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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're planning to TTC sometime this summer maybe but DS is almost 5 and I'm wondering if there's any issues specific to having kids far apart in age, since DS would likely be 6 by the time DC#2 would be around.

Also, life is good! I really want to have another baby but I feel like I'm starting to have a life and DH and I are getting more connected again and everything is easier! Do I really want to go back to frequent night waking and diapers and all that? Do other moms have these conflicting feelings too? Does it mean that we should reconsider having another? Or is this just normal?

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My kids are 8 years apart and I completely understand where you are coming from! On one hand it is soooo wonderful having the age gap- Ds (8) is such a huge help and is wonderful with his sister. On the other hand.. yes, sometimes it is hard getting back into the groove of things- especially since dd is a frequent night waker (5-7 times a night). But I would never wish to do things different. DH and I are finally starting to reconnect again- things were difficult there for a while in the beginning, but we are finally finding 'us' again. Good luck in whatever you decide!
 

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I totally have the feelings you are having...and dd is only 2.5, LOL!!!

I think there are specific considerations to any age difference.....the one you are likely going to have, 6+, is certainly no exception.

In psychological terms in regards to family dynamics, they say that if an age gap is more than 5 years, then you don't really have "siblings" so much as you have 2 "only children". That of course comes with its own set of issues.

From a medical/physical standpoint, they have found that when there is a gap of more than 5 years, a mother is more likely to have pregnancy complications and also that the second labor is more likely to be like another "first" labor, and not the shorter, easier "second labor" that women usually have.
Of course, these are all averages, your experience will be unique.

One thing that will likely affect your day to day life the most is that they probably won't be interested in/doing the same things well...ever.

If you do out-of-home schooling, you'll be shuttling one to elementary, one to middle, etc. Same with classes and stuff, you won't get any "two-fers" where they can both go to the same class, etc. They give discounts when you have more than one in college at a time, you will have to pay full price for both since they are so far apart. (if you believe in paying for kids college and they choose to go, etc) In terms of family vacations, etc, it will be harder to find activities which both enjoy....and of course, for the next few years, you are going to have an infant, then a toddler...so a lot of the freedom, mobility, sleep, etc that you have now will be lost for a while. That might be harder for you to adjust to than someone who is still IN that stage.....lol, I was just joking to dh that right now i feel like I've been paroled...dd sleeps through the night, has weaned herself, is potty training, and will play by herself at times......and having a baby is going to put me right back in the slammer again!! LOL!

but there are also potentisal strengths. You will have more time and energy to give the new baby, your older child can be a help, you are potentially wiser and more experienced now, and maybe in a better financial position, etc.

them's my thoughts!

good luck!
 

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My DH and his only sibling, his sister, are 5 years apart. He liked it, but his sister didn't so much. That has to do with their mother, though...
. After my DH left home, SIL was left *alone* with MIL for a whole five years. Scary!

His parents say they loved it though. My DH was so sweet to his sister, and they did do lots of things together, did play together a lot, according to the ILs.

I totally know what you mean about going back to the baby stage. I think that is always kind of a challenge. Even though I LOVE babies, I know that when the time comes to seriously think about our third, it's going to be complex.

GL!
 

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My kids are almost exactly 5 years apart, and I have to say I really like it. I also understand where you are coming from. It is really much easier the 2nd time around, and this time, you will have a helper. One that isn't in diapers. So nice! I honestly felt more able to deal with a 2nd given this large age gap.

My kids can and do play together, and DS is mostly not annoyed when DD follows him around in awe. In fact, I think he likes having his own personal fan club.
 

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DSS and DD are about 5 years apart. The only significant thing I can talk about is DSS sees my needing to attend to DD's needs first as an irritance...something that doesn't have to happen right away. He got easily frustrated often over the fact that we had to attend to something she needed..he assumed that because he could wait so could she.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for everyone's stories. I do think it will be easier to have one old enough to be a helper and not having 2 in diapers and I'm sure I will be much more capable the second time around (DS was REALLY hard!) but I've also thought about the family vacation thing and general family activities. I worry that DS will not be able to do a lot of things because we'll have a much younger one who needs to tag along and things like that. I'm sure it's pretty normal to worry about how the first child is going to deal with it since he's here and a baby is not yet. But I'm sure DS would love to have an adoring younger sibling and he's great with other younger toddlers and babies.

So to those who had to go back to the whole baby thing, how was it? Did you just hop back on the bike and not feel like you got off? Or was it kind of a shocker at first? I'm sure I'll be much more prepared this time for what to expect and DS is long past the diapers, nursing, nightwaking, etc., although we might still have to do a whole family bedroom at this rate. Does it make the new baby adjustment for the older child easier when the age gap is wider? Will they still hang out together even though DS will be graduating from high school when DC2 is still in middle school?

I know I can't *know* how things will be for us specifically but everyone I know has less than 3 yrs difference or only childs so I figure if I know what could happen I'll be more prepared!
 

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there is a big age gap between my two older siblings - 6 1/2 years and 12 1/2 years. the poster who said you will have 2 "only" children is right. i had nothing in common with my siblings until i became an adult. that is a long time to spend with two people with whom you really have no shared interests. however, we have a great relationship now. that was just a lot of years we missed.

i also have issues with the age difference because it seems that the older child is considered many times to be the helper. at first it is probably fun because the baby is new and the older child finds a way to share in the attention by "helping" with the baby. but when the new wears off from the older sibling's point of view, he or she is oftentimes still expected to help. i have always had issues with older siblings being expected to help with the younger ones. where is their childhood? do they get the attention they received before the newborn came along?

i am familiar with a situation with an 8 year old, 3 year old and newborn. the 8 year old often gets the "short end of the stick" so to speak, or the leftovers, simply because she is not as demanding as the others. she is also often asked to "play with the 3 year old" so mom can do other things - in this case, spend time on the phone or on the computer. today the 8 year old came to our house after school and mom didn't even end her phone conversation to ask about her day at school. I thought that was really sad. I know this is not a typical situation for most of you, because although i don't have many posts, i read many of your posts and learn new things every day about better parenting.

fwiw these are just my observations. thanks for letting me express them.
 

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Well I only have one child so far, working on #2 but as far as my siblings go...

My brother was almost 3 years older than me and we never had ANYTHING in common. In fact other than we both have kids, we still don't have anything in common. We were never close. He picked on me and I am sure I annoyed the heck out of him when we were little. We still aren't close and don't talk often. I have nothing against him but just don't feel any kind of bond.

I also have a sister that is 10 years older than me and while we were growing up we were in completely different worlds. But as I became a teenager and a young adult she was my best confidant and friend. We still talk frequently and we are probably the closest siblings in our family. (I also have a brother 8 years older than me and a sister 10 years younger than me.)

I think it all depends on the family dynamics and age doesn't matter as much as far as how the siblings get along.

Now as far as getting back into the swing of things....No first hand knowledge on that as of yet.
But, from what I have seen, if the child is expected and wanted, it isn't hard to get back in the swing at any stage. My sister just had her third child and there is 7 years difference between the youngest and the middle. She is doing great.
 

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My two kids are 5.5 years apart and I like it alot.

Of course my oldest was an only child for a long time but when she tells us her little brother is getting all the attention (of course he gets alot of it, but not all of it), I tell her we pay attention to her little brother the same way we did to her and it wouldn't be fair to him not to. I also repeat often how she had us to herself for several years while he'll always get some sort of split attention.

I would like to have a third and I'll hope for a 4.5-5 year age gap this time.

I don't think sibling closeness has much to do with age like Naturegirl said.

As far as activities go, I personally wouldn't like if I had to do everything with a sibling.

One of us often take the oldest to see plays or movies while the other stays home with the little one. Most of the things we enjoy doing can be done as a family with different aged kids (beach, parks, hiking, camping, family fun days in the neighbourhood, museums, etc). Note that these are mostly free/cheap things.
 

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My two are 11 years apart. Yea I started completely over. So far it has been wonderful. Baby dd is only 10 months. So we may not have found problems that will surface later on. It has been a blessing having my older dd to help. I actually think that it has brought us closer as a family. I have heard many people say that older siblings shouldn't have to take care of younger ones; I think that it is ok as long as it is in moderation. Older DD does not "baby-sit" or change diapers/clothes, she does help feed her sister while I fix our meals, she does play with her while I fold a load of laundry or get a quick shower. She really enjoys helping with her sister most of the time. At times she would rather be doing something else and lets me know. The way I see it is that older dd got all my love/time/everything for 11 years. Now her needs are different. She is never jealous over her sister; as a matter of fact she enjoys doing for her just like I do. Baby dd will never have to deal with the needy, mean, selfish side of her sister. DH oldest sister and youngest sister are 12 years apart, and they are so close. I would recommend that you do put soem years between them based on my experience.
 

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My two are almost exactly 7 years apart. My son is almost nine and my dd is almost 2. I totally had the same concerns but really we are all very happy with how things are. My son has learned a lot of independence and he is the "helper" a lot but he also likes to be a big brother! It was pretty easy to go back to baby land and the time just flies!

We homeschool so some of the above issues don't apply to us, but because my son is home he is very close to his sister. I find my son plays with the "baby toys" still sometimes as well he has an insight into the world of a little girl.
If you asked most people with siblings I think you would find that they could not imagine growing up without them. There is just something really special about a big family (more than one child) Follow your instinct and you will not regret it!
Of course all children are different and age can make them closer or not. I have an older sister who is less than a year older. We are very close. I also have a "little brother", four years younger, and I have always had a very good relationship with him.
That's my experience
 

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My kids are only 3 yrs. apart and it still felt like I was starting all over again when my second was born! You forget so quickly how sleep deprivation feels. I hadn't changed diapers in over a year. I hadn't carried a diaper bag with me anywhere or had to think about bringing snacks, a sippy, toys, etc. My oldest son could get himself snacks or a glass of water.
If I have a third I'm waiting until my littlest is 4+. I can't do that again anytime soon.
 

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I just thought I would chime in with my two cents. I have two brothers, one who is 18 mo. older and one who is 10 years younger. My family was great when I was little, just us two kids. Then, when I was 10, my parents had a high-needs baby. I was the more responsible of the older kids so I was required to babysit constantly and it was so frustrating. My older brother and I wanted to go do things on vacation, yk, go to Disney World or go to a lake and go canoing or something, but there was always the baby. We had to just sit around and wait for him to get older. And when I was a teenager, and I babysat the little one, I was too hormonal and teenager-ish to be able to handle him and so he did ALOT of time in time out. I don't think it was fair to any of us. I WOULD NOT reccommend that large of an age gap, UNLESS you are prepared to never ask your older kids to actually babysit. That is NOT their job. They are children themselves. They do not exist to help you raise your second round of kids. I'm not saying you would do that, but it is something to keep in mind. Of course now that we are older, my little brother and I get along. But I do think he's lonely, he's the only one at home with my parents now, and they are getting older, and honestly, they kind of short-change him because they are tired of raising kids and didn't realize how much longer it would take them to be done (if it weren't for my little brother, they would have been free from kids for over two years now). As it is, he's 13 and just now getting ready for highschool!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LCB it sounds like you have some resentment


Actually, I have a younger sister who's almost 3 yrs younger and then a brother who's 10 yrs younger than me. We loved helping to take care of him but we had our own lives going on and were not expected to take care of him beyond just helping out here and there so maybe the amount of responsibility put on the older siblings makes a big difference. I feel bad for my brother, in some ways, because he basically grew up like an only - except with 2 older sisters who still boss him around! However, now that my brother is in college my parents (mom, actually) are always asking me to check up on my brother, to call him and email him, to make sure he's doing okay. And she tells me often that if something were to happen to her and my dad that she knows DH and I would take care of my brother. Not too subtle at hinting!
 

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Yes, I probably have a little irritation left over from that portion of my childhood. Don't get me wrong, I love the little squirt (now taller than me of course, lol) but I think it is totally essential for the parents to plan on being parents to every child. I think it was just so easy for them to ask me to do it, and I was so "responsible" that I didn't complain at the time. I should have, I was quiet too long. I think it's fine when a parent is willing to take on all of the parenting....but if they aren't, it doesn't work so well.
 

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My therapist told me that women are more likely to experience PPD if their children are less than 18 months apart or more than 4.5 months. Obviously having two so small can be overwhelming for some, but also having to go back to the baby stage after having a break from it can be difficult as well.

My two nieces were7.5 and 9 when their younger brother was born (and they also have a little sister now that is younger than my child). They have been a great help to my brother and his wife and I believe they have enjoyed being big sisters. So, I think sometimes a big age gap can work out well. ETA - Although we do worry that maybe it is to much to ask of them like a previous poster said. At this point they don't appear to mind helping out.
 

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Well I have had both scenerios(my first two are 20 months apart, then 4 years separate the next and the next....and hopefully the next, lol), and I have to admit, I enjoyed both......but I really appreciated enjoying every minute with my younger children. I feel like I missed out on some of my two older children's toddler stages as I was constantly running after the firstborn, who was very "spirited".....my second son was a very content baby which was fortunate as he often had to "wait" for me to tend to his needs due to his older brother.
With my younger two......I got to have more one on one time.....and when they were napping or with daddy.....I would always make sure that my older two got my undivided attention. As far as resentment issues with age gaps, I believe this could happen no matter what age difference are present. A high needs child demands your attention no matter how old their siblings are. It is just a matter of how that child adjusts/copes.

I do admit that with my very high needs youngest, we, as a family, have had to make some sacrafices, and I am sure my older children have experienced some resentment. But we have always had open communication in our home and try to keep on top of issues that arise and do our best as parents.
 
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