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 email@example.com.
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