How old is too old to still be having kids? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know this is a personal choice but I'm wondering what others think about this topic.

My husband is 42 but there is a 15 year difference between us so I still have a lot of fertile years ahead of me. We've been talking about having another child soon and the thought came into my mind that he would be at least 61 (if I'm lucky enough to conceive quickly) by the time the child is grown. We would both love to have a large family but I cant stop thinking about his age. I just dont know how I feel about it. I keep thinking about his parents, they are 67 and I just can not imagine them still raising children, they just seem so old already. Maybe it would be different for us if we always have children in the home?

So what are your thoughts?
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#2 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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Do you have a loving community or tribe in which to share this child? Do you have younger guardians picked out in case something should happen to both of you before your new child turns 21?

If you can honestly say yes to both these things, then go for it. If you are introverted misanthropes who live a life away from others then I don't think it is fair to the new little person given your ages.
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#3 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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As long as you have a realistic plan for you children should something happen to you or your spouse, then I also say go for it. My only issue with much older people having children is that it is terribly hard for the kids if one or both parents passes away. It's certainly not enough for me to express the opinion of "don't do it", but it's definitely a concern that I don't think should be taken lightly.

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#4 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:22 PM
 
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I think you have to reverse menopause its to late. Other than that.. go for it. Men I think as long as they are viberant and healthy.
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Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#5 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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My Mum was 42 when she had my brother. He's now 23 and she's a sprightly 65. Honestly she has more energy than me and I'm 30 years her junior. He has had no problem whatsoever with his mum being older than most.
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#6 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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So, you're 27 and your husband is 42? I don't see anything wrong with that.
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#7 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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Age is but a number.

My Mom had an oops baby very late in life. I think my sister kept them young. They are incredibly active still (my sister is now in college) and look ten years younger.

There are no guarantees in life regardless of age. 61 these days is a lot different than 61 for previous generations. Maybe your dreams of having a large family can't all be realized, but I see no reason to not have another child or two.

And I think every family should have a guardian picked out whether they are 22 or 62.
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#8 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:27 PM
 
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I don't think age makes much of a difference. Does he have an issue with having a child at his age? If not, go for it.
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#9 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes I am only 27 not 42, DH is 42. We've been married for 7 1/2 years and we already have 3 kids.

Thank you for all the responses so far! It will give us some things to talk about.

ETA
No he has no issue with it. I am the one questioning it.
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#10 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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When I was a midwife, one of my healthiest patients had a baby at 46. He was her last one, but a great pregnancy. Her oldest was 21 at the time, so she had quite a spread.

Personally, I don't want to have babies much past 40. My dh would like to be done by the time he's 45, just so that the child will be (theoretically) close to finishing college when dh is ready to retire.
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#11 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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My friend's dad got remarried and had a whole new set of kids who are the same age as my friend's children. He was in his early 50s, and his wife was 35 when they started. They now have four gorgeous kids, and I think he is thrilled to bits as he always wanted that. Now he has two grown, and four little ones.

The thing I would worry about more is that as he ages, his risk of fathering an autistic child increases, but I am a Nervous Nelly that way.

Doula, WOHM, wife to a super-fun papa, mama to the Monkey ('07), and his little brother, the Sea Monkey ('09).
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#12 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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#13 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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DH & I were both 41 when Jack was born. I ROCK as a mom We have 4 boys and I really think I would have had one more but the actual delivery took a lot out of me. We are happy with 4

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#14 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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I am 40, dh is 39, we are ttc. We have a 13 month old.
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#15 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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DH and I also have a 15 year spread, and he is now 61 and we have a 4-year-old. I agree with a PP that 61 is not the same as it was years ago. I think about my now deceased grandparents when they were 61, and they were just old...even looking at them in retrospect. I can proudly say that DH runs circles around most guys half his age. Some of it is physical, much of it is attitude. He does get asked a lot whether he is the grandfather or the father. He's got a lot of grey in his beard. But granted, there are grandfathers who are 42, so it doesn't bother him much.

It is good to think about these things. But I put this in the same category as choosing family size based on guaranteeing sibling relationships and/or avoiding one child having to take care of you in your old age. There are no guarantees. Also, choosing to do something that is relatively out of the norm does not automatically sentence a child to a life of heartache. Now that DD is here, we have had to plan accordingly.

Now that I'm 47, 42 seems awful young! LOL.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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#16 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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I don't think the 40's is too late for children. It's pretty commonplace, especially with the number of second marriages these days. I'd seriously consider a few issues though, some of which don't apply in the OP's case, since she is still in her 20's:

- menopause and adolescence simultaneously (was any household meant to be awash in that many hormones at one time ?)

- paying for university during retirement years

- likelihood that an older parent won't know their grandchildren

It isn't just having a baby when one is 42 or 45. It's having a teen when one is the 60's or a uni student when one is 70. If the child of a 45 y.o waits until s/he is 45 to have a baby, then it really is unlikely there will be an extended, multi-generational family in place for the grandchild.

None of these are good reasons to avoid having children in your 40's, but they are things to think about if you have a particular lifestyle or family situation in mind. Then, of course, there are those for whom a family isn't a possibility until they are in their 40's, which makes all of these kind of considerations beside the point.
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#17 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 01:58 PM
 
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Count me in the "go for it" category.

I come from a long line of late-in-life babies. My mom was 46 when I was born and says I was her easiest pregnancy. She is now 87 or something (I can't do the math, but I'm 42 and change). She is soooo healthy. In fact, she is much happier and healthier than I remember her during my dysfunctional childhood.

I will say I feel lucky to have had her this long. It took us a long time to come back together when I was an adult and had she died earlier in my life, we never would have had a chance to be close. I never had a chance to work things out with my father that way, because he died when I was 24.

My biggest piece of advice, having lived with older parents, is to keep up with your kids' generation and do everything you can to stay physically fit and energetic. My mother grew up during the Depression and then her first husband was a WW2 soldier. She had very old-fashioned ideas; for example, didn't want me to wash my hair more than once a week, because it was wasteful. I had SUCH greasy hair and I was continually ridiculed for it. Stuff like that.

Now, though, she is very active and much happier since my dad passed away. Unfortunately, he really dragged her down. She is in better health and more fun and open-minded than most of my friends' parents who are decades younger. And now we are still thinking about trying for another child, after miscarrying in the spring. I think children really do keep you young if you let them.
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#18 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Because of a 10 year age difference, dh has the potential to be in his mid to late 50's when my body ends it's childbearing years. Which means being 60 or even 70-something when the last kid would be up and out. We dont TTC or prevent, so I have no clue what's going to happen in the next 20 years.

But if we had a child when I was say 48 and dh 58, that wouldn't even be an issue for us. We didn't start out as a hyper-energetic, involved in everything, super-busy family. Dh is not a base-ball-in-the-backyard kind of dad with our current children. The last time he ran around with them it lasted all of 5 minutes. He's just not a "play" dad, so a kid 20 years from now would not be getting much different than our kids currently get. And that kid would get the benefit of that many more years for dh and I to practice being parents and mature some more. I think it all evens out. And I think having kids around will keep us young. I'll be at a loss if my 3 are the only ones I get, and I end up with decades between them and grandchildren.
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#19 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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I think my cut-off age was 35. My own daughter was six by then, and I was done with the infant stage, and had no desire after that.

My husband's was about 40-ish.

We didn't have that age in mind.... it was just when we felt no urge to start over with a baby.
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#20 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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I was 41 when my younger child was born, and my husband is a couple of years older. I am not worried about this at all. Being in your 60s and raising a child who has diapering needs and has to be bathed and that kind of thing is different from having an older teen in your 60s.
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#21 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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I think that especially since you are only 27years old there is NOTHING to worry about.

I also agree with pp's that said that 60 isn't what it was years ago. My neighbours (both in their mid 50's) still run marathons, bike every day, swim competively etc. SPRING CHICKENS!
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#22 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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I have a friend who is in his early sixties and has a college-aged son, a 10 yr old dd and an 8 yr old dd. He's a wonderful father to them and seems much much younger than his actual age. I think they keep him young!

Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#23 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do have 2 stepsons as well, 19 and 16. So the chances of having a baby and grandbaby close in age are pretty good if we continue to have kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
- paying for university during retirement years

- likelihood that an older parent won't know their grandchildren

It isn't just having a baby when one is 42 or 45. It's having a teen when one is the 60's or a uni student when one is 70. If the child of a 45 y.o waits until s/he is 45 to have a baby, then it really is unlikely there will be an extended, multi-generational family in place for the grandchild.
These are kind of the points I'm trying to make to him. It is almost guaranteeing that my youngest children's children wont have a grandfather... but I never had one and it wasn't all that big of a deal I suppose. It is all so depressing for me to think about too. I know there are no guarantees in life and no one knows how long they will live but it still seems kind of wrong to have more children when you can guarantee your children wont have their father for the majority of their life.

We have lots to talk about tonight
Thanks for all the responses, I really appreciate having this discussion with other as well as with DH!
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#24 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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I agree with others that 60 isn't what it used to be. When I was your age, 40 sounded really old to have kids. Now that I'm 35 and DH is 38 and I'm pregnant with #2, 40 really doesn't sound old at all. We very well may have another kid when DH is in his 40s and I wouldn't think twice about that age, although I personally would prefer not to be pregnant past the age of 40. My parents are a young 60, and DHs are pushing 70 and seem much older. I don't think it's the handful of extra years so much as the heavy smoking and drinking that has aged his folks. If your DH takes care of himself, there's no reason for 60 to be too old for a teenager.
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#25 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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I had a friend in school whose dad was around 60 when he was born. The dad was still alive and vibrant until the friend was at least mid-twenties.

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
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#26 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nola79 View Post
So, you're 27 and your husband is 42? I don't see anything wrong with that.
I agree. One younger parent and one older parent is not at all the same i as two older parents. It's not like you're 45 and your DH is 57.

I totally agree with carfreemama too. There are just some things older parents need to think about and plan for if they decide to grow their family later in life.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#27 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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Maybe im delusional, but i have a feeling i will live a very long time. Ill probably make it to 100. I look after my mental and physical health. Its what i do. I like the idea of living a long time. Theres so much i' like to do and havent done yet.
If im 60 when ds is 20, so what? Ill be a sprightly 60yo.

In any case, i was too young at 24 to have a baby, so i terminated.

At 38, i was way too old, and had my first ds.

Then at 40, i was even older, and had my 2nd.

At 43, im considerably older, and hoping for a 3rd (if mother nature allows it)

I have felt nothing but advantages to being a mom at this age.
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#28 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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i think in todays world all bets are off.

i find there are NO reasons good enough to support NOT having a late child.

just because you are 27 doesnt mean you will see 30.

just coz your dh is 62 doesnt mean he WONT see 90.

and gbaby. HOW many children here have gmas and KNOW them. meaning really know them and see them at least once a month? not my child.

so even having a gparent doesnt assure one of growing up with them.

neither do i take for granted that just because i have 3, i WILL have a 4th or that it will be easy.

there is too much terminal illness and environmental pollution to allow us the same conversation our parents had.

you CANNOT go by the principal ... 'your chances are that...' nope. chances have changed too much. the world has changed. personal values are changing. i have buried too many friends in their 20s. and i see too many families without any family close by.

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#29 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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I'll probably be 39 when we have our last. DH will be 43. I am concerned about our age but not enough to choose worry over a child. We choose to do CVS with a very experienced doctor. Very low risk. Great piece of mind.

We have a will, guardians, and adequate life insurance. And I am glad I am not 20 or 30. I would have been a lousy parent with much better knees.

If DH was much older than me, I would choose to space my children tightly.

And I don't really know anyone who was younger than 33-35 when they had there first child.
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#30 of 77 Old 10-25-2010, 04:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
Do you have a loving community or tribe in which to share this child? Do you have younger guardians picked out in case something should happen to both of you before your new child turns 21?

If you can honestly say yes to both these things, then go for it. If you are introverted misanthropes who live a life away from others then I don't think it is fair to the new little person given your ages.
The first part of this should be true no matter what your age. And introverts of all ages have babes who turn out fine all the time...

OP- my grandma lived to 104 with a very active lifestyle. My mom is 83 and still travels internationally by herself. There's no telling who will be around for a child or who will have energy at what point. We just had a babe at 45 (dh's first, I have one in college) and I've never felt younger with a better lease on life. DH feels the same way. And my LO is a happy happy little blessing, and if her great personality plays out, I think she'll be thrilled to be alive no matter how old her folks are. If the children you have now are thriving, my guess is another LO would too.
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