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Freddie'sMum

C'mon ladies - lets go out with a bang ! Would you have a baby after the age of 60?

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cardamom

Since EB is on its last leg, I'll (uncharacteristically - I hate conflict!) play devil's advocate for a second:

Given the above arguments against it - that it's selfish, that she won't be able to care adequately for the child, etc. - then how does that relate to people with other diverse health needs who want to become parents? Eg. someone with a debilitating illness that impacts their ability to care for the child, a person with a life-limiting condition.

Not saying I necessarily endorse the above, but from a moral framework point of view I find it a difficult one to puzzle my way through. If we're saying that physical limitations associated with age should prohibit one from being a parent - then what does that mean for people with disability?*

 

*I say this as someone who identifies as a person with disability, and as someone who was parented by a person with a disability which has seriously affected my life.

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YodaTheWrinkledOne
30 minutes ago, cardamom said:

Since EB is on its last leg, I'll (uncharacteristically - I hate conflict!) play devil's advocate for a second:

Given the above arguments against it - that it's selfish, that she won't be able to care adequately for the child, etc. - then how does that relate to people with other diverse health needs who want to become parents? Eg. someone with a debilitating illness that impacts their ability to care for the child, a person with a life-limiting condition.

Not saying I necessarily endorse the above, but from a moral framework point of view I find it a difficult one to puzzle my way through. If we're saying that physical limitations associated with age should prohibit one from being a parent - then what does that mean for people with disability?*

 

*I say this as someone who identifies as a person with disability, and as someone who was parented by a person with a disability which has seriously affected my life.

I would imagine they are not expecting their own children to take care of said child. They are likely to have had chats about childcare plans with their partner, siblings, parents and would have made plans accordingly for support etc, not assumed that their own children will step in as care-givers. Nor are they past the expected biological time for having children.

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unicycle

Cardamon, I think you are stepping into the territory of one of the last of society's great unmentionables. Children and partners who have found it really tough to be in a family with these dynamics hesitate or refuse to publicly admit or talk about their struggles. Instead, we hear overwhelmingly from the families for whom there was capacity to make a solid foundation.

I admire that you have brought this up and it has lead me to reflect hard upon your questions and musings. But even on an anonymous forum such as this one, I don't have the  fortitude to untangle this publicly as often the nuance and complexity will be ignored by some participants and I am scared of the readers and writers who don't presume positive intent on behalf of posters.

 

I would love to have an in-person conversation about this, as it does hit home rather strongly, but i will be sure to choose really carefully whom I have this conversation with. The fallout  could really be dreadful, with unintended hurt feelings and/or miscommunications that could be devastating.

 

 

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steppy

I think the part about expecting adult children to help raise the child is immoral - especially without notifying them of my intentions. And if I magically got pregnant at 60 and carried the child to term, I'd probably have the baby adopted (hopefully by younger members of my own family, but by another family if not) as I don't think I would be able to raise the child all by myself and I might die, so I'd want them to have a solid basis with another family if that happened. However, if I was able to carry to term without risk and the baby was fine, I can't see a reason to end the pregnancy. 

Would I actually seek to get pregnant at 60? No. 

Edited by steppy
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YodaTheWrinkledOne
25 minutes ago, steppy said:

I think the part about expecting adult children to help raise the child is immoral - especially without notifying them of my intentions.

I think that's the biggest issue. If the mother is assuming she can rely on the good graces of her existing family to help her out if things go pear-shaped, without any consultation.  If she's talked with her family/support network and they are all board with her plan and willing to step in if needed, then that's a different matter.

But would I personally actively try to have another baby when I was 60+? Hell no!

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Etta

Cardamom - that is a really good point that you make.

And Yoda - from memory there was no information about whether she was expecting her adult children to care for the child. We do know that she hadn't discussed it with them previously but we don't know if she had made other arrangements.

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Freddie'sMum

cardamom - that's a very thoughful response.  Because I was raised in a family where Dad had MS - and was also the primary caregiver to myself and my younger brother  when we were growing up - it was incredibly difficult for him but he was honestly the best Dad you could possibly imagine. 

I personally don't see that having a disability should limit whether you become a parent (and hopefully all parents have a good support network around them) - I do see that a 60 plus year old woman wanting a newborn as very very wrong.  Yup, wrong.  I get that baby cuddles are the best but that's what grandkids are for plus you get to hand them back to their (younger) parents at some time.

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cardamom
6 hours ago, YodaTheWrinkledOne said:

I would imagine they are not expecting their own children to take care of said child. They are likely to have had chats about childcare plans with their partner, siblings, parents and would have made plans accordingly for support etc, not assumed that their own children will step in as care-givers. Nor are they past the expected biological time for having children.

Fair enough - but leaving this particular example aside, which based on what's been said sounds like there is perhaps some degree of expectation that her adult children will assist with caring for their baby sibling: if an older parent doesn't have adult children, if they have planned accordingly for support needs as per the above, then is it still problematic for them to want/try to have a child?

3 hours ago, Freddie'sMum said:

cardamom - that's a very thoughful response.  Because I was raised in a family where Dad had MS - and was also the primary caregiver to myself and my younger brother  when we were growing up - it was incredibly difficult for him but he was honestly the best Dad you could possibly imagine. 

I personally don't see that having a disability should limit whether you become a parent (and hopefully all parents have a good support network around them) - I do see that a 60 plus year old woman wanting a newborn as very very wrong.  Yup, wrong.  I get that baby cuddles are the best but that's what grandkids are for plus you get to hand them back to their (younger) parents at some time.

And this is exactly why I posed the question - because my initial response is that it's "wrong" as well, but I can't work out a good reason for why that is!

Edited for spelling :)

Edited by cardamom

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Etta

This is good Cardamom - you are pushing us to think critically about this topic.

Why do we have such a strong reaction against this? Part of my thinking is that it is really unfair on the child to have such an old mother as they will be very aware once they hit school that their life is quite different. And they may find it really hard to have a parent who by that time will be 70. And that may mean that their mother can't participate in activities like the younger parents can. But the same thing could be said for children of parents with a disability. Some children are raised by grandparents anyway if their parents can't take care of them.

I am sure we can all think of people who are the age of this mother who have a lot of energy and who would be great fun to be with. Will she be able to maintain this? Maybe she will. She may not have financial worries - she probably won't have to work. Okay, so the child may be a bit divorced from a normal reality, but again - they won't be alone in this.

Maybe another argument against this is that the child may have to care for the mother as soon as they are an adult themself (or earlier) but again, there is no guarantee of this. Would we use this argument - or the argument about not being around for your child for very long - about someone who gets pregnant knowing that they have a life-limiting illness?

While my gut reaction is still NO!!, it is interesting to work through these arguments.

 

 

 

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cardamom

Exactly, Etta; each argument that I can think of - the child might have to take care of the parent; the parent might not be able to participate as fully in school activities, etc.; the parent might die while the child is still young - could equally be applied to parents with disability or life-limiting conditions, but they aren't - it seems to be exclusive to age.

In a similar vein - these kinds of concerns or instinctive "no way" responses aren't raised nearly as often when the parent in question is male. There are many, many fathers out there who parent children well into their 60s (and older), with nowhere near the level of concern or eyebrow raising as when the prospective parent is a woman.

Again, I'm not advocating for this - just trying to puzzle through my own reaction. Is it just about ageism, the beliefs/assumptions we have about older people? Or this sort of feeling that for an older woman to carry a pregnancy inherently goes against nature, is a kind of biological crime, if that makes sense, and we therefore have this strong aversion to it?

Edited by cardamom
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cardamom
32 minutes ago, Etta said:

This is good Cardamom - you are pushing us to think critically about this topic.

And this is why I hate that we're losing EB :( I grew up in a household where disagreement and speaking up were not okay; EB has honestly taught me how to develop an argument, communicate my point of view, and to realise that differences of opinion don't have to be scary or unsafe.

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Chchgirl
1 hour ago, cardamom said:

And this is why I hate that we're losing EB :( I grew up in a household where disagreement and speaking up were not okay; EB has honestly taught me how to develop an argument, communicate my point of view, and to realise that differences of opinion don't have to be scary or unsafe.

Same here, so i totally understand what you mean.. it's been so help to me as well.

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MadMarchMasterchef
51 minutes ago, cardamom said:

Exactly, Etta; each argument that I can think of - the child might have to take care of the parent; the parent might not be able to participate as fully in school activities, etc.; the parent might die while the child is still young - could equally be applied to parents with disability or life-limiting conditions, but they aren't - it seems to be exclusive to age.

In a similar vein - these kinds of concerns or instinctive "no way" responses aren't raised nearly as often when the parent in question is male. There are many, many fathers out there who parent children well into their 60s (and older), with nowhere near the level of concern or eyebrow raising as when the prospective parent is a woman.

Again, I'm not advocating for this - just trying to puzzle through my own reaction. Is it just about ageism, the beliefs/assumptions we have about older people? Or this sort of feeling that for an older woman to carry a pregnancy inherently goes against nature, is a kind of biological crime, if that makes sense, and we therefore have this strong aversion to it?

I think its usually assumed that when an older man has a child he has a much younger partner but not usually assumed the other way around.   Obviously theres the differences in male vs female fertility with age. 

Edited by MadMarchMasterchef

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YodaTheWrinkledOne
30 minutes ago, MadMarchMasterchef said:

I think its usually assumed that when an older man has a child he has a much younger partner but not usually assumed the other way around.   Obviously theres the differences in male vs female fertility with age. 

That said, I'd still think it was kind selfish of a 64 year old man without a partner to decide to have a child, for the same reason as Etta and Cardamon have listed above. Yep, probably ageist. At some point, I think you need to say "yep, that ship has sailed".

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MadMarchMasterchef
1 hour ago, YodaTheWrinkledOne said:

That said, I'd still think it was kind selfish of a 64 year old man without a partner to decide to have a child, for the same reason as Etta and Cardamon have listed above. Yep, probably ageist. At some point, I think you need to say "yep, that ship has sailed".

Yes, while not meaning any disrespect towards single parents, if you have an older single parent vs an older couple I guess there is more chance of the child being orphaned at a younger age. 

 

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doubledelight
On 21/11/2020 at 6:58 PM, PuddingPlease said:

At least you wouldn't get Covid 😂

She'd have to inject the bleach to ensure that 🤣

I had my youngest two at 37 and now that there in their teens I question my sanity.  I wouldn't have another one now let alone in another 10 years.  I'd rather extract my uterus through my nostrils.  The sheer selfishness of doing this is mind blowing.  Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

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lozoodle

I didn't even want to have a baby after 30 (I still did though):rofl:

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lazycritter
On 21/11/2020 at 6:11 PM, TigerQueenofSheeba said:

**** no! 

This. 

Why would you do this to yourself. 

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a letter to Elise.

I have conflicting feelings about this. On a personal level, I say hell no! But for someone else, well, I’m not sure. 
my dad was seriously ill, and Drs advised my parents not to have more children, as mum would most likely be left raising them alone. They went ahead and had me anyway, thankfully. 
Our lives were certainly impacted by his ill health. I never knew him as a well person, and he spent a substantial amount of time in hospital. But he survived far longer than anyone thought he would - he died when I was 28. Mum, who was the healthy one, did not. She died a very fast and brutal death from cancer when I was 22. 
 

There are no guarantees in life. My grandfather was healthy and full of life well into his 90’s. Who’s to say  this lady won’t be too? 

Edited by a letter to Elise.

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JRA

Oh god, I wouldn’t have a child at 60. But OMG neither would I have one at 20 or 30. But that is me

Edited by JRA

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Murderino

My kids were born when I was 35 and 37 respectively. No way I’d do it now at 46. I do feel tired but it doesn’t stop me playing - they had me rollerblading at the weekend and I’ve still got it!

On 21/11/2020 at 10:45 PM, Jenflea said:

I was brought up to not expect babysitting from my parents and the inlaws were too busy looking after my SiL's 2 kids (a lot) that I never got DD sat by anyone really. 

I have to say, I don't think people in their 70s should be looking after kids, and certainly NOT having them! Menopause happens for a good reason!

Our paid babysitter was a retired child care worker and kinder assistant. I thought she was in her early 60s but found out when my mum died that she was 72 (she’d be 79 now but we haven’t had her babysit since the kids started school, I’m not sure if she still babysits). She was a vibrant active woman who seemed to have more energy than me. She missed her job dearly and was recommended to us by a good friend. She worked for them 3 days a week and us 2.

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