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gbill2004

Pros & cons of being an older parent?

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What are the pros and cons of being an older parent, for example having your first child at age 40?  I'll get started:

Pros: kids keep you younger, more financially stable

Cons: less energy, kids graduating high school when I'll be 60 

Any other thoughts based on your experiences?

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have a partner/wife/gf who's some 17 yrs younger than yourself ... her energy will be needed. 

:coffee:

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Had our third after I was 40 (Mrs. O is a bunch younger). 
 

Kids are a lot of work.  
 

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Con: people thinking you're the grandpa.

Pro: $ to hire an au pair

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I was 36 when my first came and 37 when my second came.

Pro was financial stability and maturity

Con was energy level and kind of feeling old though with more and more older 1st time parents I feel less bad having a 4 year old and some grey hair.

I should have gotten going a few years earlier but wasn't really ready until like 33.

The late night wake ups take an incredible toll on you.  It sapped all my enjoyment of the kids as babies

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I was 39 and 43. The maturity level is a big pro...tough emotional work having kids, individually and as a couple. Also having done a ton of living prior to having them was a pro as well- I'd like to be still travelling at the drop of a hat or otherwise live more spontaneously...but as said, did a ton of that prior and have no real regrets or feelings of missed opportunities.

Energy level, yep. Also a concern about whether I'll live long enough to see my grandkids.

 

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I’m 42 and have 15 & 13 girls. The wife and I recently discussed how grateful we are to have had them early as we couldn’t even imagine having the energy to keep up with little ones now. Im not sure there is anything that can prepare you for the hell that teenagers bring.

Speaking as a young parent I’ll list them from my perspective:

Pros -

Mo-energy, mo-energy, mo-energy. 

Can relate/understand the kids better

If healthy, the second half of my life will be so much fun. Kids will be out of the house, the house will be paid off and the 401k/pensions will be fat. 

Cons -

Due to not being even close to your highest earning potential there can be financial struggles which can strain the marriage. This likely means less or even no exotic traveling or purchasing all the fun things you want. 

Other parents aren’t that accepting. I’m not sure why. Maybe they view my wife and I as a different generation or there’s some other reason. Doesn’t bother us too much but it’s something we’ve noticed. 
 

The other moms are old. :yucky:

Edited by fissure man

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Does not apply to me, but from what Ive seen:

Pro: possibly more time to spend with the kids and as others have mentioned, more money.

Con: Always the oldest parents....although, this is over played as the age level fluctuates depending upon how many kids other families have. In other words, if a family is at activities with their youngest of five, they might be in the older age group compared to a couple who's there with their first child. 

Pro/Con: From my observation, kids with older parents are more mature and smarter. That said, they don't always seem to relate as well with other kids. 

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Cjw_55106 said:

Does not apply to me, but from what Ive seen:

Pro: possibly more time to spend with the kids and as others have mentioned, more money.

Con: Always the oldest parents....although, this is over played as the age level fluctuates depending upon how many kids other families have. In other words, if a family is at activities with their youngest of five, they might be in the older age group compared to a couple who's there with their first child. 

Pro/Con: From my observation, kids with older parents are more mature and smarter. That said, they don't always seem to relate as well with other kids. 

 

 

 

And fwiw, I never felt like an older parent in my late 30s early 40s...seemed like everybody here in nyc was the same age. Meanwhile where I grew up in the burbs of SF, most of my HS friends had theirs in their late 20s early 30s. Where you're having kids is a big part of it.

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I never felt like an older parent because I am immature. Also, I feel like starting late means less time to know my kid. 

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had our first when we were both 32

pros: more patience, better place financially, out of that danger zone of "i could do something really, really stupid at any moment" time of life

cons: i can't think of any. 

 

my parents had 2 kids by the time they were 23 and 21, respectively. they were not remotely ready for it. feels like there's not a lot of upside to having kids that young these days.

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Had our oldest at 29, youngest at 33

i just turned 40, wife will be 40, I couldn’t imagine having another one now, not so much because of our age but because I just don’t want to start over again.  
 

wife would definitely let me put another baby in her but my luck I’d pull a @General Malaise and end up with twins

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Had my first at 26. Had my last at 45 (second marriage). So I’ve got both perspectives. 
Most have been touched on.....more money when older, less energy. Biggest thing for me is they get me out of the house. As I get older I have the desire to become more and more a recluse. Can’t do that with kids. 

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4 hours ago, gbill2004 said:

What are the pros and cons of being an older parent, for example having your first child at age 40?  I'll get started:

Pros: kids keep you younger, more financially stable

Cons: less energy, kids graduating high school when I'll be 60 

Any other thoughts based on your experiences?

I don't understand the "more financially stable" part. Are you saying that assuming a childless person or couple would blow their money partying?

If anything, this should be under cons. It's expensive to raise a kid.

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Had my first at 36 and my 3rd when I was 41. 

Pro's - all of it. I changed my life to accommodate them so I can honestly say I've spent as much time with them as possible while they were growing up.

Con's - wife and I made a decision with the first two that she would only work part time until they hit school age. It set us back a lot of years in terms of our retirement, but I wouldn't take it back. That and my baby girl will graduate high school when I am 59, so getting them all through college will be a challenge.

I pray I live long enough to see grandchildren, but to be honest, I've lived long enough to see their smiles, to hear that baby belly laugh, and to hear them call me "daddy". I'm good for whatever life brings at this point.

Edited by ChiefD
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4 hours ago, gbill2004 said:

What are the pros and cons of being an older parent, for example having your first child at age 40?  I'll get started:

Pros: kids keep you younger, more financially stable

 

:lmao: clearly you don't have teenagers. 

Our youngest is 38 years younger than me.  Had our first when I was 26.  

The only real advantage for us with the younger ones is we've been more stable. But that's more due to career choice than the kids.

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My dad was 25 when I was born, so that was always the benchmark for me growing up. I blew right past 25, 26,27,28, 29 and when I hit 30 I told myself that if I wasn't at least with the woman I was going to marry by the time I hit 35 I was going to be a bachelor for the rest of my life.  I promptly met my wife, married her and by the time I hit 35 I had 2 kids and the third (last) one on the way.  I felt like at 32/33 I was getting a late start, but as it turned out, I reconnected with several people from my old neighborhood/HS and they too had started around the same time, so there was a small group of us who were the same age and whose kids were the same age. There were also a couple of dads a good 8-10 years older than me with kids my kids' age, and I marveled them for their parenting skills.  It had also helped that for both of them, these kids were from 2nd marriages and they also had adult age kids, so I think for them, having a second round of kids energized them or at least made them feel that since they had been through it once, the second time around would be easier and they would have some insight they didn't have the first time.

Conversely, the parents of one of the kids I grew up with didn't have kids until they were near the end of child bearing years (IIRC, the mom was in her 40's when he was born, and either late 30's or 40's as well when his older brother was born), and the dad was at least in his 50's when my friend was born, and while the mom was sweet as can be to all us kids in the neighborhood (and why not, she was as old as our grandmothers), the dad was old school and didn't care/know anything about 'modern' parenting. The older brother was unabashedly his favorite (one Christmas, he got a $2000 electric piano/organ, and my friend got electronic Battleship and repairs to his bicycle), and was otherwise such a curmudgeon that he embarrassed my friend to the point the other kids in the neighborhood (I admit me as well, but to a lesser extent. Not that it really matters and may have been even worse) teased him mercilessly as well. Saddest part is this kid was arguably the smartest kid I grew up with but so socially awkward that he ended up being his own worst enemy.

Having said all of that, I think the "pros" and "cons" are meaningless as long as you understand and stick to your role and responsibilities as a parent.  My experience has been that it's a crapshoot in the end and you have to figure out what each kid needs from you, and sometimes even that isn't enough; just love them the best you can anyway and keep figuring out how to do that better.

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5 hours ago, gbill2004 said:

What are the pros and cons of being an older parent, for example having your first child at age 40?  I'll get started:

Pros: kids keep you younger, more financially stable

Cons: less energy, kids graduating high school when I'll be 60 

Any other thoughts based on your experiences?

Don`t worry,  60 is the new 40.

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4 hours ago, Chaos Commish said:

I was 36 when my only child was born. Wish I was 26. 

Don`t wish different.  At 36 you are wiser, way more mature and will be a great parent.

 

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I was a younger parent, so I can't speak to the pros.  My parents were younger as well.  They are turning 75 this year, and have been able to become great grandparents as of last year.  I can't imagine the joy it must bring to be able to see three future generations of your family be born, seeing your grandkids, who you still see regularly, have kids.

My step daughter is old enough to be married now (just a matter of time with her serious boyfriend) and even though I'm not 50 yet, I'm excited at the prospect of becoming a grandparent.

Definite downside is the money factor.  We had kids before we were financially set, so we were never able to contribute to savings for the kids college.  The two youngest and junior and senior in high school, and since we are now making decent money, we will get nothing for need based financial aid.  That's a double whammy.

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4 hours ago, bostonfred said:

Spending time with all the younger moms is nice. 

Flipside is I can't keep up with the younger dads, who are anywhere from 5 to 15 years younger than I am.  Sports/physical stuff and late-night partying -- I usually have to avoid or find a reason to slip out early.

 

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38 minutes ago, Charlie Steiner said:

My dad was 25 when I was born, so that was always the benchmark for me growing up. I blew right past 25, 26,27,28, 29 and when I hit 30 I told myself that if I wasn't at least with the woman I was going to marry by the time I hit 35 I was going to be a bachelor for the rest of my life.  I promptly met my wife, married her and by the time I hit 35 I had 2 kids and the third (last) one on the way.  I felt like at 32/33 I was getting a late start, but as it turned out, I reconnected with several people from my old neighborhood/HS and they too had started around the same time, so there was a small group of us who were the same age and whose kids were the same age. There were also a couple of dads a good 8-10 years older than me with kids my kids' age, and I marveled them for their parenting skills.  It had also helped that for both of them, these kids were from 2nd marriages and they also had adult age kids, so I think for them, having a second round of kids energized them or at least made them feel that since they had been through it once, the second time around would be easier and they would have some insight they didn't have the first time.

Conversely, the parents of one of the kids I grew up with didn't have kids until they were near the end of child bearing years (IIRC, the mom was in her 40's when he was born, and either late 30's or 40's as well when his older brother was born), and the dad was at least in his 50's when my friend was born, and while the mom was sweet as can be to all us kids in the neighborhood (and why not, she was as old as our grandmothers), the dad was old school and didn't care/know anything about 'modern' parenting. The older brother was unabashedly his favorite (one Christmas, he got a $2000 electric piano/organ, and my friend got electronic Battleship and repairs to his bicycle), and was otherwise such a curmudgeon that he embarrassed my friend to the point the other kids in the neighborhood (I admit me as well, but to a lesser extent. Not that it really matters and may have been even worse) teased him mercilessly as well. Saddest part is this kid was arguably the smartest kid I grew up with but so socially awkward that he ended up being his own worst enemy.

Having said all of that, I think the "pros" and "cons" are meaningless as long as you understand and stick to your role and responsibilities as a parent.  My experience has been that it's a crapshoot in the end and you have to figure out what each kid needs from you, and sometimes even that isn't enough; just love them the best you can anyway and keep figuring out how to do that better.

You left the most enticing part out - so what happened to your friend? 

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1 hour ago, eoMMan said:

I don't understand the "more financially stable" part. Are you saying that assuming a childless person or couple would blow their money partying?

If anything, this should be under cons. It's expensive to raise a kid.

I would think he means more financially stable as in higher salary, own a home, have money saved.  I was in way better financial shape when my daughter was born at 37 than I would have been 10 years earlier just because of higher earnings and more saved.

ETA:  I believe he is referring to being more financially stable by having kids older, not in comparison to not having kids at all.

Edited by Tom Hagen
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upside to kids in general (at least these days):   despite access to the world wide web, they are still fascinated by new information.  was talking with my kids about how dogs have a far superior sense of smell compared to humans..  kids minds were blown.

 

can't remember the last conversation i had with an adult who wasn't utterly jaded and convinced they knew absolutely everything about everything, thanks to the internet. it's so much worse online but holy #### it's leaking in to real world interactions at an alarming pace.

got my haircut last week. barber asked me some conversational questions about a hobby i've been involved in going on 15 years now (the barber not as long but still quite a while). some shmuck decided he knew everything there was to know about it and decided this was his time to mansplain (to two men) all the ways in which they were wrong.

my barber, being the kinda guy that is good with subtle backhands questioned the guy's credentials only to find that he was basing his knowledge on essentially one article he had read recently.. but that was enough to trump everything the two of us had learned through experience.

i've found that all too common nowadays.

 

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6 hours ago, gbill2004 said:

What are the pros and cons of being an older parent, for example having your first child at age 40?  I'll get started:

Pros: kids keep you younger, more financially stable

Cons: less energy, kids graduating high school when I'll be 60 

Any other thoughts based on your experiences?

Mom was 45 when she had me, dad was 50. They were super cool given the age gap. My youngest brother next to me is 19 years older than I am. Growing up in an older family gave me a lot of insights into the Greatest Generation. Dad was born 1916, mom 1921. As they grew older they were more dependent on me to do physical things around their house for them. The true downside to older parents is I'm 55 and they've both been gone for a good little while now. I have the misfortune to be the last remaining of the family. You don't think about it much if you have siblings around your age but my youngest is is 74, also have another brother who is 78. Lost my sister already. Soon it will just be me.

To your original question now that I've brought the room down. It's a different experience but no less of one than my friends with younger parents. They were at all my sporting events, supported me through college and taught me more than I could ever imagine. Much more so then my friends with younger parents because they grew up in a much different time. I wouldn't do it already having two children that are grown and out of the house but I wouldn't discourage it because of age. especially toward when people are living longer and are in much better health than my parents were (dad had his first of 4 heart attacks at age 62).

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I think the biggest question you have to ask yourself is how much do you value YOUR time

I imagine that you can do whatever you want with your time right now. Go on vacation, sleep in late, go out for a nice dinner and a movie etc

When you have kids ALL.OF.THAT.CHANGES

Here was my weekend

Friday night 6:30-8:00 Coach 12 year old daughter soccer practice, Wife brought my 10 year old son to Varsity hockey game to be the flag carrier that brings them on ice

Son gets home at 8:30 and we drive 2 hours and 30 minutes to Philly area because he has a hockey doubleheader on Saturday

Saturday- Daughter has play practice at 9:00am so my wife has to wake up early to bring her. Son has first hockey game at 10:30, needs to be there at 9:45

Second game is at 4:30 so after the first, we have to hang out for a few hours. We go to lunch and end up going back to the rink

Game ends at 5:45pm and we go upstairs to eat. Drive home 2 hours and 30 minutes and I am able to jump on the peloton before showering and sleep

Sunday- Son has a birthday party from 11-12:30, Daughter has lacrosse practice from 12-1

I had varsity soccer winter league from 2:30-4

Son had a hockey game from 4:30-6.

This is typically what every single weekend will look like in the winter. Come spring, we add lacrosse, spring hockey and flag football for my son and soccer games for my daughter.

So, like I said, how much do you value YOUR time

ETA: There is not one weekend in February where I am not in a hotel

 

 

Edited by AcerFC
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Had mine when both my wife and I were 36. We got married at 30, and it was good to have a little time together before having a child, bought a house, settled in a bit more financially, etc. Got in some good traveling to Italy, Ireland, and Alaska.

Biggest con is that biology not entirely in our favor waiting that long. We started trying when we were around 34, but my wife had to take some different drugs before success. So, the first one took longer than anticipated.  Then, because my wife had to get a C-section, we had to wait a little bit longer to try for child #2.  Wife was around 38 by that point, and the drugs that worked for child #1, did not yield success.  Ended up going through two rounds of IVF last year without success (and because she is of "advanced maternal age" not covered by insurance).

Edited by Don Quixote

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40 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Flipside is I can't keep up with the younger dads, who are anywhere from 5 to 15 years younger than I am.  Sports/physical stuff and late-night partying -- I usually have to avoid or find a reason to slip out early.

So true.  I'm on a health kick right now just so i can keep up with my kid as he gets older and it sucks because I was really enjoying getting old and fat. 

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I had the worst of both worlds by being old (43 and 45 respectively) and not particularly mature.  And having law school loans from my 30s  

It’s definitely exhausting. And it’s weird being WAY older than the other parents. But I’ve also never been energetic or a social butterfly, so it’s hard to say that things would have been different 20 years ago. 

I suppose one advantage is that I had already come to terms with what I had become in life, so there’s no delusion that kids have kept me from some greater destiny. 
 


 

 

Edited by Ramsay Hunt Experience
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47 minutes ago, fissure man said:

You left the most enticing part out - so what happened to your friend? 

Better question is what didn't happen to him. Answer: too many sad things to mention.

Last I heard from him, he moved across the country a few years ago after his mother died and started over as a steamfitter.

Not to go too far afield, but among his lifetime "accomplishments":

--Joined the Navy with the intent to become a nuclear reactor tech, only to find out after he was sworn in that he was too old, and the sub he did get posted to spent all of its time in dry dock except for its one deployment to get decommissioned.

--Cost another friend of ours a good job in finance by convincing him to run a credit check on the guy he thought was sleeping with his wife, only to learn he gave my buddy the wrong person, who raised a s---storm when he found out about it.

Bottom line, he didn't deserve most of what happened to him, but it fell in line with the type of upbringing he got at the hands of his out of touch father.

ETA: On the other hand, I went with him and his wife to see R.E.M. in '88 or so, and was tripping on LSD the whole time. And speaking of his wife, together, they were affectionately known as Sid and Nancy, and surprise, she did end up dying of a drug overdose after they split up.

Edited by Charlie Steiner

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54 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Flipside is I can't keep up with the younger dads, who are anywhere from 5 to 15 years younger than I am.  Sports/physical stuff and late-night partying -- I usually have to avoid or find a reason to slip out early.

 

My kids’ daycare has a “field day” where they put all the Dads in an up and back sprint on a tennis court. Two years ago, in an insane attempt to keep up, I ended up eating it and taking the skin off both forearms. Now, I just plead old age. 

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Pros: more wisdom (theoretically)

Cons: lack of energy

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27 minutes ago, AcerFC said:

 

ETA: There is not one weekend in February where I am not in a hotel

 

 

youth travel hockey is a ##### GB. 

We dont travel nearly as much now, but any chance you are going to be in Marborogh Mass the last w/e in feb? 

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17 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

My kids’ daycare has a “field day” where they put all the Dads in an up and back sprint on a tennis court. Two years ago, in an insane attempt to keep up, I ended up eating it and taking the skin off both forearms. Now, I just plead old age. 

My kids sports teams (soccer, basketball, volleyball) typically have a kids v parents day at the end of the season.  I played along for a while, but now usually have a conveniently timed "tweaked my knee doing yardwork" or "sciatica is acting up."  

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39 minutes ago, AcerFC said:

I think the biggest question you have to ask yourself is how much do you value YOUR time

I imagine that you can do whatever you want with your time right now. Go on vacation, sleep in late, go out for a nice dinner and a movie etc

When you have kids ALL.OF.THAT.CHANGES

Here was my weekend

Friday night 6:30-8:00 Coach 12 year old daughter soccer practice, Wife brought my 10 year old son to Varsity hockey game to be the flag carrier that brings them on ice

Son gets home at 8:30 and we drive 2 hours and 30 minutes to Philly area because he has a hockey doubleheader on Saturday

Saturday- Daughter has play practice at 9:00am so my wife has to wake up early to bring her. Son has first hockey game at 10:30, needs to be there at 9:45

Second game is at 4:30 so after the first, we have to hang out for a few hours. We go to lunch and end up going back to the rink

Game ends at 5:45pm and we go upstairs to eat. Drive home 2 hours and 30 minutes and I am able to jump on the peloton before showering and sleep

Sunday- Son has a birthday party from 11-12:30, Daughter has lacrosse practice from 12-1

I had varsity soccer winter league from 2:30-4

Son had a hockey game from 4:30-6.

This is typically what every single weekend will look like in the winter. Come spring, we add lacrosse, spring hockey and flag football for my son and soccer games for my daughter.

So, like I said, how much do you value YOUR time

ETA: There is not one weekend in February where I am not in a hotel

 

 

I did that for years, plus my daughters played college volleyball so it added 4 more years to my travels. I never missed a college game for one of them.  My wife and I would split up at times to go to different games.  I followed them all over the country to places I never thought I would go. I mean I have been to Vanderbilt, Alabama, Oregon, UCLA, Texas, plus countless others.  One time they played at Belmont in a tourney.  I never knew where Belmont was, only knew about them because they made the NCAAs in basketball.  It is right next to Vanderbilt in Nashville.  beautiful school.

Enjoy it because I miss it now.

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15 minutes ago, glvsav37 said:

youth travel hockey is a ##### GB. 

We dont travel nearly as much now, but any chance you are going to be in Marborogh Mass the last w/e in feb? 

No, we made the AYHL playoffs so we will be there that weekend. Going to Jersey shore ice this weekend for super series 

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I will honest - I don't see any pros yet.  Our kids are 8+ years apart, had the 2nd at 40, and I am easily twice as tired and worn down.  Mostly feel bad because I have so little energy to keep up like I did with the 1st.  

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2 hours ago, ChiefD said:

Had my first at 36 and my 3rd when I was 41. 

Pro's - all of it. I changed my life to accommodate them so I can honestly say I've spent as much time with them as possible while they were growing up.

Con's - wife and I made a decision with the first two that she would only work part time until they hit school age. It set us back a lot of years in terms of our retirement, but I wouldn't take it back. That and my baby girl will graduate high school when I am 59, so getting them all through college will be a challenge.

I pray I live long enough to see grandchildren, but to be honest, I've lived long enough to see their smiles, to hear that baby belly laugh, and to hear them call me "daddy". I'm good for whatever life brings at this point.

Agree with all of this

Will add “poppy” might be more melt worthy than “daddy” :lol:

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31 minutes ago, Cowboysfan8 said:

Agree with all of this

Will add “poppy” might be more melt worthy than “daddy” :lol:

Judging by my dad’s grandparenting style compared to his parenting style, I’d say it’s a guarantee 

 

“You picked her up early from VPK just to take her to get a frosty?!?”

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Really started trying when I was 35-36(I've got her my 7 years), didn't happen until 40

 

And BAM!!!!!  Twins

I'm now pushing 50 with two 8 year olds and a 6 year old

 

Tried to start younger, just didn't happen.......wouldn't change a thing

 

 

Edited by Wrigley

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Had my only child at 40 (44 now).  Guaranteed I’m 100x a better parent now then I would have been at 34 and 10,000x better then 24.  Any cons are far outweighed by this.  

Edited by dkp993
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12 hours ago, gbill2004 said:

What are the pros and cons of being an older parent, for example having your first child at age 40?  I'll get started:

Pros: kids keep you younger, more financially stable

Cons: less energy, kids graduating high school when I'll be 60 

Any other thoughts based on your experiences?

cons: more medical risk, higher risk of birth defects or syndromes, more rigid in parenting (can be a pro as well), parents that much closer to old age and all its problems (health)

 

pros: more money, more wisdom, more security, generally less insecure at that age, kids will be priority, parents immune system better developed, kids will benefit from parents being in their prime earning years.

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Ex had our oldest when I was 22, wife had my youngest when I was 35.  Most of the pros and cons have been pointed out.  It is weird with other parents. When our oldest was growing up, we were the youngest parents and the odd ones, now with our youngest we are older than most parents of classmates and the "odd ones".

 

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