Though it’s not uncommon for women to seek out men that are much older, there’s a lot of unnecessary judgment in society for that choice. Women might stereotypically be accused of having “daddy issues” or looking for easy money, but in so many cases, it’s just that they’ve found love in an unexpected place. And many times, that love turns into welcoming a baby together.
But things aren’t always easy for couples with a significant age gap. Sure, there are men who are on their eighth kid with their forty-years-younger girlfriend, but there should be no judgment there. While some couples able to hole up abroad before their baby comes, other moms and their much-older men likely have a harder time navigating early parenthood together. And after all, women should not feel the need to speak out about being an older man's “baby mama”, and how having a baby with an older man doesn’t define her.
But the truth is, between getting pregnant in the first place to introducing baby to your friends and family, there are many struggles that come with having a baby with a much older man- here are twenty of them.
20 Getting Baby On Board
Women are always rumored to have a “ticking biological clock,” but men are in a time crunch, too. Biology isn’t so kind to men or women who aim to have kids at a more advanced age. In fact, Very Well Family noted, a man’s fertility peaks around the ages of 30 to 35. The lowest-quality “swimmers” are found in men that are 55 or older. At the same time, women with an older partner- a man who was five years or more her senior- had at least a 15 percent lower chance of getting pregnant than women who had same-age or close-in-age partners. That means just falling pregnant with an older partner may prove tricky.
19 Reversing What Was
If fertility impacts weren’t enough, there’s another way that simply getting pregnant with a much older partner can prove difficult. If your partner is much older and has already had children or previously thought he didn’t want them, you may be facing a vasectomy reversal to attempt to get pregnant together. Reversing a vasectomy is definitely possible, but, according to the University of Iowa, the success rate or “return” can be as high as 95 percent. Still, pregnancy rates for post-reversal couples can vary between 30 and 70 percent, likely due to other factors than just sperm health and motility.
18 Rolling The Genetic Dice
Very Well Family noted another medical roadblock to couples with an older man falling pregnant- the potential for genetic defects in a developing embryo. According to past studies, “genetic defects in the [swimmers] increase with age in men.” Not only does this cause decreased fertility, but it can also make a woman more likely to miscarry, experience a stillbirth, or deliver a baby with birth defects. Plus, older men are more likely to pass on genetic problems to their children. One study also concluded that the older a woman is, the more her partner’s age impacted the odds that her child would have a genetic disorder. Older fathers also are more likely to have kids with autism, bipolar disorder, and other conditions.
17 Will Grandparents Be In The Picture?
It may not be the first thing a mom considers when she finds out she’s pregnant, but it will come up sooner rather than later. If your partner is much older, it’s possible that his own parents have already passed away or are in poor health. Having a child with an older man may mean that your little one won’t have paternal grandparents to spoil him or her or help pass on family traditions. Of course, that can happen with couples of any age, but it’s perhaps more noticeable when the new parents are more advanced in age than is “normal.”
16 Keeping Fit
At the same time you’re reflecting on your child’s grandparents’ mortality, it might be a good idea to check in on dad’s health, too. Many diseases and health conditions affect men all over the world, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, so there’s always the possibility that your partner may face health problems while your child is still in diapers. As men age, they tend to face higher odds of developing diabetes, packing on extra weight, and becoming less active. Therefore, you won’t just be worrying about your newborn, but also your partner in this new stage of your lives together.
15 Doing The Math
In the United States, the average life expectancy for a man is about 84 years old, according to the Social Security Administration. For couples in their thirties, that’s not so daunting. But for a sixty-year-old new dad and his child’s mom, it’s a big deal. Most couples who are “older,” such as forty and up, tend to calculate how old they’ll be when their youngest child graduates high school. For a man in his fifties, he may be seventy or older when his newest addition graduates. Mortality is never so daunting as when you’re looking into the eyes of your newborn, especially when you’re a more mature dad.
14 Consider The Siblings' Age Gaps
Unless your man didn’t want children or just hadn’t found the right lady yet, he may have older kids in his life already. Depending on his age, you may have teens or younger kids running around when the baby comes. While it’s great to welcome a baby into a big family, it can be intimidating for first-time moms, especially, to manage parenting a newborn and older kids. You’re just starting out as a parent, and with a newborn, you learn as you go. Older kids, on the other hand, are a unique challenge, especially because you likely haven’t been in their lives since day one, either. Be prepared for some uncomfortable and chaotic family dynamics for a while.
13 Bigger Siblings' Family Dynamic
In general, the older a child is, the less “work” you can expect to have along with caring for your newborn. But if your older partner has kids that are teens and especially young adults, you may face less-than-stellar reactions when announcing your pregnancy. From the “gold digger” stigma to older kids feeling like they missed out during their childhoods, there’s plenty for older kids to be worried about when dad introduces his partner and newest little bundle. Of course, it all depends on existing family dynamics and your relationship with your partner’s grown kids, so this may not be a concern at all for some lucky mamas.
12 Twice The Expenses
Whatever age your older partner’s bigger kids are, if they’re under eighteen, he’s likely still paying child support. Hopefully, he has a positive relationship with both his kids and his ex, but that doesn’t change the bottom line when it comes to his payments. Plenty of families struggle to pay child support and alimony to an ex while adding to their new family. Fortunately, in some cases, having a new baby may help child support be reduced so that dads aren’t spread so thin, but finances are still a consideration for older men welcoming a new baby with a younger partner.
11 The Pressure On Women
So far, we’ve assumed that if your “mature” male partner has older children and an ex-wife, everything is kosher between them. However, that’s unfortunately not always the case. Having a baby with an older man who has already been married and divorced may be messier than you might think. Often, an ex-spouse might feel vengeful, regardless of how the marriage ended. Then there’s the burden that society places on women to always look youthful and picture-perfect, something your man’s ex might resent given that you may be a decade or so younger than her. Sadly, this can affect her opinion of your new baby, and could influence your man’s kids, too.
10 Daddy Know-It-All
If your man has older kids, he might think he already has this parenting thing down. But every mom and dad duo has its own unique approach to parenting. His ex might let the kids stay up late, while you want early bedtimes for everyone. You may want to breastfeed, while he’s used to helping out by giving the baby a bottle. Regardless, dad might think he already knows it all when it comes to handling the baby and figuring out the early days. Especially if you’re a first-time mom, you might feel intimidated by your partner’s sense of ease with parenting. It could become a point of contention- if you let it.
9 Back To Basics, Dad
In contrast with know-it-all dads who might try to take the reigns with the new baby, other more mature dads might need more help. After all, a lot has changed in the parenting world since his younger kids were born. And if he doesn’t have older children, that means he’s facing an even steeper learning curve. Either way, keep in mind that you and your older guy have a lot to learn together, and that not everything will come easy, whether either or both of you have done it before or not. That said, there’s almost nothing you can’t Google- so make like millennials and get online to figure it out.
8 Career Moves Are Completely Different
Just like older ladies, an older man likely enjoys an already-established career. Depending on just how much older your guy is, he may even be nearing or already at retirement age. Either way, your love interest’s business interests may be vastly different than yours. At the same time, if he has a high-power career as an executive or business owner, it’s probably less likely that he’ll be able to take substantial time off when the baby comes. Plus, some guys have generational expectations about moms staying home to raise kids- so make sure you’re on the same page when discussing family leave and child-rearing plans.
7 Families And Friends
Just like those of us who started having kids “early,” guys who start “late” might not have friends who are in the same boat. Regardless of your age, if your man has friends who are his age, you can expect that they’ll either have no kids at all or have much older ones. Of course, there are always exceptions, but often, not being able to get together with other couples who have new babies can make moms feel isolated. It can bother dads, too, especially if no one in their world understands the joys of having a newborn at home.
6 The Inner Circle
If you’ve planned a baby together with your partner, it’s unlikely that your relationship is still in its early social stages. You’re probably past the point of his friends checking you out or asking you weird questions about your intent in the relationship. But having a baby might rekindle some of the initial worries your man’s friends may have about him being involved with someone much younger. Of course, this varies from person to person, but in some situations, you might not feel as welcome within his circle of friends, especially if none of them are parents or have already put in their 18+ years.
5 All In The Family
Just as you may face criticism from your older man’s friends and family, your side of the family may not be jazzed, either. For many parents, the expectation that their daughters (and sons) will marry and start a family with someone close to their age is just a given. That said, you may be lucky enough to have parents and friends that are open-minded enough to recognize love as love. Still, it might be awkward at first if your older guy is closer in age to your father than to you. But in the end, they’re still getting a grandchild out of the deal- so they should be happy, right?
4 Dada Or Grandpa
I’ll never forget the time I took my dad to a doctor’s appointment, and the nurse thought that he was my husband (and the father of my then three-year-old). Of course, that grossed me out, but at the same time, it’s becoming more and more common to see huge age gaps between partners. So maybe I should have appreciated the nurse’s open-mindedness! But not everyone will be as accepting of a large age gap, especially if you appear to be a vulnerable young woman with an “old guy.” You can expect your baby daddy to get called “grandpa” at some point too, depending on appearances.
3 Bachelor No More
While we’ve assumed for the most part that older men will already have exes, kids, and child support payments, that’s not always the case. Some guys are just waiting on the right woman, and that means babies later in life than some other dads. However, it may also mean that your older man is set in his ways and comfortable in his “bachelor” existence. But unfortunately, that might mean a few big changes are in order before the baby comes. You might need a bigger house or a move to a more kid-friendly location, plus there are daycares and schools to consider at some point.
2 Baby-Proofing Problems
Another way that having a baby with an older man can prove challenging is when it comes to bringing the baby into his bachelor world. There might be valuable belongings to part with, hobbies to give up, and just plain adjustments made to his life and daily schedule. Just like it is for new moms, new dads- regardless of age- have to adjust to the life change of caring for a wee one before themselves. Babyproofing is probably the easiest illustration for this dilemma. Learning to install baby locks and reduce health hazards are just a few steps toward becoming a health-and-safety conscious dad.
1 Mid-Life Crisis Mementos
If your man is over forty, he may have had what most people call a “mid-life crisis.” Maybe he dyed his hair, changed his look, or bought a new car. Whatever his middle-aged rebellion was, it might be time to get rid of it before the baby comes. Mostly, it’s time to trade in that two-seater for a minivan- or at least a reasonable and economical sedan. Plenty of moms are all about their cars, too, but you’ll need to find a compromise that involves enough seating for the family and enough horsepower to keep dad happy. And don’t forget about learning to install that car seat safely!