Struggles of an older dad

Hey all, I’m a 50 year old father of 4 year old twin girls and I feel a little alone in my position. I’m very self conscious about the fact that I’m an older dad. We just moved to New Jersey (from Brooklyn) and we are in a community with tons of families. I find myself constantly looking at other dads and being jealous of their youth. My mind is always calculating how old I will be for all the milestones in my girls’ life. Anyone else out there in a similar situation? Any tips on how to stop worrying, or caring, about how old I am compared to other dads? Appreciate any help or advice.

  • Brooke
    Jan 15

    You're not alone. I'm a 40 year old first time mom. It's tough! I take comfort in knowing that my son will have his brother (12 years his senior) when my husband and I are gone. My husband was a first time father at 23. He's a much different father at 34 now. More established I would say. My own father passed away at 64, I was only 29. We just never know how life will turn out so enjoy each moment as they come! Plus I've always said men get better looking as they age.

  • Anonymous
    Jan 15

    I'm a 40 year old dad of a two year old girl and may have another child in the next few years. There are definitely days where I am a little achy and don't feel like picking her up when she wants me to or I'm low energy and don't feel like running around with her, but I never worry about how old I'll be for certain milestones in my child's life. As others mentioned already, you just have to live in the moment and make the best of the time you have with your loved ones. You have more life experience to share with your twins and hopefully will be around to see them well into adulthood. Just focus on being the best dad you can be you can for your daughters. They will love you as their dad without regard for your age. A substantial portion of why I waited until nearly 40 to have children was I have a somewhat younger wife, so the biological clock isn't about to be an issue there and we wanted to establish ourselves as a couple and focus on our careers, create a stable home environment, and travel the world some prior to children. Though it's possible I may be mistaken as grandpa, it is well worth the trade-off to know that I will be able to provide my children with a quality of life and stability that many younger parents may not be able to provide for their children. You made the decision to have children, so now is not the time to worry about what may or may not be or to worry about your age negatively impacting them. Now is the time to interact and be there for them. Now is the time to guide them and help them learn and grow. You never know what tomorrow may bring, so enjoy looking for teachable moments and providing guidance via your actions and words to help them along in their life journeys. Every moment you spend with them will create memories they will carry with them forever of what an amazing dad you are. The younger dad of another family is not their dad, so they have no comparison. They will love you for who you are.

  • IrishMomma76
    Jan 15

    Live in the moment as much you can and be the best Dad for your girls. My Dad was 46 when I was born, there was a 9 year gap between him and my mom. My Dad lived to 85 and as his daughter I honestly never saw him as an older Dad. The memories I have of him when I was young were - his funny stories of his own youth, his Dad jokes, playing with all of us, his love of sport - he was a football coach at weekends, music he played around the house, his kindness always driving me to where I needed to be as I grew older and the positive affirmations he would give me, he also had a calm demeanor but was grateful for his family as he lost his own Dad at 17. When my Dad died, a year later my mother passed she was 73. This was tough as maybe I expected her to live longer too. Truth is we all are mortal. We just have to make the best of what we got now.

  • molly
    Jan 15

    Move to SF! The average age of the first time parent is higher than anywhere else and especially so when we have blended families, diverse families etc. you will be considered just a lucky dad (and a hottie!)

  • Mel
    Jan 15

    My dad is older and my advice would be to just have as much fun w them as possible now. Growing up I didn’t notice he was much older than my friends’ parents. I’m in my early 30’s and my dad is 80 so I have only noticed the age now that I am married with a child and he can’t really be the type of grandpa I would’ve hoped. My sister had kids 20 years ago when he was much younger, so I feel like her kids got the better “grandpa” version of him. He could take her kids fishing and run around outside, etc. Sometimes it gets me upset... seems unfair my kids won’t get that, but then I remember he was there for me and we had so much fun together. So that’s my advice to you... just have fun with them. And also try staying in good shape so u stay younger down the road!

  • Crimson
    Jan 15

    I am 57! With a 6.5 year old whom I adopted at birth. I feel you! Aside from the fact, everyone else has tons of energy and I don't and need to hire help in order to keep up, I too add my age and compare to when my daughter will be -- for example when she is 16, i will be 67!!! It's awful to live in a society that is obsessed with youth! The other day, the checkout person asked me if I had a senior discount! I was horrified! I try not to let it get me down. I dont obsess. I enjoy my child. That's my best advice!

  • Adri
    Jan 15

    Hi John! Age is just a number, my husband just turned 58, I'm 41 and we just had our 3rd daughter who is 2 weeks old, we also have a 3 y/o and a 21 months old, it is a beautiful mess most of the time, specially when they are sick but we are blessed. We don't compare ourselves to anyone else, we just live and let live 😊 Trying to do our best for our family with the love and occasional support of our family (they live in another state) and friends 💖 So enjoy it, they grow fast!

  • Achi
    Jan 15

    Hey I am 51 years old and my son is 22 months old and one more due in March! I understand that I am an older parent but with that said I don’t worry about the little things I focus on the future of my family instead. “Fail to plan, plan to fail”

  • Gean
    Jan 15

    I have you beat John. I am 61 with a 6 year old girl. Yes we get a lot of grampas thrown at us but she always pipes up with, "Naw, thats my dad", or some such. It doesnt faze her at all. So I dont let it faze me either. If nothing else its a conversation starter. Those above me pretty much have it right, its just a matter of time spent with them. Thats all they really crave, just your time. I try to make as much of our time together happen in the out doors. Something as simple as a walk in the park can lead to all kinds of conversations, and the walking is an extra added bonus for me. Win, win

  • Anonymous
    Jan 15

    I remember having a talk with a friend in college about how his dad had just turned 70. He had all kinds of anxiety about his dad aging. My dad was 20 years younger than his father. As fate would have it, only a year after graduation, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. He was young, and had been very healthy and athletic, but he wound up being the one who didn’t get to see his kids get married or have children. My friend’s dad, however, is now in his 90s, is still going strong and has had lots of time to enjoy his children and grandchilden. There’s no way of knowing what the future will bring— all you can do is be the best for your kids that you can be.

  • Anita
    Jan 15

    I was 42 with my first and 43 with my second. I am now 51 with a 2nd and 3rd grader. Yes I feel old at times but we, as older parents, have so much more life experience to pass on to our children than most younger parents. We are more financially stable. We WANT to spend our time with our kids, not out with our friends. I feel we are more mature and have a lot to offer our kids that we might not have been able to give 20 years ago. Stay active so you can keep up with them! Lol.

  • Rasha
    Jan 15

    Hi John, I will be 50 in 3 month and my son is 4 also. Adopted my son at birth and he is the best thing that happened in my life so I am enjoying every bit of every day spending it with him or for him. I used to workout like crazy before adopting him but since he arrived in my life, I didn’t have time to take care of my self and gained weight. My advice to U and me is that we need to take care of ourselves because our bodies are not the same as we were in our 20’s so our 4 years olds need our energy to keep up with them. I agree with an advice above... is to move to San Francisco 😉 More older parents on this side of the country 😉

  • John
    Jan 17

    Thank you all for replying and sharing your stories. It’s good to hear so many others have a similar situation to mine, because it sometimes feels like I’m the only one. I’ve been staying more thankful recently and less fixated on the age difference and your responses have been a big part of that change.

  • Micaela
    Jan 17

    Hey john. I’m a 50 yr old mom of a six year old and I totally get it. The other day my son said “ mama put on make up , you look like a grandma “. And I guess compared to all the 20 somethings at school picking up kids they must think I aM grandma. But you know 50 is the new 30. I say we own it , embrace it . Enjoy it. I couldn’t have been a great mom at twenty. I think of my mom who had 3 kids at 19. Holy Memphis. I couldn’t have at 30. Everything happens for a reason I believe. I personally am far more patient now than 20 years ago.

  • Philip
    Jan 17

    So funny — I am a younger dad, 35 with three kids. Our kids’ friends are all older by 10+ years and at times I feel less established and less...I dunno, put together? Don’t sweat it. Pros and cons to each.

  • Michael
    Jan 20

    I am an older dad as well, and I have similar concerns. However, when I look around at the playground I see a lot of younger parents who are way too busy with themselves instead of enjoying time with the little ones (as I would have been), so I reckon don’t overestimate age, enjoy the time.

  • Lulu
    Jan 21

    Hi had my son at 44 i'm now 51 and his dad is 61, 10 yrs my senior. Our son is 6 in first grade. Only regret is we didn't have a number 2. Your girls will be fine they'll have each other. Don't listen to what comes your way only make those memories thats all that really matters.

  • Dada
    Feb 06

    Enjoy the moment. Age is a number

  • David
    Mar 19

    Hey John, I can relate I’m 56 and my daughter is 7. I really feel out of place with other dads. A lot of times when I’m out with her people always refer to me as her grandpa. I feel like I am a little late to the party. It’s hard to go to a outing with her and then allow the other dads are in their 30’s. I don’t know how to make the situation any different.