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is early/mid 50s too old to father kids?

(52 Posts)
lagoon Tue 29-Apr-14 12:07:48

I'm nearly 28 and in a relationship with a man who is 48. He already has grown up kids and I have one child. We have discussed kids and both would like them. We wouldn't be properly ready (practically speaking) to have a baby for another few years due to one reason or another, and the other day it dawned on me that he would be early in his early 50s by this time came. I am totally besotted with this man, despite age gap we are such a good match in every way. He loves the idea of having a baby, he is the sort that loves to be busy and feels he has so much still to give. But I have this mental niggle of discomfort about having a baby with someone at this age for a variety of my own reasons. I so wish the time was right already, as the age he is now seems to be just within my comfort zone. I just don't know what to do. Will he be too old? Am I crazy? Friends tell me to leave him and find someone younger but it's not as easy as that when I already love him. I have tried to imagine life without any more babies and it makes me feel empty and sad. Stuck between a rock and hard place. Any thoughts?

IrishBloodEnglishHeart Tue 29-Apr-14 12:12:14

How long have you been together? Is he pushing for a baby?

nokidshere Tue 29-Apr-14 12:12:25

Due to fertility problems and many years of ttc DH was 48 when our first was born and 51 when the second came along.

he is now almost 62 and he is as fit as a fiddle, a great, hands on dad and spends more time with the children than a good many of our much younger friends.

No-one can decide but you though.

SirChenjin Tue 29-Apr-14 12:13:38

It works for some, not for others....there is no right or wrong. DH is 51, I'm 45, and we have a 7 year old surprise as well as 2 teenagers. To be brutally honest, it's really hard - at a time when we should be thinking of doing our own thing and gearing up for a more independent life (with some money...) as our friends are doing we're right back to square one. I love DC3 to bits, and he's a fantastic wee chap who has brought a huge amount of laughter to our house, but DH esp. is feeling his age - I can't imagine having another one now with him at 51.

Otoh, there are plenty of men with younger partners who do have children (esp their 'second' family) - only you as a couple can decide what to do. However, I would seriously advise you to make sure that you are protected to the hilt financially and legally if you are not married given your circumstances.

lagoon Tue 29-Apr-14 12:14:05

We've been together for 18 months and were best friends for few years before that. He definitely isn't pushing for a baby, although he'd love one whenever. It's more me with the ticking clock.

Jan45 Tue 29-Apr-14 12:15:10

No one can decide but you two.

Personally I'd not want kids in my fifties, even if I was male, at least you both have children already.

Hate to be negative but you'll be doing most of the looking after I'd imagine, he'll be 70 when the child is 20, I'm surprised he's up for it.

CaptWingoBings Tue 29-Apr-14 12:15:33

Hmm. DH dad was 57 when he was born. His mum was 40. He has a sister 18m older and half sibs who are 20+ years older. During DHs childhood it really made littlere difference as his dad was active & healthy but both DH and his sister struggled with having parents who were quite out of touch with modern youth if you know what I mean. Now his dad is 90 (same age as my grandfather) & can give little parental supportr, in fact it is the other way round. But it is what it is! I wouldn't make it a deal breaker but I do think the earlier the better.

PiratePanda Tue 29-Apr-14 12:19:49

My DH is 55, I'm 40 and we have one DS 3, no other kids for either of us. DH is a wonderful, wonderful dad, but it is really exhausting, and I really do think it would have been better, in an ideal world, if we'd had kids earlier.

There is never a good time to have a baby, and waiting won't kill you - but if you both know you want a child together, why wait?

PuppyMonkey Tue 29-Apr-14 12:28:17

My dad was 50 when I was born (mum was 42). I remember him being quite involved and active with us (six kids in total, I was the youngest) when we were little - he took us all over the place on great adventures grin.

But from when I was a teenager, he was basically an "old man" and had a lot of health problems, arthritis and chest probs and circulation. I just remember him sitting in his armchair and not really being involved any more. Everybody else thought he was my granddad. He died when he was 78 (and I was 28).

struggling100 Tue 29-Apr-14 12:36:38

I have met some fantastic older fathers. Given that people are living longer and staying active longer now, 52 is the new 42! (Hence, on the downside, we won't be able to retire until we are 70!).

juneau Tue 29-Apr-14 12:39:41

I think I'd aim to do it sooner, rather than later, if its something you are both in agreement that you want to do. Given his age already, I would want to get on with it asap. Why?

1) Recent studies have shown that the age of the father at conception is relevant with regard to the health of the foetus/child BBC article
2) He'll be drawing his pension before the DC even leaves school - how does he feel about being father to a teenager when he's retired?
3) Even a fit, healthy 50- and 60-something can develop serious health problems with little or no warning. My slim, fit dad needed three stents in his 60s and without them he'd probably be dead from a heart attack. This can happen to a younger person too, of course, but it's more likely in later age.

AnyFucker Tue 29-Apr-14 12:50:30

If all else is good (that's quite a big "if" with such an age gap) then I don't think 50's is too old, no

FarToGo Tue 29-Apr-14 12:57:01

My husband will be 50 this year, and our daughter (only child between us) will be 1.
Yes it's tiring, but isn't it at any age? Unless he has major health problems then go for it.
As for your friends OP that tell you to find a younger partner, do you really need friends like that?! Rude.

bragmatic Tue 29-Apr-14 12:57:10

For some, it might be. Depends on whether he's in good shape, or not. The age gap would worry me more.

prawnypoos Tue 29-Apr-14 20:00:18

There is nothing wrong with an age gap bragmatic my DP and me have 14 years between us and a 9MO daughter together. To OP it is up to you. My DPs father was 70 when DP was conceived and at that point he had a 10 year old and a 3 year old as well. Unfortunately he died before DP was born but had recurring heart problems. Mid 50s is marginally younger than 70 though. Enjoy yourselves a bit first

PortofinoRevisited Tue 29-Apr-14 20:14:29

DH was 46 when dd was born. He has always been a devoted hands on dad. I find now that he is nearly 57 - he likes to be left "in peace" a lot more. Weekends are for gardening and football watching sort of thing. This fucks me off. Dd is 10 and is not fobbed off by the tv. She wants to be doing things but is too young to send off swimming/shopping/cinema with friends alone. So we are at the mercy of neighbourhood children's availability to play out - or I have to try to think of something. Nothing would ever happen eg days out/holidays unless I organised it and chivvied him along. This could just be him though.

Rebecca2014 Tue 29-Apr-14 20:33:30

I think it is sad for the child to have such an older father to be honest, just because an man can doesn't mean he should. Pisses me off how women get so much bad press for having an child at an later age while with an man its shrugged off just because the child has a younger mother.

Also I know an older man would start all over again to keep an much younger woman but I pity him, at that age I be child free and going on holidays etc and babysitting grandchildren properly.

SirChenjin Tue 29-Apr-14 20:41:35

Porto - DH is like this. Fucks me off too (although he's generally fucking me off at the moment anyway...)

MeganBacon Tue 29-Apr-14 21:04:04

We are 54 and 58 with 17 and 11 year olds. It's fine for now, but I am quite a bit fitter than dh and I think he could become fragile quite quickly. I do the hard slog really and it is hard work, but I think it probably is whenever you have them.

lagoon Wed 30-Apr-14 09:10:46

Thanks for all the replies so far.

Yeah we are aware of the age gap bragmatic, it's never been an issue for us though and we don't notice it apart from when friends/fam voice concerns. Eeek porto, my OH is definitely not an armchair kind of guy and I doubt he ever will be, and although you never know how a person may change I would be shocked if he became a lazy moany typical grandad type, that'd definitely piss me off too whatever age my OH was!!
Rebecca I have thought about how having a baby would effect his older kids, I can't imagine OH refusing to babysit his Grandkids or anything because we'd have our own.

Oh and I am aware of the genetic risks of older fathers, I have researched everything in depth and at length.

OH is very selfless and says the idea of being retired and relaxing and going on trips, holidays, gardening fills him with dread he'd much rather be 'busy' grin

A lot to think about, not going to rush anything, and enjoy our coupleness!

HotSauceCommittee Wed 30-Apr-14 09:16:37

Do you have to have another child though?

Why not just enjoy your child, your relationship and the freedom of only having one? Sounds great and relationship doesn't have to = sprogs.

worldgonecrazy Wed 30-Apr-14 09:20:15

DH was 54 when DD was born. We had been trying for the prior 8 years but I needed IVF. He already had grown up kids, and grandchildren, but he knew how much I wanted a baby and he supported me through it all.

He is a great dad, and he has said that he appreciates the time he gets to spend with his daughter much more than when he was younger, when he took it for granted.

PurpleBouncingHoppily Wed 30-Apr-14 09:35:31

It depends on so many things like future health and personality that it's impossible to predict. But I'd go for it sooner rather than later, if you're going to do it at all.

My Dad was 50 when I was born, and my experience was very much like the poster above whose father was an "old man" by the time she was a teenager. He was of a generation of men (I'm 44 now) who weren't that hands-on with their kids anyway, and was thoroughly set in his ways by the time I came along. He did a few things with me (bike rides, fishing) but more in a grandfatherly sort of way, and based around his interests rather than mine. His health declined in his 60s and he found even my mild teenage rebellions very difficult, especially as his attitudes to discipline had an extra generation gap and he expected his word to be law. I was then worrying about him, potential need for care, etc. at the same time as dd1 was tiny (as I do now, for my Mum, who was in her 40s when I arrived, while they are early/nearly teens). He died at 80 when I was expecting dd2.

So not a wholly positive experience, but some of those (like the discipline thing) aren't likely to apply to your dh. Nobody can predict their health, but statistically the older you are the more likely health problems are. It's important to think about the future as well - not just energy for a baby/toddler, but the future with teens and beyond. I've heard great reports of older fathers who maybe worked hard in their younger years but are ready to take time to appreciate a child and have much more patience.

To show how individual it is - Portofino's post struck a chord, with her dh who wants to potter pleasantly at weekends, and where nothing would ever be arranged if she didn't do it. My dh (43) is like that now, and he became a Dad in his 20s!

lagoon Wed 30-Apr-14 09:44:40

Been majorly broody for years HotSauce, was only very young first time round can't imagine not having any more of my own and going through it all again. I do love the idea of not having any more, I really do, and sometimes wish I actually felt that way as it would make things much simpler and easier.

Rebecca2014 Wed 30-Apr-14 10:00:31

OH is very selfless and says the idea of being retired and relaxing and going on trips, holidays, gardening fills him with dread he'd much rather be 'busy' grin
Really? I love to do that now and I'm 24! I really do not get why men that old are happy to start all over again and I also mean having to financially support a new child too just to keep an young woman on their arm, crazy.

Also you cannot say he will not become an armchair type of person, in ten years time he will be nearly 60 and age and tiredness will catch up with him.

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