Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "What an interesting assumption." => Topic started by: Mahdoumi on December 03, 2007, 07:01:45 PM

Title: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on December 03, 2007, 07:01:45 PM
My DH and I finally have been blessed with a live, healthy baby girl.  I am 45; my DH is 51.  What would be appropriate responses to, "Oh!  HaHaHa!  A change-of-life baby," and, "Is that your grandchild?"

I also can't believe that I bristle whenever total strangers ask me her name.  Am I weird?  How do I respond?  One time, I gave a different name but felt awkward.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Brentwood on December 03, 2007, 07:03:59 PM
Congratulations on your baby!

I have been asked if my son is my grandson (he's almost six; I'm only 41!), and it's very awkward. I would just gently correct those who assume the baby is your granddaughter. If people make comments about her being a "change of life" baby (and the implication there is that the pregnancy was an accident), an arched eyebrow with the "What an interesting assumption" line sounds about right.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: amanda_tlg on December 03, 2007, 07:12:47 PM
"Oh!  HaHaHa!  A change-of-life baby,"


Change of life? Oh, you bet! My life has changed so much... (and then you go into a long detailed diatribe of diapers, spit-up, 'feminine issues' whatever works until they walk away)

Quote
"Is that your grandchild?"

Well of course she's grand. She's got good genes afterall.

Sorry, I had a bad day and the sarcasm switch is still on.

Congradulations!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mopsy428 on December 03, 2007, 08:28:39 PM
I agree with Cathy.

I'm not so sure about the name thing, though.  ???
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Shoo on December 03, 2007, 08:33:44 PM
Congratulations!!

Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on December 03, 2007, 08:54:09 PM
I have been asked if my son is my grandson (he's almost six; I'm only 41!), and it's very awkward. If people make comments about her being a "change of life" baby (and the implication there is that the pregnancy was an accident), an arched eyebrow with the "What an interesting assumption" line sounds about right.

Exactly why I posted this problem here!  I was wondering if I could use "the line."
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on December 03, 2007, 08:56:28 PM
Sorry, I had a bad day and the sarcasm switch is still on.

So sorry to hear you had a bad day but hope your evening makes it better. 

I was using the New York "Waddya kiddin'?" look, but that seemed to be too harsh a reaction.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on December 03, 2007, 08:59:25 PM
Congratulations!!



Thanks!  It's been a rough year, but things seem to be falling into place, now.  She's almost 4 months old, off the apnea monitor, and becoming a little person.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Kendo_Bunny on December 03, 2007, 11:39:36 PM
Congratulations! My father and mother were 45 and 40 respectively when I was born, and I think I turned out fine. Older parents may not be as much into rough-and-tumble as young parents, but they definitely have invaluable experiences and life lessons. Plus, they lived through a whole bunch of really neat stuff  ;D

I love my older Dad, he's led the coolest life. And I love hearing about my older Mom, she did a lot of neat stuff in her life too. As a child of "old" parents, I'd say they are awesome, and I'm sure your daughter will grow up thinking so too.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: MrsO on December 04, 2007, 04:48:19 AM
I too am not sure why the name thing bothers you. I usually ask people what their babies names are, it has nothing to do with the parents age, i just like to put a name to a cute little face  :)
About the asking if you're her grandmother, try not to let it bother you. I don't think this is intentionally rude, some people are just thoughtless  ::)
As for the change of life baby thing, i think this is quite a rude assumption. I like amanda's 'you bet its changed my life' response.  ;)
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on December 04, 2007, 07:14:14 AM
I love my older Dad, he's led the coolest life. And I love hearing about my older Mom, she did a lot of neat stuff in her life too. As a child of "old" parents, I'd say they are awesome, and I'm sure your daughter will grow up thinking so too.

You are very kind.  I also had older parents.  My dad was also 45 when I came along, but he is my strongest role model.  Thank you for the encouragement!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on December 04, 2007, 07:15:51 AM
I too am not sure why the name thing bothers you. I usually ask people what their babies names are, it has nothing to do with the parents age, i just like to put a name to a cute little face  :)

Yes, I really am trying to understand why it bothers me.  Thank you for the kind post.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Calbrini on December 04, 2007, 07:19:50 AM
My dad was 40 when I was born but it was never a big deal. Somehow it seems to be different for men.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: magdalena on December 04, 2007, 07:23:37 AM
Congrats on the baby, Mahdoumi!!!

I can't believe people are being that strange to you.
Asking about the baby is your grandbaby... well, as it maybe could be the case, I'd just do as Cathy suggested and gently correct them. The ones making other comments... well, they're just rude and if I were you, I'd just smile sweetly and tell them that yes, she was a huge big change - for the better, as you love having her  :)

If it makes you feel any better, my mom was considered "terribly old" when she had me, at 32  ::) (and I'm number 3). My MIL was 35 when she had her one and only baby, my DH. FIL was 40. We do not, in any way, feel that our parents are old.
We're both 29 now, and have no babies yet, nor do we have any on the way (a mixture of our situation and medical issues, but still).

Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Sharnita on December 04, 2007, 08:16:57 AM
I would use the line with people who make it clear they assume the baby was unplanned.  I don't think it should be used with people who ask if she is your grandchild.  I have parents come in to conference with me who are grandparents in their very early 30s so give thanks they aren't asking if your daughter is your great-grandchild.   :o
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on December 04, 2007, 09:14:25 AM
Congrats on the baby, Mahdoumi!!!

If it makes you feel any better, my mom was considered "terribly old" when she had me, at 32  ::) (and I'm number 3). My MIL was 35 when she had her one and only baby, my DH. FIL was 40. We do not, in any way, feel that our parents are old.
We're both 29 now, and have no babies yet, nor do we have any on the way (a mixture of our situation and medical issues, but still).

Thank you for the kind encouragement!  Having a baby at this age doesn't bother me at all, although my DH is having trouble.  We also had challenges and many heartbreaks up to this point, which makes this baby nothing short of a miracle.  Knowing this makes processing careless comments difficult for me.  I remind myself that only a few people IRL know the history and that most of the time, I'm oversensitive and overprotective.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: T'Mar of Vulcan on December 04, 2007, 09:54:25 AM
Thank you for the kind encouragement!  Having a baby at this age doesn't bother me at all, although my DH is having trouble.  We also had challenges and many heartbreaks up to this point, which makes this baby nothing short of a miracle.  Knowing this makes processing careless comments difficult for me.  I remind myself that only a few people IRL know the history and that most of the time, I'm oversensitive and overprotective.

I was born 10 days before my mother's 41st birthday, and my brother when my mother was nearly 43. We are her only children. People often thought my parents were my grandparents. My mother used to get annoyed, especially since she used to dress me like a boy (not on purpose, shorts and T-shirts were just easier for her than frilly dresses, especially since I was always out playing in sand) and people would say, "Oh, is that your grandchild? What's his name?" My mother would get angry. "MY DAUGHTER'S name is Marina!" My father would just smile when asked and say, "Thank you, it's Marina." He never bothered to correct people, and I think he got a quiet kick out of counting how many people thought he was my grandfather.

You could always do that, just smile at people's ignorance. In 100 years, who's going to care anyway?  ;D
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on December 04, 2007, 10:32:05 AM
You could always do that, just smile at people's ignorance. In 100 years, who's going to care anyway?  ;D

Very true.  Thank you for putting it all into perspective.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: sillysquirrel on December 04, 2007, 11:36:48 AM
"Is that your grandbaby?"

"No! It's my sister"  ;D
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: hollasa on December 04, 2007, 11:48:34 AM
Congratulations!

My parents were "older" parents - 32 and 44 when I was born (I'm child #1), and DH and I are considered older parents (when #1 was born, 32 and 39). A number of people in our town have kids very early, and so DH could easily be the parent of some of DD's friend's parents.

You know that you're older parents, you're happy to have the baby - I wouldn't worry too much about people asking if you're the grandparent. After all, they would end up embarrassed (perhaps), and you'll end up - what? Still being an older parent - which you already know!  :)

The name thing is just weird, though.  ;) Think of it as a welcoming into the community at large; after all, they can't shake baby's hand and ask their name, now can they?
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: camlan on December 04, 2007, 12:09:55 PM
My brother and SIL were 41 and 36 respectively when their first child was born, one year and two weeks after they got married. They were 47 and 42 when their third and last child was born. Both my mom and SIL's mom were 42 when they had their last children, so it must just run in the family.

SIL doesn't look a day over 30, so she doesn't get many comments, but my brother sure does. People frequently mistake him for the kids' grandfather. He says something like, "Well, they make me *feel* that old sometimes, but really I'm just their father."

Last time I went out to visit, I took my brother and my 6 year old niece out for an ice cream cone. Two different people thought that DB was my father and niece was my daughter and wasn't it sweet to see grandpa taking his daughter and granddaughter out. DB was mildly upset, because I am only two years younger than him. I think the kids have given him more gray hair.

About asking the name--I do this when confronted with a small baby. It's a fairly neutral question and it allows me to try and find out the gender of the baby without having to ask if it's a boy or a girl. Sometimes parents get annoyed if you can't guess the gender correctly, but with little babies it can be hard to tell unless there is a great quantity of pink and lace floating about the baby.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: MrsO on December 04, 2007, 12:13:08 PM
I once had DD out in a pair of jeans with pink trim, a pink fleecy jumper and PIGTAILS in (she was about 6 months old and looked so sweet in pigtails  :) ) and someone said...wait for it...
"Ohhh, isn't HE lovely!"
I said "HE is a girl"
And the lady said "Oh, really? It must be the hair..." 
 ???
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on December 04, 2007, 01:20:42 PM
"Is that your grandbaby?"

"No! It's my sister"  ;D

BWHAHAHA!  My 28yo stepson gets a big kick out of saying that whenever people ask him if DD is his daughter!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: ACBNYC on December 04, 2007, 03:16:23 PM
I once had DD out in a pair of jeans with pink trim, a pink fleecy jumper and PIGTAILS in (she was about 6 months old and looked so sweet in pigtails  :) ) and someone said...wait for it...
"Ohhh, isn't HE lovely!"
I said "HE is a girl"
And the lady said "Oh, really? It must be the hair..." 
 ???

Isn't that weird about the hair? My five month old DD has a load of hair, so for some reason, she's mistaken for a boy quite a bit. I don't really understand why hair=boy, as girls are capable of having hair as well as boys!

ETA: Congratulations, Mahdoumi! That is fantastic news. I think you're just going to have to come up with a graceful way of saying that you are the parent, not the grandparent, when the situation comes up and then let it roll off your back. I gave birth to my first child this year at the age of 35, and I'll be in my early 50s when DD is in high school, so I expect I will get this at some point as well (especially since I intend on having another!).

Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: MrsO on December 04, 2007, 04:37:04 PM
I know, jokiebird! My youngest DD was born with an absolute mop of dark hair (and didn't I suffer with heartburn during the pregnancy...) and she has always been mistaken for a boy. Always. Older DD was bald as a coot and was never mistaken for a boy. Maybe I compensated for her lack of hair by subconsciously dressing her more girly?  :D
Seriously, though, even if your little boy does have lots of hair, who in their right mind would dress him in pink and pigtail his hair?!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Calbrini on December 04, 2007, 05:36:08 PM
DS has quite a lot of hair, which is in a sort of 'mullet' style right now. When it has been washed it goes all curly. However he has NEVER been mistaken for a girl.

DD was often called 'son' despite the fact she may have been wearing a pink flowery dress!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Dindrane on December 04, 2007, 06:48:59 PM
Someone else pointed out that people ask a baby's name both because it's nice to know the name of that little darling who is cute as a button, and because it's an unobtrusive way to ask about gender.  Not all names are gender specific, but enough are that it probably works most of the time.  Plus, it's awfully hard to make introductions to a baby who can't talk just yet, and I know that I like to know who it is I'm talking to whenever possible :)

My mother was almost 39 when my sister (her third and last child) was born.  My sister is now just finishing high school, and my parents are edging towards 60.  I've always gotten the impression that they went for the "wait until your thirties to have children" trend just a smidge sooner than most other people.  Most of the time, I meet someone my age whose parents are ten (or more) years younger, or I meet people my parents' age who have children ten years older than I am.

My point is, it's still not completely and totally usual to see older parents (and by older, I mean got started sometime after thirty), but it's a whole lot more common than it used to be, and usual enough that people shouldn't be commenting on it.  Mostly because people just shouldn't comment on something that says something about a woman's age :)
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on December 04, 2007, 10:20:33 PM
Mostly because people just shouldn't comment on something that says something about a woman's age :)

Exactly, especially said in amazement.  Thank you for the nice post!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: beingkj on December 04, 2007, 11:22:34 PM
Mahdoumi, congrats on your baby. I have little to add in the way of advice, but please be assured that the people who ask you about your grandbaby or make assumptions based on your age are going to be far, far more embarrassed than you are.

I am not a child of 'old' parents but my Best Friend is. In fact, her father is older than my grandfather, which is why we both just laughed when a mutual friend made the wrong assumption. Mutual friend, however, was so embarrassed that she retreated to her room for the rest of the evening and could not face my Best Friend without blushing for days.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: HeebyJeebyLeebee on December 05, 2007, 10:07:38 AM
My parents were 39 an 34 when they adopted me, and I thought they were so old at the time.  ::)  My views have changed dramatically with time, especially with more and more parents being in their mid to late 30's when their first (or only) children are born.  My DF will be in his 40's when we're trying for kids - and I don't think that's old at all!  ;)

My birth-father has two more daughters with his wife, and they're 15 and 17 years younger than I am.  A few times that I've been out with my B-Dad and my sisters, we've been asked how old OUR daughters are.  My B-Dad likes to respond, "Well, that daughter's 10, that daughter's 12, and that daughter's 27."   ;D  He gets such a kick out of the reaction that gets!

My birth-mom has a picture of me on her desk at work, and sometime a new employee or trucker asks about it.
NE/T:   Who's that?
Bmom:  That's my daughter.
NE/T:  You don't look old enough to have a grown daughter!
Bmom:  Thank you.  I'm not.   ;D

(for the record - my birth parents were in high school when I was conceived)
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: bms2000 on December 06, 2007, 09:37:30 AM
As a multi racial adoptive family, I sympathize with nosy comments. Sometimes people mean well, and are just curious, other times people are being ignorant and rude. Find a good matter of fact answer and leave it at that. Mine is "Yes they're mine. They were born in Guatemala." end of sentence.

My dad isn't even particularly old, and once when I was 12 (I am female - this is important) we were out together and someone asked him "Is this your grandSON?" My dad and I just burst out laughing. What else could you do? He then replied "No, this is my eldest DAUGHTER" and the speaker turned red, mumbled and left.

Tell them none of the visible signs of aging showed up until the baby did. I swear I had no gray hairs until my eldest's bout with pneumonia at age 15 months. Now I'm considering a visit to the hairdresser...
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: guihong on December 06, 2007, 10:16:10 AM
My mother was 45 and my father 46 when I was born.  She got a lot of "what a cute granddaughter" comments, but just laughed them off.  She always said the funniest part was having a baby shower (my brother was 13) because she'd long before thrown all that stuff out.  "From bridge club to binkies", she remembered.

I once went the other way at work.  A young woman came through my line, and I complimented her on her daughter (all in pink, so safe there).  She laughed and said she was her granddaughter.  I replied, "Well, I just made your year, then"  ;D.

gui
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: SquishyMooMoo on December 07, 2007, 05:15:55 AM
My mom (who was 37 when she had me) has a phrase she likes to say that I think works for this situation...

"The difference between a good dinner and a great dinner is about two hours."

So what if it took you longer to have children? It just means they're an extra blessing after all that anticipation!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: bopper on December 13, 2007, 03:21:46 PM
Don't let them make you feel uncomfortable, just say:
"This is my daughter, MahDoumiJr."
Let them squirm.

Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Shortcake on December 14, 2007, 09:23:55 AM
Don't let them make you feel uncomfortable, just say:
"This is my daughter, MahDoumiJr."
Let them squirm.



I agree with this. They made the faux pas;not you!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Ant V on December 15, 2007, 08:57:54 PM
I think we just have to realize that there are some really stupid, insensitive people that think they know it all.  It's not even worth the bother to fret about it.  Use the good response here if they persist in their own stupidity.  My husband is an only child, father 58, mother 38. He turned out great. 
I have a sister 13 years younger than I am. If she and I and her daughter are all out together, I'm taken to be the grandma.  If the niece and I are out together I'm taken to be her mother.  I've had dinner with my son and it was assumed we were a couple on a date.    It's just people thinking they know the answers and then they are wrong. 
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: kaybee on December 17, 2007, 02:16:12 PM
I had youngest ds when i was 44 and dh was 47. we have 4 other kids---18 yo dd,15 yo dd,14 yo ds and 10 yo dd.I get asked if dh is my second husband........ummm no---and why would that be your business anyway?????
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Minmom3 on December 17, 2007, 08:53:38 PM
I had youngest ds when i was 44 and dh was 47. we have 4 other kids---18 yo dd,15 yo dd,14 yo ds and 10 yo dd.I get asked if dh is my second husband........ummm no---and why would that be your business anyway?????

THAT particular question has nothing to do with age.  It wonderfully indicates the crassness of some folks.  I got asked if DDs #2 and #3 had a different father than DD#1, as they look nothing like her.  I had 3 kids under the age of 5, no big age gap between anybody.  I was 34 when those questions started, and DD#3 was about 6 months old when she had enough hair for people to notice it was a red as #2's hair.   ;) 

It is purely and simply that an awful lot of people are really d@mmed rude.  It's nothing about you, and ALL about them and their failure of couth!   :P
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: hollasa on December 18, 2007, 12:13:39 PM
I may have posted upthread about my wondering whether what was up with my neighbors down the roads, who have 4 kids - two in late teens, two in early elementary school. I wondered a little bit - but I wouldn't ever ask. We were chatting the other night at a party, and the dad mentioned his days of being a single dad before he met his now wife - and I was just thinking aha! Thought so, and I didn't need to ask at all.

You know, some people are just plain curious - but hopefully, we curious people can be polite about our curiosity!  ;D
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: TamJamB on December 19, 2007, 06:58:07 AM
My DH and I finally have been blessed with a live, healthy baby girl.  I am 45; my DH is 51.  What would be appropriate responses to, "Oh!  HaHaHa!  A change-of-life baby," and, "Is that your grandchild?"

I also can't believe that I bristle whenever total strangers ask me her name.  Am I weird?  How do I respond?  One time, I gave a different name but felt awkward.

Well, we've got three different things going on here.  The first ("HaHaHa! A change-of-life baby!") is rude.  "What an interesting assumption," is a prefectly valid response.  Or you could try Miss Manners' cold smile -- stretch your lips into a frozen smile, but be sure the expression does not reach your eyes.  Hold it a moment, then abruptly change the subject.

The second is a faux pas -- almost certainly not meant to be a slight.  The fact is, at 45, you could easily have a grandchild -- so it's not that much of a stretch.  Best way to handle this one is to cheerfully (not defensively) say, "No -- she's my daughter." Believe me, the offender will be plenty embarrassed and will probably be cured of making that particular assumption in the future.

The third really is an inoffensive and 'normal' question.  My guess is you are extropolating your distaste for the other responses above onto the request for her name.  Asking a baby's name & age are very common 'stranger admiring a baby' questions, and you're probably just going to have to get used to that.

And congratulations!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: MrsO on December 20, 2007, 01:42:02 PM


The second is a faux pas -- almost certainly not meant to be a slight.  The fact is, at 45, you could easily have a grandchild -- so it's not that much of a stretch.  Best way to handle this one is to cheerfully (not defensively) say, "No -- she's my daughter." Believe me, the offender will be plenty embarrassed and will probably be cured of making that particular assumption in the future.


POD. My mother is 44, and a grandmother of 2. People sometimes assume she is their mother (although alot of the time i think people are being polite, just incase she IS their mother, and they don't want to offend her) , so it does work both ways.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: TamJamB on December 20, 2007, 07:00:58 PM
I thought of this thread today.  I was at the and I saw a gentleman who appeared to be about 50 - 55, holding a beautiful little girl, 2 1/2 months old.  Of course I went over to coo about her, and the first thing that popped out of my mouth was, "Hello sweetie -- are you having fun with grandpa?"

Ooops!  Fortunately for me, he really was the grandpa!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: kareng57 on December 20, 2007, 07:25:29 PM
My parents were 39 an 34 when they adopted me, and I thought they were so old at the time.  ::)  My views have changed dramatically with time, especially with more and more parents being in their mid to late 30's when their first (or only) children are born.  My DF will be in his 40's when we're trying for kids - and I don't think that's old at all!  ;)

My birth-father has two more daughters with his wife, and they're 15 and 17 years younger than I am.  A few times that I've been out with my B-Dad and my sisters, we've been asked how old OUR daughters are.  My B-Dad likes to respond, "Well, that daughter's 10, that daughter's 12, and that daughter's 27."   ;D  He gets such a kick out of the reaction that gets!

My birth-mom has a picture of me on her desk at work, and sometime a new employee or trucker asks about it.
NE/T:   Who's that?
Bmom:  That's my daughter.
NE/T:  You don't look old enough to have a grown daughter!
Bmom:  Thank you.  I'm not.   ;D

(for the record - my birth parents were in high school when I was conceived)


I remember a social-worker once saying that it can be tough for "older" couples who are seeking to adopt a healthy infant.  Many social-service agencies give the birth-mom profiles of about six different couples to choose from - and if she's a teenager and is reading about a couple in their late 30s, her reaction can easily be "but that's as old as my parents!"  They'd usually try to play-down the age aspect, stressing how healthy and active the couple were but there's really no getting away from it.

For the OP (congratulations by the way) I'll agree that any references as to whether the baby was unplanned etc. are completely rude.  But the assumption that perhaps you are Grandma is, I think, an honest mistake and the other party will be embarassed enough when she finds that you are indeed Mom, no need to make her feel worse.  I guess we were slightly "older" parents  - Dh was 35 when we had DS #2 - but he's one of those people who ages prematurely - went gray and bald when the kids were still pretty young.  When he was out alone with the kids he did get mistaken as Grandpa a couple of times but I don't think that it bothered him too much.

Re asking about the name - I personally had no issues with this and really can't see why anyone would.  Many people simply love to "meet" babies, I don't think it's a matter of nosiness at all.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: kareng57 on December 20, 2007, 09:17:16 PM
You could always do that, just smile at people's ignorance. In 100 years, who's going to care anyway?  ;D

Very true.  Thank you for putting it all into perspective.


Regarding the 100 years - that's a very good point actually.  Up till about 50 or 60 years ago it really wasn't unusual to have a 40+ woman in the maternity ward at all - though she was generally giving birth to her 7th or 8th child, rather than her first.  And in many of these cases, the first birth was likely during the late teens or early 20s.

So you could see a very young-appearing woman (say around 19 or 20) wheeling a baby carriage - and it might have been her own child, or it could have been  the latest baby-brother or sister.  The same for a middle-aged woman - could be her own baby or her own grandchild (and it's quite possible that it could have been her own baby while she had a grandchild several years old). I'd wager that no one got terribly offended when friendly questions were asked. My own grandfather's youngest brother was more than 21 years younger than him (a family of 9 kids, 1 deceased).   I do remember when I was in the hospital having DS #2 (he's 19 now) one of the nurses said that there'd been a 50 year old woman on the ward the previous year - and she already had grandchildren.  Apparently she was still pretty shook up  - can hardly blame her - but her husband loved the idea.  He'd been so busy working when the original-flock were still young and he thought it was great to have the opportunity to spend more dad-time with the latest addition.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: ChristiKayAnn on December 21, 2007, 10:13:24 AM
You could always do that, just smile at people's ignorance. In 100 years, who's going to care anyway?  ;D

Very true.  Thank you for putting it all into perspective.


Regarding the 100 years - that's a very good point actually.  Up till about 50 or 60 years ago it really wasn't unusual to have a 40+ woman in the maternity ward at all - though she was generally giving birth to her 7th or 8th child, rather than her first.  And in many of these cases, the first birth was likely during the late teens or early 20s.


This is a very good point my Great Grandmother had 10 childrenher first at 15 and her last at 45. She was baby sitting one of her infant grandaughters when her 7th child was being weaned from the bottle and the family story is that aunt Myrna used to take her baby aunts bottle and say "it's okay auntie mary will share her bottle with me"
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Brentwood on December 22, 2007, 11:42:42 AM


The second is a faux pas -- almost certainly not meant to be a slight.  The fact is, at 45, you could easily have a grandchild -- so it's not that much of a stretch.  Best way to handle this one is to cheerfully (not defensively) say, "No -- she's my daughter." Believe me, the offender will be plenty embarrassed and will probably be cured of making that particular assumption in the future.


POD. My mother is 44, and a grandmother of 2. People sometimes assume she is their mother (although alot of the time i think people are being polite, just incase she IS their mother, and they don't want to offend her) , so it does work both ways.

Truly, I would much rather the assumption be that I was a child's mother rather than grandmother, and I am old enough to be a grandmother (I'm not a grandmother, but my daughter is 20!).

On election day 2006, when I was 40 and my son was almost 5, I brought him to the polling place with me so I could vote. The poll worker smiled at him and said, "Are you helping Gramma today?"

GAHHHHHHH. I hastened to let her know I'm his MOTHER.

My sister is 44. She just had her second baby two months ago (her first is three years old).
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: MrsO on December 22, 2007, 05:50:15 PM
I know what you mean Cathy, but I think that the assuming somebody is grandma rather than mother is thoughtless rather than intentionally rude (as annoying as it must be for you that people are making thoughtless assumptions). I've never referred to someone as grandma or grandpa when they have been a parent but if I did, I know how embarrassed i'd feel!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: snowball's chance on December 26, 2007, 05:25:55 PM


The second is a faux pas -- almost certainly not meant to be a slight.  The fact is, at 45, you could easily have a grandchild -- so it's not that much of a stretch.  Best way to handle this one is to cheerfully (not defensively) say, "No -- she's my daughter." Believe me, the offender will be plenty embarrassed and will probably be cured of making that particular assumption in the future.


POD. My mother is 44, and a grandmother of 2. People sometimes assume she is their mother (although alot of the time i think people are being polite, just incase she IS their mother, and they don't want to offend her) , so it does work both ways.

Truly, I would much rather the assumption be that I was a child's mother rather than grandmother, and I am old enough to be a grandmother (I'm not a grandmother, but my daughter is 20!).

On election day 2006, when I was 40 and my son was almost 5, I brought him to the polling place with me so I could vote. The poll worker smiled at him and said, "Are you helping Gramma today?"

GAHHHHHHH. I hastened to let her know I'm his MOTHER.

My sister is 44. She just had her second baby two months ago (her first is three years old).

Cathy, from the pics I've seen, I'd never guess you were old enough to be a grandmother!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: kareng57 on December 27, 2007, 10:16:20 PM


The second is a faux pas -- almost certainly not meant to be a slight.  The fact is, at 45, you could easily have a grandchild -- so it's not that much of a stretch.  Best way to handle this one is to cheerfully (not defensively) say, "No -- she's my daughter." Believe me, the offender will be plenty embarrassed and will probably be cured of making that particular assumption in the future.


POD. My mother is 44, and a grandmother of 2. People sometimes assume she is their mother (although alot of the time i think people are being polite, just incase she IS their mother, and they don't want to offend her) , so it does work both ways.

Truly, I would much rather the assumption be that I was a child's mother rather than grandmother, and I am old enough to be a grandmother (I'm not a grandmother, but my daughter is 20!).

On election day 2006, when I was 40 and my son was almost 5, I brought him to the polling place with me so I could vote. The poll worker smiled at him and said, "Are you helping Gramma today?"

GAHHHHHHH. I hastened to let her know I'm his MOTHER.

My sister is 44. She just had her second baby two months ago (her first is three years old).

Cathy, from the pics I've seen, I'd never guess you were old enough to be a grandmother!

You just never know.  One of my neighbours (70+ now) was a grandma at age 39  - though this would have been fairly unusual 30 or so years ago, it wasn't 100 years ago.

I was astounded a few days ago regarding a quick conversation with another co-worker who works in another department.  She appears to be in her early 40s - but it turns out that she has five adult kids and one grand-baby.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Brentwood on December 27, 2007, 10:56:58 PM


The second is a faux pas -- almost certainly not meant to be a slight.  The fact is, at 45, you could easily have a grandchild -- so it's not that much of a stretch.  Best way to handle this one is to cheerfully (not defensively) say, "No -- she's my daughter." Believe me, the offender will be plenty embarrassed and will probably be cured of making that particular assumption in the future.


POD. My mother is 44, and a grandmother of 2. People sometimes assume she is their mother (although alot of the time i think people are being polite, just incase she IS their mother, and they don't want to offend her) , so it does work both ways.

Truly, I would much rather the assumption be that I was a child's mother rather than grandmother, and I am old enough to be a grandmother (I'm not a grandmother, but my daughter is 20!).

On election day 2006, when I was 40 and my son was almost 5, I brought him to the polling place with me so I could vote. The poll worker smiled at him and said, "Are you helping Gramma today?"

GAHHHHHHH. I hastened to let her know I'm his MOTHER.

My sister is 44. She just had her second baby two months ago (her first is three years old).

Cathy, from the pics I've seen, I'd never guess you were old enough to be a grandmother!

Thank you, but with a 20-year-old daughter, I'm definitely old enough. :)
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: alice on January 03, 2008, 03:16:26 PM
My mom was almost 44 when she had me in the 60's.  She tells the story of being in the grocery lane check out with me (I must have been fussing) when the woman in front of her said to the cashier "I think it is terrible that all these new working women go off and leave the grandparents to deal with their children"  Well, my mother was never one to mince words so she proceeded to tell the woman how woefully wrong she was and that her comments were not appreciated.

On the other hand, my sister is 22 years older than me.  In the 60's she would take me out and I would call her mommy-there she was about 24 with no wedding ring on and "stuck" with a baby.  It is a wonder she let me live.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Warbaby on January 05, 2008, 11:04:51 AM
Dad was 47 when I was born and Mom was 41.  Mom used to laugh and say I was an "accident" as she thought she was too old to get pregnant! 

They were both wonderful parents although they were cursed with some of the misconceptions of their younger years.  Dad, for instance, only had an eighth grade education and could not understand why a man would need more.  I would bet that eighth grade education would surpass what some of our high school grads have now.  Mom was strongly influenced by the writings of a doctor who bore the name of a famous breakfast food company.  Took me years to overcome some of the things they taught me!  Loved them, though and still miss them.

Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: LazKat on February 18, 2008, 10:42:24 PM
I'm getting in late on this one but congratulations!  What an adventure!  I'm 48 and my one-and-only daughter is 19 months.  I thought I'd already had all my fun in life and that the exciting times were behind me but I'm finding I was wrong.  This is all new and wonderful. (FWIW, Mrs. Kat  is 33.)  The upside is that at this age, I'm financially stable and better able to provide for my daughter that I could've at 23 or even 33.  My patience is infinite with her, I understand what's important and what's not.. all those things that come from having lived this long (and even pass for "wisdom" sometimes!) We're in a decent house - a far cry from living over a biker bar in that first apartment - and I've been able to pay for college ahead of time.  The down side is grey hair on me in the delivery room photos, and I'll probably be in a wheel chair with an oxygen tank at her high school graduation.  I've been asked about my 'granddaughter' when out and proudly reply "That's my daughter!"

Don't sweat the comments from loutish people.  Life's just handed you a whole new start!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: auntmeegs on February 29, 2008, 06:35:57 PM
I'm getting in late on this one but congratulations!  What an adventure!  I'm 48 and my one-and-only daughter is 19 months.  I thought I'd already had all my fun in life and that the exciting times were behind me but I'm finding I was wrong.  This is all new and wonderful. (FWIW, Mrs. Kat  is 33.)  The upside is that at this age, I'm financially stable and better able to provide for my daughter that I could've at 23 or even 33.  My patience is infinite with her, I understand what's important and what's not.. all those things that come from having lived this long (and even pass for "wisdom" sometimes!) We're in a decent house - a far cry from living over a biker bar in that first apartment - and I've been able to pay for college ahead of time.  The down side is grey hair on me in the delivery room photos, and I'll probably be in a wheel chair with an oxygen tank at her high school graduation.  I've been asked about my 'granddaughter' when out and proudly reply "That's my daughter!"

Don't sweat the comments from loutish people.  Life's just handed you a whole new start!

LazzKat, what a great post and a great take on the situation.  My dad was an "older" dad too and he was, beyond having done 10000 cool things before we even came along (great stories!) and having had such an interesting life, an amazing father.  A person can be a great parent at almost any age if they want to be.

OP congrats on your baby!  Just realize that people say dumb things all the time and try not to let it bother you!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: kaybee on March 01, 2008, 11:28:52 AM
i am so  ???  took 2 yo ds to the park today with our little dog. dh also came.he was running after ds and i was sitting with dog. older lady comes up to me and says after asking a few questions about the dog--"nice that you are able to take your grandson to the park----

what the????????i am 46 with no grey hair---excuse me please.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Shoo on March 01, 2008, 11:37:21 AM
i am so  ???  took 2 yo ds to the park today with our little dog. dh also came.he was running after ds and i was sitting with dog. older lady comes up to me and says after asking a few questions about the dog--"nice that you are able to take your grandson to the park----

what the????????i am 46 with no grey hair---excuse me please.

I got that a few times when my dd was a baby.  I was almost 37 when she was born, but REALLY!!  You have to wonder what century some of these people are living in!  Women these days are having their babies later in life.  What's so shocking about it!?
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Brentwood on March 01, 2008, 12:54:39 PM
i am so  ???  took 2 yo ds to the park today with our little dog. dh also came.he was running after ds and i was sitting with dog. older lady comes up to me and says after asking a few questions about the dog--"nice that you are able to take your grandson to the park----

what the????????i am 46 with no grey hair---excuse me please.

I wonder if that ever happens to my sister. She is 44 and has a 3-year-old and an almost 5-month-old. She does have gray hair (it's more like streaks, and it's a very pretty shade), but I am not objective enough to know if she "looks" like a grandmother. When I look at her, I still see the teenager she once was.

When I was 40 and my son was almost 5, a woman at the polling place on election day thought my son was my grandson. I have no gray hair either.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: dawbs on March 04, 2008, 10:04:12 AM
i am so  ???  took 2 yo ds to the park today with our little dog. dh also came.he was running after ds and i was sitting with dog. older lady comes up to me and says after asking a few questions about the dog--"nice that you are able to take your grandson to the park----

what the????????i am 46 with no grey hair---excuse me please.

Isn't this why the words "little one" and "kiddo" and "wee bitty" exist?

"nice you were able to bring the kiddo to the park" implies I have NO IDEA who kiddo is in rlationship to you  ;)
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Murphy on March 09, 2008, 08:25:10 AM
Mahdoumi, best wishes to you and your DH on becoming parents!

I've come in very late to this thread, I saw the 'older parents' title and my eyes lit up.    ::)

My mother was 36 when I was born in 1981 (I'm the eldest) and she received comments similar to what you're receiving now (My dad was 37).  Throughout my schooling my parents were always the oldest in comparison to my peers and you know what? I loved it! I loved that my parents had lived interesting lives prior to my birth, that they'd travelled and enjoyed their careers.   

Continue to enjoy your new role as a mother :)


 
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Carrot Juice on March 12, 2008, 11:09:42 PM


I also can't believe that I bristle whenever total strangers ask me her name.  Am I weird?  How do I respond?  One time, I gave a different name but felt awkward.

You know I never understood why complete strangers needed to know my childs name. I have been known to make up some weird off the wall name. Don't feel bad for making up another name, I know I wouldn't want a strange person knowing my name. Would you? 
Or on the sarcastic notch, you could simply ask them (with a smile of course) Since you are writing a book about her life, shall we set up a meeting at a more appropriate place to chat about her and her journey into this wonderful world.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: littleoats on March 21, 2008, 07:49:32 PM
That happened to a friend of mine.  She was out with her 15 year old DD and her new baby and this stranger came up and admired the baby then turned to the teen and said "what a nice present for grandma."  I know it's difficult to tell some times whether someone is a parent or grandparent, parent or sibling, but if you're in doubt you just don't mention it.

I hate it when people ask my son's name too.  Usually I tell them but if I get a vibe I'll give them a fake name. 
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Brentwood on March 21, 2008, 09:43:17 PM
My daughter was many times mistaken for being the mother of one or both of her little siblings. It often surprised people when I said all three were mine.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: auntmeegs on March 21, 2008, 10:49:41 PM
My daughter was many times mistaken for being the mother of one or both of her little siblings. It often surprised people when I said all three were mine.

Which is so bizarre because you yourself look like a young woman....
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: beingkj on March 25, 2008, 11:55:29 PM
My daughter was many times mistaken for being the mother of one or both of her little siblings. It often surprised people when I said all three were mine.

Which is so bizarre because you yourself look like a young woman....

Indeed - I'd be more likely to think you and your eldest were sisters and the youngest kids were yours.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: magdalena on March 26, 2008, 04:37:24 AM
My daughter was many times mistaken for being the mother of one or both of her little siblings. It often surprised people when I said all three were mine.

Which is so bizarre because you yourself look like a young woman....

Indeed - I'd be more likely to think you and your eldest were sisters and the youngest kids were yours.

Just what I was thinking!!

But, I must admit, when I'm somewhere with my SIL (39) and niece (13), most people think I'm (29) her mom, not my SIL  :o Cause it'd be must more the norm for a 16-year-old to have a kid than a 26-year-old???
It's even worse with the younger ones (10, 2 and 6 weeks).
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: mom2four on March 26, 2008, 08:14:28 AM
Congratulations on your new baby.

In Denmark the average age for a first child i 30 and more children are born to women in their 40s than to women under 20 so older parents is becoming the norm here.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Brentwood on March 26, 2008, 12:29:56 PM
My daughter was many times mistaken for being the mother of one or both of her little siblings. It often surprised people when I said all three were mine.

Which is so bizarre because you yourself look like a young woman....

:)

I admit I enjoy the surprised looks on people's faces when they find out I'm soon to be a grandmother.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Specky on April 06, 2008, 05:17:26 PM
I was 35 and my husband was 41 when we had our first child.  Hubby's hair is snowy white thanks to undiagnosed hypothyroidism.  We were walking in a park and DH was carrying son.  We had more than one person comment on:

How well he got along with his daughter (me)

How loving he was with his grandson.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: FunkyMunky on April 07, 2008, 12:18:30 AM

My mum and dad were 24 and 26 respectively when I was born (I'm the baby).  My sister will be having her first at age 24. Meaning our mum will be a 47-year-old grandmother. This doesn't worry her - she became a grandmother the first time on her 35th birthday courtesy of my half-sister.

DF and I don't plan to have babies for at least 5 years, meaning I will be 28+ and he will be 38+. His age does not bother me a bit - all his life experiences led him to me, and he is a better person for having lived his life. And if current trends continue, he won't be the oldest dad in parent's group.

My response to being called my own child's grandmother would be "I certainly hope I'm not a grandmother - my baby's only three months old!" But then again, I'm the type of person who will openly ask the baby's sex. Yes, sex. It's the correct term.  Gender is something else.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Asha on April 07, 2008, 09:29:10 AM

My response to being called my own child's grandmother would be "I certainly hope I'm not a grandmother - my baby's only three months old!"
I like it!  Since I'm a bit cheeky, if I were in that situation I would probably continue on by looking at my darling lil one and saying "have you been doing something behind my back, you sneaky lil monkey?" in a cute sing-songy voice.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: baglady on April 11, 2008, 09:40:13 PM
My mom was 37 and my father was 38 when I was born (in 1958). My dad aged hard -- among other things, he went bald in his 20s -- and was frequently mistaken for my grandpa. He got a kick out of it, and out of correcting people who made the assumption; I think he was proud of the fact that his "boys could swim" enough to father a child in middle age.

I am much younger than my siblings (born 1941, '44 and '47) and all but one of my nieces and nephews are within 2-10 years of my age, so it's understandable that I'd be mistaken for another grandchild when the real grandkids are my contemporaries.

I was kind of an oddball growing up, being so far removed in age from my sibs, but with the preponderance of divorces and second families in recent years, it's no longer so rare for someone to have a sib or half-sib who's almost old enough to be his/her parent.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on May 12, 2008, 03:01:12 PM
All these responses have been so kind.  Thanks to all of you who shared your experiences and suggestions with me!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Book Wizard on May 13, 2008, 01:03:15 AM
I had a friend in college who was the child of older parents (I was in college '75-'79). Her dad was Class of 1918 at Harvard. She was a splendid person. If you are an older parent, rejoice in your children and they will boast about you.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: AmberVolakis on June 17, 2008, 03:38:29 PM
A friend who is an older parent was showing photos once and someone made the comment about one of her husband and son, "Oh, your husband looks like such a proud grandpa!" The friend laughed it off and corrected her and the person was mortified and apologized. But the friend said something like, "That's okay, don't worry about it, it must be his lack of hair [her hubby was bald], because I know you meant that I still look 20!"  ;D
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: ladiedeathe on June 17, 2008, 04:50:53 PM
Congrats on the new baby! What a blessing for you.

DH and I actually have a ball with the age mess in our family, especially when his gradkids (1, 11, and 13) are visiting. When we all go out together we are a walking social screw up waiting to happen. We have:

Me (adopted and olive skinned) 40ish
DH 62
My DS (adopted, white) 23
DH DS and DD 31 and 34
DH DGSs and DGD 1, 11, and 13
My Mom and Dad 70ish
My nieces (being raised by M&D 5 and 8
My youngest brother (adopted) 15

No one can figure out who's with who or who the kids belong to and it's a hoot to watch them try! THey are never as subtle as they think they are.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Kirasabu on June 20, 2008, 02:15:33 AM
My dad was 45 when I was born, 48, when my sister arrived. And he was a miserable, spiteful old devil! I resented the age-gap, thinking that was the reason why he was so unpleasant. I now know that older dads are usually lovely, and my sister and I were just unlucky. If our dad had been nice, his age wouldn't have mattered!
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Kate on June 20, 2008, 10:54:49 AM
My SIL was a grandmother at 33 and a great grandmother at 51.
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Buffy2424 on June 20, 2008, 03:12:17 PM
I'm (recently) 27, married 5 years, no children yet  -- and I admit it surprises me a great deal when people try to compliment me by saying how responsible I am to have children late in life, or how good a mother I'll be as a late-in-life mother.  The first time someone said it (when I was 23) I was very stunned.  I don't feel very late-in-life yet. 

With the most recent comment anyway, I know the person commenting really was just trying to be pleasant, but I didn't know that having a baby in one's late 20s/early 30s, as we hope/plan, is late in life. 

I find that it's usually older people who think having a baby past the teen years is being an 'older mom' but two of the people who said this to me are near my age -- one of them is a 31 year old mother of 3 and another a childless single woman in her 20s who told me that her sister had children late in life and she was a wiser mother for it.  I happen to know her sister had her first at age 28. 

Is this weird or is it just me?
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on June 21, 2008, 09:03:20 PM
My dad was 45 when I was born, 48, when my sister arrived. And he was a miserable, spiteful old devil! I resented the age-gap, thinking that was the reason why he was so unpleasant. I now know that older dads are usually lovely, and my sister and I were just unlucky. If our dad had been nice, his age wouldn't have mattered!

I'm so sorry to read this.  Thank goodness you have enough presence of mind to understand the individual and not generalize an entire age group!  My parents were older, and I am adopted.  It was my mother who continually blamed any disagreement that may have arose to an imaginary complex I had about being adopted.   :P
Title: Re: Older Parents
Post by: Mahdoumi on June 21, 2008, 09:07:57 PM
I'm (recently) 27, married 5 years, no children yet  -- and I admit it surprises me a great deal when people try to compliment me by saying how responsible I am to have children late in life, or how good a mother I'll be as a late-in-life mother.  The first time someone said it (when I was 23) I was very stunned.  I don't feel very late-in-life yet. 

Is this weird or is it just me?

No, that's weird.  To me, anyway.  I think, though, that being raised and then working in a large city exposed me to many different lifestyles, which fostered my belief that a happy life can be experienced in many different ways - including those who choose to be happily single or happily childless.  I can't imagine sacrificing being happy just because of pressure from those around me to perform as expected.