Shilpa, Apurva Agnihotri become parents after 18 years of marriage; Pluses and minuses of parenting after 40
Anupamaa actor Apurva Agnihotri, 50, and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi's Shilpa Saklani, 40, recently embraced parenthood after 18 years of marriage. Experts on benefits and drawbacks of late parenting.
Anupamaa actor Apurva Agnihotri, 50, and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi's Shilpa Saklani, 40, recently embraced parenthood after 18 years of marriage. The couple tied the knot on June 24, 2004 in Dehradun and after nearly two decades of their marriage, are thrilled to have become parents to their daughter Ishaani Kanu Agnihotri. Parenting at any age is full of challenges but it all seems worth it when one experiences their child's journey from being a baby to a fully grown-up individual. Turning parents after 40 has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. While people who become parents later in life are healthier mentally and emotionally than younger parents considering they are financially more stable and mature, bringing up children later in life can be a little exhausting. People over 40 may have more health issues than younger ones and this could make late parenting a tad more difficult. However, if you are fit, energetic and in top of your health, becoming parents at any age could turn out to be a blissful experience. (Also read: Shilpa Agnihotri, Apurva Agnihotri welcome daughter Ishaani Kanu Agnihotri with a heartfelt message)
Parenting after 40 not an easy decision
"Having children later in life can be a difficult decision for many parents. Some may want to focus on their career or travel before settling down and starting a family. On one hand, they may feel that they are not ready to take on the responsibility of raising a child. On the other hand, they may worry that their age will negatively impact their child's health. Research suggests that parents who have children later in life are more likely to be mentally and emotionally healthier than those who have children at a younger age. This is likely since older parents tend to be more financially stable and have more life experience. As a result, they are better equipped to handle the challenges of parenting. Some parents make a conscious choice to have children later in life, while others may face delays due to medical issues," says Dr Chandni Tugnait, M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, Healer, Founder & Director - Gateway of Healing.
Challenges people face after turning parents at 40
"The number of older parents is on the rise. Many more women are waiting till their 40s to have babies, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control. There are challenges older parents face as well, most important feeling generation gap. When the kids are graduating, the couple would have probably retired. Parents in their 20s themselves are feeling out of touch with what's going on when it comes to their children. Older parents definitely will be three to four decades apart from their kids, making their gap even larger. Apart from the emotional challenges that an older couple may face in upbringing the kids they might also have their own health and physical challenges with respect to their age. They need to slow down, may feel more tired and exhausted, and sometimes just need to take a physical break more than their younger parent counterparts," says Dr. Manju Nair, Clinical Director- Fertility, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru, Old Airport Road.
Benefits of turning parents later in life
Regardless of the circumstances, there are both risks and benefits associated with becoming a parent at this stage in life.
"One potential benefit is that by waiting until later in life to have children, parents may be more emotionally and financially stable, which can lead to a more positive parenting experience. Additionally, older parents often have more patience and life experience, which can be beneficial when raising children. However, there are also some risks associated with becoming a parent at 40. For example, older parents may have less energy and may find it more difficult to keep up with their children. Also, older parents may also be more likely to experience health problems, which can make parenting more challenging. Ultimately, the decision, of whether to become a parent post 40, is a personal one that should be made based on the individual's unique circumstances," says Dr Tugnait.
Psychological benefits of parenting post 40
It's no secret that parenting can be a wonderful source of joy and fulfilment. But what you may not know is that parenting later in life can also offer some unique psychological benefits.
"For one, older parents tend to be more patient and calmer than their younger counterparts. They're also more likely to have well-established careers and financial stability, which can provide a sense of security for their families. In addition, research has shown that older parents are often more flexible, patient and adaptable than younger ones, which can help them deal with the challenges of parenting. Research shows that older parents are more likely to be emotionally supportive and less likely to engage in verbal or physical aggression with their children. Finally, older parents tend to have a greater appreciation for life and a stronger commitment to their families. So, if you're considering parenting post-40, rest assured that you may just be giving yourself (and your family) a valuable gift," says Dr Tugnait.
"Until a few years ago, getting pregnant at 40 was considered complicated, but due to advances in reproductive medicine like IVF and egg freezing options, today it is possible to achieve a successful pregnancy even at older ages. Being a mother after 40 definitely requires more medical supervision and care to ensure the health of the mother and baby and avoid risks, but studies also show that it has advantages," says Dr Nair.
Here are the benefits of turning parents post 40 as per Dr Nair:
- Parents tend to have more emotional and mental maturity
- Parents would have better financial and professional stability
- With financial stability and career settling in they will also have more free time to spend with their kids bringing them up.
- Older parents also appreciate parenthood better as they would have taken time planning and getting ready for it.
- They also tend to be in more stable relationships with their partners which will only help them raising their kids in a positive environment and kids also grow up as more confident and secure individuals.
Dr Tugnait also suggests tips parents should follow while caring for their child when they are in their 40s:
Parents in their 40s have a lot to remember when caring for their children. Here are five tips to help them keep everything straight:
1. Take advantage of technology: There are a lot of great apps and online tools that can help parents stay organised and on top of their child's schedule.
2. Delegate responsibility: Parents in their 40s often have a lot going on, so it's important to delegate tasks to other family members or caregivers.
3. Stay engaged with your child: This could mean playing with them, going for walks or runs together, and participating in other activities that involve movement. It’s also important for parents to be supportive and understanding of their child’s emotions.
4. Establish routines: Routines help children feel secure and give parents a much-needed break from the chaos of everyday life. This includes making sure they eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and see the doctor regularly.
5. Make time for yourself: It's important for parents in their 40s to get out and socialise with other adults, pursue hobbies, and take some time for themselves. Self-care is essential for any parent, no matter what their age.
"So, while there is no perfect time to start a family, there are certainly advantages to waiting until later in life. If you are considering becoming a parent at 40 or older, rest assured that you will be bringing many valuable gifts to your child’s life," says Dr Tugnait.