Is Parenting at 50 Easier?

A Twenty-Something me, with beard and mullet (I know) tailgating before a Grateful Dead show. Photo Randall Luttenburg
A Twenty-Something me, with beard and mullet (I know) tailgating before a Grateful Dead show. Photo Randall Luttenburg

Becoming a SAHD (Stay at Home Dad) at 50 concerned me a little—okay maybe more than a little.  I worried about, bathing, diaper changes, and being the responsible adult.  I was working without a net—it was just me and the baby—without an adult more adult than me nearby.

I’ve outgrown my initial concerns but still dread the day when someone asks, “How old is your grandson?”  Hopefully Cristian will do the right thing and kick them in the leg.  I’m counting on you son.

I spent Sunday’s Super Bowl Party comparing notes with Dads who’ve been there and done that.  We agreed first-moments are great, tantrums suck, and debated which was more annoying, the Teletubbies or Caillou.

Here’s what I learned:

Looking Silly is Okay – My friends may be wondering about this one.  Silliness and an off-beat sense of humor is kind of who I am. I have a hard time seeing a thirty-something me bopping around to kiddie songs during a My Gym class or even out of class. These days I’ve become a rhythmless-dancing machine—it’s easier when you embrace the silly.

Baby-Related Entertainment – My days are consumed binge watching Sesame Street, Sid the Science Kid and Pepa Pig.  Going to show or museum used to be a comedy club or MOMA now it’s Sesame Street Live or the Children’s Museum of New York.  Cristian’s smiling face makes up for the crowds and loud crying children.

Cristian and I heading to the Chilldren's Museum of New York
Cristian and I heading to the Chilldren’s Museum of New York

Pacing and Energy – Twenty years ago I was younger, fitter, and had washboard abs.  Today, I’m older and grayer, okay mostly white without the hair color.  A keg replaced the six-pack. Caring for and chasing after a toddler requires endurance.  Finishing twelve marathons taught me how to pace myself. Occasionally I hit the wall, but push through until Esther comes home from work or I’ve worn the baby out.

I’m Older, Calmer, and More Secure with Myself – It’s not like I’m doing yoga, sipping green tea, or reading the Dalai Lama but twenty years mellowed me.  I no longer stress things I can’t control.  I’ve learned to enjoy the moment because they won’t last forever.  That’s not to say I haven’t fired a baby bottle or thrown an iPhone across the room during those special moments.

Payback’s a Bitch – I watched from the sidelines when my friends became parents in their 20s and 30s.  Knowing I could bolt when the tantrums started was a good option to have.  Those same friends are now empty nesters, offering advice and even babysitting here and there.  These days they’re the ones reaching for their coats when the tantrums kick in.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

DIY Daddy Blog

 

Share This:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin

15 thoughts on “Is Parenting at 50 Easier?

  • February 10, 2016 at 7:04 pm
    Permalink

    I love how you are embracing being a first time dad AND a SAHD at 50. It’s very 2016 of you. We are not first time parents, but we had a new baby in our 40’s..unexpectedly. I find the hardest thing is judgemental young moms, who have zero interest in being friends with the old moms..I ve even been shamed on FB by one. Enjoy your little cutie! My sweet girl is really improved my feelings about being 40!

    Reply
    • February 10, 2016 at 10:35 pm
      Permalink

      Thank you Sarah! This is not about being 2016, my wife and I went through two miscarriages and three failed IVF cycles before our son was born. After we all that we truly appreciate what we have.

      Reply
      • February 14, 2016 at 10:17 am
        Permalink

        Sorry Frank. I wasn’t implying waiting until 50 was progressive, I meant the stay at home dad part. I completely understand having a baby out of what Americans consider the norm is not always by choice..and of course, being a SAH dad or mom may also not be a choice sometimes as well. Happy for you and your wife you had a successful outcome. Congrats on your little boy.

        Reply
        • February 14, 2016 at 10:51 am
          Permalink

          No need to apologize Sarah. The nice thing about the Stay at Home part is I get to experience many of my son’s firsts instead of hearing about them. I looked at your site, it makes me want to head to New England, when the weather is warmer.

          Reply
  • February 11, 2016 at 11:03 am
    Permalink

    Great article. Though not a SAHD, I was 52 when my twins were born, 2 years ago. I haven’t encountered the “you must be Grandpa” thing yet, but my wife has been thought to be Grandma. And as Sarah points out, the young Moms generally aren’t interested in the older ones, though they could learn a lot from them.

    It’s actually quite interesting comparing the Mom’s groups and the Dad’s groups. The Dad’s groups that I am familiar with seem to have a common theme that they are there primarily for connecting on how to be the best Dads that they can. They share advice, offer tips and support, and most of their events include their children. The Moms groups get together monthly, without the children, and involves a fair amount of politics. They have occasional events that include the kids, but not nearly as often as the Dads.

    Reply
    • February 11, 2016 at 11:27 am
      Permalink

      Thanks Scott! We became Dads at the same age. I give you props for raising two, one is a handful for us. I’ve met some great Dads through the Dads groups and some good Moms as well through my son’s My Gym class. When you think about it we all want the same thing social well-adjusted children.

      Reply
  • February 13, 2016 at 2:40 pm
    Permalink

    Great post. Personally I just think age is a number. I understand as we get older we may not have as much as energy, although we may have the same, but I find with age we have the positives such as wisdom, experience and generally more patience. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

    Reply
    • February 13, 2016 at 3:25 pm
      Permalink

      It’s more of a balance energy vs wisdom. Some days I feel both and some I feel neither. If he’s not therapy in his 20s then we did a good job with him. Of course you can say that at any age.

      Reply
  • February 13, 2016 at 2:57 pm
    Permalink

    Great post frank I’m a father spanning 20 years my oldest is 20 the twins just 4 years old yes it’s probably harder but for all of that its great fun I don’t really care what people think me being a older dad as you don’t thanks for linking to the Binkylinky

    Reply
    • February 13, 2016 at 3:21 pm
      Permalink

      Thanks Nige! I don’t know whether it’s harder or not. For me it just is. Being an older dad doesn’t bother me, however it does give a smartass material.

      Reply
  • February 14, 2016 at 1:09 am
    Permalink

    I’m a SAHD in my forites (just) and I think there are defo plus sides to being an older parent. Confidence being the main one. Not that younger guys don’t make great dads, I just think it is a benefit we have from more life experience. Heading over from #BinkyLinky

    Reply
    • February 14, 2016 at 7:39 am
      Permalink

      There is a challenge energy vs life experience. I really had no choice, I was 43 when I met my wife, we got married at 46 and I was 50 when we became parents. I hope experience counts for something.

      Reply
  • February 16, 2016 at 9:19 am
    Permalink

    Parenting is never easy regardless of what age you are. And it’s not about age. All you need is the energy… and ok, maybe loads of patience too! I’m sure you’re doing just fine. Hang in there!

    Reply
    • February 16, 2016 at 9:22 am
      Permalink

      It’s all a process, some days I’m sitting on the top of the world, others it seems like I have no clue. The rewards are totally worth it.

      Reply
  • Pingback: Featured Blog: July 2016 - Go Ask Your Daddy

Leave a Reply