Have a kid in your 40s, they said. Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
My parents were in their mid to late 40s when I was born (I just turned 65). They were very supportive to me growing up, they loved hearing school stories and meeting my friends. The major downside to older parents, I was an orphan at 21. Both of them died within 6 months of one another and just before I graduated from college.
I'm curious about the sociological foundation of older parents. I'm not much in to the reproductive science of it all. This subject seems to have some overall societal implications that, I am sure, have been studied and analyzed in the past.
I wanted to have a child earlier, but never found the right guy. So I was in my 40’s when I became a single mom by choice. Better than having a child with the wrong guy just for the sake of having a kid, and then dragging the kid (and myself) through years of custody and visitation disagreements, etc.
I am an older Mom who had twin boys at 44. They were a happy accident and I wouldn't have changed it for the world. They are now 27 and I am 71. Their father passed away when they were 11 so it has been they and me since. Yes teenage years were mind-boggling but they came through it. They have always been in the same classes together in school and now they both work at the same company and help me financially since I am retired. I have not ever pressured or made them do anything. They have not raised themselves but I have had to have some mental rest from forcing them to do things. Can't take it and don't want it for them. They make their own decisions about being good and proper because they have a good example, Me.
After 8 years of trying, with 3 painful miscarriages and 1 cute 4 year old, and $1,000 per month in fertility costs for every month of our marriage, my wife (43) and I (53) are 17 weeks and getting more hopeful. There's a 21 year old beautiful daughter from a previous marriage. So for me - as the bloke - I am looking at a 30-something year old Dad, 40-something year old Dad, and now 50-something year old Dad! There is no plan for 60-something! My wife and I are not sure later is easier or better - just getting there has been the challenge and we are grateful for a healthy outcome - it has been a less than simple journey.
I too am an "older" parent, with my one and only in my mid forties. My mother also had me at the same age, but with 4 other kids preceding me. I think my son is well balanced and handles himself more maturely than his friends. I say he was "born old", just like George Bailey in A Wonderful Life.
I was 20 when my first child was born (almost still a child), and 30 when my next was born.
I have reflected a lot on the raising of each over the years and I believe there is a lot of truth to being more relaxed since you know that things are just things and they can be replaced or fixed.
Also, there is an element of most people are more financially secure 10-20 years later in life. This was not my case when my second was born, however, as soon as child 2 was born I refocused and got into a secure financial spot very quickly.
This also greatly changed my free-time (now weekends off, more vacation) which means I wasn't working bad hours and trying to raise a child. Now we do sports, school, vacations with disposable income to present many opportunities.
Love my children equally and deeply, but with age comes a very different relationship with each of them.
I was 32 with my first, then 40 and 41 with my second and third. I'm 60 now with all of them in college as I stare down retirement. I don't think I would have done it differently, other than to be more patient with all three of them (and maybe myself). One thing being an older parent can do for you is give you more time to establish a career to support the family better. Not sure we were better parents though. :-) We didn't have a plan, but it all worked out well, and I think that is the way it is for most parents. You just do what you do and make the rules as you go. I do hope my kids have their kids sooner than I did so that I can spend time with them!
Lots of food for thought.
My parents had me when they were 30. My Mom in particular became a better and better mother as she got older. More patience, understanding, supportive in all ways, became absolutely wonderful to talk with, showed excellent judgment.
This happened because she evolved and grew as the years went by. I changed too, and hopefully evolved too, but she was the leader in terms of personal growth.
So I’m in favor of older parents. Perspectives I think do change as we mature - if we are lucky. My Mom passed last year at 96. I am still a caregiver to my Dad, who is 98. My sister and I agree that we won the lottery in terms of parents.
It makes sense to me that there is an advantage to being an older parent, especially to younger children (under 15). I think many people are establishing their independence and careers in their 20s. By our 30s & 40s we are less selfish and self-centered. Therefore, an older parent is able to be more available and attentive to their children and less focused on our own needs and wants. I think frustration tolerance also improves (hopefully) as we age.
We had 2 sons when I was age 29 and 31.
At those ages, I had significantly more patience than I would have had, if I had given birth in my teens/early 20's.
My view is somewhat tainted.
Child rearing can be extremely challenging, but it is mild compared to having your firstborn develop paranoid schizophrenia with delusions at age 19. All the guidelines/rules change or go out the window.
He is now stable, on a roller-coaster path, with stellar care at the VA hospital (I am glad that I was not his CO in OEF/OIF.)
Had we waited for our 40's to have children, I don't believe we would have had the required stamina/patience to deal with the same situation we received.
I am glad that our children have more emotionally stable parents than we were in our 20's.
Research and researchers are important but sometimes it seems we’re spending more time analyzing life instead of enjoying it.
Surprised on our 19th anniversary, that yes, we could have a child. This was after years of trying. I was 42 when our daughter arrived.
We certainly were more secure financially at 42 than at 22, so no huge worries in that area.
I wasn’t the only older parent when our daughter went to school, which was nice.
Regarding being calmer because I was older? Probably, but hard to really know when you didn’t have kids at a younger age.
Was my daughter happier and more well rounded because we were older or because she was an only child?
She’s 23 now, doing well. Would love to attribute this to older parents, but other factors to consider. Hard to know for sure.
This I do know for sure - I was exhausted from the early feedings. This is probably easier on younger parents!!
In effect, parent to my four year old brother when mother died. I was 11. Also took over full household duties. In my 20’s, I had three children. One died in an auto accident, another at the hands of her ex-husband. In my early 50’s, single parent-grandparent to her girls, 6 and 10 yo. If you are a natural born loving and nurturing person, age matters less as your purpose is to provide them with their physical, financial and spiritual needs. And provide the truest form of love, which means doing the right thing for them,regardless of whether you get thanks, or even respect.
Solidarity! We were in our mid-30s when kid came, but I'll never forget when he once stood up from playing on the floor, stretched and said, "Oh, my back!" lololol
My wife and I raised three girls, with her being 32 & myself being 35 for the first, and the other two following within the next 5 years or so. I would say we were neither “younger” nor “older”…but somewhere in the middle. It went well. Great kids…I couldn’t be happier and feel more fulfilled. I believe my wife and all three girls feel similarly.
My wife’s sister and her husband, on the other hand, had their one and only daughter much later. They were both in their mid 40’s. They revealed she was pregnant on a family camping trip, while we were playing charades. It was the answer my family was attempting to guess. We all cried tears of joy.
Our niece, Izzy (Isabella), is now 7…and I’ve witnessed something incredible: Two parents who have the tightest bond with their daughter I’ve ever seen, and have gifted that girl with more positivity, self-worth, empowerment and love than I ever dreamed possible.
Yes, we were good parents…but wow…they are just incredible. I mean, really. Watching from a distance, I’m utterly amazed. This girl will have a great deal of “est” in her life: strongest, smartest, healthiest, happiest…best, best, best…you get the idea.
Granted, they are two incredible human beings, and always have been, since the day I met my wife’s sister, just prior to my first date with her older sibling. But…I attribute much of this “est” to their being further along the life journey than many when embarking on the child “leg” of their experience. They’re making the most of every moment with this child, this friend, this joyous extension of their own love.
I’m sure I will refer back to my thoughts on this frequently, as Izzy absolutely, positively smashes her way through her incredible life.