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to think we are not 'older parents'

(133 Posts)
blondieblonde Wed 02-Mar-16 10:06:50

Read this on the Guardian.

DH was 39 and 42 when we had our kids, I was 31 and 33. I don't think we are older parents, but the article -- which is so negative -- has me worried.

AmysTiara Wed 02-Mar-16 10:09:28

Your DH is an older parent. You maybe slightly older than average.

SpocksThirdEar Wed 02-Mar-16 10:09:39

Worried about what? It doesn't matter what age you had your children as long as you're doing your best for them. I had my first at 22 and my last at 31.

SpocksThirdEar Wed 02-Mar-16 10:10:24

Oh, and DH is 10 years older than me.

Birdsgottafly Wed 02-Mar-16 10:10:44

The people in that article are in their 40's and 50's, so it isn't relevant to your situation.

They're twenty years older than you.

Seeline Wed 02-Mar-16 10:16:12

The parents in that article are much older than that though.
I had my DCs at 33 and 36 - -DH was 37 and 40. Yes we are older than some of their friends parents, but not all.
I think being a slightly older parent has some advantages - you are likely to be more settled, and have got careers, housing etc on track. I also understood that older parents often had brighter children although I think that came from my Mum so probably completely unproven .
The downsides are not coping so well with sleep deprivation, and physical activity. You also run the risk of not seeing your kids reach old age - but hey we could all get knocked down by a bus tomorrow.....

Helmetbymidnight Wed 02-Mar-16 10:20:11

Er. Well what are you going to do? Get a time machine?

BarricadesBabe Wed 02-Mar-16 10:20:36

DH and I were both 41 when our DT were born. Never been an issue for us, and if it is for others they've never said it to our faces. We are probably more active than a lot of families we know and certainly no more tired. It's about the individuals, not their age.

FigMango1 Wed 02-Mar-16 10:21:39

But your Dh is an older parent? Why are you so worked up. Is it going to change anything?

FirstWeTakeManhattan Wed 02-Mar-16 10:22:28

We're 'older parents' but I doubt that our kids will have an issue given that nearly every parent I know is around the same age. A few exceptions, but nearly all of our friends, neighbours, family etc. waited until deep into their 30's before starting families.

Hygellig Wed 02-Mar-16 10:22:36

This is something I worry about as DH was 43 and 46 when our children were born (I was 32 and 34). (My parents were 29 and 30 when I was born and are still in good health and DH's were 32 but both died relatively young).

DH's uncle was 60 when his son was born! He used to say that he would think he was an old fart whether he was 30 or 60. However, when I think that my grandad died at 82 when I was 23 it is likely to mean that he will die when his son is still quite young.

I had a friend at school whose mother had her at almost 46. She was quite sensitive at times about her mum's age, although her mum was extremely fit and healthy.

At the end of the day I think the quality of the parenting relationship matters more than the parent's age. There's also sadly no guarantee that even if you have young parents they will live to a ripe and healthy old age.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 02-Mar-16 10:23:44

I was 32/34/36 when I had ours. I've always felt like an older parent. We very much wish we had been younger when we had them.

Although my very good group of mum friends I met years ago through my now 15 year old ds range from aged 40 to 61 (current ages) so at 52 I'm about average within the people we know generally.

I feel old and a bit jaded now with 3 teens.

nevertakeyouriphoneinthebath Wed 02-Mar-16 10:27:51

Your DH is older, you are not.

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 02-Mar-16 10:31:33

I was 29 with DS1 and 30 with DS2 - never considered myself an older parent tbh! DH joked that his ambition was to produce children by his 40th birthday and he just about managed it (38/39). I still call him the old man but I do not actually consider him decrepit grin

I agree that it is more about the individuals than their age.

CreamofTartar Wed 02-Mar-16 10:33:37

Oh, yawn. Frankly, it's as much a class issue as anything. Prosperous professional women in particular are delaying childbearing because we still live in a deeply sexist society which does not support 'working mothers' and regards children as a 'womens issue'. Put in place affordable, high-quality state-provided childcare, enforce equal sharing of parental leave etc and women will feel able to have children younger, if they want them. All of my friends have had their children in their early 40. Losing a parent 'younger' isn't going to be anomalous.

And note that it's the fathers who are much older than the mothers in that article, but men of that age would have been reproducing throughout most of human history. Wives died in childbirth with alarming regularity, men remarried and had more children with the new wife, often several times. It's only since fewer maternal deaths in childbirth are happening in the first world that we have started finding fathers in their 50s and 60s unusual, when in fact it's hardly a new fad invented to oppress today's children.

PastaLaFeasta Wed 02-Mar-16 10:36:44

It's all relative, your DH is an older parent but you were probably average. I was 27 when I had my first and feel like the equivalent of a teen parent because relatively I'm very young at the school gate, 27 is actually the average age for a mum of a five/six year old first child.

My mum had me at 26 and thought she was ancient, MIL had DH at 38 and is much less able to be a grandparent than she would have been ten years earlier which is a big shame. I know my cousins were a little upset by having an older dad, he was 40ish, they felt they missed out, but they may have missed out on other things with a 30yr old dad. We are not quite so well off now than we could have been a few years later, as we planned, but both my kids will be secondary school when I hit 40 so I can catch up on career and finances later while my peers will be taking maternity leave. It's all individual and age is less important now than 30 years ago - we live longer and healthier.

Phalenopsisgirl Wed 02-Mar-16 10:37:21

That makes me practically anchient! And dh near death lol

allnewdiamonddealer Wed 02-Mar-16 10:37:27

I was 21 when I had my first child, and almost 45 when I had my last. I do not feel any older now (my youngest is now 10) than I did when my older children were young and I don't feel older than other parents at the school gate even though I obviously am.

HanYOLO Wed 02-Mar-16 10:38:13

pfft. Even at 42 it's not dramatically "older".

Most people I know had their first child around 30. Those who had them before were either independently wealthy, very religious, or had an unplanned pregnancy.

People have always had children into a later age - many women would have their first in their 20s and kept on having them into their 40s.

This article is just angst for angst's sake.

SellFridges Wed 02-Mar-16 10:38:14

I'd say the vast majority of people I know we're early to mid thirties when they had their children. Very few under 30, and then only just under 30.

NewLife4Me Wed 02-Mar-16 10:38:45

It's all context though isn't it.
I was considered older in 1994 when I was 29, because the average age of mothers was much lower.
At 38 for dc3 I was definitely considered older, even though people in their 40's are having babies.
In my ward there were 5 out of 8 of us under 17. Two of them under 15.
We live in an area with high number of teenage pregnancies.

DorotheaHomeAlone Wed 02-Mar-16 10:45:47

I'm not sure there's much point getting huffy about a bunch of anecdotes. These people are just describing their lives experiences. They're not talking about you although some of what they're saying may be relevant to your DH.

The truth is if you have your kids later there are benefits to you in terms of time before then but you are probably sacrificing the joy of more good years together in the future. I'm early 30s and in the middle of having mine. I wish I could have started earlier, honestly but my DH just wasn't ready. I would be very sad to have waited another 10 years and possibly missed out on this chance to see my kids mature, support them with any grandchildren etc. My mum is still young and it's wonderful for me and my siblings.

That said, these are my life choices. I understand why different people choose/are forced to wait until they're older and there are lots of factors in play. Health and attitude make a big difference.

Annarose2014 Wed 02-Mar-16 10:46:13

Look, if you have kids at 40+, then you know from Day 1 that you are going to start getting health problems by the time your kids are in their mid thirties. And you'll be happy to see them hit 40. You may get grandkids but you won't see them grow up.

But that's not necessarily a terrible thing. My MIL was still worrying about her Mum at 70. Gran was 95 and fully able to live alone but was demanding. It was really tough to have to be a part time carer at that age. She wasn't able.

I had older parents, took care of them throughout my thirties and now both are dead. I'm now starting a family of my own and will be an older parent myself. I'm fully aware of the unique challenges but I'm hoping I can stay independent as long as possible so my kids aren't burdened too much.

But my burden with regards to my own parents was over far before any of my friends and tbh now I feel much freer than they are. Many of my friends parents are only now starting to develop health problems and I wouldn't swap places for anything knowing they could have 20 years of worrying about their folks ahead of them. Caring for parents just as they finally get an empty nest. That's really hard.

So there are a lot of different sides to it.

Italiangreyhound Wed 02-Mar-16 10:48:14

I was 39 when my dd was born and 45 when my ds was born (to his birth mother). The article is about someone whose dad was 58 when she was born.

It's all pretty immaterial really because you can't change how old you were when your kids were born.

The best thing is to stay as fit and active as you can, keep your body and mind as mentally with it as possible. (I am horrible dated by the phrase with it).

Part of the article is about ignorance, how it is better for children to know and understand things...

"Growing up I thought my dad was pretty young, he has aged really well and until I was about 12 I believed he was in his early 30s. I felt really shocked when I realised he wasn’t as young as the other dads. For a few months directly after I would cry at night because I thought he was going to die soon."

Had the girl known her father was older but very fit and 'with it' she would probably not have been so worried when she put two and two together. had her dad had a baby 10 years earlier it would not have been 'her'! So it is daft to wish for any other scenario as it is painfully impossible!

My mum was 33 when I was born and at 15 I was jealous because my friend's mum was 35 and mine was 48. Which I now recognise is utterly stupid of me!

In your shoes I would not read these kind or article because it just sets up some sort of age hierarchy. Loads of kids are now raised by 'older' parents, and even by grandparents.

I hardly know anyone who had kids before 30.

It's a storm in a mug of Horlicks! wink enjoy your life.

Figgygal Wed 02-Mar-16 10:49:04

i was 30 and dh 36 when we had ds I don't think that old now we having dc at 35 and 41 and I do feel that is 'older parents' territory.

Not sure why you worrying though.

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