Becoming A Dad At 40


My dad became my dad when he was 25. My brother was born two years later so, by the time he was 27, my dad had had all the kids he was going to have.

I, on the other hand, did not become a dad for the first time until I was 30. Later, I met Emma. I was 36. Jenny was born when I was 39, and Eve a year later. I was 40 when Eve was born. Given that my experience was that by the time my dad was 40, I was 15, it seemed pretty old to be a dad.

Thoughts crossed my mind like when she’s 18, I’ll be 58 and I’ll be lucky to see her 40th birthday. Would I be able to keep up with young kids in my mid 40s?

I wasn’t an old 40. I’ve never looked my age and I’ve certainly never acted it. Emma, my wife, is six years younger than me. A spring chicken. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad?

Present Day

So fast forward four years. I’m about to turn 44 and my kids will be 4 and 5 in July. If I pick them up from nursery, I’m not standing out like a sore thumb as an older parent. I’m not crumbling in a heap every time we play together at the park. I’m not walking away from the shops, absent-mindedly forgetting that I have children with me.

Dad at 40My girls don’t know I’m older than their friends’ folks. They are clueless about what older age means. They think 12 years old means being an adult. Kids don’t work on the same level as us.

It turns out that I’m a better dad in my 40s than I was in my 30s. I’ve learned more about life, being patient and I’m more relaxed and confident. Being in a good relationship and forming a loving family is the foundation for this, I’m sure. I didn’t appreciate things as much the first time around. That may have been because I was distracted and preoccupied with being in a bad relationship. Certainly, the idea of becoming a parent any earlier than I did was laughable. I wasn’t anywhere near mature or selfless enough to have managed it.

Lucky

I believe I’m lucky. Having young kids means that it doesn’t feel like the 40s are meant to. It’s more like having a second stab at my 30s and getting it right. The additional knowledge gained in those ten years has made me happier and more satisfied within myself that I can handle the challenges that parenting throws at me. I’ve learned not to get involved or upset with trivial things and to gently nudge the children in the right direction rather than try to micro-manage every aspect of their lives.

So, if you’re going to become a dad for the first time and you’re a little older, don’t worry. You’ll benefit from your experience. Plus, you’ll be able to nap at the same time as them 😉

9 Comments

  1. 8 May 2016
    Reply

    Great post, I became an older first time Mum, but a lot of the parents were older as well, I think it is the generation we live in, and as for the kids they dont care or even realise x

  2. Fi Ni Neachtain
    8 May 2016
    Reply

    We’Re the total opposite, I had my son three weeks before I turned 23 so I’m a ‘young’ parent. I don’t think it matters what age you become a parent so long as you’re ready for all that a child brings.

  3. 8 May 2016
    Reply

    I find it refreshing to find a ‘daddy’ blogger. Great post and you’re never too old – I mean look at Janet Jackson.

  4. Great post, me and my partner didn’t get together until he was in his late 30’s… im still mid 20’s and he’s always telling me that like when you reach a certain ages something just clicks and like everything before just seems like small stuff and your maturity changes etc sorry I’m rubbish at explaining it compared to him lol x

  5. 9 May 2016
    Reply

    I think people get too obsessed with ages and having children. I am in my 30’s and have no children and yet everyone keeps telling me my time is running out.

  6. 9 May 2016
    Reply

    Great post, I find it really interesting to see the attitudes towards younger and older parents and I am sure there are benefits to both. I was 24 when I had my first, 26 my second, 32 my third, 33 by fourth and 34 my fifth!! I felt like an “older mother” by the last one and worry I will be much older than my children’s parents when they start school. That said, I am the youngest parent out of my eldest sons friends, and in that way I feel like I have had the best of both worlds!

  7. Great post! My hubby is 10 years older than me and was 37 when Toby arrived and 39 now we’ve had Martha. We’re stopping at two in part because if his age, because we like to think he’ll retire early and we can travel to be completely honest! I think that she can be a real positive though, I’m 30 this year and am so much more confident in myself than even just 5 years ago.

  8. 10 May 2016
    Reply

    Great post, I had Sebby the day before my 39th birthday and I don’t feel old – until my eldest (22) mentioned that a girl in Sebby’s pre-school was the daughter of someone she went to school with from her class!

  9. 11 May 2016
    Reply

    Interesting to get your perspective on this. I’ve got the interesting experience of being a Mum at 22 and again at 37 and 39. It does make me sad that I won’t see as much of my daughters lives as I will my son. I think I had more energy when I was younger, but more wisdom now.

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