Tick tock, tick tock...its not Captain Hooks watch youre hearing, its mens biological clocks. I hear from men more often than popular society would have us believe that they want to have children. One of my guy friends in his late 30s has given up his dream of being a dad because he feels like he will be too old when his kids are teenagers. This might be true for him because his parents were older than average. His situation is smiliar to mine. With that said, another guy friend of mine will not compromise on his quest for the perfect "womb." It appears to be tough for these guys in thier late 30s to mid 40s to be first time dads, most women thier age have already done the diaper route and dont want to go there again. But dont despair guys, there are some women out there who have not done the diaper thing. And a former boyfriend compromised, he married a woman with a child, he could help raise.
- THE MALE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK - ALSO TICKING
A deep desire to be a dad
Many men dont want to be kept waiting
By Sharon Jayson
March 7, 2005
That ticking biological clock haunting women who want children also can be a
time bomb for men.
Whether reproductive deadlines are as real for men as for women is a subject
of new debate. But on the emotional front, psychologists, sociologists and
physicians are seeing a growing number of men who say unabashedly that they
want to be fathers and they wont wait forever.
³This whole process 10 to 20 years ago was driven exclusively by the female.
Thats not true anymore,² says Richard Scott, a reproductive endocrinologist
and embryologist in Morristown, N.J.
New Yorker Glen McWilliams is fresh from a five-year relationship that he
says ended when he wanted a child.
McWilliams, 39, a physician, says all but a few of his friends have
children, and those who dont keep wondering how long theyll have to wait.
³Unfortunately, it takes up most of our conversation when were together,²
Theyre not alone.
Just look at the breakup of Hollywood glam couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer
Pitt, 41, was twice named People magazines Sexiest Man Alive, in 1995 and
2000. He had publicly talked about wanting kids almost since the couple
married in July 2000. But Aniston, 36, wanted to focus on her movie career
after the 10-year run of her NBC sitcom, Friends, ended last year.
Both points of view are understandable, says Michael Kimmel, a sociology
professor at the State University of New York-Stony Brook with expertise in
gender issues. ³Having children is an enormous career obstacle for women and
a career enhancer for men.
³Brad knows that its no obstacle for guys to have families. It makes them
cooler and hipper and sexier. But for women, it could be the kiss of death
for their careers.²
It was the same story with the breakup in 2001 of Julia Roberts and Benjamin
Bratt after four years.
Bratt, then 37, wanted children, and Roberts, then 33, didnt. It didnt
take long for Bratt to meet a like-minded woman and marry in April 2002.
Before his daughters birth that December, Bratt was quoted as saying, ³Its
been a lifelong dream of mine to be a father, and its coming to fruition.²
Roberts, 37, is the new mother of twins, joining a host of late-thirtyish
actresses who have temporarily traded the movie set for the diaper set.
³Women are taking their time today,² says Pamela Madsen of the American
Fertility Association. ³Theyre waiting longer to have children. They want
to have their careers first, and they want to be established first.²
Still, Madsen says, that delay ³does compromise their fertility,² which
sometimes worries men who are concerned about waiting and racing the womans
In just over 30 years, the age of first birth for women rose from 21.4 to
age 25, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
³Younger men are just as concerned about having a balanced life as well as a
career,² says Deborah Siegel, director of special projects for the National
Council for Research on Women. ³Its about time that work/life issues become
mens issues. Theyve traditionally been seen as a womens issue.²
That desire to balance work and family life is supported by research
conducted for Catalyst, an independent non-profit organization aimed at
expanding opportunities for women at work.
Men born between 1964 and 1975 place a much higher importance on personal
and family goals, says Paulette Gerkovich, senior director of research.
Seventy-nine percent said it was extremely important to have a loving
family; 62% said it was important to share companionship. Only 27% said it
was important to earn a great deal of money and become well known, she says.
³Gen X men are less willing to make some of the sacrifices and trade-offs
between work and family that their predecessors did,² Gerkovich says.
Stanley Teitelbaum, a clinical psychologist who practices in New York and
New Jersey, says the overlap of parenting roles has encouraged men to
express those daddy desires, which he says sometimes increase with midlife.
³There is definitely more incidence of older men having children willingly
and gladly than in past generations,² he says.
Edward Stephens, 67, has two children; the first was born nine years into
his marriage, when he was 40. The Manhattan psychiatrist had wanted children
many years earlier but says his wife wasnt ready. They divorced in 1996.
³A whole decade of my life went down the drain,² he says.
Although a list of post-40 and post-50 first-time fathers gets notoriety
when those dads are David Letterman, Tony Randall or Strom Thurmond, men are
thinking more about what limitations their age might place on their
relationship with their children, says dating adviser Rochelle Adams, who
offers advice for Yahoo Personals.
³Any man who really does have a sense of wanting to be a father hits a point
where he starts thinking about how old hes going to be when the kid is 10
® USA Today, 2005.