There are plenty of reasons to make your late twenties and thirties your child-rearing years: you’ve got all that youthful energy to expend chasing after rambunctious rug rats, you’re able to function on less sleep, you’re still idealistic about the world you’re bringing kids into… but having kids later in life also has its advantages.
“In the early stages [of one’s life], ambition rules,” says Michael Douglas in a recent interview with People magazine (via Cele|bitchy). “Having children takes a lot of time to do properly, and sometimes people spread themselves too thin.” He’s right, older dads often have more resources at their disposal — more money and more time are two big ones — but you’ve probably thought of those things already. Here are a few pros and cons you may not have considered.
Pro: In addition to having more money, you’ve probably accumulated more patience. We all mellow with age and 40 or 50-something dads may more readily possess the forbearance to answer a four-year-old’s seemingly endless list of questions about everything from stars to spaghetti — plus the inevitable “Why?” that follows each answer.
Con: Going to pick up your kid at daycare and realizing that her best friend’s dad is the very same nameless underling you laid into at work earlier that morning. Awkward.
Pro: For you, the old “parent’s just don’t understand” axiom may be may be magnified by your age — to the point where your seemingly uncool parent-type behaviour becomes ironic (even if the irony is unintentional) and therefore, cool.
Con: You’re still an embarrassment on the dance floor.
Pro: By your mid-forties you’re probably as close to something resembling Zen enlightenment as you’re going to get. It can be complete chaos around you but you’ve got the stillness of mind required to ride out the storm.
Con: You’re the funniest guy at the PTA meetings… only no one gets your jokes because your reference points are a decade older than everyone else’s. The same thing happens every time you try to talk about bands. (Who is this Macklemore guy everyone’s talking about anyway?)
Pro: While everyone else is still trying to get by with two weeks of vacation, you’re at the point in your career where you’ve got six — more than enough time to perfect this move:
Con: Technology is advancing at a dizzying rates these days. If you’re not already adept with an iPhone, you may be in trouble when your kid turns nine and asks for an iContact lens — not that they’ll need you to show them how to use it. They’re born knowing.