5 Things You Only Know If You’re An Older Dad | EWmums.com

As Gordon And Tana Ramsay Welcome Their New Baby – 5 Things You Only Know If You’re An Older Dad

Gordon Ramsay is well known for many things: cooking, shouting at his staff, triathlons… and now, being a 52-year-old dad to a newborn

Posted on

7 April 2019

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Gordon And Tana Ramsay

All Credits: PA

Gordon Ramsay’s wife Tana has given birth to a baby boy called Oscar.

He was welcomed into the world on Thursday and is the couple’s fifth child together. Gordon, 52, and Tana, 44, are already parents to Megan, 21, Matilda, 17, and twins Jack and Holly, 19.

Even though this isn’t Ramsay’s first go at parenting, it will be a new challenge for him as an older dad. So what can he expect from looking after a baby at 52? And what’s it like when you already have grown-up children? We asked two dads in similar boats.

1. The Older Kids Might Babysit – Or Not Want To Know!

Alan Forrest Smith, a writer who runs Old Dad Project, is expecting his fifth child this month. At 56, he knows more than many the feelings that you experience as a dad with grown-up children. “My oldest son will be 30 when we have our baby and I’ll be 56 – my other children will be 21, 25, 27,” he laughs. “The older kids like the idea but they don’t like it either. They say, ‘Oh dad you’re such an old fart to be having a baby!’”

It also implies dad and mum have been… er… up to something. Ahem. Forrest Smith adds: “What’s weird is you find the children don’t discuss it with you that much – they almost ignore it.”

2. You’ve Grown Up, Business Is Settled – There’s Time To Parent

“I love it. I love the whole idea, the whole process,” says Forrest Smith. “A few things stand out: I was in my early to mid-twenties when I had my first son, so I’ve always worked for myself and I was very busy. I was a hairdresser at the time, opening a new salon, buying houses… by the time the fourth child came along, my daughter, life was mad busy.

“There weren’t enough hours in the day. I used to read to them every night and take them to school in the morning, but I was exhausted. But now, you’re very aware of everything. The baby was kicking like mad one night, but I don’t remember that from the first time.”

John Adams, who runs Dad Blog UK, says: “I was just above the national average – I think I was 34 or 35 – when I became a dad. And although I wasn’t the oldest father, I was noticeably older than other dads. I think dads of different ages bring different things to the table. A younger dad may have more energy and they may be more au fait with what the latest video games are.

“But I do think older fathers have more to offer in life experience and confidence. For a father of Ramsay’s age, an individual is more likely to either be settled in their career or more comfortable with where they are in life, which means they’re in a better place to dedicate more time to their offspring.”

He adds: “An older father probably does have a different focus. There’s no point dwelling on career mistakes you’ve made in the past, here you are now with a child, let’s focus on them. My experience of dealing with older fathers is that’s the mindset they have: there’s no point worrying about what you can’t fix.”

Forrest Smith says: “People always have comments, ‘Aren’t you a bit old to be a dad again?’ or, ‘You’ll never sleep again!’. I’m a creative type, but sleep’s not a number one priority to me. When you have children and you’re young, you still have to go to work all day even if the kids are awake all night. But this time, being an older dad, if the child’s asleep I’ll have ten minutes. I work from home, that’s no big deal.”

“The other comment you’ll get is, ‘You’re going to be dead before it gets old’. I’m not planning on dying any time soon! And there’s no guarantees in life. I have friends who never saw their dads. You do get those questions, but it’s no big deal to me,” says Forrest Smith.

Adams adds: “Older family members can react in horror, especially [about] the woman giving birth beyond the age of 40.”

5. You’ll Need To Gen Up On The Basics Again

“Thinking practically, especially with a newborn, you want to read up on the latest medical and nutritional advice, on sleep patterns and advice on SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Because the advice – design of homes, of cots, the food we eat – these things do change over the years,” says Adams. “An older dad might be more prepared to say, ‘I don’t know the answer to this, so I’m going to go and look it up’. That goes back to having life experience.”