Top 10 Advantages to Being an Older Parent

Family Matters on 08.02.11
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Image: John Cave Osborne

So my wife and I just welcomed our fifth child into the world, a wonderful surprise we’ve named Grand Finale Osborne. When we’re not busy feeding him or tending to our toddler triplets, we’re often ruminating about the trials and tribulations that come along with parenting at a relatively older age. After all, Caroline just celebrated her 42nd birthday, and I’m a mere loft wedge away from that very same mile marker, so neither one of us are exactly what you'd call spring chickens. And during these first couple of weeks of Grand Finale’s infancy, one thing has become glaringly obvious. He's taking quite a toll on us!

You see, there’s a reason why most people have children in their 20s or early 30s — parenting is a young person’s game. But if you happen to find yourself in our same boat, namely that of bringing home a new baby while in your 40s, fear not. For we’ve also discovered that there are quite a few advantages to parenting at an older age. Here are the top 10.

10. Multi-tasking Bottle Warmers

Our bottle warmer also does a great job of heating up the 12 ounce Geritol tonics we start each and every morning with. And truth be told, that stuff is kinda nasty at room temperature.

9. Say What?

Simultaneous meltdowns by a fussy toddler and a colicky infant don’t really bother us as much as they might now that our hearing’s starting to slip a bit. 

8. Theory of Relativity

My hair loss and frumpish physique make it easier for Grand Finale to relate to me. Whenever I feed him, it’s like the little guy's looking in a mirror. 

7. Teach by Example

Grand Finale's siblings get to see firsthand how much hard work and love goes into parenting. And at 10, we believe that his oldest sister is in touch enough to appreciate it. (There had to be at least one serious advantages to this list!)

6. It's True, Grasshopper

People tend to get mellower and wiser with age which means though although our bodies aren’t what they once were, our minds are better than ever. And thanks to that fact we’ve found that we’re more even keeled and patient than we used to be. (Okay. Two serious ones.)

5. The Hot Flashes Just Keep Her Warm

Our house is louder than ever before, so much so that our friends hardly ever come by anymore. The few that do say something about how the experience is like birth control. And, frankly, we can see where they're coming from, which means that menopause likely won’t hit Caroline as hard as it might have otherwise.

4. Chewing's Overrated Anyway

If we can't find Grand Finale's rattle, we just tape our dentures to a popsicle stick. Works like a charm every time. 

3. C'mon B12

Grand Finale usually takes a bottle at 4pm, then again at 7pm — a brief but effective window for Bingo.

2. Sad But True

He also takes a bottle at 1am, then again at 4am which is no big deal because it’s overwhelmingly likely I’d be getting up to pee at those times anyway.

1. Perspective Based Incentives

And the number one advantage to being an older parent? Bringing home a baby as a parent in your 40s will not only force you to stay young at heart, it will also provide you with an incredible incentive to take care of yourself physically, too. At least that's what we've found to be the case for us. Because nothing is more precious than watching your baby grow up. And not only do we wanna be around to create countless precious memories, we also wanna be healthy enough to play active roles in those memories as well! After all, life is best when it’s lived to the fullest as a family. And now that we're a bit older, we understand that fact more than ever before.

Whoops. I closed on a serious one. Sorry about that. But while we’re being serious, if you became a parent after the age of 40, leave a comment telling us what advantages you’ve found to being an older mom or dad. 

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