But both of my kids have been in very affordable council daycare 40 hours a week since age 15 months.

  12. #12 cicely
    April 30, 2009

    I am my mother’s eldest, born when she was 19; she was a high school graduate. I had my kid at 27. I’ve had 4+ years of university, but no degree.

    BTW, I’m finding your site slow and unresponsive, this morning. Every other site I’ve been into seems to be okay.

  13. #13 Kim Hannula
    April 30, 2009

    My mom was 25 when I was born. I was 36 when my son was born.

    My mom had a M.S. and a teaching certificate before I was born, but then she stayed home for about ten years with my sister and I. I had my PhD when I was 26, but I waited until I didn’t care whether I got tenure or not to have a kid. (And then got tenure.)

  14. #14 arlani
    April 30, 2009

    My mother was 23 when I was born, with a BA in journalism and 1 semester of English grad school behind her. My father finished his BA/CPA in Accounting. I was 25 when my first child was born. I was 2 years into an MA in Anthro, with only my thesis project left to finish (took me 3 more years to finish after the baby.) My second child was born when I was 31 (about 1 1/2 years after I finally finished my MA) and I started my PhD when she turned 2.
    On a related note–it’s incredibly cute when she tells me with utter seriousness: “Don’t go to school, Mommy, you have to stay home and work on your paper.”

  15. #15 anon
    April 30, 2009

    I am an only child; Mom was 35 and has a PhD in anthropology. I am still in undergrad (on the five-year plan); undecided on whether or not to go to grad school. No plans to have children myself.

  16. #16 DrA
    April 30, 2009

    My Father was 26 or 27 when I was born. He had only a high school education, but WWII delayed marriage & family.

    My only child was borne when I was 32; I have a PhD.

  17. #17 ArchAsa
    April 30, 2009

    My mother was 19 when she got pregnant, 20 when I was born. I was actually planned despite her young age. Not always a good idea – she and my father (same age as her) split after a year, though stayed friends.
    I had my first child (daughter) at age 29. I was the first person in my immediate family to go to University, the first to get a degree, the first to go to PhD school. Both my half-siblings have also chosen a higher education. My sister is 30 and having her first child this summer. Taking time for university studies has definately influenced the age when we had our first child to some degree (though my sister has been trying for a kid for three years before succeeding).

    Having young parents I have to say is both great and bad. They were young, energetic, not over protective. However, I always felt my mother felt she missed her Freedom Years in a way and after we moved out she really values her privacy and personal freedom. Being still working means she can help financially, which is great, but she can’t help with baby sitting – not so great. So I am happy my husbands parents are retired…

  18. #18 DuWayne
    April 30, 2009

    My mom was 28, and a single mom until she married my dad who was 43 when I was born. My mom was 22 when she had my brother – community college no degree. My dad has a bachelor of business.

    I was 26 when my eldest was born, 31 when the second was born. I just started school this last winter and will eventually become the first in my family to earn a PhD – possibly two. I’m shooting for accomplishing that in ten years (at least the first PhD), but also accept that it may take longer.

  19. #19 Jim Thomerson
    April 30, 2009

    My Dad had a 5th-grade formal education, and was 38 when I was born (only child). I was 28 and two years from my PhD when my first child was born.

  20. #20 samantha
    April 30, 2009

    My mom was 17 when she had me, my daughter was born when I was 15 (obviously not an ‘on purpose’ sort of thing!)

    Both my mom + I dropped out of high school upon getting pregnant. She never went back to school, I immediately enrolled in some community college remedial classes, and ended up transferring to a 4-year school + finished my degree when I was 20. no advanced degrees, though.

  21. #21 Mike Olson
    April 30, 2009

    My Dad was 19 when I was born(first child) and less than a year out of high school. I was 24 when my son was born(first child) and had a bachelor’s at the time.

  22. #22 Martin R
    April 30, 2009

    DuWayne, what’s your thesis project about? Do you have any decent funding or are you doing it part-time while working your way through?

  23. #23 Megan
    April 30, 2009

    My mom was 39 when she had me, and had a Masters degree in Nursing. Her mom was 33 when she had her, and only had some high school under her belt. I’m 32, still childless, and finishing a PhD.

  24. #24 Megan
    April 30, 2009

    I can’t read. My mom was also 33 when she had her first kid. I’m the youngest.

  25. #25 Mikael
    May 1, 2009

    Dad: 34, M. A. with unfinished PhD
    Me: 30, PhD (though not at the time my first child was born)

  26. #26 Jonathan Jarrett
    May 1, 2009

    Father had his first child aged 28, and had a B. A. that was done in two halves because of WWII in the middle. He went on to have four more in two families, and I’m lead son of the second. I had my first, and likely only, child, aged 23, in the middle of my M. Phil., it was very difficult in various ways and possibly wrecked my career, though we obviously won’t know that till I get to the end of it or change vocations. Child’s great though. I went on to get my Ph. D. and am still researching.

  27. #27 Doug K
    May 1, 2009

    Father was the first in the family to graduate, BA(Hons) in English. Spent the late 50’s in London trying to get published, gave up on that: 31 when the firstborn arrived. He later got a MA part-time.

    I have a BSc in several different subjects and a miscellany of post-graduate computer science courses, never quite got to completing the MSc.
    We waited until I was 37 because I wasn’t ready 😉 not for academic reasons. Since then I’ve realized you’re never ready; earlier is better (within reason, 15 maybe premature) so you’re strong enough to handle the sleepless nights etc..

  28. #28 Lulu
    May 1, 2009

    My mother was 30 when she had me, but 29 when I was born. I am her second/third child. Was adopted together with my twin! I was 29 when I gave birth to my daughter, my only child so far. Mother BA grad, me MA.

  29. #29 Nancy
    May 1, 2009

    My mother had me when she was 25. She was a first-generation high school graduate. I am a first-generation college graduate, with a Ph.D. at 36. I have no children.

  30. #30 paddy
    May 2, 2009

    My dad was 30, I was 28 when the boy came along. Dad stopped school at 13, I had a BSc and a few diplomas under my belt.

  31. #31 Pär
    May 2, 2009

    I’m a bit curious about people’s reasons for having kids. Are there any rational non-egotistical motives?

  32. #32 JSB
    May 2, 2009

    My mother was 31 when I was born and had a 4 year degree. I am 44 and have no children (and do not plan to have any), 4 years college and no degree.

  33. #33 Martin R
    May 8, 2009

    Pär, I know of no rational reasons unless you are a Third World farmer. But even then, your rational reasons will be egotistical.

    My reason for having kid1 was that his mom and I thought it would be fun/nice to have a kid. Same with kid2. Having kids is fun/nice. But it cramps your style. And it contributes to overpopulation. So I’m not having kid3.

  34. #34 RSG
    May 9, 2009

    My father was 26 when I was born, the eldest child. I was 30 when my first child was born. He was a high school graduate, I have a bachelor’s degree.

  35. #35 PeterWood
    May 10, 2009

    My father was 26 for 1st child (not me).
    I was 36 for my 1st child.
    My education is 2 bachelor degrees but both parents didn’t go past high school

  36. #36 Dawn
    May 11, 2009

    My mom had me (firstborn) when she was 38. I have a PhD, I am 34 with no kids yet. My mom has a bachelor’s degree.

  37. #37 CB
    May 15, 2009

    My mum had me age 21 – she was educated to A level with no Higher Education.
    I had my eldest at age 28 and have a BSc.

  38. #38 Ed Darrell
    May 21, 2009

    Unless there’s some half-sibling we don’t know about, my father was 35 when he had his first kid. He was 48 when I was born. He married once earlier, but with no offspring. He dropped out of school when he was 14 (8th grade?), but managed to sneak in a few university classes in pharmacy some years later.

    I was 34 when I had my first kid. By that time I had almost completed my law degree. Kenny was two months old when he slept through my graduation ceremony. I had about 11 years more education than my father — a high school diploma, undergraduate diploma, and a graduate degree.

  39. #39 Catherine Raymond
    June 3, 2009

    My mother was 43 when she had me. I have had no children (I’m now 50).

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