Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Girlfriend Wants Me to Be Her Son’s Dad, But I’m Not Ready”

My girlfriend, “Kylie,” and I have been dating for almost two years. I am almost 21; she is 20 and has a two-year-old son, “Ben.” Ben’s father is someone who bullied me when we were young and is a very bad and abusive person. Ben doesn’t see his dad much (though he does see his father’s family), and his dad doesn’t pay any kind of child support. Kylie and I have always primarily hung out without Ben. I do see him when I go over or stay the night, of course, and during the first few months of his birth I was helping her hand and foot to do what I could to make her job being a mom easier but I wasn’t doing father-like things.

When we first got together, we talked about what my role would be in Ben’s life. It was a quick talk and we decided we would just deal with it later, and now, almost two years later, we are finally there. Kylie just asked me if I could be Ben’s dad and love him as much as she does, and while I do love him, the title of dad scares me right now and I don’t know if I want to commit to a life-long role so early in my own life. I am happy and fine to be a father-figure and role model, but I also believe that in a sense her son should decide what I am to him as my own step-dad let me do. I also find it hard for me to think of myself as a dad due to not being financially stable and not being able to do more for Ben than I currently do. I don’t want to assume a dad role and not be able to provide what, in my head, are good dad qualities. My girlfriend expected me to already be at the dad phase as it’s been almost two years that we’ve been together; it’s just I’m having a hard time adjusting and accepting that life-changing role.

Please any advice would be greatly appreciated. — Not Quite Ready to Be a Dad

Your hesitation in embracing the role of Ben’s father is appropriate and understandable for two very good related reasons: you aren’t ready to take on the responsibility of being a father, and Ben is not your biological child. (Of course, the first point would be moot if the second point weren’t true, but it is.) In addition: you and Kylie aren’t married and don’t live together; you haven’t spent a lot of time with Ben (you say you primarily hang out with Kylie without Ben); you’re only 20 years old; and you don’t feel financially stable enough to provide for a child. For all of these reasons, you need to let Kylie know in no uncertain terms exactly what you told me: You are happy to be a role model to her son and a male figure in his life to whom he can turn, but you are not ready or prepared to accept the responsibility of being Ben’s dad right now and likely won’t be for a while.

In time, you may find that that role is one you would be honored to accept (particularly if you feel it is being granted to you by Ben himself), but for now, stay comfortable in the role you’re in (that of Ben’s mother’s boyfriend who is a friend and role model to Ben but not a dad). Don’t ever move in with Kylie unless/until you are ready to assume the emotional, physical, and financial responsibility of co-parenting Ben (and perhaps fathering additional children if that is something you both want and discuss in-depth). And in the meantime, urge Kylie to seek child support from Ben’s father, which she is entitled to, and which may ease some of the pressure she feels and may unfairly be trying to misdirect onto you.

If Kylie continues to pressure you into taking on a dad role to Ben, don’t relent. Taking on that responsibility before you’re ready is a sure-fire way to build resentment (quickly!), likely dooming your relationship as well as whatever promise may have existed in nurturing a close and strong bond between you and Ben. If Kylie can’t accept your role in Ben’s life as it is now, and with no guarantee it will ever be more, you both might want to consider that this is a deal-breaker in your relationship and it might be time to move on.

I’ve always wanted kids, but as a 49-year-old divorced man my time is running out. There are women online that are relatively young enough to have kids. My ideal age range would be 37-40, but finding the right match is another challenge altogether. One night on the town, I met a lovely woman whom I really connected with. She’s 45 and divorced with no children.

We’ve gone out three times. I’m physically attracted to her and we both like each other. We have common interests and have a good connection. She told me she’s not sure if she can have kids at her age. She likes children but has never had a strong desire to have her own. To find someone young enough to have a child with, I have to end it with Joanne, but will I find someone younger that I’m compatible with? How long will it take to find? Will she fall pregnant? Will the baby be healthy?

Everything has to be rushed and there are no guarantees. I mean I could meet a 38-year-old, she falls pregnant, and we could break up afterwards. Or I could meet someone and she can’t fall pregnant. Ideally, it’s better to get to know someone first and then decide if you want to have kids with them. But that’s for couples who have time, something I haven’t got.

The bottom is: If i decide to keep looking for someone to have a child with, I have to let Joanne go. If I don’t find this younger woman to have a child with, I miss out on Joanne.

Any guidance or recommendations would be helpful.

P.S – I’m aware from reading your blog that you have kids, so I’m not sure you can answer this. Can a childfree/childless couple be happy growing old together? Especially when your peers have raised kids? — Ready to Be a Father

 
You pose these questions as if you’re only weighing potential compromises and sacrifices – and their effects on your chances of being a dad — for the first time when, in fact, you surely have faced and weighed compromises many times already. You don’t get to 49 years old, having “always wanted kids,” and only now, for the first time, weighed your options and considered the long-term effects of your choices. I mean, you’re divorced, for crying out loud – surely, the idea of kids came up in your marriage. Maybe it was even a cause for your split, I don’t know. But I urge you to think back over the years and over your past relationships and ask yourself an important question: What has been a bigger guiding light in the more productive/affirming/positive steps and choices you’ve made—giving yourself space to find love or giving yourself space to become a parent?

The thing is, there are zero guarantees for any of us. Even those of us who want children and are lucky enough to find partners with still enough fertile years left to conceive don’t have the promise of babies. So much can happen on the road to parenthood to make it an impossibility for some — or, at least, a challenge difficult to overcome without loads of resources. And, yes, being 49 certainly adds to the challenge and makes the possibility of becoming a biological parent that much slimmer, and so you have to ask yourself what is more important: finding a loving partner or becoming a parent (because it’s very possible you aren’t going to get both).

I’ll be frank with you: It’s unlikely that a woman who wants kids as much as you do and is young enough to have them biologically, without intervention, is actively looking for a man who’s almost 50 years old to have them with. Men your age are automatically weeded out in online searches by those women. When you reach out to them and they see that you’re well into middle-age, they’re not likely to reply – not if they want children, and not if they feel like they still have a little time to find someone, fall in love, and build a relationship with the person before becoming parents (you know – the process you say is preferable to rushing into parenthood with someone you’ve only just met). Meeting women like that is more likely to happen organically – the way you met Joanne — when they have more than just an online profile highlighting your older age to judge you — and your potential compatibility – by.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are many paths to happiness and fulfillment. Childfree couples absolutely can happily grow old together! I’d argue that there’s much, much more potential for joy in a childfree relationship based on love than in a relationship rooted more firmly in a mutual desire to procreate. Not only that, but older couples who can’t conceive naturally may find that other options in creating a family or nurturing younger lives appeal to them (IVF, egg donation, surrogacy, adoption, fostering, and, well, getting a pet—pets are wonderful sources of unconditional love!).

The bottom line is that every decision any of us makes carries with it not just the promise of potential, but also the weight of missed opportunities in choices we didn’t pursue. I mean, I can’t enjoy a box of raisinettes at the movies without missing the gummy bears I could have had instead, so I get it. But even pursuing a path you think you’ve always wanted – like parenthood – doesn’t free you of this burden, particularly if you feel you sacrificed something with great potential to make space for it. You can give up the chance of building a relationship with Joanne — though, let’s remember it’s only been three dates so far — to remain available to someone younger, and always wonder what you may have missed out on. In the end, you have to ask yourself what you fear missing out on more: a lifelong loving partner or parenthood? I suspect the answer has been your guiding light all along, and you need to continue following it.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

49 comments… add one
  • avatar

    brise May 14, 2019, 9:33 am

    LW1: you are very thoughtful in your assessment of the situation. Be authentic in your answer to your girlfriend: it speaks very well from itself. At your age, I would also give the priority to education over being a dad. It is not exclusive, but it is part of youth. Follow your own dreams.

    LW2: I would explore your potential with Joanne. Her chances to conceive are zero. But why not an assisted procreation: IVF is still open to you both, according to your country’s law, and adoption or fostering as well. Those are beautiful chances of parenting for older couples. Frankly, the quality of the relationship is so much more important than a quest for paternity with a theorical child-bearer. This is not appealing for women, to be evaluated according to their motherhood capacity! Own your life choices.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark May 14, 2019, 10:32 am

    LW1) Wendy’s advice is solid. But I predict your GF will instead flip out on you and explode into a tantrum about you NOT loving her enough. When (not if) this happens… don’t fall for it. Instead, you will know it is high time to dump her and move on. I suggest you do so — immediately.
    .
    LW2) NEWSFLASH: if you really wanted kids by 49… you’d already have them. Throwing away what you actually have with Joanne to chase a vapid fantasy that — NEWSFLASH #2 — will NEVER happen is pretty fucking stupid. But have at it. See where it gets you…

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    • TheLadyE

      TheLadyE May 14, 2019, 11:03 am

      Agreed re: LW2. I’m 36 and the highest age I’ll look at is 44, and I don’t even want to have kids. I would have zero interest in starting a family with someone who’s almost 50. It really grinds my gears that older men think they can have their pick of younger, fertile women while a perfectly lovely woman like Joanne is going to be put out to pasture by someone in her age range because she can’t biologically have children. It makes me fear getting older and having less and less options for reasons I can’t control, I guess.

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      • avatar

        MissD May 14, 2019, 11:14 am

        I have feared getting old ever since my friend (a man in his early 30s) stopped seeing a perfectly nice woman (a few years older) because, in his words, “Her eggs were old.”

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      • avatar

        Fyodor May 14, 2019, 12:36 pm

        Why does his desire to to date someone young enough to have kids “grind your gears” when you just said in the same paragraph that you won’t date someone over 44? Everyone has their own arbitrary dating preferences. Everyone here might refuse to date perfectly lovely people who are too short or poor or unattractive.

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      • avatar

        Megan May 14, 2019, 12:48 pm

        Fyodor, Wow someone being reasonable about their dating age range being annoyed with a dude thinking he can swap women out for the younger models when it suits him for his selfish needs is shocking? Please

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      • avatar

        Fyodor May 14, 2019, 1:14 pm

        Why are her age restrictions more “reasonable”? Surely there are plenty of nice 50 year olds whose advanced biological age shouldnt be held against them. Why is it “selfish” for him to want to have a family?

        Who is “trading” anyone out? He’s been on three dates with her and is trying to figure out whether it makes sense for them to continue dating.

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      • TheLadyE

        TheLadyE May 14, 2019, 2:26 pm

        It’s not selfish for him to want a family and I never said that. But he’s 49. It IS selfish of him to reject a perfectly nice woman with whom he says he has a good connection because she can’t biologically have children – if that, indeed, is the only reason. Family =/= biological children, and at some point in someone’s age it’s just probably not going to happen that way.

        If I were 49 and didn’t have biological children, male or female, my conclusion would be that I don’t get to have biological children. It’s just the way it is. Life doesn’t always go the way we plan. There are so many other ways to be a parent or fill a parental role (to humans or pets), as Wendy mentioned above.

        I feel for Joanne, who is probably excited that she has met an age-appropriate man with whom she thinks she has a connection. Little does she know he’s debating (very clinically) whether he should swap her out for an imaginary younger model. It’s lame and crappy for her. I know it’s only been 3 dates, so yeah, not a huge time investment, but still.

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      • avatar

        Fyodor May 14, 2019, 2:56 pm

        Who made you the arbiter of what is age appropriate for other people’s relationships? If there are 37-40 year old women who will date him (and there might not be) and allow him to have the type of family he seeks, I don’t see anything wrong with pursuing that. It’s not like he’s a 35 year old preying on teenagers. A woman in her late 30s knows what she’s getting into.

        As for whether there are other kinds of parenting, people often go through enormous expense to have biological children. It matters a lot to them.

        And it seems “clinical” because he is exposing his thoughts to the group. But we all make this kind of assessment and often to nice people, who for reasons that have nothing to do with their merits, aren’t what we’re looking for.

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      • TheLadyE

        TheLadyE May 14, 2019, 4:07 pm

        I…don’t think I’m the arbiter? I’m allowed to have an opinion, especially since I’m fairly close to the demographic of women that he’s targeting.

        “I’ll be frank with you: It’s unlikely that a woman who wants kids as much as you do and is young enough to have them biologically, without intervention, is actively looking for a man who’s almost 50 years old to have them with. Men your age are automatically weeded out in online searches by those women.”

        I’m literally agreeing with Wendy and saying the exact same thing, from my own perspective as a woman in that demographic.

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      • Lucidity

        Lucidity May 14, 2019, 8:40 pm

        I don’t fault LW2 for looking for options in the dating pool in that age range if biological children are his goal, but I do agree with @TheLadyE about how women in that age range will likely feel about his advances.

        I’m in my 30s and have friends in their 30s. Those of us who’ve been on dating apps immediately reject men even close to LW’s age. If we want children, we’re looking at men about our own age because we feel closer to people who share our lifestage but also because we want our partners to (ideally) be healthy and stick around to parent our kids for a similar length of time as us. We’re often pretty skevved out by these guys assuming we’d be interested in them, especially when they seem to fetishize youth, treat us like egg dispensing machines, or get angry when they don’t get the attention they act entitled to. Those are the ones that grind women’s gears. Not all of them come across like that.

        I’m sure some women in that age range would happily marry and procreate with men of LW’s age, but given my experience, I think they’re few and far between. If I were him I wouldn’t put my stock in it – sure, keep looking for dates, but don’t stop going on dates with Joanne, either. You might find that she’s the one.

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    • avatar

      Fyodor May 14, 2019, 12:12 pm

      I wonder what the local news is like where BGM lives. He always sees the most interesting and varied newsflashes.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark May 14, 2019, 2:09 pm

        God, I wish. Maybe I should deliver the evening news. Three years ago I could have all been like… “Few take Trump seriously. But NEWSFLASH: fucking Hillary won’t win!” It might have woken people up a bit and all this madness could have been avoided.

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      • avatar

        Fyodor May 14, 2019, 2:20 pm

        I don’t think that you say “NEWSFLASH” if you’re actually on the news but it’s been a while since I watched live TV news.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark May 14, 2019, 2:28 pm

        People are so dumb these days, I think they might appreciate the heads up. Plus so much of what passes for news really isn’t. Constant 24/7 Dim Dartrashian coverage, anyone?

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      • avatar

        Fyodor May 14, 2019, 2:44 pm

        Reporter “and now, we go to Jim for sports… wait NEWAFLASH: the Notre Dame is burning”

        I don’t think that SOF* who is eight, has ever seen live TV news before, so she’ll probably not even get NEWSFLASH references when she’s older. She asked me a few weeks ago why we say “rewind” for going backwards on the dvr.

        *Spawn of Fyodor

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      • avatar

        MissD May 15, 2019, 5:49 am

        @Fyodor there are young kids these days asking why we say “hang up” the phone.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie May 14, 2019, 10:46 am

    LW 1 – Birth control! Birth control! Birth. Control. Condoms plus something else.
    She made choices at a young age that have lifetime consequences. Please make choices that are best for you.

    LW2 – you can’t be so foolish as to think that children exist solely for the purpose of making a happy marriage? Or that marriage only exists to make children? People without children can be happy and people with children can be miserable .

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark May 14, 2019, 10:53 am

      Omiyes! On your birth control point. Condoms. Condoms! Condoms!! Do not trust her to be on a pill. Bittergaymark my words on that!!

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  • avatar

    Essie May 14, 2019, 11:02 am

    LW2: Oh, man, are you going about this all wrong. I understand the general desire to be a parent, but I always saw that as an outgrowth of a deep love between two people, who then decide to build a family and a life together.

    Where, exactly, is the deep love in your scenario? You describe this as if you want to find a woman who meets your specifications for breeding and will pop out a kid on demand, so you can be a dad. No matter how prettily you try to present that proposition, women are going to be repulsed by it. Unless you happen to find a woman like you, who wants kids so badly that she doesn’t much care who she has them with.

    Maybe I’m being a little harsh, but do you see what I’m getting at? You’re putting the desire to have a child ahead of the desire to have the loving, fulfilling relationship in which to raise the child. You see the hypothetical mother as a means to an end.

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark May 14, 2019, 11:04 am

      Yes, thank God women NEVER do this… 🙄

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    • avatar

      Fyodor May 14, 2019, 12:26 pm

      I am betting that a substantial percentage of those 37-40 women he’s trying to date are taking the same approach. Not all but certainly many.

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      • avatar

        Essie May 14, 2019, 3:53 pm

        We’ve definitely had many women come through here who are thinking the same way. They focus on the need to have children instead of the relationship and partner that will raise the child. Which leads to settling.

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  • avatar

    Peggy May 14, 2019, 12:27 pm

    LW#2-Iagree that you likely would have found a way to have kids by now, if it was a burning desire of yours. A compatible partner,whom Joanne may be, is not easy to find-I would stick with her and see what happens. Also kids will/would make a huge difference in any relationship and you may be less flexible at your age to cope with that.
    One more note-women never just magically somehow “fall pregnant”. Just saying,that is a ludicrous expression.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster May 14, 2019, 12:42 pm

      Yeah I cringe every time I read it too. But it is a common expression in British English and doesn’t have the same connotation there as it does in the US.

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    • avatar

      Ange May 14, 2019, 8:04 pm

      Heaven forfend other countries have their own idioms 🙄

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  • avatar

    anonymousse May 14, 2019, 12:34 pm

    Quite honestly if at almost 50 years old you still haven’t managed to have a child, you probably haven’t always wanted them.

    But regardless, you’re asking whether you should choose to continue to build a relationship with a real person you enjoy vs. an abstract hope of another women who’d want to pretty much immediately attempt to have a child with you. The odds are not in your favor for the second choice. The relationship would be so rushed, unstable and probably would not last. It is a fantasy, not a reality. At least one with a very small chance of happening.

    I think you need to come to grips with the probability that you won’t have your own biological children.

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  • avatar

    Megan May 14, 2019, 12:35 pm

    To LW1,

    Seconded on the birth control, though I’m sure she learned from the first time around and it might have been her partner’s fault she got pregnant, who knows! (It’s totally sexist to put the blame on her, takes two to tango) You are young, most likely you won’t end up with her. Don’t move in until you are SURE you want that commitment, not fair to her or especially the kid. But you have good instincts and I highly suggest what Wendy said!

    LW2:

    How selfish are you? I get the kid thing, but being an old parent is selfish. You will be 80 by the time your kid is 30 at a minimum. Do you think it’s fair for your kid to have to start taking care of you in their late twenties? Will you be able to teach them to drive in your late 60s? Will your retirement be interfered with by them graduating high school/ going to college? Will you have the energy for a toddler at 55?? Joanne deserves better, either make a change and be better or let her find someone better.

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    • avatar

      Fyodor May 14, 2019, 12:39 pm

      “Seconded on the birth control, though I’m sure she learned from the first time around and it might have been her partner’s fault she got pregnant, who knows! (It’s totally sexist to put the blame on her, takes two to tango)”

      He’s not having sex with her ex boyfriend (probably).

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      • avatar

        Megan May 14, 2019, 12:41 pm

        I’m saying it’s not fair to assume she’s irresponsible for getting pregnant in high school, her then ex might have been at fault, they both might have been, we don’t know. It is sexist to assume it was JUST her, as if women get pregnant on their own.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark May 14, 2019, 5:56 pm

        Getting knocked up in high school is the text book definition. Of irresponsible. Both parties involved were fucking idiots. Literally.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 14, 2019, 1:19 pm

      Eh, I think that’s a little over dramatic. Fifty isn’t 80; I think plenty of 50-year-olds could parent babies and toddlers just fine. And so what if a fifty-year-old dad will be 80 when his kid is 30? What does that even really mean? People are living longer and longer lives. At 80, a person could have 10 or more good years left. My FIL was 50 when my husband was born; he lived – at home – to 95. Meanwhile, my MIL was 38 when my husband was born and she died of cancer 11 years later. Age matters a lot more when it comes to conception than it does in determining how long (and how well) a parent will live.

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      • avatar

        Megan May 14, 2019, 2:00 pm

        Maybe I’m just devil’s advocate then, but that was my first thought.

        It’s nice to think we will all be healthy as we near our older years but that’s not a realistic view, a lot of people develop issues that require constant care, and to be 27/28/29 and have to take care of your parent’s life when you are just starting your own seems selfish to me. I know a lot of people who have kids later in life and I’ve seen the children suffer as a result. One of my best friends is caring for her geriatric father at 26 and it’s massively affecting her life in a negative manner (imagine trying to plan a wedding, work full time and complete grad school while getting calls every other day from your father’s assisted living home about issue’s he is having that she can’t afford). But we all have anecdotes and people who have been through it, it’s up to the potential parents in the end, but the point should still be made.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy May 14, 2019, 2:13 pm

        I mean, if one wants to avoid ever being a burden on one’s kids at a time when it’s inconvenient to them, then they shouldn’t ever have kids, I guess. Honestly, in regards to your anecdote: I think it’d be easier to care for an aging you’re young and child free and at the beginning of a career than when you’re middle-aged and potentially raising young children and at a demanding point in your career.

        My point is, there is no good age or good time to get sick and burden your kids with caring for you. Having an 80-year-old parent when you’re 30 vs 45 isn’t necessarily better or worse. It depends on so many factors that one can’t possibly predict.

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      • avatar

        Megan May 14, 2019, 3:09 pm

        My friend isn’t financially stable, she’s in an entry level job that’s demanding. while trying to finish grad school and get married etc. Maybe if she was 35 and had stable employment for a while it’d be more flexible, sure. But what happens when she wants kids after getting married? She has to be pregnant/with a baby or toddler and caring for her father? Her dad has issues that will last for the rest of his life, he’s most likely not dying soon (which would be traumatic as well).

        We could go back and forth but to me, it definitely seems more responsible to have kids at a slightly younger age 🤷‍♀️ I definitely think older parents should at the very least make sure they have enough money set aside to make sure they won’t be financially stressing their 20 something kids should something happen.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse May 14, 2019, 7:40 pm

        Life just happens. My uncle died of natural causes at 44. My aunt had her first child at 46 she had two kids who are in their twenties now. Everyone is happy and healthy.

        Sometimes life throws a curveball. I don’t think having kids at 50 is always a bad idea. My best friend was the last kid to aged parents. They are still kicking around and physically fit in their eighties.

        I don’t think it should automatically be a child’s responsibility to care for their parents. I think most parents plan for old age, but of course some don’t. In the scenario you’re describing-yes it’s not ideal, but what are you suggesting? That he shouldn’t have had a child at all?

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      • avatar

        dinoceros May 15, 2019, 11:31 am

        It does matter what age you are when you have to take care of your parents, though. It’s very different to start having to make decisions about your future and finances to take care of a parent in your 20s or early 30s than when you’re older. Sure, it’s luck of the draw and a person can be ill earlier in life or super healthy later, but statistically, yes, you are more likely to have to take care of someone in their 80s than someone in their 60s. I think if someone chooses to have children late they need to also commit to a healthy lifestyle and healthy finances. Should every parent do that? Ideally. But those things start to compound the older a person gets. I say this as someone whose mom had her pretty late. If I happened to be transported back in time, I’d for sure try to convince her to do it earlier, based on my experiences.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy May 15, 2019, 12:49 pm

        But then you wouldn’t exist.

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    • avatar

      Fyodor May 14, 2019, 1:30 pm

      My uncle had his son at 50 and is a fantastic, involved father. I have several friends who were second marriage kids with older fathers (late 40s and early 50s) and had good childhoods and close relationships with their fathers. My father’s cousin had a kid at 49 via IVF and is close with her now college aged daughter, who is happy and smart and lovely.

      I would say that most of these people are better adjusted than average.

      It’s unfortunate that you weren’t there before conception to harangue them about how they were too old and unfit to be parents.

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    • avatar

      Ale May 15, 2019, 1:14 pm

      Ffs. Your friend could decide not to take care of her father if he is such a burden. Or maybe put grad school on hold. Or not plan a wedding while her father is dying? Jesus Christ. I’m sure her father is delighted to have her take care of him feeling like a burden.
      The thing is nobody knows what’s going to happen. You could die and your kid could be one year old or you could be 100 and your kid would be 50. Nobody knows and being called selfish for wanting and deciding to have a kid at whatever age is awful.

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  • avatar

    Kali May 14, 2019, 1:40 pm

    Off topic a bit: is LW2 British? “Fall pregnant” isn’t a term I typically hear on this side of the pond and I’m just wondering.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 14, 2019, 1:53 pm

      I’m not sure. He did not explicitly say where he’s from, and there are no clues in his email address or the name he gave. 🤷🏼‍♀️

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    • TheLadyE

      TheLadyE May 14, 2019, 2:09 pm

      “Fall pregnant” is British, yes. (Lived in the UK for 2 years.) It may be Australian as well…but I know it is British/a common way to say “got pregnant” in the UK.

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      • avatar

        Anonymous May 14, 2019, 2:15 pm

        Actually, considering how dimwitted many breeders are about birth control as witnesses by their seemingly endless whoopsie conceptions… I remain rather surprised that Fall Pregnant hasn’t simply become the go-to expression here in the U.S.

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  • avatar

    Poppy May 14, 2019, 3:10 pm

    LW1- the question you need to be asking yourself is after 2 yrs of dating is this the person/family dynamic you want to commit to long term. Just because you have been dating this women since she had a child doesnt make you obligated to step up and be his father or be called dad. This child does have a father; presumably a shitting one but dont let that guilt you into being ones father/dad. Your girlfriend should not pressure you nor force this. Alot of people write in regarding their significant others who are involved in their ex’s childrens lives that are non bio to their current partner but because they choose to remain in their lives have bonded a relationship with them which causes stress on their relationship, esp when they want to move forward to having their own family and such. Since you have been with this girlffriend you have had to help but sometimes situations like this cloud a relationship. If this isnt want you want then its time to end the relationship. Whats the point if you arent ready to commit to be a father/husband, right?

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom May 14, 2019, 7:33 pm

    LW1 The only time you should become the father of her child is when you decide that you are committed to spending your life with her and so spending your life with her son and so becoming the father in his life. Until you have that level of commitment you shouldn’t be his father. At the very least wait until you are engaged.

    At your age most relationships fail. The odds are high that sooner or later this relationship will end and you will move on to another relationship.

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    Kunal May 15, 2019, 10:21 am

    I don’t think it should automatically be a child’s responsibility to care for their parents. I think most parents plan for old age, but of course some don’t. In the scenario you’re describing-yes it’s not ideal, but what are you suggesting? That he shouldn’t have had a child at all?

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      anonymousse May 15, 2019, 11:36 am

      Weird.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros May 15, 2019, 11:23 am

    LW1: I think Wendy’s advice is good. But I don’t think it’s going to be as simple as just telling her you’re not ready and then just hanging tight until sometime in the future. It’s hard because if you were older, I think the advice would be different, which makes sense. And I get that being so young, it’s hard to commit to something like this. But I don’t think it necessarily makes it unreasonable for her to ask the question. You two should have discussed this more in depth earlier than this. It’s quite possible that she would not have chosen to continue the relationship if she knew that you may not be interested in being a dad. (I get that you’re not the bio dad, but any child whose parent dates/marries someone from their birth on is going to see that person as a parental figure most likely, unless you create a very rigid environment where you don’t interact much, dont’ live together, etc.)

    You may be too young to decide now, but this also just may turn out to be an incompatibility. I can’t imagine a young mother who is looking for their partner to become a co-parent eventually to be willing to wait around like 5 years to find out if you are going to be interested in that — while the child continues to get used to you in their life. So, I’d be more ready that perhaps was suggested that you may have to end the relationship simply because you two want different things on different timelines.

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