The Most Important Reason to Have Kids When You’re Young

The Most Important Reason to Have Kids When You’re Young

Buzz Bishop argues that there’s one often-overlooked reason why having kids when you’re older can be harder than it looks.

“No, it’s your turn,” the couple waiting behind me in line argued. They went back and forth and eventually it was decided it was “her” turn, and “he” stepped out of line while she waited with her daughter.

A few seconds later, a mother gave three young girls a dose of truth when the staff wouldn’t allow them to move forward. “I’m not going on with you,” she scolded them. “You’ll have to pick a different ride.”

These conversations gave me confirmation that I was not the only one feeling my age on this day. My wife and I had Zacharie into our late 30s. While we may be “average” parents for the times, we’re old. I felt it today.

I heard these conversations as my pride at a big achievement for Zacharie evaporated into a pool of queasiness. Zacharie was tall enough for the “big roller coaster” at the end of last summer’s season at our local amusement park, but he wasn’t brave enough. This year, he was ready to tackle two laps of The Vortex at Calaway Park featuring a big drop and two turns upside down in the corkscrew.

I eagerly went with him and shot a video of his ride.

It was awesome. He was suitably freaked out, and a few minutes later he was talking about how he wanted to go again.

I was not.

There was a time when I could ride all day long at an amusement park, now just a slide at the playground and I’m done. Get me in a tire swing? Game over before it ever even starts.

I’m old. I remember the days doing amusement parks from dawn to dusk when I was a kid. No more. This is why you have kids in your youth, I think. Amusement parks.

Have kids in your 20s, and you can probably still have enough stamina to do “all the good rides” at Disneyland with them in your thirties. Start having kids in your late 30s, and when the mid-40s roller-coastering rolls around, you’re one and done.

I don’t know how my parents (both around 70) handled escorting Zacharie around Disneyland last year. Back in the day, my Mom was fine tempting me to go on the roller coasters with her—she had me when she was 25, she had the energy. Now? Well, I’m sure they were glad he was more interested in going to the Jedi Training Academy than riding Space Mountain a dozen times.

Yes, the most important reason to have kids when you’re young is the ability to handle rides at the amusement park.

It’s probably my own fault that I can’t take it the older I get. I’ve taken Zacharie on rides before he was ready in the past and gloated about being a “bad dad.” Now it’s time for payback.The Most Important Reason to Have Kids When You’re Young

And the worst part is yet to come as I’ll have to do it all again as Charlie is still two years and 11 inches behind Zacharie.


Originally appeared on; Images courtesy of the author

About Buzz Bishop

Buzz Bishop is a Calgary, Alberta radio host, writer, and father. He writes tech at, personal stories at, and shares his adventures in parenthood at He also writes at and bi-weekly in the Calgary Herald. He is married and has 2 sons. Follow buzz on Twitter @buzzbishop and check out DadCAMP on Google+


  1. Nikki Howard says:

    Typically the issue with having a child later in life, especially with this particular problem is lack of stamina, as you said, but if a person eats right and continues too then they actually can keep up. If you eat right and work out regularly along with taking the appropriate type of vitamins your stamina can increase. I was exactly where you are now and I didn’t like it one bit I wanted to have the energy to make it later than my 9 pm bedtime. So I looked into ways to help, besides coffee and such. I found something that worked for me and now I’m eating healthier finding foods that naturally enhance my levels of energy rather than eating “nap foods” that are high in carbs or grease.

  2. Well now I will be 50 this year and my kids will turn 8 and 10 in a couple of months. Giving birth at 40 and 42 was amazing. I loved being pregnant and had amazing energy just as I do now! I work 5-6 days a week. That is cooking in a hot kitchen and standing often working doubles. I get up early, get my kids off to school, work all day come home and cook for them, homework, bath story and bed. I still want to stay up later than i should. I am often asked how I do it, but really just like a younger parent did. You just do. You have little people relying on you to be there and you are because you want to! Yup going on that rollercoaster because I will be asked to. I had a great time in my 20’s and 30’s. 40’s just a different set of priorites. Really looking forward to life in my 50’s…oh i don’t look and clearly don’t act my age or actually i do aging is totally embraceable!

  3. Same husband two kids in our late twenties and two kids in our late thirties. The later in life kids are WAY easier and lets just be honest: IT WAS DUE TO MONEY!” I can hire a babysitter whenever i want. I have a house cleaning crew now. I don’t have to fight with teachers in public schools because we send them to a lovely ( albeit expensive) little private school where they are doing work years ahead of their public school peers. I am about 100 times more patient and I don’t worry about how we appear to others. I know who i am and I know what direction I am leading this family.

    I would definitely say . Get your degree, buy a home , travel and invest in your marriage in your twenties and then in your mid-thirties start thinking about a family.

  4. Iona Eubanks says:

    I could not afford to go to amusement parks when I was a young single mom, but there are many other reasons why if you are going to have kids at all, it’s best have them while you are still young enough to enjoy them. At over forty I would not be physically able to stay up all night many nights in a row, lift and carry sometimes struggling little bodies, or lie on the floor for hours playing. I would not enjoy any of these activities, whereas when I was in my twenties it seemed totally natural and my idea of fun. There is also emotional and psychological flexibility to factor in, and the ability to allow children to change you, which is fundamental to good parenting. Thanks for the article.

  5. wellokaythen says:

    You mean _IF_ you are going to have children, of course. A growing number of men will not, and the percentage is rapidly approaching 50% in the U.S. in the next decade or so.

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