with Avi Spivack
Hi, I'm Avi, and I try to put the work and the dad together, with mild success. This is all about trying to give you a view from what it looks like on the dad-man's side of the world, and I hope you find my ruminations humorous because I try not to take myself too seriously.
We had dinner with some new friends last week, and when I revealed my age to the group (my wife already knew), the other couple was - for lack of a better word - flabbergasted.
The average age of a man getting married these days is just over 27 (and fifty years ago it was 23), which means that most guys aren’t typically becoming fathers until they’re older than 30. So because I was around the age of the average groom when our daughter was born, one could say we were on the early side (just as we were one of the first couples to get married) - some of my male amigos were freaked out by the thought and have shied away and others have been more welcoming. But overall, it is now somewhat difficult to forge relationships with non-father men, so logically, my wife and I end up becoming friends with other parents who are inevitably somewhat older than us.
Not that I look old (check out my profile photo and you be the judge) or act mature (my wife says I’m 15 on a good day), but somehow, I guess they - and most others that don’t know me - assume that I am at least 3-5 years older than I am, mostly because I have a three year old daughter. And then most of my friends are just now starting to think about maybe having a kid or possibly deciding that marriage might be something that they should begin to think about (while their neurotic Jewish mothers stay awake at night praying for lightning to strike).
And of course there was the one time when a former colleague asked me if our daughter was a mistake (meaning did we really mean to have a kid so young). I said yes, she was, we were trying to have twins.
But the question remains of what is gained or lost by having children when you’re younger vs. older. For some, there is no choice if conception is difficult, but we made a conscious decision (or was it?) with the knowledge that we wanted to be young parents, much like our own parents. (And there’s a good amount of interesting research about this.) For me, I knew I did not want to be 60 when my kid went to college. But of course no one can ever convey just how much a child consumes your life and the trade-offs that you have to make as a parent from cutting back at work to traveling less and being forced to juggle each day differently, way differently, than the pre-child years.
Would I trade it for anything? Absolutely not.
But do I sometimes wish that we had waited a few more years? Yup, I do, but it’s largely because of the hindsight that we have now accrued, not with regret.
So now I have to deal with the fact that this couple may never invite us back again because they are forty-somethings and we asking me if I remembered the 80s.
C’mon, I love John Hughes movies. Just because I was eight when “The Breakfast Club” came out doesn’t mean I can’t relate.
So were you too young, just right, or do you wish you had your children earlier?
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