This dad is glad he postponed fatherhood (commentary)
And meanwhile, most conservative Christians either keep denying the new reality – that people either don’t marry or have children at all, or they wait later in life for either situation, or, they complain about this situation and instead of helping older singles get married, direct all efforts at propagandizing the 20 year olds to marry and have ten kids a piece by the time they’re 30.
- By ADAM DAIGLE
One thing I must stop doing is comparing myself to my parents.
But I couldn’t resist doing so when I turned 40 last week. On the day I hit that milestone, I remembered where my dad was when he was 40.
He had three kids – one a high school graduate, another (me) a high school junior and a third in fifth grade.
Fast forward 24 years, and I have a 2-year-old son with plans for more at some point.
Things were different with my parents’ generation, according to my mom. They married in the fall of 1969. My dad was 20 years old, and my mom only six months removed from graduating high school.
That was an era where males as young as 18 were being shipped out to Vietnam. If you were married, my mom recalled, you were less likely to be drafted.
It wasn’t uncommon, she said, for girls to be married while still in high school.
Times have indeed changed.
Now men are more like me – marrying later in life and having children in their 40s or even later. It’s more of the norm now. The Internet is littered with blogs of dads in their 40s. David Letterman was 56 when his son was born. When Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones had their second child in 2003, he was 58.
And it might not have been big news here, but it was in Louisiana when four-term governor Edwin Edwards (one of my favorite politicians) became a father again just days before his 86th birthday.
What took me so long? Like several other blogging 40-something dads, I spent my 20s trying to establish my career. The one thing I wanted to be more than anything else was a good reporter.
Now that I’m 40, I’m much wiser than when I was 20 (getting married was the last thing on my mind back then). Never have I been more comfortable in my own skin, and I think that helps tremendously in being a parent.
So what does 40 mean to me? Not much. It sure didn’t feel any different than 39.
I’m glad I waited until I was older to be a dad. Hopefully I can be just as good a dad as my dad was.
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