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!