Want to hear from moms with gap in kids' ages... 3rd grade, 1st grade and newborn? Pros? Cons? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 04-23-2012, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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My DH and I are thinking of trying for #3.... just when we'll have 2 kids in school full time!  Is that nuts?


I've wanted a third for years but DH did not, but out of the blue now he's on board.  I think he was feeling sad about not having any little ones around :)


When #2 was born, #1 was 2.5 years and pretty disinterested.  Now they are TOTALLY into babies and would get a kick out of a little brother or sister.


And I feel like it's a chance to relive the fun of that 1st baby again, without all the 1st time parent anxieties.


On the other hand, when this one is in kindergarten I'll have a 6th and 8th grader.  And when my oldest is graduating high school, I'll have a 10th grader and a 4th grader.


Anyone in a similar situation?  Pros?  Cons?


I'm also an "elderly" 37, so take that into account :)




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#2 of 9 Old 04-23-2012, 01:20 PM
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Closer, but similar.  My kids will be in K and 1st in the fall, and I have a newborn.  We are homeschooling, so they aren't away, but I can address the larger gap. 


It has been good and they do love having a baby.  It is not hard on me and DH emotionally.  I am tired, though.  And I can see how it could be nice to have both kids out of the house in the fall (at a school) and only have a baby.


You do have to schlepp the baby around quite a bit.  Even with homeschooling I'm dragging the baby to this meeting and to that activity.  Pick up, drop off, in/out.  It isn't a big deal, and the baby just has to be flexible that way.  I never needed the bucket feature of infant seats with my first two, though, and it is has been very handy with this baby.  We're only  1 1/2 months in, so I'm sure it will change when we have more regular naps I'm messing with too, but I think this baby will just have to be able to be more flexible about that.


I like the big gap we have this time, and I also liked the under 2yr gap of our first two.  Both ways have pluses and minuses.  This baby will always be considered a baby by all of us, though, unless we have another child.  So there is that dynamic.





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#3 of 9 Old 04-23-2012, 03:16 PM
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I don't really have a gap like that but I do have kids of various ages! Mine are 3rd grade, 9 years old, 5 years old and in PK (that is my "gap" right there) one turning 3 this week, and then a 8 month old. Due to the volume of kids, some special needs, age ranges, etc... we end up splitting them up often, it is very common that I end up with the oldest and the baby, and then other days were I have everyone. DD1 will be in 8th grade when DS2 starts K, it is crazy to think about it that way! DD1 and DD2 as well to some extent, but mostly DD1, adores having a new baby. She carries him around, plays with him, rides next to him in the car willingly to talk to him. It honestly has been a largely positive experience for her despite him being colicky for the first several months. She is old enough "to get it", to fully understand how much work babes are, we have had many conversations about motherhood, children, babies, etc...It is difficult balancing the needs of a 9 year old and a newborn, she wants to go ice skating and well, that isn't going to happen with a screaming baby. He does end up stuffed in the car seat a lot because bigger kids still have to go to school regardless of nap schedule. 

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#4 of 9 Old 04-23-2012, 06:03 PM
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i have an almost-17 year old, a 15 year old, a 9 year old, and an almost 7 month old. and i am 35. this definately feels like a do-over! the kids all adore the baby, the 3rd grader comes straight in from achool and plays with her. it was a hard decision for me, as the kids were all old enough to leave home or let them do their thing while i did mine(we did homeschool until this school year...lotta changes at once!) it hasn't been easy for me handling the lack of sleep and not being able to leave and do my running around and clean/cook. 9 years was a long time lol so my cons would be lack of sleep and freedom. pros- it's a baybee!!! and the kids will be old enough to love him/her and truely help, more than by handing you diapers. my 3rd grader can make sandwiches, and can actually change wet diapers. the baby gets very happy when playing with her, and if she hears her voice she immediately twists around, grinning, to find her. of course the teenagers are as helpful as adults but my 9 year old can be pretty helpful.

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#5 of 9 Old 04-23-2012, 06:06 PM
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if i am counting right, when my youngest starts kindergarten, i will have one in high school and 2 in college!!

drowning in hormones with 4 daughters and an understanding, loving hubby. also some dogs. my life is crazy and we are always learning.

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#6 of 9 Old 04-23-2012, 06:54 PM
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DH and I are raising:

- 16-year-old twins from my previous relationship, when I was very young and misguided

- 12-year-old from his previous marriage

- our 4-year-old, together


Obvious con:  The 4-year-old thinks he's a teenager.  And one day he'll probably feel pretty bereft, when this noisy house full of boys is quiet and he's the only one left.  But the age gap isn't quite as big, with your kids.


Less-obvious con:  The older ones are all at pretty self-centered phases right now, at the time our little one is most interested in having them get on his level and play with him.  They can be pretty bad at figuring out what he wants from them and being generous enough to give it to him.  I do a LOT of translating:  "12-y-o, when 4-y-o stomps his feet and screams that you're the worst brother, it's because you won't let him in your room and he really wants you to treat him like he's your friend.  If the only way he can get your attention is by making you mad, that's what he'll keep doing."...."4-y-o, I can make 12-y-o not yell at you, but I can't make him want to play with you.  Only you can do that, by being NICE, instead of mean."  It's exhausting.  But hopefully it's also making the older boys think about someone else's feelings and respond to someone else's needs in ways they wouldn't have to, if the 4-y-o weren't around.  


And if your older ones include a daughter, the dynamics may be positively delightful, instead.  I'm 10 years older than one of my brothers and 12 years older than my sister.  I have been irritated with each of them (and had each of them irritated with me) once - but not until we were adults and each incident sticks out in my mind because it was so shockingly unusual.  Growing up, I only ever adored them.


Nearly everything else about a big age gap is a "pro", I think!  


>> It's SO fun having a cute little one in the house, as all your former cute little ones get older, hairier and begin to believe they know everything.  You get to revisit everything you're starting to miss about the older ones.


>> As your older ones get more invested in their own activities and social lives, the little one helps bring you all together.  Even when the older ones are teenagers, your family will still have a reason to hide Easter eggs, read Dr. Seuss, watch Disney movies, cheer at pee-wee sports, visit Santa and children's museums, etc.


>> Being an "older" parent of a young child reminds you to keep feeling young and fun.  But you also have the wisdom to know what's important, which makes parenthood enjoyable in all new ways.  Compared to being a mom in my early twenties, I am so much more confident.  If my mother critiques my parenting, I laugh it off instead of wondering if she's right.  Instead of worrying whether I'm doing what all the parenting books say I should, I'm toying with the idea of writing my own.  When my little one's in a difficult phase, I know it'll pass.  And I know to slow down and savor the phases I like, because they're going to pass, too.  My husband is in the same boat and our mutual savoring of our last child brings us even closer.

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#7 of 9 Old 04-23-2012, 09:10 PM
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I think my kids are that exact gap! My big kids are in grades 4 and 2, and my baby was born in December so she'll only be 4 when she starts school. It's been nothing but positive... the only time there's fighting or jealousy with regard to the baby is when they both want to hold her or play with her at once. It is a little bit like having a first baby again, because we have the school day of being one on one. It's really cool watching the big kids play with the baby, they are excited about every little thing she does. She's only 4 months old, so a lot of their games are just setting things up around her in the high chair... one day she was the shop keeper and they were buying toys from her, another day she was the chef and they had a bunch of play food in front of her, another day they built her a ray gun and the high chair was her rocket ship and they were calling her 'Commander Chubbycheeks'... she's thoroughly entertained by them. They are old enough to understand when she needs my attention and old enough to actually be helpful... they are happy to hold her for me while I get something out of the oven or go to the bathroom (usually they aren't ready to give her back when I say I'm done doing whatever it was I needed to do) I have no regrets whatsoever, I think it's actually a fantastic age gap. My one word of warning is that now it's tempting to have a fourth!

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#8 of 9 Old 04-24-2012, 04:59 AM
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My last 2 babies were 5 years apart with my 5 year old being home and then going to Kindy about 9 months after the baby was here.


Of course I wouldn't trade my baby for the world, it was much, much harder having a baby with that gap because I'd "forgotten" how intense having a baby was.  It didn't keep me from any activities, it was mostly at home when I had a little person who wanted to be held all the time and I wasn't used to it.


So I think you should just prepare yourself that you'll be attached and how that will change the routines around the house.  I'm really referring to lack of sleep (she still doesn't STTN at 2.5) and housework/meal concerns.


Again, I am not saying don't do it, just remember that having a baby can be intense and you may be more prepared than I was that last time around.

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#9 of 9 Old 04-26-2012, 09:30 AM
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We have big gaps... 18, 14, 8 and 2 years old.


The hardest part is that the older 2 are emotionally complex right now so that takes a lot of energy, then the 2 year old takes a lot of energy in other ways. I am up late talking to teens and up early with my littles!


Mostly it's really wonderful to have so many different stages at once, and I love to see my older kids loving on or playing with my little kids. <3

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