Is it selfish to become a mother in your 60s? Woman slams pensioner parents who will ‘most likely’ be dead before their child’s 25th birthday – but others say it’s worse to give birth to a child in poverty
- British woman said having children in 60s selfish because die when kid is young
- Other said was not more selfish than people raising their children in poverty
- Other said it was selfish because the child would end up having to be a carer
A woman has sparked a fiery debate after she said choosing to have children in your 60s is the ‘height of selfishness’.
The unnamed woman shared her thoughts on the parenting website Mumsnet, citing the recent story of gallerist Dame Julia Peyton-Jones, who had her daughter when she was 64.
The Mumsnet user said she thought it was ‘selfish’ because Dame Julia was likely to die before her daughter reached 30.
The claim split the forum between some who believe it was indeed a selfish act and others who didn’t think so.
A British woman sparked a debate on the parenting forum Mumsnet when she said having a child in your 60s is selfish (stock picture)
The woman highlighted the age difference that would occur as the child grew, pointing out the mother could die before the child reached 30
Some said it was more selfish to raise several children in poverty than to have them late. Others said having a child this late in life felt like an ‘afterthought’.
The woman said of Dame Julia: ‘She’ll be 80 years old when her daughter is 16. There’s a good chance she’ll be dead by the time the child is 30.
‘She could well die before the child reaches 25. So very selfish,’ she added.
Former Serpentine gallery boss Dame Julia had her daughter Pia in 2017, when she was 64. She is now 69, and her daughter is four.
Most people agreed with the anonymous poster and said having a child late in life was selfish for both men and women.
‘Selfish at that age for both men and women IMO. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,’ one said.
Some people said it was unethical to have a child at 60, other said it felt like it was an ‘after-thought’
‘Parenthood is selfish, I struggle to get upset about this, see the thread about one-bedroom flat and pregnant with the third, that’s no less selfish. Having children is selfish,’ said another.
‘I think it’s unfair on the child because of the huge generation gap. It depends on how open minded the woman is. It’ll be hard for the child with peers,’ one wrote.
However, some people said they were other circumstances where having a child was more selfish, including if the parent was in an unstable financial situation.
‘I actually think it’s more selfish to bring a child into poverty, whatever your age,’ one said.
‘Plenty of men do parenthood at that age,’ said another.
‘Some people choose to become parents in much worse circumstances, so you are being unreasonable,’ said one.
Other said that while the move was not ‘ideal,’ becoming a parent in your sixties was an ‘extreme case.’
‘I wonder what their support network is? My own mum had me at 30 but died when she was 64. My dad had health problem requiring lengthy hospital stays in his late 70s (which I don’t think is massively unusual),’ one said.
‘That situation would be very scary and stressful for a young teen to deal with, without siblings or another parents to share the burden,’ they added.
‘I struggle with understand why anyone would wait until their 60s to become a parent. It just seems a bit of an afterthought,’ said one.
‘Well, it’s obviously not ideal and this is a very extreme case. But I don’t get the angst generally about “older mothers” (ie in their 40s) generally,’ one said.
‘Often these are people with significant resources who really wanted a child and are able to provide it with a stable and privileged life. It’s the teenagers giving birth that I worry about more; must be a real struggle all round,’ they added.
‘It’s never going to be a mass movement is it? Women past 60 having children? And it will only ever be considered by those exceedingly well off, with a network of,’ one wrote.
‘This child is loved, well cared for and wanted. Was [she] selfish, imo yes. Will it really affect this dear child more than dc of younger but toxic parents, probably not,; another said.
‘As someone in their 60’s I think she must be insane! You just don’t have the energy you have in your 20s/30s/40s. That’s despite the fact that I have lived an extremely healthy lifestyle,’ one said.
‘I don’t think it’s the height of selfishness- but it’s unethical on the part of the doctor,’ one said.
‘I think a child conceived naturally by a 48 yea old mother and a 63 year old father is a very different case,’ they added.
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