A 37-year-old woman who has never had a boyfriend divided Mumsnet when she asked if she’d left it too late to start a family.
Posting on the forum under the handle coldandfrostie, the woman explained she is approaching her 38th birthday and desperate to become a mum – but apprehensive about doing so alone, not least because of the financial implications.
She wrote: ‘All my life I wanted a family but I never dated or had boyfriends. I know there are a lot of options to have a baby alone but realistically I just can’t afford this.
She went on to ask: ‘Too late, isn’t it? Please be honest!’
Her startlingly frank admission divided parents on the site, with some sharing encouraging stories of friends who became mothers in their 40s, while others urged her to be ‘realistic’.
While some reassured the would-be mother and urged her to be ‘proactive’ on dating sites, many said if a family was her priority she could be wiser to pursue solo options than hang her hopes on finding Mr Right at 37.
A woman began a debate on Mumsnet after asking if 37/38 is too old to find love and start a family (file image)
Debate: Her post received a flood of divided responses as many queried why the woman hadn’t found love sooner
Many users suggested the woman should be proactive in expanding her social circle to meet someone as they believe it’s not ‘too late’.
One person said: ’38 isn’t too late for a baby at all. I was 38 when my littlest was born’.
Another wrote: ‘Just go for it! Treat it like a challenge, a goal for next year, socialise more, join clubs, join a fitness club, sign up to some dating app, say yes to all social events, make it a mission to get out there and meet as many people as possible, be open minded and have fun’.
The woman responded to state that she wouldn’t be able to afford a child alone and questioned the advice she was been given.
She said: ‘Realistically I can’t afford to have a child alone. I don’t know, 37 seems very old for first boyfriend marriage and babies. I do need to be realistic here’.
Green light: The woman received a wave of responses from women advising how she could achieve her goal
More sceptical users attempted to convince the mother that she would need to choose between having children and meeting the right partner.
One person speaking under the handle ‘ReanimagtedSGB’, who said they had their child at a similar age said: ‘What do you want more? A partner or a child? If it’s a child look into ways of having one alone – if you think you need a father for your children-to-be, the risk is that you will hook up with a **** man (abusive, lazy etc) and store up trouble for yourself and any dear children you have.
Others agreed that the woman’s age increased her chances of something going wrong.
One person said: ‘I’m with SGB here. Yeah, it’s all well and good all the tales of people becoming pregnant at 49 from a one stand and have healthy, full-term twins, but the reality is some people do have a lot of problems getting pregnant in late 30s or 40s’.
The woman despite acknowledging advice to choose between children and finding a partner confessed that she wanted both.
Other Mumsnet users suggested the woman should settle for either a spouse or child rather than expecting to obtain both
Others claimed that it was definitely too late for the woman to have her dream family and questioned her motives for not having one sooner.
One person said: ‘It’s lovely to the success stories but being brutal, I think you need to go with the mindset that, yes, it’s too late’.
Another wrote: ‘You’d want to be quick, lucky and not very picky. Realistically if you have never had a relationship at all, it’s not terribly likely that you will find someone you like enough to have a family who wants the same thing and establish a relationship solid enough to have a child, all in what, the next 2 years?’
Red flag: Some people tried to convince the woman it was definitely too late to meet someone and start a family and questioned her motives for wanting it