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07-25-2012, 07:40 AM #1
Are there any older parents here?
I'm 37 and my partner is 53. I've been married, but we never wanted children. My partner has always been open to the idea of kids and marriage, but he was busy building a business, working, etc. and it just never happened for him.
We're talking about the next phase of our relationship, and he's still up for being a dad, and for the first time, I'm feeling a slight tug in that direction.
But, we've got that 16 year age gap. He's fit and healthy, runs marathons, our finances are in order, and Denmark has great materinity/paternity benefits, however I'm approaching middle age and he's cruising towards retirement, so the timing could've been much better.
If there are any older parents here, or parents with a big (15+ years) age gap with their partner, I want to hear your experiences.
I've talked a lot with my friends with kids and I know how demanding it is, but my friends all had kids in their early 30's with partners within 5 years of their age, so I expect that my situation will have some additional challenges. We already know that most people would assume our baby is his grandchild
I think we'd raise a lovely person together, but the idea of TTC at this age with someone his age defies logic on some levels. Or am I just thinking too much?
07-25-2012, 09:50 PM #2
We dated for 9 years. Married at 32. Did IVF from 32 to 36. I had DS at 37 yrs. My hubby is 1 yr. older than me. At 39 I tried IVF again, but at 42 after many surgeries, IVF cycles, procedures, etc. I was told diminished ovarian reserve we needed donor eggs. We were set to try donor eggs when my sister who was 4 yrs. older than me was dx with a rare deadly cancer called leiomyosarcoma. At the time the doctors at Dana Farber couldn't say if it's genetic or not. At the same time my coworker was pregnant with her second child and found to have breast cancer. She decided to keep the pregnancy and the cancer unfortunately thrived on the pregnancy hormones. She passed on, and left her DH with 2 little kids. After all this DH & I decided we were blessed with DS and didn't want to risk anything so we gave up trying for a sibling. I lost my sister 2 1/2 yrs. later. My son is now 10 and I just turned 48. We have a blast with him. We do all the things "younger" friends do. I think it's a personal decision. I was the youngest of 6 so my parents were older and I never felt deprived of doing things they always did stuff with me. Maybe they were achy the next day, but they didn't show it. I think being an "older" parent I have alot more patience and after all we've been thru I appreciate being a mother more. I LOVE every second of being a parent. I can't wait to get home from work to see him and hear about his day. We just have so much fun.
07-25-2012, 10:26 PM #3
well i had # 5 the day before i turned 38.
so about the age you would be if you had # 1 soon.
my dh is same age though.
my next to youngest dd who is now 15 has a friend who was adopted from china when her parents were already grandparents thru their birth children that dad is at every thing - the mom has some medical issues secondary to a car accident a few years after they adopted which could happen at any age , .
the parents are great parents . she is a great young lady .
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07-25-2012, 10:32 PM #4
oh i should also mention that most of the kids in my now 11 yo classes are the oldest child in the family or the only child
when my youngest started K my oldest started college i had 2 others at the K-8 school and one in HS
you should have seen the look on these late 20's and early 30's parents when they asked how many older kids i had at the school when they saw me rounding up my carpool group and i told them two in this school one in HS and one in college - they didnt realize how old i was and i actually had a few whispering about how i must have had my first as a teen ( i was 25 when he was born ) .
even with my fibromyalgia i do my best to keep up with all the activities etc and do as well as many much younger parents do with it all.
07-26-2012, 10:51 PM #5
We're close friends with a lovely couple that has a 20+ year age difference. They currently have a nine-year-old child. He has always taken excellent care of himself physically (running, biking, great diet, healthy weight), but recently has had some health concerns that have magnified the age difference. When I talk with her, she does not regret their relationship or the choice to have a child, but is honest about her worries related to potential caregiving needs for him, single parenting, etc. On the positive side, he's on his "second career" and has a lot of flexibility and time to be a very involved and nurturing parent.
Good luck in your decision making.
07-27-2012, 11:04 AM #6
I'm 40 and my dh is 35, our daughters are 4y1m and 15m. In the Netherlands the average age for a woman to have her first child is 30, my friends and my mum were all a bit older than that, so I don't feel exceptionally old.
On the other hand, dh is asking if we will have a third child, but I don't want to push my luck.
07-27-2012, 12:01 PM #7
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The math that stands out to me is 53 plus 18=71. Your DH will be 71 when the child graduates high school. you being 55 isn't so bad. But 71 may be difficult.
Health and patience wise.
Could you consider adopting or fostering a somewhat older child?
An upside to having the child older would be DH should be retired and college would be free?
I had DD at 30 and Ds at 33. I wanted another when Ds was 5 but went thru menopause at 37. It was blessing in disguise because all the health issues started. So for us it wouldn't have been a good thing at all.
Good luck w/ whatever you decide.
07-27-2012, 01:45 PM #8
in my younger dds grade there was a girl who lost her dad before she started K - he was mid 30s massive MI no warning signs
another lost her dad when he was mid 40s and she was 14 -from same thing
my friend has a neighbor who died early 30s from breast cancer leaving behind her dh and 2 young daughters.
people divorce all the time leaving one parent as main parent esp if other is not involved in their life.
none of these people could forsee these happenings so went along with life as they planned.
just because one is not the " norm " age doesnt mean dont do it if you feel you want to .
07-27-2012, 07:47 PM #9
I don't have children yet and i am 39. In my opinion, I say go for it. Momof5 is right you just never know what is going to happen in life. It sounds like you can provide a loving stable home for a child Keep us posted on your decision
07-27-2012, 08:02 PM #10
Go for it! At your age, I think you still have a few years, but due to your husbands age I'd get to it soon. We live in an upper class suburban area. We had our eldest child at age 22. We were (and are still) the youngest parents of all of his peers (he is 17). We then had 2 more children in our 20's and baby #4 at 31. I feel like I am about "right" age wise with her- most of her friends parents are the same age as me or OLDER. I know many, many parents who had their kids in their mid 30's to 40. It is not unusual. When you wrote "older parents" I really figured you were already in your 40's Good luck!
07-30-2012, 10:20 PM #11
Personally, I consider parenting to be a state of mind. Not an age thing b/c you look at some teen moms and they have it going on vs a late 20 something/early 30 something mom who's outta control and doesn't know up from down (no disrespect to the teeen moms out there)
If you're willing to commit and are able to - go for it
07-30-2012, 10:44 PM #12
i am 43 and dh is 52...we have a nine yr old princess...she is the apple ofdaddy's eye....yes, there is a age difference...and, he works ALOT and traves alot, but does it all for us....he has a son whom i just adore from prior marriage who is going to be 17 in just a few mths...dh is a wonderful dad, but, yes, i do most as he is tired..but not an issue as i love dh moe than life itself and dd is blessig from above...lifeis wha you make of it...we live in a free country and all have choice....so be it...to each there own....n, just to humor you all, there was a dads for donuts when dd was in kindergarten....someone asked her if that was her grandpa(dh is balding and ray and white haired..thefew he has...lol) and she came home and cried thn we tlked about it and she laughed and still doesto this day.....
07-31-2012, 12:30 AM #13
I think older parents' life experience, financial stability and wisdom more than balances out the age issues. I was 18 when I had my first which is not something I'd recommend!! When I was 28 we adopted our youngest dd. I enjoyed her ever so much more than I did my first. We were foster parents for 15 or so years when we were in our 40's and I enjoyed those babies even more.
I agree 100% that you just never know what life is going to throw your way so I wouldn't give the maybe's too much thought. Just as you are considering single parenting should you lose your dh, you should have the discussion with him as to how he'd feel about raising a child on his own if something happened to you.
We have good friends, who although don't have the age gap you and your dh do, had their first child when she was 40 and he was 41. They'd been married 18 years and been trying all that time so this was a big surprise and a huge blessing. That son is now married himself and his parents are still around to enjoy him and are looking forward to grandchildren.
07-31-2012, 06:14 AM #14
Adopting was our first choice, but due to his age, required length of marriage, and the fact that I'm American and he's Danish and we're living in Denmark, it's impossible to adopt even internationally as a couple and we do not want me to adopt as a single.
We know that the potential child would lose its father early, but there are no guarantees for anyone in life, and that's not a good enough reason not to have a child. I'm more worried about whether or not he will have the energy to keep up with a kid and if I'll have the energy/desire to pick up the slack. If we'd met 10 years ago, I think the age difference would be less of a concern that it is now.
My gut tells me he'd be a great Dad. And his family has a long history of living into their 90's
07-31-2012, 03:14 PM #15
I'm not an older parent, but I was raised by older parents. Mom was 37 when she had me and 40 when she had my little brother. Dad was 43 when I was born, 46 when my youngest brother was born.
Being older, my parents were much more patient with us than they were with my older siblings, and I believe that benefited us greatly. And although we had things much better financially than my older siblings, growing up was tough in other ways. When i compare to my other friends, it was more like having grandparents.
Mom was diagnosed with cancer when I was in 2nd grade. She died when I was 19 and my brother was still 15.
Dad had his first heart attack when I was 2. He died the day after my 21st birthday, my younger brother was 17 and still in high school. It's hard to be that young and have no parents.
My younger brother has had a particularly difficult time finding his way. He also perpetually chases older women, probably looking for the mother he never really had (she was sick his whole life).
My life hasn't been a cakewalk either. Think of all the times in your adult life that your parents have been there for you... I never had that, ever. When I got married, no father to walk me down the aisle. When my kids were born, no mother to help. When I really could have used the emotional support of a parent, like when my baby died, there was nobody. And now my kid will never know her grandparents.
I personally, had my kids in my 20s. I would not do to my kids what my parents did to me. Just my personal experience.