DEAR ABBY: I'm a 40-year-old, stay-at-home mom with a 17-year-old and a 14-year-old. Three weeks ago, on my birthday, I found out that I am pregnant. Forty and pregnant --- it is truly a miracle. My husband, who is almost 50, is in complete shock.
He has looked like a ghost since he found out. I finally had an emotional meltdown and told him I don't feel like he's very happy for our unexpected bundle. His reply? "Sorry, Hon, I'm not!" He thinks he's too old.
My older child has said only one sentence to me since I told her the news: "You're going to be an old mom." They feel I have ruined their lives. I feel ... happy. How do I get them to warm up to this new addition to the family? -- OLD MAMA IN WASHINGTON STATE
DEAR "OLD" MAMA: According to the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth by the Guttmacher Institute, in 2001, 49 percent of pregnancies in the United States were unintended. Among women aged 15 to 44, the unintended pregnancy rate was 51 per 1,000 women.
So remind your husband that this pregnancy didn't happen "magically"; he was an equal partner. He may have had other plans in mind for the next 20 years than raising another child, so his feelings are understandable. While it would be nice if he felt differently about the latest addition to the family, he might perk up if you point out that there are many older dads these days, and many older moms, too.
As to your daughter's attitude, she will be out of the house and gone soon, so don't take personally that she's not over the moon about the changes that are coming. If you maintain a positive attitude, your enthusiasm will be contagious.