Report: Older guys having second set of kids

While Momania’s Theresa Walsh Giarrusso takes a vacation, local dad and sportswriter Andy Johnston will be filling in. He loves war movies, obsesses over his fantasy baseball team and makes a mean stir-fry. You can e-mail him at ajcmomania@gmail.com.

Andy and his son Ty.

Andy and his son Ty.

There was a story in USA Today a couple of weeks ago that grabbed my attention.

It was about guys with older kids from their first marriage and who had then remarried and now are raising their second set of children.

While the article didn’t necessarily apply to me, at 45, I’m older than most men who have 5-year-olds. I was 32 when I got married and nearly 40 when Ty was born, so now, five years later, it’s sometimes tough to find the energy I need to keep up with him.

One of the guys quoted in the article was 60-year-old Greg Weinlein, a retired high school English teacher who has two kids who are 43 and 37 and two other ones who are 11 and 7. BTW, he also has grandsons who are 8 and 14.

One expert called it “serial paternity” and the term “sequential families” was used.

This part was particularly interesting:

“Dads raising kids under 18 do indeed spend more time in child care today than in earlier decades, finds a report released by the Pew Research Center, which analyzed data from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth collected from 13,495 respondents ages 15-44.

In 1965, married fathers with kids under 18 at home spent an average of 2.6 hours a week caring for their children. The amount of time rose to 2.7 hours a week in 1975 and 3 hours a week in 1985. From 1985 to 2000, the amount of time these fathers spent with their children more than doubled, to 6.5 hours a week.”

Several of the older dads say they are more patient with their younger set of children than they were with their first and that they are spending more time in the gym to try to find that elusive duo of energy and longevity.

More power to them, but I couldn’t imagine raising kids and then bringing up some more about 25 years later.

What do you think of this phenomenon?

Do you know older men who are raising their second or third set of kids? How do they do it?

- By Andy Johnston, for the Momania blog

63 comments Add your comment

shaggy

June 28th, 2011
7:02 am

The “phenomenon”:
Dear old “dad” is a narcissistic jerk with the first set. Then, he enters the infamous “mid-life crisis” and realizes that “mom” has chosen the pool boy over him, and his own children mostly loathe him, even his favorite son has come out of the closet and moved to Key West with “Phil”. What is a guy at the top of his earning potential to do?
In the “settlement”, he gives mom the house (with the pool) and finds a younger woman, who he persuades to take care of his decrepit self…in exchange for a fresh litter. The much younger woman doesn’t care that he will soon die…she is counting on it.
The ex-wife has moved on to the tennis pro and a married county commissioner. Life is good.
His first set of kids are actively searching for the right hit man, preferrably, one named “Guido”.
Dear old dad is OK, because he needs someone to help him find his car keys and give him regular sponge baths. The car bomb didn’t mess him up that bad after all.
In a few years, the young wife gets a nice cash cushion paid right after the funeral, a house, and promptly goes in search of her own pool boy.
The second set of kids will be taken care of by the state, because their psychological issues have been “acted out” in banks, passing tellers informative notes or getting caught hiring a police agent as a hit man to take care of the first half-siblings, which if successful, would increase their take.
You know it happens.

Ringo

June 28th, 2011
8:07 am

Dad is on the rise and has blindly followed all the rules of success: graduate college, get a job, work work work… climb that corporate ladder. He’s now making some money in his 20’s so the girls start coming at him. He marries. The wife sees his rising star and elects to pop out a kid, ensuring 20-22% of his gross for 18 years. Life is good for her, he provides, he has great future potential and she sees that she won’t have to work for too much longer. Dad is now getting promotions and is making some really good money so he continues to work, work work. He wakes up one day when his kids are 16 and does not know them. When the kids leave for college he realizes he has nothing in common with his wife; after all, he was simply a pay check and her main focus was on her kids, not the marriage so they split up – she cleans him out.

Dad continues to work work work with little interaction between his kids; he writes the checks for college and is too busy working. Now he’s making serious money so some mid 30’s woman sinks her fangs into him and pops out Junior very quickly ensuring her life style for the future. She never sees him anyway, he’s working all the time, has a young wife who is good looking, she’s at the country club watching Little Johnny take tennis lessons and has a very good life style. Who cares if she is married to an old guy – he’s never there anyway, he’s on the road with work. He knows this woman got pregnant to ensure her lifestyle but he doesn’t care – he can work, she doesn’t complain that much and lets him have his way.

American mom and dad in the middle and upper middle class.

motherjanegoose

June 28th, 2011
8:13 am

@ shaggy and Ringo…I do not see this in my neighborhood, is it because I am OTP?

Janice

June 28th, 2011
8:17 am

lol….i knew the first post was shaggy!

JJ

June 28th, 2011
8:29 am

MJG – do you NOT know humor when you see it?????

Shaggy & Ringo – HYSTERICAL!!!! And Oh so true……I’ve seen it with my own eyes…..

Now where is MY sugar daddy????

Becky

June 28th, 2011
8:32 am

@shaggy..Thanks for the laugh this morning..

I only know one man that had “two” sets of children..One son by his first wife and one son by his second wife..The oldest son and second wife went to college together..

My husband says that he feels like he’s on his second family with the two grandkids..They stay at our house more than they stay at home with their parents..He (we) loves having them with us and on the few times that they do go home, he’s grumbling about them being gone..

motherjanegoose

June 28th, 2011
8:49 am

JJ…sarcasm?

BlondeHoney

June 28th, 2011
8:53 am

Shaggy nailed it :)

BlondeHoney

June 28th, 2011
8:57 am

Oh, and actually my dad did the two sets of families thing and couldn’t raise either set of kids…

Razz

June 28th, 2011
9:00 am

@JJ…I think MJG saw the humor and was being humorous back…as in sarcasm…

DB

June 28th, 2011
9:32 am

Shaggy, thanks for a great laugh-out-loud moment before I head in to the office! I read your post to my husband, laughing the entire time.

And JJ, MJG DID see humor — and was funny right back! I got a good giggle out of her OTP crack, too! I didn’t see the sarcasm, but probably only because I can imagine MJG sitting there with her eyebrows raised and declaring dryly if she wasn’t familiar with the phenomenon . . . :-)

RJ

June 28th, 2011
9:34 am

Of course the older you are, the more knowledge you have. With this 3rd and most definitely last child, I am still wondering where my energy will come from. This will be similar to starting over with a second set of children. I do know that it is more common for women and men to wait to have children. Many of my friends have little ones because they chose the career first. They’re in a much better financial situation that we were with our first. We could barely afford milk and diapers. This time around we are more financially secure, but we’re older and have less energy to chase a toddler.

JJ

June 28th, 2011
9:42 am

I had a neighbor who had 3 kids, 23, 21 & 17. She remarried and got pregnant. I was stunned. I said to her – “you have 2 out the door, and one with a foot out the door, and you are going to start this all over again?”

She married a younger man and he wanted his own kid.

NO WAY. I’m done…..I have a 20 year old and there is NO WAY IN H3LL I’m doing that again. I’m thankful for my one and only, and now, in 9 years, I look forward to grandchildren.

I still need more JJ time….

abc

June 28th, 2011
9:50 am

I think it’s unfair to the kid if you’re in your 50’s when they’re born. How are you going to teach them to play ball if you can’t physically do it yourself anymore? When they graduate high school, you might be showing up with a walker. You’ll likely die before they’re 30. It’s a burden for them, born of what, a selfish desire to have more kids?

The Big Bopper

June 28th, 2011
9:59 am

“American mom and dad in the middle and upper middle class.”

Yes unfortunately there is a lot of truth to this. Responsible, hard-working men have fewer rights in America thanks to the double-standards applied by women wanting “equality” (where “equality” = have someone else’s cake, and eat it too).

Screw this. I’ll go for a traditional, loving foreign woman who actually knows how to treat a man like a man and appreciates being loved for being a woman.

lb

June 28th, 2011
10:20 am

Big Bopper – all you need is a hooker IMO

mom2alex&max

June 28th, 2011
10:20 am

Big Bopper: have you ever seen the Eddie Murphy stand up routine where he talks about marrying a foreign woman? “Eeeddddiieee!! I want half!” (in some kind of accent). I’m guessing is in youtube somewhere.

DB

June 28th, 2011
10:24 am

@”The Big Bopper”: Why would I want your miserable excuse for a cake when I can make a better one, myself?

Men who end up yearing for a “traditional, loving foreign woman” are usually (not always, but usually) men who couldn’t make the grade with American women because they were so damn lazy when it came to taking responsibility for relationships. They say they want “traditional” women, but what they really want is another mommy, someone to take care of all the unpleasant chores at home without bothering him, with the added bonus of working outside the home and earning her own allowance AND putting out uncomplainingly in bed when he gets around to dragging his beer belly off the sofa from watching NASCAR. Being foreign, she’s so darn happy to get a free ride into the United States that she’s not going to want to upset the apple cart too much, and if he keeps her isolated enough and on a short leash, she won’t know any better.

@JJ: I’m with you! The baby factory is CLOSED! I enjoyed my time as a mother with young kids, but “to everything there is a season”, and that season has passed. On to new seasons!

mom2alex&max

June 28th, 2011
10:26 am

Big Bopper: watch this.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts4sEBb2K3s&feature=related

jmb

June 28th, 2011
10:30 am

DB – Pretty acurate description. My ex was going to “buy” him a foreign wife but he chickened out because he was afraid to fly. Spent over 4k preparing for the trip. You have NO idea how bad I wanted him to go through with it. It would have brought a lot of laughs to our family knowing the kind of person he is.

motherjanegoose

June 28th, 2011
10:38 am

@ DB and others…

About 10 years ago, we went to Hawaii and on a dinner cruise with our kids. We were seated next to a couple on their honeymoon. She was VERY attractive and foreign. He was homely and ill dressed. Even my two kids wondered ( afterwards) how they ended up together. We had to explain a few things to them. Sometimes magical things can happen but often it will turn into a vanishing act before the 5 year anniversary.

shaggy

June 28th, 2011
10:47 am

The “little” Bopper,

“Screw this. I’ll go for a traditional, loving foreign woman who actually knows how to treat a man like a man and appreciates being loved for being a woman.”

Yes, the Taliban mentality…for those who can’t.
Just as well, because there are men who want something besides a piece of furniture or a pet.

Denise

June 28th, 2011
11:01 am

As an older single woman I have resigned myself to the fact that I may be the second wife and have the second wave of kids. Actually my fear/concern is that I will meet a man who doesn’t want a second set of kids because he’s already thru raising his first set. Like JJ says, some folks don’t want to start over after their kid hits 20. But what happens when you’re only 22 when the kid is born? You’re done at 42 and I, at 38, either have to deal with it or find someone else. I will pick the latter every time. No, I haven’t had to deal with that but “do you want (more) kids?” is one of the first questions I ask. If the answer is no then… nice to meet you but it’s a wrap.

Honestly.....

June 28th, 2011
11:02 am

I’ve noticed a lot of men my age, hitting the old mid-life crises, are wanting the younger trophy women. They want to impress their like-aged friends, and play the “Look what I got” card. The ones who want the big lavish wedding (he will pay for it), she refuses to work, has a Nanny for the kids, travels to Europe, drives the Cadallic Escalade, wants the big HUGE McMansion, and pops out two or three kids, to ensure financial stability for the coming years, until he is about 75 and kicks the bucket. Then, she gets EVERYTHING, which pisses off the kids from the previous marriage. They will sue, and try to get some of their Dad’s estate, but she will play the “I have young children, and they need the money” card.

Older kids are resentful, younger kids have NO dad or siblings. But hey, they are living a lavish lifestyle, thanks to the old man’s mid life crises. So now Mom has to go out and find another man to keep her in the lifestyle she has demanded for herself and children.

What’s wrong with a stable, 50ish year old woman, who has been financially independant, has raised her children, and is now looking to coast into retirement with someone and enjoy life with NO kids.

A

June 28th, 2011
11:08 am

You hit it on the head @Honestly. You see this scenario a lot up here in North Fulton, all the way down to the Escalade. And these are the same women who are talking on their cell phone while driving around their hubby’s second set of kids.

I realize that this was written from the man's perspective...

June 28th, 2011
11:14 am

..but what about the middle aged women who play the cougar role and seek out the younger men (a la Joan Collins) and then they marry one and then they have a kid at older ages (38 – 45 – sorry Denise – and WHY are you seeking out an older, retread of a man???). To me, that is just as selfish and self-centered, but alas, a topic for another day…

LM

June 28th, 2011
11:17 am

Shaggy, you are too funny, loved your first post!

I have known several second time around fathers. The first was 20+ years ago, it was my FIL who found himself in love with his secretary. He had 3 children the first time around. Two with his second wife. When my husband’s sister was due with her first child and the step-mother was due, the Step-Mother scheduled a C-section so the grandchild would be younger than the child.

Second was the guy I work for, he has a son that was finishing his final year of HS, when my boss found out he was gonna be a dad again with his live in girl friend.

I had the one who has finished her first year of college. My husband and I talked about having children but both of us are looking forward to the freedom to travel and explore and enjoy being ourselves and not MOM or DAD.

On the other hand are expecting “kids” next year, but they will be 4 legged goats.

lakerat

June 28th, 2011
11:20 am

My aunt had two sets of kids – when her first two were 20 and 18 she had a second set of kids; the kicker was they were with the same husband with whom she had had the first two. Fortunately, both my aunt and uncle lived long lives so that the second set of kids, as they grew up, received the same appropriate love and affection from the same two parents that their older brother and sister had received.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 28th, 2011
11:25 am

to each their own, but I got snipped at 36 after one kid. Pretty much eliminates the quandry of ever having to make a decision to have more kids…….and I’m thankful for that!

Me, too, Tiger...

June 28th, 2011
11:30 am

…I was 35 when my second was born (my wife was 35, too) – she talked about wanting another child and I looked at her, square in the eye, and said, OK, but not with me, I am getting “fixed” ASAP, which I did. Never had to worry about that anymore, and we are still together – that was 23 years ago…

www.legendarydads.com

June 28th, 2011
11:38 am

I know a guy like this. . . . has kids that are ages 30-40 and also kids that are ages 5-10. He is in his late 60’s. The guy loves being a dad and now granddad. The only thing wrong with this picture is the pressure to be everything to everyone. I can imagine it would be very difficult for him to “switch gears” when being a father to adults and then switch to being a father to children. He also has an increased pressure to stay healthy and vicarious. The thought of being a 70 year plus dad at a high school/college graduation gives me anxiety, but for some. . that isn’t a problem. He wants to be a Legendary Dad like the rest of us.

LeeH1

June 28th, 2011
11:40 am

Actually, this is SOP in traditional Moslem and Mormon families with multiple wives. First wife for the first set of kids and to get in good with the wfie’s family and business connections, and to make your Mom happy with grandkids. Second wife for more business connections, with a few kids to keep her happy. Third wife for family relations with the bank and finance opportunities, with children as a dividend. Fourth wife is for love and companionship- these are the children you adore.

Treat all the children equally, and the man will get along with everyone. Treat some of the kids differently, and he will never live down the storms from their mothers, and the other mothers.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 28th, 2011
11:45 am

@Me, too…..I always tell my wife if she ever gets pregnant again we’ve got an attorney to call, either a malpractice one to sue the doctor who told me I was shooting blanks, or a divorce attorney.

JJ

June 28th, 2011
11:58 am

UM NO it’s NOT standard operating procedure for Mormons. Polygamy is no longer recognized by the Church, since the late 1800’s….Some still practice polygamy, but they are outcast from the LDS church. Therefore, you have your “cults” or Sects, that are lead by one crazed indivudual, who has brainwashed the women. Some of these women are raised in this culture. But shows like Big Love are about sects, not the actual LDS church.

Uh, Tiger...

June 28th, 2011
12:14 pm

…I understand your thoughts re: atty for malpractice IF your vasectomy fails; but, you will be wasting money on that one. You signed the consent form that says the procedure is NOT 100% effective in all cases, so, at least 98% of the time, you would lose in court, and have that much less money to raise that “surprise”…

OOPS, Tiger

June 28th, 2011
12:16 pm

…should have said “rear” that “surprise”, not raise – you raise chickens and rabbits, and rear children…

Jeff

June 28th, 2011
12:17 pm

I read the original article a while back in USAToday and found it incredibly insulting, condescending and degrading to us dads that had kids in our 30’s. As if somehow I’m incapable of being a good dad as defined by the author of the article (a female no less).

Denise

June 28th, 2011
12:21 pm

@I’m Sorry…. I’m not seeking out older men at all. I’m talking about the ones in the early 40s, my age group. I’ve heard of the same “been there done that” from some of them from my other single girlfriends. I actually don’t want a man over 45…45 is a little too old because of the “been there done that” and also because I don’t want my kid to have an old daddy. Hell, MY knees are getting bad. I was trying to drop it like it’s hot at a party on Saturday and my knee said “I dare you!” LOL!! I just want someone to love and have children with…no, RAISE happy and healthy children into adulthood with.

motherjanegoose

June 28th, 2011
12:22 pm

@ OOPS…I was thinking the same thing. I have met folks who told me that their husband had been snipped or they had their tubes tied and SURPRISE. I am not in those shoes, so no experience personally.

Also, I love the reference to rear and raise…I had this drilled into my head while I was in college but find many do not know…is it obsolete?

Not sure, MJG, re: rear and raise obsolescence...

June 28th, 2011
12:32 pm

…. I just hate that I had to catch and correct my error rather than use the term correctly in the beginning…

mom2alex&max

June 28th, 2011
12:41 pm

Well this is not gonna happen to me. My husband and I made a deal that since I was the one to go through 9 months of hell (twice), 9 months of getting the life sucked out of me in the form of breatsfeeding (twice) and a combined total of 20 hours of labors, he could be the one to take care of our birth control from here on out. Which he did. Permanently.

And like others have said, MY factory is CLOSED. Even if I get divorced or end up widowed before my reproductive years are over, if I meet someone again (which I doubt would happen anyways), he better understand that there will be NO common children. None. Zip. Zero. Nada.

mom2alex&max

June 28th, 2011
12:45 pm

MJG: I have heard those stories too AND I have personally met the children of the result of something like that. However, something doesn’t seem right with that. My theory is that what happens actually is that the child is conceived during the period right after the vasectomy when the man is still not 100% sterile. It takes about 6 weeks and about 15 to 20 ejaculations. I bet that most of those “surprises” happen during that time.

When my husband and I met with the urologist, he made it very clear to us (and he kept looking at me — for some reason I think he thought I was too young to want a husband with a vasectomy, Lol) that this was permanent. And that the chances of him conceiving again were too slim to count. And the more time that passes after a vasectomy, the less likely it is and the more almost impossible it is to reverse.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 28th, 2011
12:45 pm

@Uh, Tiger….I’m sure there is an attorney that can make a case against the lab who told me I’m shooting blanks to set me up for the rest of my life! That’s the American way right? If things don’t go your way, sue someone!

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 28th, 2011
12:47 pm

@mom2…….my doc asked me if my wife knew I was getting one during my first consultation!

Spacey

June 28th, 2011
1:12 pm

@Tiger – My Father remarried and had another child at 62! He had a vasectomy in 1976. Why? He wanted to make his new wife happy.
Never say never.

Uh, mom2alex&max...

June 28th, 2011
1:16 pm

…”Lol) that this was permanent. And that the chances of him conceiving again were too slim to count”. That is another way of saying that this is NOT 100% effective…

And, Tiger, that is why I said “98% of the time” – you never say never…And, if that should happen, don’t count on being “set” for the rest of your life; more likely for the first 18 – 22 years of the “surprise”’s life – people are so optimistic when they think they have a “great” case for a law suit, when in reality less than 10% “hit the jackpot”, and that is usually only if you die or are maimed for life…

Wayne

June 28th, 2011
1:28 pm

If I remember correctly, my wife had to sign a form acknowledging that I was getting a vasectomy.

I was married for 12 years, didn’t have kids. Divorced, and now have two. 7 and 4. Some days I feel old, other days, not so much. Any day, I come home and get the ‘daddy’s home’ and it feels great.

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 28th, 2011
1:45 pm

NEVER!!!! there….I said it! ;-)

Tiger Ochocinco Mellencamp

June 28th, 2011
1:46 pm

@Uh…..really….all my lawyer jokes are really…….just………jokes.

Spacey

June 28th, 2011
2:12 pm

Too be fair, they went and had it reversed. Then did a lot of hormones and In Vitro fertilization to make this happen. I’m just glad they only ended up with one child!