Why Should I Wait to Start a Family?


Oh boy, I have been asking myself this for years. I remember back in my early 20s when those pesky “broody feelings” started kicking in.

For those reading who have no idea what “broody” means. Here is a little definition for you.

“ If a hen (= female chicken) is broody, she is ready to produce eggs and sit on them” 

Well, there is a more relevant definition too, here:

“If someone, especially a woman, is broody, she feels as if she would like to have a baby”

Both are from the Cambridge Dictionary.

I don't think it was until I was in my late 20s or early 30s that I could see the bigger picture and that waiting, for me, was the best choice at the time. I was (I still am a little bit) a free spirit. I had “ants in my pants” as they say. I was always on the move, trying new things, and visiting new places. Settling down just wasn't on the cards. But, babies are so cuuuute!

Why do people wait to start trying for children?

I have seen from reading and hearing many stories throughout my fertility checks and treatments why people have waited before starting to try for a family.  It also varies from country to country it seems.  

I have found that culture plays a lot when it comes to what age is best to start trying, what is too early and what classes as too late.

It's also interesting having heard some stories of what people believe are good reasons to wait and what others think are “silly reasons” to wait. Lots of people have different opinions and reasons and are ready to tell you theirs at any moment. 

Oh, it is very true. Most people I have spoken to through my fertility journey or pregnancy have been “experts” in the field. 

Not that I have let it bother me, however. I have found it quite interesting and funny at times. I wouldn't ask them to stop.

(yep, sidetracking is about to commence)

Here is a controversial opinion of mine.  I see a lot of people across social media, articles, books, TV and more saying you should never ask if a woman wants to have a child. You should never ask a couple if they are going to try for a baby, including other variations of that same question.

Now here's where I get a little bit controversial as I don't agree with that. I don't agree with telling someone you should never ask ‘that’ question. I don't agree with telling someone you should never ask a woman or even a couple if they want children or ask if they might try in the future.

For me, I have found that telling people not to ask a question has made the conversation taboo and continues to do so. in fact, it's halted any conversation at all.

How can we make the following points normal, easier to talk about, and more understandable?

Choosing not to have children 


Facing fertility issues


Choosing to have children later 


Choosing to have many children




How do we make all of these discussions positively normal and rid of taboo?

In my opinion, in my very humble opinion, I believe it's a conversation,  I believe it's being allowed to ask questions and those receiving the question choosing whether or not they wish to speak of it.

Why did I come to this decision or this opinion?

Good question, my friend! 

Because when I arrived at the situation that it was my fertility that was an issue nobody wanted to ask any questions, nobody dared to ask any questions because of this taboo spotlight we've put on this conversation. 

I cannot tell you how much that made me feel alone here in Italy. Painfully alone.

I cannot describe to you how awkward it felt, or how embarrassing it felt to admit that I need fertility support because nobody wants to talk about it. If I tried I could see the discomfort on people's faces. I was afraid it would also be “TMO”.

Also, because of this ‘stop to all conversations’, it makes people feel that fertility issues are shameful, and embarrassing or is your body letting you down. Well, I am here to tell you, if you feel that way, it is none of that! 

It is part of life and certainly happens to many! We just gotta work through it. Fertility issues are much more common than people think! It is just that no one speaks about it.

Also, those that do choose to speak about it, tend to be speaking only to those going through the same thing. Could that be because of the topic not being easy to talk about for the above reasons? Not sure. But I get a feeling it plays a part.

You could have friends and family members close to you going through it as you are reading this, according to WHO, 1 in 6 people worldwide experience fertility issues. That is pretty common in my book.

I couldn't just bring up what I was going through to the people around me, even though they knew I was going through it. Only my best friend was by my side all the way through (all the way over in the UK), so I am bloody lucky with that. (Not forgetting my partner of course as we were both in it together) But, I bloody wished someone might have asked, although I don't blame them. They have been told by many… never to ask. 

(While I am on this side track) 

Why did I need fertility treatment?  because I waited.  

We waited until the time was right for us as a couple. Will come back to this at a later date.

*Right.. let's get back on track now I have gotten that off my chest*

Why do people wait?

I have heard many reasons and none of them have ever seemed wrong to me.  I've even heard some people say they don't want children without any hesitation and again not a problem

I think the main reason that people wait here in Italy is that they usually finish their studies a lot later than we do in the UK.  I have noticed that many people here are still specialising in their field of work, doing their master's or maybe continuing to do a PhD and they don't come out of universities until they're in their early to mid-30s.

Also, Italy has this “wonderful” rule in their middle/high schools where if you don't pass at a certain grade then you can be kept back a year. It is possible to find students leaving high school around age 20! That already sets them on a longer path before they even get to university.

I have friends here who have graduated at the age of 29, at the age of 30 and some who are still studying now heading toward their mid-30s. 

When they graduate, let's say they graduate 29, they start looking for a job. So, assuming they are lucky and find a job within a few months, they start a new job, they will want to get to know their work, settle into their career and start their life as an independent person because a lot of people in Italy, when they're in universities, simply do not have time to work so they usually remain quite dependent on support at home.  

(Disclaimer) Another assumption here (Disclaimer), but I doubt at this point making babies is at the forefront of their minds. It wouldn't be in mine. 

As you read in my previous blog post Italy does have, alongside Spain, one of the oldest age group averages to start a family and I believe the above plays a big factor as many Italians do go to university, but also those who do start working right after school seem to choose to wait as well. 

It seems that they wait until the early 30s or mid-30s to start even discussing the idea and that seems culturally the norm because I remember five years ago when I spoke about trying for children here in Italy and my Italian family members, friends, and others that I met were saying “oh you're far too young! Just yet wait” or something along those lines and I was 30 years old then.

Could that be the cost? The cost of preparing for the new arrival of a child, from what I've experienced is more expensive than in some other countries. Even down to the small things like nappies (diapers). They cost much more here than they do in the UK and I was shocked about that.

What are other reasons people choose to wait?


I have seen and read about women that are striving for a career and they are thriving within it and starting a family would just not be the right choice at that time. The business world is competitive and if you are flying high starting a family could put you on the back foot, so some women decide it's better to wait and get what you need from business first.


I've also read that people prefer to set a good foundation for a child to arrive into.  Having financial stability or being settled and feeling at home where they are before they introduce family into the equation.


When we were travelling in Southeast Asia, I met a few people in different situations and they told me why they were waiting for children as well.  Some of them wanted to travel and see the world and didn't want to have children just yet. They want to experience the unpredictability, instability and spontaneity the world has to offer. See those places that may not be a good fit for little ones.

Location Independence and Digital Nomadding:

I did meet a person who explained that their lifestyle as a digital nomad required moving from place to place and not having a physical location made it more difficult. In the part of their life's journey they were at, they didn't have a physical place they called home, so it is very hard to meet somebody who is also in that same situation.

They found it not only difficult to meet someone, but someone who also wants to continue on the same path travelling, changing places every week or every month, at the same/similar stage in life and building a relationship that could potentially move to children in the future.

I can imagine that being rather tricky and the years may pass by in the meantime.

Not met the right person:

I've seen people wait because they haven't met anybody yet,  or maybe they are a little bit older and have just met somebody but feel they can't just jump into a relationship and say  “Hey, I am a little older now so let's have children please”. Usually, that's not how the game works. Some people I have met and have read about are still working out what situation is right for them and when is the best time to discuss 


I have spoken to some women here along my fertility journey and had great conversations with them not only about them creating a family but also about their lives. This is also why I previously mentioned that I disagree with telling someone that you would never ask that question.  I spoke with a person who said they're waiting until their mid-30s and maybe a little later because a child completely changes your life and you can't do anything that you want to do anymore.

That was a super interesting conversation and I might write just about that conversation later. But, this mindset seems to come up very often. Especially now I'm pregnant. I have experienced first-hand that people have such a negative outlook on pregnancy, babies and creating a family. Their constant negativity and sarcasm could be enough to put anyone off.

The negative side of things is only their mindset of what they believe is negative. I've also found that a lot of people seem to regurgitate things that other people have said yet they have not experienced it themselves. 

Anyhow, it was an interesting conversation to hear as they went on to explain that you can't do something when you have children. This person went on to explain that they can't travel with children,  you do what you want to do with children, and everything has to change.

I believe (having seen it done as well so the evidence is there) that travelling with children, moving around with children and continuing a life that you want to lead is totally possible if you believe it's so.  

Could it be that it is what you make of it? 

It might require thinking twice, it may require a little bit of organization and research to ensure safety but that doesn't mean the removal of spontaneity, adventure and fun either.  

But, I definitely think children are super adaptable and they can do much more than you believe. They can handle things better than adults at times. I believe it is finding what works for your family.

The big question is why did I wait?

Well, as you know from reading my previous blog there is an age gap between Giuseppe and me of around about five years.  

Here we are, young whipper snappers with very different hair choices.


I explained previously Italy's average age group for their first child is higher than that of the UK.  


You can usually see in the UK that anywhere between mid-twenties and late 20s it's quite common that your friends or family members start to think about or start trying for their first child.  

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule but this is around the average age that see when looking around.

But for those of you who are too lazy to click back over to my previous post to see this info on this. Here it is again:

Italy has the highest average age for first child in the whole of Europe. They averaged out at about 32 years old in 2021 alongside Spain. England was around 28. That might not sound like much, but the difference can be felt when you have experienced both sides.

At 27 years of age, I was hitting the age where most people in England were about ready to pop out their first or may just be on to their next, whereas my partner was 11 years too young for his ‘average baby-making age’. So, we had a little compromise set that when he finally hits his 27th birthday

So when I was hitting the 27-year mark he was only just turning 22 and we had only been together for two years so those are very clear and understandable factors our relationship in itself was very young we'd still have lots to learn about each other and he was almost 11 years younger than the average age for starting a family here in Italy.

From early on, we conversed and made quite a mature compromise. This was in the very early stages of our relationship too!  We agreed that when I hit 31, he will be hitting 27 and that sort of works age-wise for us both. We will have had time in our career, time to travel, time to grow in our relationship and still have plenty of time to create a beautiful family.

Do I regret waiting?

I do not regret waiting.

I have to be clear on that because waiting created problems for me in the fertility department I suffered physically and mentally. But, that is definitely a story for another time! 

I don't regret it because we were able to build a stable and strong relationship.



 I don't regret it because we were able to experience living in a different country and working there.  



(Here I am working hard in Amsterdam as my colleague *and now forever friend* is working hard to close a rental deal)

I don't regret it because we were able to find remote working jobs that allowed us to travel Europe and East South East Asia ( those travels to be continued in the future). 



(Shout out to Bandzoogle for trusting me enough to do a good job no matter where in the world I am)

I don't regret it because within that time we were able to decide where we want to call home.




I don't regret it because I am now growing our little family in my belly and I couldn't be more grateful if I tried. 



Did you wait? If so why? Feel free to share!