Large age gap? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-20-2006, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
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My DS is 8 years old and I am now pregnant with #2. I had my first while I was in grad school and hubby was in undergrad. Sometimes I still can't figure out how I finished school and took care of him. I can't say I enjoyed much about the first 2 years of his life. Breastfeeding him was probably the best part of it and the only thing the kept me sane.

So it took 8 years for me to decide that I am ready to have another. I think DS will be a great big brother, he has been begging for a sibling for several years. Plus he will be old enough to really help me and he is truly independant. Anyone else out there with a large age gap between kiddos? What are some of the challenges?

Joanna - wife to Mike, mamachicken to Cub(8/98), Kitten (4/07), Dew-man, and Woe-boy(twins, 10/08)
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#2 of 5 Old 08-21-2006, 05:39 AM
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I'm from the October DDC, but couldn't pass this post by as I feel I'm pretty much an 'expert' in the field

I'm the first of four children. There are 8, 10 and 12 years between my siblings and I. I'm nearly 30, my sister is 22 and my brothers are 20 and 17, respectively. We're all very close regardless of how old we all are. It was nice having a hand in raising them in many respects. I also got to be 'special' in a lot of ways, doing virtually everything well before my sister and brothers.

Our first son was born when we were in our early 20s. We started TTC about a year after he was born, but due to fertility problems and a miscarriage, we didn't have our second child until two weeks before DS' 6th birthday. Some people can't fathom an age gap that large in their own families, but it's worked just as well for us as it did for my parents. I wouldn't change it for the world! While they do fight as any siblings would, Aerik is able to reason and that makes a huge difference. He understands that Declan is younger and is still learning (although sometimes I have to remind him of that). He's also a big helper and has been since birth. I feel like he truly followed my pregnancy and every little milestone in it. We had no major adjustment issues, no jealousy and no regression when Declan joined our family.

I'm now pregnant with our third. Aerik will be nearly 10 and Declan nearly 4 when their baby brother comes. I love the spacing, even though again, it wasn't planned this way. I'm exhausted enough with these two without having a very young child to take care of while eight months pregnant. I have enormous respect for women who's children are spaced closer together - even though we wanted that originally, I can see some challenges we don't share.

However, a large age gap has some of its own issues: Vacations are more challenging, for example. One is old enough to go to a theme park and the other would be overwhelmed and exhausted in no time. One wants you to read Dr. Seuss and the other Harry Potter. One wants to watch Finding Nemo and the other a Digimon Movie. It's harder to find a game the entire family can play together when one is a Monopoly champ and the other can't count yet You get my drift.

Ours do quite well, though. Aerik doesn't mind watching preschool shows sometimes and he enjoys reading Declan Blue's Clues books and the like. Declan has learned some really amazing things from his big brother (and some not so amazing things, I'm afraid ) and is far more independent than Aerik was at this age. They've both been only children in the younger years in a lot of ways, as when Aerik is in school Declan gets me all to himself. It's been really nice.

Anyway, I could go on, but that should give you an overview of life in our family. I find people make such a huge deal of out age spacing when it's really not that important, IMO. In the grand scheme of things, children need two things to form a solid relationship together: the right personalities and gentle guidance from their parents. It's worked wonders for my siblings and I as well as my children. Good luck!
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#3 of 5 Old 08-21-2006, 08:35 AM
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I am in the same boat, but my first two children are close in age, just 20 months. This baby will have a 7 year old sister and a 9 year old brother. We'll see how it goes, but I think it will be great! The kids are old enough to enjoy a baby, old enough to help, but still little themselves in so many ways. And while they are in school, the baby will have a devoted parent for a few hours (and maybe I can nap then too!)
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#4 of 5 Old 08-22-2006, 12:11 AM
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DS1 was 11 years old when my second child came along. In some ways, its like having an extra adult around, lol! Then again, I have a hyper critical teen telling me what Im doing wrong, and sometimes he truly torments the younger ones. Then again, he can be wonderfully nurturing and very entertaining to them. My main issue is reminding myself that he is still a child himself and needs my attention and nurturing. Being that he is taller than me and outweighs me now, its easy to get worn out with work/babies and then expect him to realize Im worn out and NOT need me so much. But thats not fair to him. All in all, the spacing has been fine for us. DS1 asked for years for siblings and finally got them!

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2007) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty five years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness!
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#5 of 5 Old 08-22-2006, 05:19 PM
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My DS will be 7 on Friday and I'm newly pg with #2. So that will be about 7 years and 8 months by the time all is said and done!
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