Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dads in their 40s

Oh, how my husband's going to hate to see this post.

An article on fathers in their 40's caught my attention. As women are becoming parents later in life, so are men.

Per the article, fathers between 40 and 44 were up almost 18 percent from a decade ago while birth rates of children with fathers in their 20s dropped about 15 percent in that same period. "Two major trends in the dynamics of the modern family drive these statistics: Many men are waiting longer to have children as they pursue career goals, and many others, divorced or widowed, are remarrying and starting new families."

We know several men who became fathers for the first time after the age of 40, my husband included. Personally, I think he's much more mature and involved as a parent than he would have been a few years ago. He doesn't feel as compelled to work until 10 nightly, including weekends. He relishes in the time he spends with our son, whether it's changing diapers, giving baths, or playing peek-a-boo.

The article states that "by this point in some men's lives, a softer, easier temperament prevails." I didn't know my husband when he was 20, but I suspect that he's a bit more mellow now. Or so I hear ;-) He certainly doesn't overreact to things or obsess over nonsense, which I've seen plenty of maturity-lacking parents do. The article goes on to address a concern over age-sensitive issues like sports, though that was never a concern because my husband's never been the soccer/football/marathon type. That wasn't going to happen now or 20 years ago. He does however love mountain biking, and though I'm not excited about seeing them share that sport, I'm willing to let it happen...I just won't watch. It's something they can share, which can make one more mature, while keeping the other young. Which is which? Hmmm....

I suspect kids keep us all young, and sometimes, dare I say it, even I need a bit of youthful silliness to keep the wrinkles at bay.