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Contemplating kids at 50....talk me out of this.....
96 replies to this topic
Posted 21 March 2019 - 11:39 AM
For the last 6 years I've been wanting another baby (it would have to be donated eggs)....but I'm old (turned 50 last month) and my head knows this isn't a good idea....well, most of my head..part of it thinks it is the best idea ever. (one life to live, make it happen, don't live with regrets and similar are whizzing around in that part of the brain)
I have 2 beautiful children - 10 & 8. They are great kids and I adore spending time with them (most days!). My one regret is that I didn't have more children.
I worry about them having older parents and no wider family support group - apart from my 77 y.o.mother who lives with us and who they adore and my sister who lives interstate with 2 older children. So they don't have the same "safety net" of family around them that I feel that I had growing up. However my kids do have each other and it makes me less anxious for them knowing that when their Dad & I die they'll have each other (hopefully a long, long time away - note to self: more exercise!).
But....I would love them to have more sibling support....along with a wish for more children for myself. I think about how old that would make me as a mother for new kids though and I know that that isn't fair. I'll be 70 when they are heading to Uni...and my older kids would have to take on more of a "parent" role than average...and is that fair to them either? What would they say to me as a grown up child - that they are happy they have each other or that they wish they'd never been born?
I've looked at fostering and OS egg/sperm donation. Complicating this is the fact the last 6 years with my husband haven't been the best and we've been working on trying to fix this without much success so I'm anticipating raising my kids in a single parent household.
I gave myself to 50 to either do something or stop thinking about this as an option. I think the recent story of the 50 year old that gave birth to quadruplets and is happy with her decision has given me hope again that this isn't the worst idea ever.
So...if you read through my ramblings so far and know how to convince me that this is a bad idea I'm keen to hear your thoughts below....I'm trying to stop myself from emailing the AC clinic in Cyprus....and if you've ever had this thought process yourself and solved it I would love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading and allowing me to share this confusion....
Posted 21 March 2019 - 11:48 AM
As someone who had a much younger sibling where myself and my brother (same ages as your kids at the moment) had to step up and pretty much be mini parents to our sibling- it did nothing but cause resentment as we did miss out on alot. Even now at 28, 38 & 40 - there is still a divide and resentment that he wrecked our childhood.
On another note DH’s family had a similar thing but with an even larger gap - think 16, 11 and newborn. As adults the two older say the younger always got preferential treatment and she does, everybody we know sees it and there’s resentment as she literally milks it.
the younger out of our siblings who recently both have newborns- their kids won’t grow up with the rest of our kids as the age gaps are too big and there’s nothing in common.
My SIL always gets sick of being asked if her parents are her grandparents. she finds it really embarrassing and at one point didn’t want them at school events as it irked her.
Edited by literally nobody, 21 March 2019 - 11:54 AM.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:00 PM
I'll be honest, I can not imagine having a baby at 50.
I think we go through menopause around then for a good reason, we're just not designed to bear babies at that age.
Increased risk of birth defects and possible(probable?) high risk pregnancy
Having to work longer to afford to raise another child
Older children resenting having to babysit a much younger sibling at an age where they want to spread their wings and leave the nest, so to speak.
Doing the 'school run' in your 60's and being asked if you're the grandmother all the time(not a real con but would get tiring all the time I bet)
Teenagers when you're 65(shudder)
If you have a 77yr old mum already living with you, you'd also then have the care of a toddler AND an elderly parent. Are you prepared for both types of caregiving(Depending on how healthy your mum is of course).
If you're deadset on having another child, maybe fostering is the way to go, or respite care for other families.
But I would also seek counselling to find out if it's a child you want or are you in some way mourning getting older or moving to the next stage in life.
Oh and pros?
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:03 PM
You are assuming that your older children would be prepared to assume a parenting role for their younger sibling? This is a big assumption.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:06 PM
I don’t think we ever stop wanting kids. But I too, agree with your head. It’s not a good idea. There’s also the fact it won’t be like 10 & 8 years ago. Things won’t be easier, your energy levels aren’t the same. A friend of mine, her brother was born when their mum was 48, died suddenly. Kid had only just turned 16.
While I’m not older, I’ve accepted I won’t be having a 3rd like you, I liked the idea of more sibling support but I’m basing that idea that everyone will get along wonderfully. Life is not full of guarantees.
At the end of the day, there’s no perfect answer. For some it will be the best thing they ever did. For others not so much.
To me? The time is gone, focus on enjoying your ‘golden’
Years. Travel, volunteer, save up retirement funds.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:06 PM
hi OP - not sure if you want to be talked out of it, or just have your choice validated. if your mind is made up and your heart is set - then, of course - go for it. it might turn out ok. but - tbh, i think it would awful to have a baby at 50. babies are cute and the idea is seductive, i get that...but maybe spend some time with a toddler - a two yr old, 3 yr old - and see if that doesn’t change your mind? and then - yeh - as PP said, teenagers. they don’t stay babies forever, as i’m sure you know. maybe explore all the reasons *why* you are craving another child at 50 - when you already have two kids? maybe it’s a misplaced desire.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:10 PM
All the reasons above. I would maybe feel differently if it was going to be your first but with two kids already, I don't think it's a great idea personally. The previous suggestion of therapy may be useful to help you work through your thoughts.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:13 PM
The rate of acceleration in ageing is scary. At 66, it seems to me that the degree of changes that happen 45 - 50, then happen again after a few years, and before you know it, you're noticing changes in your body within months.
If that doesn't make sense, there's much more ageing going on between 50 - 66, than there is from 34 - 50.
I don't think it's ever a good idea to assume that siblings will support each other, or you. It's a rare family where all siblings get on swimmingly.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:15 PM
I happily only have the one child so can't comment on that side, I do have a sister 13 years younger than me (to the day) and I love my mum more than anything in the world and would not change her or her decision even if I could turn back time but I spent my school holidays looking after my younger brother and baby sister. My step dad worked away then was not around.
I love my sister (my brother died) but I moved out of home when she was about 7 so we are not really close.
Again I hold nothing against my mum (step dad!) but no this was not what I would have chosen.
(added: my only wanting the one child has nothing to do with the above!)
Edited by seayork2002, 21 March 2019 - 05:53 PM.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:15 PM
Im sure the 50 y/o with the quads is happy but they are still at the hospital- she hasn’t started her reality yet. I can imagine how much more tired she’s about to be, plus she has a village around her so to speak.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:17 PM
No. For all the other reasons mentioned, as well as the fact that there's no guarantee your kids will even get along or have the capacity to be that support for each other. Especially with such a large age gap, any burden would probably automatically fall to the older ones anyway due to where everyone is likely to be in their lives at the time when you and your husband might become incapacitated or are gone.
Edited by Mollycoddle, 21 March 2019 - 01:00 PM.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:20 PM
DH was 13 when his brother was born. He became loco parental for his teens. As soon as he got his driver's license it was expected he was to drive around his brother and 9 year old sister. When I met DH when I was 18 he had a 5 year old running around his house.
Although DHs brother was planned and wanted, I think mum basically ran out of steam. She wasn't that interested in playing or being with the brother so of course it was the older siblings problem.
DH and his brother never had a relationship until the brother was in his 20s and working, their worlds and interests just didn't collide.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:20 PM
maybe explore all the reasons *why* you are craving another child at 50 - when you already have two kids? maybe it’s a misplaced desire.
This is what came through to me from your post...... things aren't great with your husband, your current kids don't need you as much as they did, and babies are just so cute.
I am not yet 50, with two teenagers. And a hugely supportive partner. And I'm often exhausted. The thought of a baby - as much as I love them and would love to have one around - is further exhaustion. To do it alone, with belligerent teenagers as well - no chance.
As LB said, if you are just looking for validation of a decision you have already made - all the best to you. But it sounds to me like you may be bored and lonely, and looking for something to fill a gap. That's not a baby.
Can you look at fostering, respite care, or something else to channel your passion into?
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:21 PM
It's interesting you have not mentioned your ability to carry and successfully birth a child at your age. Is this a factor you have looked into? I would be getting some very good medical advice about your likelihood to have pregnancy and birth related risks rather than just the issue of conception.
Why does this concern me? Hindsight.
I desperately wanted another child and conceived one via donor egg in my early forties and my husband in his early fifties. I had a horrendous pregnancy (far worse than the one a decade before) and my body could not support the growing infant. He was born desperately ill at 25 weeks and is profoundly disabled. We adore him but his life is not what we would have wished for him. Now he is facing the double uncertainty of a life where he will never be independent and the parents who are his only source of care being very likely to be unable to give him lifelong support due to advanced age or death.
ETA. I'm now 56 and I still want another baby. I do foster care instead. It fills my heart, if not my womb.
Edited by jojonbeanie, 21 March 2019 - 12:25 PM.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:22 PM
Hi, as an older Mum, I totally support other older Mums too. However, as you already have two children, I don't think it's worth the risk to your health and energy levels.
There are many only children and small families around now. Life is different and our children will form their own traditions and support systems with like minded people, whether they are family or not.
Can you pursue other opportunities to "parent" without having a baby yourself?
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:25 PM
In terms of your children having more support would building closer links to your local community help in this regards?
Do they have links to clubs and activities that form a second family for them?
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:27 PM
Is there a plan for when your mum needs help, how do you plan on supporting her, 2 pre-teens, a baby and financially?
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:28 PM
I don't think the thought of sibling support would be one that brought it on. Some siblings hate each other and don't get along. They can be close as children and grow apart as they age.
I can understand the urge, but at that age it is a lot to take on. If you have already made the decision, I wouldn't be looking at getting validation here.
Medically you are much more at risk healthy wise and so it the baby.
And the thought of having to put up with parenting a teenager at 60? God that would be enough to put me off it. I already have a hyper emotional moody 10yr old, the thought of dealing with it at 6 sounds like a nightmare to me. I would look into fosters or something else if I still felt the urge for further children.
Also what happens if you die at 60-68? Will you expect your older children to suddenly be required to take care of your younger child?
(I haven't mentioned your partner as I don't know how old they are, but if they are older then you, in your 60's even them being 5 years older then you can make a huge difference in their health and what care they require. Or not.)
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:31 PM
On the other side I am a child who has 2 siblings that are 10 & 11 years older than me.
My sister is 54, brother 53 and Im 43.
My sister and I never got along until I was about 18 when I had sort of grown up a bit. I was always the one that was in her way. Mum and Dad always made her take me with them.
I had 2 sets of parents.
My brother and I have had a terrible relationship until the last 10 years.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:37 PM
Another aspect that's occurred to me - as you age, and you have a presumably healthy late teenager in the house, you may rely on them more than you realise, and there may be tremendous guilt on their part if they want to move out and live independently. One of my husband's aunts got stuck like this. Four boys, a gap, then a girl, who never left the home she grew up in, until she went into aged care.
Also, your children will likely have partners who become part of the support network. My daughter is an only child. Her partner is the youngest of six, so lots of ready made nieces and nephews already.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:50 PM
My stepson is 13 years older than my son. He’s got more in common wirh being an uncle than a brother.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 12:54 PM
I love babies, I had mine 12 years apart and to be honest I still get a bit of a shock that I went back again. I signed up for a baby, kids are hard! One moved out and the other has years to go!
I’m really looking forward to grand children or friends and family to have babies now.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 01:01 PM
I read your post carefully. One thing that jumped out at me was that you mentioned the past 6 years with your husband haven’t been the best. This is quite common when children are young and it tends to statistically improve when they get older and more independent.
I think however having a baby at an age where both men and women don’t often have the same stamina as younger parents will kill a marriage that is already struggling.
I personally wouldn’t risk it, apart from the other factor already mentioned by others such as the effect on your health. I am a mostly healthy woman not far off 50 and I run. I just couldn’t imagine the tiredness of having a baby now. I have two teenagers who are in some ways still quite needful of a mother’s attention. They would miss out because a baby comes first.
Edited by IamzFeralz, 21 March 2019 - 01:02 PM.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 01:06 PM
If a newspaper article is enough to covince you that this is a good idea, there is probably not much anyone can say otherwise. Bear in mind though that they don’t write another 10 articles for every 50yo who tries and come home not with quads or even a single baby just a much lighter bank balance and possibly a marriage in crisis.
Posted 21 March 2019 - 01:10 PM
There are 14 years between my youngest brother and me and we were close as kids/teens and still close now as 20s and late30s. Obviously when we were growing up it wasn't a particularly equal relationship and I did more babysitting and caring rather than lego and cubbies, but I adored him.
However mum and dad had me very early and him in their mid 30s. I think starting 'again' at 50+ would be a very different ball game.
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