“Trophy wife” intro aside, Globe article is a good read

Add this to the Recycled Dad canon: a 2005 Boston Globe article that doesn’t just state the obvious about older guys who have kids with their second wives.

(Boston Globe Photo / Lisa Poole)

For starters, this piece has a pretty thorough setup that observes the following:

  • The number of “do-over dads” seems to be increasing, though concrete statistics are hard to capture.
  • Men remarry sooner after divorce than women do; for this and other reasons, more divorced men than divorced women are in a position to have children.
  • Recycled dads tend to be more confident and enjoy the parenting experience more.

I enjoyed this passage that quotes Marilyn Yalom, an author and Stanford University researcher:

This second chance at fatherhood, says Yalom, is changing these men. “It gives them the idea that they will do a better job the second time around,” she says. This is because, for the most part, just like his mid-section, the second-timer’s temper has softened as he’s gotten older. His drive to build a successful career is no longer obsessively frantic; he may even be contemplating retirement. This dad is everything that kids love – devoted, patient, giving – and he isn’t as focused on the issues that many younger parents face, such as the balancing act between career and family. He’s not only old enough to be his kids’ grandfather, he practically acts like one.

Some of us might chuckle at the grandfather thing. Others of us might not.

The rest of the story:

  • One profile of a recycled dad to illustrate the above points, plus some of the downsides of this situation, with quotes from his adult kids (one of whom criticizes Dad for shortchanging the new generation).
  • The new wife’s perspective.
  • Vasectomy reversals. (I could — and probably will — do a post dedicated to that topic.)
  • A profile of another recycled dad, which mainly illustrates the physical limitations that some older dads have to deal with.

Check it out and feel free to comment on anything that stands out — good or bad.


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