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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

CHILDREN: Motherhood in a May/December Marriage?
Letter #: 388530
Category: Marriage

Original Letter

Hello, I need some advice on having children. My husband and I have a may/december relationship, I am 25 and he is 51, we have been together for four years, married for 2, and I have recently been thinking about the logistics of having a baby. The problem is the age gap. I am not sold on the idea of having children. I have worked in childcare for 10 years, and I never liked it, I don't hate children I just liked the idea of keeping work at work. My husband has two children from his previous marriage, he did not have the opportunity to raise his children because of how messy the divorce was, which is a long story involving perjury. I have seen my husband with his children and with our nieces and nephews, he is a good father and I see how much it hurts him that he lost out on raising his children. I am afraid that if we put off having children until I am 100% ready, my husbands will be in his early 70's and not have the chance to see his child grow up, but if I give birth without being ready I am scared that I won't be properly able to care for and love my baby. My husband says we would only start trying to conceive if it was something I wanted and that would make me happy, but I feel like I should be able to give him the chance at fatherhood he missed out on the first time. Even if I am not totally ready he would know things I wouldn't, and be able to help and support us... I am not sure what to do, because for most of my life I was convinced I didn't want to be a mother, but lately I have had maternal stirrings. I am not sure what to do, any advice would help immensely.

Elder Response

I am only going to ask you one question: "Are your parents' lives better or worse for having had you?"

I ask this because I know how much I brought into my parents' lives and I only began to realize this when I had my own children. I never knew that my daughters would turn out to be my best friends in the world. Now, of course, there is no guarantee of this, but in your thoughts, consider your life 10 or 20 years down the road. Who will be there for you?  With an older husband, you may have years of being alone. My husband was only two years my elder, yet he died at 55 after our 28th year of marriage. I see the children as my legacy.

So, you can see that I am on the side of having children. There will never be a perfect time. After you have them, you may have moments when you wished you didn't. The early years can be stormy. I can only say -- from the vantage point of age 82 with daughters in their 50's -- that of all my considerable professional accomplishments and satisfactions, they have transcended everything -- and  that is not even taking into consideration grandchildren and now, my first great-grandchild.

Best Regards,

Hedwig


    

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