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  Should People Middle-aged & Beyond
Become Parents?

By chrissy n 1/22/2000

What do you think?
My Two Cents

On My Mind

I recently read that 84 year old Saul Bellow, Nobel-Prize winning novelist just became a father to a baby daughter. His wife Janis, 41 gave birth to the baby the end of December.

I want to say what a delightful Christmas present the couple received, and maybe I would if Bellow was thirty years younger.

I truly hate being judgmental... offering my sentiments on topics that are none of my beeswax, and do not affect me. But I personally feel that 84 is just too old for a man to become a dad.

I don't know if Janis becoming pregnant was an accident or if she and Mr. Bellow decided to have a baby. But if it was the latter, I'm sure that Bellow's reasons for becoming a dad was about his vanity, and nothing more.

He possibly wanted to see if he was "man enough" to impregnate a woman.

Whatever motivated Bellow, it was unfair to the kid. Let's face it. Bellow is an octogenarian, so his time on this planet is limited.

Heck, my time on this planet isn't guaranteed. I could get mowed down by a minivan tomorrow, and Bellow could live to be 107, and be profiled in Newsweek.

But barring any accidents, or victims of crime, I think I have a longer stretch here than Bellows.

I do worry about his baby daughter, having a father that is the age of a great grandfather.

I wonder if daddy will even be around when the kid extinguishes her first birthday candle.

And if Bellows does live to a ripe old age, will the child grow up living in fear that he will die, leaving her fatherless?

A child's greatest fear is that their parents will die.

I'm 42, and have been seriously considering becoming a mom.

I have to add that I can pass for mid thirties. But I would be 61 when my offspring graduated from high school.

I have well-meaning pals who don't think it's such a hot idea for a middle-aged person to become a parent.

I have heard all the cons, that the child will become embarrassed because people will think the parents are the grandparents.

It has been argued that as people age, their bodies slow down making them susceptible to disease. And they could end up bedridden, and the twentysomething child would be expected to assume responsibility for the care of the aging parent. And some people think it would egregiously unfair to place such a heavy burden on a young person, who should be partying and enjoying their youth, and cramming for exams, not playing geriatric nurse to an aging parent.

And those arguments are legitimate and valid.

But look at the positives of middle- aged people becoming moms and dads. Most of that "let's party dude," and spring break nonsense is a part of their past. Been there. Done that.

Most people forty and beyond are ensconced in their careers; they have a few simoleons in the bank, some investments. So a child would benefit from the parents cheerful financial picture...and older people are more patient, something one needs plenty of when dealing with a child. And a teenager.

So there are pros and cons to more mature people becoming parents. But I still think 84 is just too ripe.

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