Having kids later may mark a feminist success, and it certainly gives young couples more freedom. But it carries a heavy price, writes Allison Benedikt for Slate. A New Republic cover story on aging parents has Benedikt reflecting on her own situation: She and her husband are 35 and almost 40, with a third child on the way. But with $5,000 a month gone to daycare, they can't afford a place with more than one bathroom—even though they are, "by the standards of most Americans, rich." If only, she says, "we had started popping out those kids, oh, say, five years earlier, maybe, by 40, my bedroom and my sons' bedroom wouldn't be separated by a fake wall."
And that's just the beginning. The New Republic piece, by Judith Shulevitz, points out the higher risk of genetic mutations in children of older men, not to mention this scary fact: "A mother who is 35 when her child is born is more likely than not to have died by the time that child is 46." Delayed parenthood is essentially "a vast empirical study upon an unthinkably large population" of multiple generations, Shulevitz writes. "Also," writes Benedikt, "remember how there was that one kid in your high school class whose parents were sooooo old that it was weird and creepy? That’s all of us now." Click through for her full column.