There are many ways in which Russia is different to Australia – my home country. Climate, food, mentality, bureaucracy, education, and the list goes on and on.
Although I was very young when I had my daughter (I was just 18 when she was born), having children at a young age isn’t really so common in Australia.
Without getting too much into statistics, it’s reported that the average age of women having babies in Australia in 2015 was approximately 30 years old. Of course, it means that some women were younger and some older to get this average, but it’s true that women are having children later than they did when our parents and grandparents had their children.
In Australia these days, parenting is more a thing that you do in your 30s instead of your 20s.
When I first came to Russia it came as a shock to me that young women were often encouraged by their parents to get married and have children, sometimes even before they’d finished their university education. It’s kind of the opposite in Australia. Women there are not in a hurry to start families. They don’t feel any pressure to do this, either by their families or society.
But now, for me, it seems so normal to see young women with babies in prams in the street. And, of course, as I get older, these women look even younger than ever.
I used to teach in a language school that was walking distance from home, so I didn’t have to take any public transport to get there. And, on the way to the school, there’s a baby clinic. One day, the main entrance to the clinic had been closed for some reason, and everyone had to enter the clinic from the rear entrance.
The front entrance has a little parking area, like a sheltered area, for the prams, as they can’t be taken into the building. But the rear entrance had no parking space and all the mothers just left their prams on the footpath.
It was such a lovely sight that I just had to take the photo. It seems to represent a positive future for the country. All those little people coming to our world, and families prospering.
And in your country?
What’s the situation where you are? Are women having children at a younger age than before? Or are they waiting until they’re older? And what do you think is the best age for starting a family? Let us know in the comments!
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