Being Dad at an Old Age..What's Real and What's Myth

Being 37 and with no kids, I have thought about this a lot recently. I am the son of a late father myself.
When I was born, my father was in his late 50s. It was his second marriage. Some people might say that being a late father is difficult for the children, for there is a high chance that an old father might die while the children are still young. There is some truth to that, as my own father died when I was in my early teens. I would not change a single thing though. I am thankful for having had a father like him. Appreciation of life means embracing all the difficulties that come with it.

Some reflections on late fatherhood from the perspective of a son:
- Perhaps due to the fact that the older you get, the less you can relate to the feeling of being a child, I have the impression that old men talk differently to children than younger fathers do. Younger fathers might dump things down for children or hide painful truths in order to cuddle them. Looking back, I realise that due to my father's old age and lack of understanding on how to talk to children, he essentially talked to me the way he would talk to another adult. He just didn't know any different. Since the age of around 6, he would talk to me about politics, about communism and capitalism, about the difference between state run and private run enterprise, about history, about warfare and the dangers of our world, without sugarcoating anything. He would talk about news and current topics. I would just nod along most of the time, but I realise how glad I am he did that, for he taught me things that a younger father might not have.
- An old father has a physically tough time with young kids. Chasing around a 6 year old takes a toll on older guys, the energy level of a kid is just a lot to handle, and this is a constant stress factor. Ideally it will keep you young, or it might utterly exhaust you.
- This is an obvious one, but you have to manage your health. Its the difference of you being around until your kids are grown vs. until their teens.
 
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Blade Runner

Pelican
Orthodox
Isn't the reality that you just have to be honest about who and what you are? I know this is an internet forum, and just like when it used to be a chasing girls place, everyone was skeptical of poster X or that guy's rating of himself: looks, health, longevity, etc. I think it all boils down to that.

If you have a younger wife who can mostly attend to the child without you hard ass-ing the kid left and right, it's easier. If you have relatives that don't mind looking after the kid, it's easier. If you are actually healthy and strong, it's easier. I don't think many of these things change if you are honest about them and know who you are at age 40 and even 50. That fact is, most people aren't. For me, that basically leaves it at, how set in your ways and how much patience do you have at 40+? My parents had all of their kids in their early to mid 30s. By the time I was 10, my dad was approaching 50. For some of us, the health and energy thing is totally overstated. The honesty part is king. And that it helps massively to be able to have a 25-30 year old wife, maximum. Otherwise you are exponentially increasing the stress because an older wife will also be taxing on you, leaning on you more, etc. And if older, she'll likely be western, not a foreign girl.
 

bucky

Ostrich
Isn't the reality that you just have to be honest about who and what you are? I know this is an internet forum, and just like when it used to be a chasing girls place, everyone was skeptical of poster X or that guy's rating of himself: looks, health, longevity, etc. I think it all boils down to that.

If you have a younger wife who can mostly attend to the child without you hard ass-ing the kid left and right, it's easier. If you have relatives that don't mind looking after the kid, it's easier. If you are actually healthy and strong, it's easier. I don't think many of these things change if you are honest about them and know who you are at age 40 and even 50. That fact is, most people aren't. For me, that basically leaves it at, how set in your ways and how much patience do you have at 40+? My parents had all of their kids in their early to mid 30s. By the time I was 10, my dad was approaching 50. For some of us, the health and energy thing is totally overstated. The honesty part is king. And that it helps massively to be able to have a 25-30 year old wife, maximum. Otherwise you are exponentially increasing the stress because an older wife will also be taxing on you, leaning on you more, etc. And if older, she'll likely be western, not a foreign girl.
To be honest, I can't really argue with any of that. I was in my mid-forties when my first child was born and my wife is from south of the border and far younger than me, very traditional girl who was essentially married to the Catholic church until she met me. Now that we're married with kids, she has no interest in a career for herself and just wants to be the "ama de casa," the typical Latina housewife who takes care of the kids and the house. As far as health and energy go, I'm not claiming to bench 2x my body weight with single-digit body fat or anything, but I've always been a fit guy with a healthy lifestyle and I don't find it especially difficult to keep up with the little flock of toddlers I've got now. It's certainly worth the work. In addition to this, my mom and dad live close and frequently take my kids for the afternoon and generally help out a lot. So overall, I have a lot of advantages over other middle aged men who doubt they can handle starting a family.

That said, I believe God wants most men to have a family and that it's especially important that men with good values like those here on RVF have children and raise them right. If you're not planning on the priesthood or some kind of other life of celibate devotion to God, have children. You might not have the advantages that I do, but still, knock on that door and I think it will eventually be opened unto you and you won't regret it.
 
Isn't the reality that you just have to be honest about who and what you are? I know this is an internet forum, and just like when it used to be a chasing girls place, everyone was skeptical of poster X or that guy's rating of himself: looks, health, longevity, etc. I think it all boils down to that.

If you have a younger wife who can mostly attend to the child without you hard ass-ing the kid left and right, it's easier. If you have relatives that don't mind looking after the kid, it's easier. If you are actually healthy and strong, it's easier. I don't think many of these things change if you are honest about them and know who you are at age 40 and even 50. That fact is, most people aren't. For me, that basically leaves it at, how set in your ways and how much patience do you have at 40+? My parents had all of their kids in their early to mid 30s. By the time I was 10, my dad was approaching 50. For some of us, the health and energy thing is totally overstated. The honesty part is king. And that it helps massively to be able to have a 25-30 year old wife, maximum. Otherwise you are exponentially increasing the stress because an older wife will also be taxing on you, leaning on you more, etc. And if older, she'll likely be western, not a foreign girl.

My significant other just turned forty, and she has a bad back and simply not the energy levels of a woman in her twenties or early thirties. I'm probably in better condition than her, despite being older. I actually wish our age difference had been about five to ten years greater than it actually was, due to the realities of female aging and biology, in regards to childbearing and rearing.
 

Thomas More

Hummingbird
Mick Jagger's last son, who was sired when his father was 73.

He will probably grow up without his dad, but the boy is probably healthy, even with a dad that old.

On a side note, his mother looks strange in the picture. :dislike:


16789440-7312609-image-a-19_1564702223793.jpg
The kid already dances like his dad. How could you not want this in you old age, if circumstances make it possible?
 
The kid already dances like his dad. How could you not want this in you old age, if circumstances make it possible?

1 Kings 1:2 Abishag Cares for David
…2 So his servants said to him, “Let us search for a young virgin for our lord the king, to attend to him and care for him and lie by his side to keep him warm.” 3 Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful girl, and they found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king.4 The girl was unsurpassed in beauty; she cared for the king and served him, but he had no relations with her.…

If only we could all get that kind of treatment, when we are very old and having trouble staying warm! Lol
 

Thomas More

Hummingbird
A friend of
Abishag Cares for David
…2 So his servants said to him, “Let us search for a young virgin for our lord the king, to attend to him and care for him and lie by his side to keep him warm.” 3 Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful girl, and they found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king.4 The girl was unsurpassed in beauty; she cared for the king and served him, but he had no relations with her.…

If only we could all get that kind of treatment, when we are very old and having trouble staying warm! Lol

Maybe it would be wrong, but under the circumstances, I would have relations with a young woman of unsurpassed beauty who cared for me and served me.
 

Blade Runner

Pelican
Orthodox
My significant other just turned forty, and she has a bad back and simply not the energy levels of a woman in her twenties or early thirties. I'm probably in better condition than her, despite being older. I actually wish our age difference had been about five to ten years greater than it actually was, due to the realities of female aging and biology, in regards to childbearing and rearing.

So you agree.
 

Lukashenko

Pigeon
Orthodox
I'm 33 next week and have been worrying about this for a while now.

I think a lot of this stems from an ex girlfriend of mine had an abortion a few years back (I was of course against it) So I've been burnt by this.

I want to have a family more than anything but at the same time I have to trust God on the path he will take me.
 
I'm writing this as a father who had a child at 41. My daughter just turned 3 and I'm 44 now. Here's what I have learned.

First, let me set the stage. The first two years were physically exhausting for several reasons. One, my daughter had feeding issues and was very underweight for the first 7 months of her life, which caused us a lot of worry, heartache, and frustration. My wife couldn't breastfeed because of blockage in the milk ducts and that was difficult for my wife and obviously for my daughter.

Second, my daughter also didn't sleep well through the night for a long time and at times, my wife and I nearly lost our minds from sleep deprivation, her more so than me because she is the primary caregiver and stays at home to care for her.

Third, there were lots of other little things that added up. I'll call them trial and error things. Your baby has gas or spits up and it causes them discomfort. How do you fix those things? What do certain cries mean vs others? When do you leave them to cry after you've tried to put them to bed for 2 hours and you're exhausted?

My takeaways are the following:
  1. Being an older dad has become so much more enjoyable now that my daughter is a little older. In fact, I love her more and more each day and she truly brings a lot of joy to my life. She's forming into a little person and I have a hand in that and it brings great satisfaction to me, even though I'm older. I'm not as tired as I used to be and anyone fearing being an older dad, just know that the beginning couple of years are hard but they get easier. But I imagine as I near 60, it might get harder in other ways but that's neither here nor there. I'm trying to enjoy these years right now.
  2. My wife and I learned a lot during the first two years of her life. Many of her cries were from being in pain but we didn't know from what. My wife had a difficult birthing experience and my daughter may have had some neck trauma. We exhausted many possibilities for cause until we found a chiropractor who specialized in working with toddlers. We brought our daughter to her and within a couple of sessions our daughter was sleeping through the night.
  3. Because of the feeding issues our daughter had, we had very few options to feed her. We read a lot of conflicting information about formula and how DHA and ARA found in breast milk are necessary for brain/nervous system development but since these are not naturally occurring, they have to be synthesized through a chemical process which according to some research, can be harmful to infants. So we ended up making our own formula and our daughter is perfectly normal.
Bottom line is that we are all different and our experiences will be different, but in some respects, I believe being an older dad is probably better for me and my daughter. She is benefiting from my life experience and I am able to enjoy the process more because I am older. I pray that I have some years with her and that I am able to have the wisdom to raise her right and keep her insulated from the madness of this world until she is able to meet the challenges of it head-on and stand on her own two feet.
 

GWYW2015

Woodpecker
Orthodox
To be honest, I can't really argue with any of that. I was in my mid-forties when my first child was born and my wife is from south of the border and far younger than me, very traditional girl who was essentially married to the Catholic church until she met me. Now that we're married with kids, she has no interest in a career for herself and just wants to be the "ama de casa," the typical Latina housewife who takes care of the kids and the house. As far as health and energy go, I'm not claiming to bench 2x my body weight with single-digit body fat or anything, but I've always been a fit guy with a healthy lifestyle and I don't find it especially difficult to keep up with the little flock of toddlers I've got now. It's certainly worth the work. In addition to this, my mom and dad live close and frequently take my kids for the afternoon and generally help out a lot. So overall, I have a lot of advantages over other middle aged men who doubt they can handle starting a family.

That said, I believe God wants most men to have a family and that it's especially important that men with good values like those here on RVF have children and raise them right. If you're not planning on the priesthood or some kind of other life of celibate devotion to God, have children. You might not have the advantages that I do, but still, knock on that door and I think it will eventually be opened unto you and you won't regret it.
Very good remarks. Believe it or not, I am 59 and still trying but I do have a younger wife (32).
I realize that I wouldn't be around long, but I also believe what you have installed by the time they reach adolescence or maybe a little later is sufficient to last a lifetime. That is when they MUST have had good training because from then on they will need to be prepared for the many temptations ahead.

It was Adrian Rogers who taught that when the Bible says train up a child in the way he should go and when he is OLD he will not depart from it, meant that OLD was old enough to have hair on his chin. Not teaching about being a senior citizen. That puts a much different perspective on the way this verse is often taught.
 

PUA_Rachacha

Woodpecker
As for the topic:

I think around 40 for guys should be the cut off unless anti-aging tech improves. Average age of death for men is 76 in the USA. The woman should pump out the first kid prior to 30 for a whole host of reasons with only a few exceptions.

Age 40 to 60 = Raise Kid.

Age 60 to 80 = Guidance throughout young adulthood and seeing the type of person they evolve to be. Why raise a kid just to never see them live through adulthood? Decent chance of seeing grandkids if you raised your kid(s) in a environment where people get married young.

Anything past 40 and the cost/benefit seems to start skewing towards being more negative and the risk of depriving the kid(s) of a father figure prematurely increases significantly. At that point, probably best to go the childless route but there is no hard rules when it comes to this sort of thing.
I wouldn't suggest that a man reading this forum is an average American male, especially those contemplating having children after 40 with a younger woman.

I just calculated life expectancy for a 40-yr-old male, non-smoker, never drinks more than two drinks per day, regular weight, regular height. He's projected to live to 83. This assumption includes black males, who skew the statistic as they die earlier because of violent deaths, drug overdoses, and higher rates of heart disease/cancer/STDs. I would guess that the avg. Roosh reader would live to around 85-86 on average, especially if we are spiritual and go to Church regulary.

What I've observed in my parents' age bracket is that you start slowing down around your early 70s if you never really took care of your health. Guys that are fitness freaks generally are still doing well in their late 70s, but genetics may be skewing all of this. Regardless, if you beget a child at age 50 he'll be grown and gone by the time you start slowing down, so you're a little aggressive on the cut-off mark of when to sire children.
 

Laner

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Don't discount the help that your older children can be.

My son is a great help with the 18month little girl that my wife looks after. He helps dress her for outdoors, keeps track of her on their walk to school, and takes breaks from his roughhousing with his friends after school to pay her some attention. Its a really beautiful thing.

They aren't going to help out at night and be there for difficult tantrums but don't discount the simple things like picking up a dropped mitten while out, or just plain old entertainment to give you a breather.
 
I had my first daughter in June, with a traumatic birth for my wife and I guess for my daughter, too. We are both 26.

My daughter has trouble sleeping similar to jakester318. It was better some weeks ago, but now she has a growth spurt which makes it worse again. She awakes almost every hour at night, sometimes even more often and wants to be breastfeed to sleep again. Sometimes this dose not work and I carry her around in a baby carrier so she can go back to sleep. We all sleep in the same room, so I get awoken too if she wants to be feed. At the moment it is very hard for my wife, I can handle it pretty okay. Still sometimes I get really exhausted with caring for the baby, working eight hours, cooking and helping in the household.

I am not an older father, but I could imagine caring for a difficult baby or toddler could get very hard being my older self with less energy. Even though, I would still advise you to try becoming a father anytime. It is the most joyful experience I ever had. There is no better feeling for me than working from home when your wife and daughter come in and both smile at you and you can see the joy of your daughter seeing her father.
 

Max Roscoe

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Don't discount the help that your older children can be.

My son is a great help with the 18month little girl that my wife looks after. He helps dress her for outdoors, keeps track of her on their walk to school, and takes breaks from his roughhousing with his friends after school to pay her some attention. Its a really beautiful thing.

They aren't going to help out at night and be there for difficult tantrums but don't discount the simple things like picking up a dropped mitten while out, or just plain old entertainment to give you a breather.
My father is the youngest sibling in a household of 9 and his older brothers did most of the caretaking / raising duties. This was par for the course in the past, and still is in the families I have observed in latino and asian society.
 

Christhugger

Kingfisher
We just had our first prior to the scamdemic, at Age 33 and 32.

It's definitely far more exhausting than expected. Having to suck it up as a man and do some actual housework is an adjustment and a sacrifice you have to get over.. The wife doing her chores a lot slower and more halfassedly than before while you work all day for money and still do half the housework is also a frustrating reality to accept.

Perhaps this is easier when younger? I'm not sure. I wouldn't want to test it being older...

I was also pretty sure I wanted 3 or even 4 kids previously... i am less sure now. Maybe two is it. I doubt that I would regret more than 2... But it might kill me. I guess we'll wait and see what happens.
 

MtnMan

Woodpecker
We just had our first prior to the scamdemic, at Age 33 and 32.

It's definitely far more exhausting than expected. Having to suck it up as a man and do some actual housework is an adjustment and a sacrifice you have to get over.. The wife doing her chores a lot slower and more halfassedly than before while you work all day for money and still do half the housework is also a frustrating reality to accept.

Perhaps this is easier when younger? I'm not sure. I wouldn't want to test it being older...

I was also pretty sure I wanted 3 or even 4 kids previously... i am less sure now. Maybe two is it. I doubt that I would regret more than 2... But it might kill me. I guess we'll wait and see what happens.
I actually laughed out loud reading this. I am 37 and had a baby September 2019. What you said about having to accept working all day and then coming home to finish up the half-assed housework is very familiar. I used to be pissed about it, but I am have come to accept my wife is giving her all to our baby, and its paying off. This is more important to me than having the dishes done.
 
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