PRIME TIME DADS: 45 Reasons to Embrace Midlife Fatherhood

by Len Filppu


The experience, knowledge and wisdom of men in midlife supply an abundance of specific tools that can be used to build a solid fatherhood foundation, framework, and future.  To me, prime time fatherhood is not an issue of being better-late-than-never.  It’s an issue of actually being better later.”

Busting Stereotypes

Today’s age 50 is yesterday’s 40 or 35 or maybe even younger.  Men today are not content to be saddled with addled characterizations of male maturation drawn not from reality but from cartoonish, buffoonish television sitcoms.  Those yeasty notions about middle-aged men falling onto sofas to fall comatose watching Matlock reruns are outdated, out of line, and just plain out to lunch.

Quality Time

Prime time dads know time is limited, and therefore are perfectly suited to dive right in to create the quality times and bonds with their children that will live with and nurture them forever.


Please do not misunderstand me.  You need not be rich to raise children.  But the prime time dad, who probably has a fatter wallet to match his expanding waistline, can apply those resources in a positive way that enhances the child rearing process for all concerned.


Midlife men have been raked across the coals, have had their hearts broken, their anger piqued, and suppressed their tears more often than their younger brethren. They have a longer track record of emotionally-charged mistakes and missed stakes that help inform their choices of action.  The word restraint is actually in a mature man’s vocabulary.


Variety is the spice of life, and change is elixir for the soul.  Having children in midlife can provide the spark that ignites a new fire in the mature man’s soul, enlightening and invigorating him to a rewarding and rejuvenating new stage of creative existence.

Finding Meaning

With too much time on my hands and ennui edging out spontaneous joy, I found myself on dates or in leisurely coffee cafes admiring not my companions or my good fortune, but the couples I saw haplessly tangled up in toddler gear.

Sure, these new parents fumbled, fumed and fought with their new predicaments and themselves, but it seemed to me they were engaged in something special, something all consuming and truly meaningful.


I’ve come to understand that my fears about being outside the norm were a result of my own lack of acceptance of myself as a later in life dad.  It’s an inside job.  No one else seems to care.  These younger parents helped teach me to feel more comfortable in my own slightly more weathered skin.  I decided to embrace becoming a doting, not doddering, prime time dad.

Career Freedom

Whatever manifestation of freedom your years on the job have afforded you, as a mature man, it’s likely you’ll have more flexibility than younger parents to wrangle precious time to spend with your children when they are young, the most critical period of their development.

Early time with both parents helps children feel truly appreciated, attached, centered, and builds their self esteem.  This freedom of choice and time can make all the difference in the world to your children… and to you.


This mature man’s ability to damn convention and capture your children’s imagination with childlike humor and play provides pure joy to their lives.  It’s the super glue that bonds your relationships with your kids, and it might just add the magic of pixie dust to your life.  You may not be able to fly… but you can soar.


Prime time dads may reach retirement age sooner than younger fathers, but in no way am I daydreaming about vegetating on some front porch rocking chair wearing a stained tie, worn slippers, and a feeble smile like some latter day version of Ward Cleaver on a Valium drip.  I’ll bet you aren’t, either.