Take That star Howard Donald has revealed he has “really struggled” with being a dad in his 50s.
The singer, 52, has daughters aged 21 and 15 from previous relationships but became a father again later in life when he and his wife Katie welcomed sons Bowie and Dougie in 2015 and 2017.
Donald has now opened up about it sometimes being “draining”, saying he wouldn’t advise people to have young kids at his age.
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Speaking on Dave Berry’s Dadpod podcast, he said: “I think, at 52, which is what I am, I’ve really struggled in the 50s being a father.
“I’ve actually really taken it physically and mentally draining for me.”
We do our best as dads and hope to steer our kids on the right path. Ive failed twice but I soldier on to make amends and still be there for two of my children I left home for on two separate occasions to be with someone else.
Please listen 12th nov with @daveberry_tweet #dad pic.twitter.com/LdV4Yzh1WY
— Howard Donald (@HowardDonald) November 11, 2020
The star said it was tough having young children so close in age.
He went on: “I would advise, me at this moment in time, I would advise to fathers who maybe already have children that may be in their teenage years, don’t do it.
“In [your] 50s don’t do it.
“That’s my personal experience.
“I’m sure there’s people out there in their 50s that have found it a doddle, maybe they’ve got, you know, babysitters and nannies and stuff like that, maybe not, maybe they’re really struggling as well, but I’ve really struggled with it and I would never advise anyone in their 50s to have young children.”
However, the star also said he felt “proud” of how he had done with his four children.
Donald’s daughters Lola and Grace are from two former relationships.
The singer said that although he has always been there for them, he does “hold a lot of guilt”.
“I hold a hell of a lot of guilt for leaving my ex-partners and leaving my child for them to look after,” he said.
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“Obviously though, I’ve not been one of these fathers that’s said, ‘Right, I’ve got a new partner, I don’t want anything to do with this now. I don’t want anything to do with that child.’
“I’ve always been there. I’ve always felt so guilty about it.
“I’ve always been there for them.”
Watch: Robbie Williams hints at another Take That reunion