So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

My daughter was born a little over a year ago, and much to my surprise most everything that everyone had told me up until that point turned out to be true. It will be fun, it will be hard, being a parent isn’t always easy, when you finally see that sweet little face…, and all those sorts of things.

Sure, I knew that I wanted to grow up, marry, and have a family of my own, but my path was becoming more and more different as the years passed.  My wife and I married in my late 30s and we struggled a bit with pregnancy—it was seemingly not going to happen. And I was becoming OK with that.

Then it did!

But what was I to make of becoming a father after 40?

By the time my father was 34 he had three children of his own, and a vast number of changes had taken place since then. I guess you might say I felt a little outdated or even old fashioned. I would find myself thinking about what my childhood was like, and then trying to apply it now.

Didn’t work.

Sometimes it felt like some sort of odd culture shock. I guess cutting pictures out of an old Sears catalog and gluing them to typing paper to create a Christmas list no longer applied here.

I needed to make a transition.

Even though I had received all those little tidbits of information and pieces of advice, my vision for the future looked a bit different. I was going to be a first-time father after 40, and I didn’t know what that meant.

I would celebrate with other friends and their families—baby showers, weddings, graduations, etc. I would scroll endlessly through social media to find that many high school and college classmates were becoming parents for the third or fourth time, some even becoming grandparents. I somewhat felt as if I would be showing up late to the dinner table.

Really late.

Through the process of acquiring the toys, the clothes, and all of the other necessities, there was no surprise again that no one had heard of Lincoln Logs or Pick-Up Sticks.

At this point, I wasn’t sure if I was more hesitant about becoming a father at this age, or the fact that things I thought were applicable no longer mattered.

Still, even this far in, I find myself asking people, “Is that a thing?”

What was being a first-time father after 40 going to look like for me? I mean, let’s face it, my mind automatically goes to high school graduation, and how old I will be then.  I would be lying if I said the thought of not being there in those pivotal moments for a young adult never crossed my mind.

However, something truly grabs a hold of you as a parent of a small child. You might even say there is something buried deep within all of us—that if we carefully peeled back the years, we would find there is really no specific age needed to inspire a child.

I began to research being a father after 40—how common it was, and if there were any other fathers out there experiencing the same things that I was. There didn’t seem to be any shortage of health issues for men over 40, either.

Much to my surprise, I wasn’t alone.

Actually, becoming a father after the age of 40 was more common than I thought, so I did feel a sigh of relief.

So yes, being a first-time father over the age of 40 is different, but so is being a first-time father in your 20s.

I often think of age as tiers of well-seasoned knowledge, and as long as your children are young, the only thing they will remember is that you simply showed up.

It will be fun, it will be hard, but it will also be worthwhile. I can teach her how to play Pick-Up Sticks, or how when I was young we would use the Dewey Decimal System to locate our books.

You will never be too old to say, “Back in my day,” and you won’t have to “ask for a friend” because you know that being a dad gives you everything that you need no matter what your age is.

Take care of yourself both physically and mentally, and even though sometimes you might find it difficult, make time for yourself!

So embrace this new stage at a different age, be present in the memories, and don’t overlook the teachable moments for yourself or your child. Your child will be their best when you are at yours.

Travis Nance

Travis was born and raised in Kansas, and currently lives in Northwest Arkansas with his wife and daughter. He works full-time in the transportation industry, dabbles in some photography, and shares a blog with his wife at  A place where they eat, travel, and parent their way through life.

To the Stay At Home Mom From Your Husband: I See You

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

To the woman who sacrificed her comfort zone—leaving her family, friends, and everything she’d ever known—to follow her new husband across the country for his job: I see you. To the wife who pours herself into making a house her home, only to have to move again: I see you. To the wife who put her career, education, and personal pursuits on hold for the sake of her family: I see you. To the mom who went through pain and misery for nine months, only to have motherhood turn out to be nothing like she’d dreamed and longed for it...

Keep Reading

I Struggled With My Son’s Diagnosis, But Found Hope in the Special Needs Community

In: Fatherhood, Tough Times

When I found out I was going to be a father I was beyond excited. My wife and I had been trying to conceive for years before she got pregnant. So, when she told me I was going to be a father I wanted to shout it to the rooftops! I made sure to call my wife every day at work to make sure she ate lunch. I’m sure I annoyed the heck out of her. We later found out that we were having a boy, and started to plan everything. We started to paint the baby room with blues...

Keep Reading

My Son is Growing Up, But I’ll Hold On To the Pictures Forever

In: Fatherhood

A certain part of my heart longs for these moments to never change. I look back on pictures like this one, where my oldest son tastes the salty breeze on his lips for the first time, feeling the sand underneath his toes and laughing out loud at this wholly new experience. I look back and want to freeze it, but in something more than a single picture, more solid than a flimsy memory, more lifelike in substance than what a camera can fashion. RELATED: Stay With Me a Little Longer, Daddy Because that little person who could not stand without...

Keep Reading

I Want My Sons to See How Important It is to Cover Your Wife

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

Transparent moment—I did not always do the best job of covering my wife. Early in our marriage, I was often guilty of being selfish. Our first of four childbirths had contentious moments. From the whistle I jokingly wore on our first trip to the hospital while she was in labor, to me telling her in the midst of her frustration that if we didn’t have the baby that night, she could decide if she’d go into work the next day—I’m not proud of the way I handled some of the challenges. RELATED: 5 Ways To Love Your Wife After the...

Keep Reading

Dads: Your Kids Love Doing Things Because They Get to Do Them With You

In: Fatherhood

This piece was co-written with the author’s husband, Nathan Glenn. I remember my husband taking our daughter golfing for the first time and wondering if she’d enjoy it like he did. He’d dress our kids up in Pittsburgh gear, hoping they’d love the Steelers and Pirates and Penguins as much as he does. When we imagined our someday kids, he hoped he’d have someone that would want to play catch with him and go sit on the banks for hours fishing. Now here we are over a decade into this parenting three thing, and our oldest has her own clubs...

Keep Reading

This British Dad’s Parody of Orlando Bloom’s Daily Routine Has Us Cracking Up

In: Fatherhood

Two men on the same parenting journey see things a bit differently. Read to the end for this British dad’s hilarious take on what it’s like to be a father if you’re not a famous A-list celebrity. Ever since his cinematic debut as Legolas in the Lord of the Rings film series, celebrity actor Orlando Bloom has been capturing hearts around the world. Let’s be honest, we all know why our wives were so excited when Pirates of the Caribbean hit theatres. Outside of fantasy, there’s not much that makes Mr. Bloom relatable to the average Joe. However, parenthood tends...

Keep Reading

How My Husband Used a Classic Dad Move to Teach a Lesson in Gratitude

In: Fatherhood, Marriage

“Don’t make me pull this car over!” I bet you’re picturing your dad driving the family station wagon and shouting this over his shoulder at the peak of lost sanity while on a family trip. Or maybe fast forward, and it’s your own carload of kids! In the world of classic dad moves, this one might be boss. My husband pulled this move recently. Except, this cool cat put such a beautiful, modern, mindful dad twist on it. RELATED: Here’s to the Dads Who Keep Calm When Their Kids Are Losing it First came a long full day of family...

Keep Reading

My Arms Will Always Be Open For My Baby Girl When Life Gets Hard

In: Fatherhood

I’d intended to write a sweet, good-natured post to accompany this picture. I’d intended that post to exude the love I feel for my daughter and the happiness she brings to me each time she smiles. I’d intended to convey, in some small way, just how much joy she brings to our lives each and every day. And I’d hoped that this post would serve as a pleasant trigger point for these feelings whenever I looked back upon them in my increasingly fast-approaching dotage. Until . . . Until she spent this entire day crying. And crying. And crying. Until...

Keep Reading

Embrace the Grind and 4 Other Things I Want My Son to Know

In: Faith, Fatherhood

My youngest child, our son, turned 4 years old recently. I’m amazed at how much he mimics those around him. At this stage of development, he is easily influenced. He watches me, his mother, his sisters, his preschool teacher, and his peers very closely. He repeats what he sees in movies and on TV shows—even hilariously shouting at the top of his lungs, “I’m living alone! I’m living alone!” at a family gathering after watching Home Alone over the holidays. It has me thinking. These next few years could be very important to shaping the kind of person he will...

Keep Reading

Someday My Son Won’t Need Me Anymore, But I’ll Always Be There If He Does

In: Fatherhood

At the beginning, the world splays out in front of us, wide and open and always at least a little bit terrifying. The fear never really goes away as we age, but our world certainly seems to grow smaller over time. My boy is nearly three, with yet another demarcation point in his life coming up as his birthday month looms before us. He seems older already. His personality flexes and evolves on a daily basis, as he seeks to sort out his part in this life and as he strives for self-sufficiency and independence in all facets of living. He...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids


Proven techniques to build REAL connections