Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo
- - - - -

Honest opinions on large age gap between siblings


87 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#51 waa510

waa510

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 793 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:20 AM

I honestly think it has a lot more to do with personalities of the kids and sometimes gender as well. One reason why my kids are 2 yrs apart is b/c my Dh and SIL are 7 yrs apart and she always felt more like an aunt to him than an older sister. Dh didn't want our kids to have that kind of relationship. I tried to relay that it wasn't so much the age gap, but I'm not sure he was convinced at the time. It didn't matter too much to me so we had them fairly close (he was deployed or they may have been closer in age).

 

 Now what's weird is that we ended up having our kids at around the same time as SIL (they're all within 10 mnths at most of each other), so it's made Dh/SIL's relationship a little easier as adults, b/c they can relate to each other as parents of similar aged kids. They didn't have anything in common as kids to kind of bridge their age gap. 

 

I also think a parent with a big kid-gap has to be careful not to put too much responsibility on the older sibling to be another parent or de facto babysitter. I see this a lot in a large family in our neighborhood and the older sibling is extremely resentful of having to miss out on doing things with kids her age because she has to tag along with her 8 yr old sister's escapades. She also can't do any after-school clubs at school as she needs to watch her younger siblings at home. This is usually the exception instead of the rule (I don't think by any stretch that *all* large families are like this) but it's something to watch out for. I know for *me*, the temptation to lean too much on a responsible older kid would be hard to resist vs. paying for a sitter. But I'm cheap.  :lol:


  • whitehawk likes this

#52 Lawyer&Mom

Lawyer&Mom

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 961 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:25 AM

I have a sister five years younger and a sister ten years younger. I have much more shared history with the first sister, but the second sister and I are much more alike as people. I'm close with both of them.

#53 HTRMom

HTRMom

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 406 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 11:34 AM

This is my experience as the youngest after a gap.

I used to not mind but as I get older it bothers me. People my age have parents but I've lost mine already. I never had grandparents. My siblings and I don't have a shared experience/history. Being close didn't overcome that.

I'm glad I exist but i wouldn't chose being youngest by a lot.

(DH, also youngest by a lot, has had the same experience)


Most of that is more about the age of your parents at your birth than the age of your siblings, right? I'm hoping to have one or two more children once my current youngest starts school, but I'll be in my early 30's still, and my parents will still be in their 50's.

#54 happi duck

happi duck

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8402 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:22 PM

Most of that is more about the age of your parents at your birth than the age of your siblings, right? I'm hoping to have one or two more children once my current youngest starts school, but I'll be in my early 30's still, and my parents will still be in their 50's.


No.

The main thing is my siblings and I don't share a history. My sibs and I are close and love each other but we'll never share an upbringing. My experiences are totally different.

My parents had me in their 30s, just after a gap.

#55 gardenmom5

gardenmom5

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18829 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:29 PM

I have a large age gap: dd29, dd28, ds25, and ds9.

I greatly underestimated the bonds the siblings would have. ds 9 is absolutely NOT a do-over or a second chance, but I will never regret having him.

 
They are much closer than I expected. The teen drama gave me perspective on the toddler drama and the toddler drama gave me perspective on the teen/young adult drama.

No regrets.

 

now that dudeling is a tween . . . 1ds thinks his tween/teenage drama is hysterical. :glare: :glare: :glare:   fine, you deal with him.  1ds  was my 'cat'  (you know the teenagers are like cats . . .) they are also very close.   we're not sure if 1ds will be here next year or in florida. . . .

 

 

the older kids will try to "parent him" - and they act like adults.  what was surprising is 2ds still wants to be the bossy older brother.  probably becasue he missed out on that when he was young.

maybe dudeling will boss the grandkids.  when I get them.



#56 greenbeanmama

greenbeanmama

    Hive Mind Level 3 Worker: Honeymaking Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 179 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:42 PM

We older kids were 8, 10, and 12 when my sister was born. We had a dysfunctional home, and at ten, I became the second parent to my sister. She tagged along when I hung out with friends in high school (fortunately, I had a great group of friends who were fine with "only G or PG movies, guys!"), and sometimes even to my part-time jobs (restaurant and library).

She was devastated when I left for college - truly went through periods where she felt I had abandoned her. Instead of my mom sending me care packages, I sent cards and letters and boxes back home. Once she went to college, she understood much better, but it was heart-wrenching to see her run, crying, after my car as I headed back to college after every break.

My sister did feel like an only child by the time she was in upper elementary school, but all three of us older ones look out for her. We are all very different but keep in contact, even though we have two on the west coast, one on the east coast, and one in the midwest.

She is thrilled that she now has nieces and nephews who are old enough to enjoy movies and books that she loves, and that she can act like a kid when them when she visits.
  • gardenmom5 likes this

#57 heartlikealion

heartlikealion

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11221 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:59 PM

Based on responses from a similar thread, I think this is going to have a lot to do with personalities. Some of it will be affected by situational things (will they all be homeschooled together? Go to different brick and mortar schools? Will one be off at college and hardly be around?)

 

My siblings and I are all 4 years apart, making my oldest and I have an 8 year gap. I didn't feel close to my sisters growing up. I thought of my oldest sister more like a second mom figure, though I don't think Mom left her in charge of me an extreme amount. When I got pregnant my mom actually said she thought I would have talked to my sisters about birth control. I wanted to laugh. We didn't have sisterly talks like that. And I didn't talk to my mom about that stuff, either.

 

Dd is 2. Ds will be turning 9 soon. We weren't ready to have a second kid sooner, so that's just how it is. Honestly, ds isn't very independent. I couldn't imagine if they had been closer in age. I already feel like they demand a lot of me but I guess not having both in diapers at once was kind of a relief.



#58 fullmoon

fullmoon

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:20 PM

.


Edited by fullmoon, 20 June 2017 - 09:56 PM.


#59 mamaofgirls

mamaofgirls

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 139 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:23 PM

Dh and I were both the cabooses in our families. There is a five and nine year gap between my siblings and me, and dh's siblings are eight and ten years older than him.

 

Neither of us liked growing up that way, honestly. We both would have much preferred having at least one other sibling close in age. As previous posters have said, it was lonely and we never formed much of a bond with our brothers and sisters. As adults, we're still not close.

 

When it was time to plan our own family, it was very important to both of us that our kids be close in age, so we ended up having three kids in four years. Now they have the close sibling bonds that we missed out on, which makes me happy. 

 

I respect what you are saying but please keep in mind that many people do not have a say when God will give them another child. I wanted my children close, my first two are close and after a couple years of trying for #3 and infertility testing (nothing was found) we continued to try. I am saddened at the idea that we my soon be parents to another blessing and that they may grow up feeling unhappy with the spacing ~ as if we really had a say - because in reality none of us have that much say in our family size, spacing, gender or health.



#60 heartlikealion

heartlikealion

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11221 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:43 PM

I respect what you are saying but please keep in mind that many people do not have a say when God will give them another child. I wanted my children close, my first two are close and after a couple years of trying for #3 and infertility testing (nothing was found) we continued to try. I am saddened at the idea that we my soon be parents to another blessing and that they may grow up feeling unhappy with the spacing ~ as if we really had a say - because in reality none of us have that much say in our family size, spacing, gender or health.

 

No, and you shouldn't feel badly about it, but we're just saying that the children may have opinions like those stated in the thread. My parents wanted a third but didn't have luck until they had stopped trying. I'm the third. My mom didn't plan to have me at age 41 so I'm sure she didn't plan on having that 8 year gap between my sister and I.
 



#61 Mimm

Mimm

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4199 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 01:43 PM

I haven't read any replies but in my experience, large age gaps aren't a concern. I am 15 years older than my youngest sibling and always made an effort to stay in touch with her and be involved in her life after I left my parents' home. I am closest to my sister who is 9 years younger than me, and my brother who is 16 months younger than me, and my brother who is 7 years younger than me. :) It has nothing to do with age gaps and everything to do with personalities and interests that mesh better than with other siblings. Maybe this is a large family thing- I'm the oldest of 8. Maybe it's how we were raised to prioritize sibling relationships. Even as adults we see and talk to each other a lot.

 

My youngest is 11 years younger than her next oldest sister. Everyone adores her and can't imagine life without her. :) I will say I'm a better (older, wiser, more relaxed, more patient) mom to my youngest than my older two. The lack of a close in age play mate is a bit of a drag sometimes, but honestly, my older two fought so much that I'm not in the least tempted to produce one for her. ;) I'd rather hear, "Mommy play with me?" a hundred times a day than screams and hair pulling, hitting and biting a hundred times a day.


  • ChocolateReign and J. Alfred Prufrock like this

#62 peaceful isle

peaceful isle

    mother of the blue eyed ones

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3335 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 02:10 PM

It worked great here! We have 15, 13, 11, and 6. Our youngest brings sunshine to us all. ❤️

#63 Jann in TX

Jann in TX

    Empress Bee of the Hill Country

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3749 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:01 PM

We have a big gap (older dds were 9 and 11 when younger dd was born).  Gap was due to infertility/loss...

 

Older girls were homeschooled-- but their memories of living at home with younger dd are a mixed bag.... they loved cuddles but did not like her getting into things or interrupting their schooling.  Younger dd also made 'family movie night' limiting... Older dd's wanted to do teen things on vacation-- so most vacations had DH taking older girls one place while I did something else with younger dd...

 

Youngest dd is spending her teen years as an only child.  She really really wishes there was a sibling her age...  (I was not able to have more children so she was it).

 

I was a MUCH more active mother when I was in my 20's and 30's....

 

-- Dh was 9 and 10 years younger than his brother and sister.  He have very few memories of them living in the same house.  He did become friends with his brother when they were older -- DH was around 30... they have a good relationship now.

 

I'm 3 years younger than my brother and 2 years younger than my sister.  We were 'family' but were NOT close growing up.  I never went to a movie or to the mall with my sister...we left home the same week (she got married and I left for college)... we have been great friends ever since!  My brother and I are not close but we are happy to see each other when we get to attend the same family gatherings.

 



#64 scrapbookbuzz

scrapbookbuzz

    Snarky Homeschool Mama

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5008 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:10 PM

I have two children and they are just under 6 years apart in age.

MOST days I appreciate the gap.



#65 Paige

Paige

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4522 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:34 PM

I'm about to have that. My oldest will be 16 when the new baby is born and the current youngest will be 10. It wasn't planned but I'm sure it will work out. My father has large age gaps with his siblings. He's from a blended family and the older kids were all teenagers when the younger ones were born. My dad is one of the younger ones. From my perspective, they were all very close. I didn't realize for a long time that they were so much older than my dad (typical kid obliviousness) or that they were half-siblings.

 

One thing I think that helped in my Dad's family is that he is and always has been very actively involved in maintaining family relationships. He organizes things, calls them, keeps in touch with their kids, checks in, visits hospitals, etc. He's been very proactive and it's paid off for the whole group. You need someone in the family who'll do that. I think without a person like my dad who really makes it a priority, there would have been a lot of emotional distance. Today, he's very close with one of his oldest siblings. She's one of the ones I saw the least of when I was a kid because her life was so different than ours and she lived farther away, but now they go out often. He's not as close with his younger siblings right now but there are special circumstances around that- I think the age gap was not detrimental.

 

 


Edited by Paige, 18 May 2017 - 04:35 PM.

  • whitehawk likes this

#66 soror

soror

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12142 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 04:59 PM

There are pros and cons to everything. Personally, I didn't appreciate my brother being so close in age(13 months) but it is what it is, neither of us were planned. There is not some perfect formula for age gaps. My philosophy on having kids was that I had to feel sane again before having more, my gaps range from 2y7m to 3 yrs. We might have a caboose baby at some point which would be at least 5+ yrs apart from the next oldest, they will have a different experience but I refuse to feel guilt for that. Having babies is not something that we have 100% control over, sometimes they come closer than we want and sometimes further apart and if a kid is going to resent me for that oh, well. As parents, our kids will not like every decision we make. Some will be mad you didn't have more kids, some will be mad you had too few, meh. We try to correct the "mistakes" our parents make but we end up making our own mistakes. There is no perfection in parenting.


Edited by soror, 18 May 2017 - 05:01 PM.

  • rjand4more, Meriwether, fairfarmhand and 1 other like this

#67 happypamama

happypamama

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9157 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 05:10 PM

I've come to think that there are different ups and downs in all age gaps. We have just shy of 3 years, 3y8m, 2y9m, 2y1m, and we expected to have 3y8m again but instead will likely have closer to 5 years. My younger three are pretty much the Three Musketeers, and the youngest two are really stuck together like glue, but the two bigger boys are good buddies too. And my oldest two are both best friends and worst enemies. They all pet on and love on the little ones like crazy and hope we have another baby.

You get different experience with your little ones than with the older ones, good and bad. I have less time for fun little kid stuff, but I'm more relaxed as a mom. Most of my babies have really gotten to be babies for a long time. There's really no ideal age gap, IMO.
  • rjand4more, Meriwether and gardenmom5 like this

#68 MistyMountain

MistyMountain

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2616 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 07:46 PM

I was the baby born 7 and 10 years later than two older siblings. It was like being an only child in some ways and we had very different childhoods. I definitely remember them being in the house and have lots of memories of them they just did not play with me. I was sad when my sister moved out but I still saw her afterwards and thought it was so cool when she took me to her apartment. When I was a teenager she was someone I could confine in who was not quite a parent but not just another peer either. We grew close and have had a good relationship. I do not talk to my brother a lot on the phone but I like him and we get along when we are together. I used to not like the idea of having a big age gap because of it being sort of like being an only child myself but now I would take what I could get if I was ever in position to have a baby again. Nothing is wrong with being an only child so being a child with much older siblings is fine too. If you want another child and will be happy to have one then that is all that matters.

Edited by MistyMountain, 18 May 2017 - 07:48 PM.

  • Spudater likes this

#69 myfunnybunch

myfunnybunch

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6040 posts

Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:04 PM

I have a sister ten years younger. We are dear friends in addition to sisters. I can't imagine not having her in my life. 😊

#70 Homeschool Mom in AZ

Homeschool Mom in AZ

    Hive Mind Royal Larvae

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4887 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:06 AM

My older two were 7 and 9 when youngest arrived at 7 months old.  Oldest and youngest are very close.  Oldest and middle weren't especially close or especially distant.  Middle and youngest butted heads a lot due to personality differences until middle moved out and now they get along well but don't see each other more than once every week or two. There are pros and cons to everything.



#71 MotherGoose

MotherGoose

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2203 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:14 AM

I have 11, 8, and 19 months. There are pros and cons to it of course but baby is a delight and we all love him. It is what it is. There's no such thing as waiting too long unless your body says no. I see people out with three under five and am glad I didn't do that. I enjoy his baby cuteness so much more than if I'd had him piled on top of other small ones.

#72 lovinmyboys

lovinmyboys

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1036 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:42 AM

Thanks everyone. I think what I am worried about is missing out on my older kids childhood. They are now all old enough to go to movies, museums, field trips, etc. When we go on vacation we don't really have to split up much. On the other hand, my oldest is almost 11 so I am sure in a few years we will be splitting up again even without a baby. While the 5-10 range has reasonably similar interests, I'm sure it changes when they are 9-14.

#73 Carrie12345

Carrie12345

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10968 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:58 AM

Thanks everyone. I think what I am worried about is missing out on my older kids childhood. They are now all old enough to go to movies, museums, field trips, etc. When we go on vacation we don't really have to split up much. On the other hand, my oldest is almost 11 so I am sure in a few years we will be splitting up again even without a baby. While the 5-10 range has reasonably similar interests, I'm sure it changes when they are 9-14.

 

I'm not sure I follow.  My family hasn't ever split up for things due to age.  I mean, I guess we do let the older ones take off on their own for a bit in small amusement parks, but we'd do that without a 6yo in tow, too.  We've lugged him to Little League games from birth.  We've done movies with toddlers.  (Only with 2 parents, just in case they couldn't handle it.)  My now-10yo was brought along on a week-long archaeology experience when he was 2.  My youngest tagged along at co-op from the age of 3, where we now have lots of little ones running around.  

 

I can't think of anything off hand that we've missed out on.


  • gardenmom5 likes this

#74 Scarlett

Scarlett

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18585 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:08 AM

No one ever says oh I regret having this kid.

Do they?

If I had 4 kids so evenly spaced like the OP I would be happy and done.

But that is just me. I have an only. Sort of. When he was 10 he got a 9 year old step brother.

If you have another now, the last one is alone for many years after sibs leave home.
  • MotherGoose likes this

#75 Paige

Paige

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4522 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:32 AM

Thanks everyone. I think what I am worried about is missing out on my older kids childhood. They are now all old enough to go to movies, museums, field trips, etc. When we go on vacation we don't really have to split up much. On the other hand, my oldest is almost 11 so I am sure in a few years we will be splitting up again even without a baby. While the 5-10 range has reasonably similar interests, I'm sure it changes when they are 9-14.

 

I feel much more guilt about missing out on my oldest's childhood by having 3 little ones after him when he was still little. He was not quite 3 and 6 when they were born. Of course, at the time I thought he was old. But, I think it is much easier to push a smaller child into more responsibility and independence than they should have when you have lots of littles than it is to miss out on important things with a much older child who needs less one on one care and legitimately is more independent.

 

With my current youngest, because she is the baby, it's easier for me to see how small 3, 5, or even 10 is now that I have something to compare it to. My oldest complains that she is babied, but I just apologize to him and say I didn't know better when he was that age. I try to remember that with him now even though he's almost 16. I'm sure in a few years I'll realize 16 is just little too, so I try to be more patient and give him more one on one care than I might if I were sensitized to my previous mistakes.  

 

Uh, my point is that I think having a large age gap will make it easier to focus on my older kids than a smaller one allowed. 


Edited by Paige, 19 May 2017 - 07:34 AM.


#76 Pamela H in Texas

Pamela H in Texas

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9330 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:34 AM

My kids are 24, 22, 11, 10, 9, 2, and newborn (I need to change my signature!).  

 

I would have had more kids all along, but it didn't work out that way.  When my oldest two were 15 and 18, we started fostering (about 50 kids now) then adopting.

 

Until now, we've all lived under the same roof and I feel all my kids have a chance to be close despite age differences.  The 22 yr old adores the 2 yr old and it doesn't seem to matter that there is a 20yr age difference.  No doubt it looks different than if there were a 4year age difference, but it isn't a bad thing. Just for example.  And my middle three LOVE playing with their 2yo brother, including him in almost everything.  They are so sweet!

 

HOWEVER, my oldest bought a house!  And she is taking her brother with her.  So...No doubt that will change things up a bit relationship wise.  And I'm scared that the two youngest will never know their siblings WELL. But really?  My daughter is right when she says that this is a choice.  My big kids aren't moving to Timbuktu; they are just getting their own place.  The relationships will be different; but again, they don't have to be inferior by any stretch. 

 

As I was scrolling through (haven't read whole thread yet), I noticed people saying that the experiences are different for older and younger kids also.  I think that is true.  However, again, I think it is a matter of different, not inferior.  Hubby and I may be a little older and not have the energy we did at 30, but we also have more experience and are better responsible to give these kids different experiences than the oldest two got.  

Anyway, I wouldn't worry at all about a 5yr age difference.  Anymore, I wouldn't worry too much about a 20year one :)


  • gardenmom5 likes this

#77 Scarlett

Scarlett

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18585 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:47 AM

My Dh is 12 years older than his youngest sister/sibling. They are very close. He is only 3 years younger than his oldest sister/sibling. They are not close. So you just never know.
  • MotherGoose likes this

#78 mommyoffive

mommyoffive

    Just Visiting

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2297 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:15 AM

There are pros and cons to everything. Personally, I didn't appreciate my brother being so close in age(13 months) but it is what it is, neither of us were planned. There is not some perfect formula for age gaps. My philosophy on having kids was that I had to feel sane again before having more, my gaps range from 2y7m to 3 yrs. We might have a caboose baby at some point which would be at least 5+ yrs apart from the next oldest, they will have a different experience but I refuse to feel guilt for that. Having babies is not something that we have 100% control over, sometimes they come closer than we want and sometimes further apart and if a kid is going to resent me for that oh, well. As parents, our kids will not like every decision we make. Some will be mad you didn't have more kids, some will be mad you had too few, meh. We try to correct the "mistakes" our parents make but we end up making our own mistakes. There is no perfection in parenting.

 

 

Agreed.  

 

If you want to have another baby the age spread wouldn't worry me at all.   Yes you might miss things with your older kids, but you will gain things too.  So will they. 



#79 Danestress

Danestress

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7480 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:18 AM

I think the desires and personality of the oldest child are what really determines how this works out. My sister and I were six and eight years old when my parents had a third daughter. I was absolutely thrilled, deeply invested in being a good sister, and she has been an absolute blessing on my life. Six years isn't that much though.

My oldest (only, at the time) son was 10 when his twin brothers were born. Obviously he didn't have a peer type relationship with them in their childhood. But he was always very engaged with them. He was my least motivated child in high school. Despite his high intelligence, he was an average student. He was not ambitious about sport or other activities. But consequently he had more time in his teens to be around the house. He gave his brothers a lot of time and energy. He protected them, entertained them, and enjoyed them.

We made sure he always had his own room and allowed him to make it off limits to them. We tried not to burden him with their care. For the most part, I allowed him to have a level of authority to direct them. I think those things helped. I do think most of the reason they are so close is because of the character and personality of my oldest son - and partly because my twins were agreeable, easy boys.

My oldest is 29 now and they are in college. He still does a great job keeping up with them, and is very much a part of their lives.

Edited by Danestress, 19 May 2017 - 09:28 AM.


#80 rjand4more

rjand4more

    Hive Mind Level 3 Worker: Honeymaking Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1064 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:27 AM

My brothers were 19 and 13 when I was born. The oldest never lived in my house and the younger one died when I was 3.  So, I was raised as an only child.  I really didn't know any better and only perceived the grass to be greener with bigger families.  My parents were in their 40s. I lost both of them before most of my kids were born.  That is biggest drawback.

 

My parents were great.  They were settled, seasoned parents by the time I was growing up.  I cherish that time I had with them.  They were very different parents to me.  They had so much time to give me that my brothers didn't get.  

 

My kids have a big span...My oldest was 17 when my youngest was born.  I think my kids pair up according to personality, not age.  Maybe because of homeschooling?  I don't know.  My oldest and youngest have always been close.  He's at college and the ds4 will beg to go pick him up, they hang out and watch TV.  It's a sweet relationship.  But...DS21 and DD12  match in personality and generally get along the best. DS4 and DD14: DS9 and DS6.  We are at the stage now that we do have a built in babysitter.  I work very PT, so DD14 is in charge about 2 afternoons a week.  Before she was old enough to be in charge, i hired a babysitter.  All kids agree that they prefer to not have a babysitter, so she is willing to do it.  Rarely do I use her for babysitting outside of that. When we are out, though you would think she was in charge all the time because the littles hold her hands. :) Wonder what people think when they see her taking care of them?  I am guessing some assume since our family is big that she is always responsible for them.  So not true!!  She's just more fun. :)

 

We invest the most time in the older kids activities because I know everyone will get their turns.:)  We try to spend time at home together instead of running like crazy to get everyone to individual sports and activities.  That's where relationships are built.  Just being together.



#81 mom@shiloh

mom@shiloh

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1216 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:15 AM

Personalities matter more than age and relationships between siblings change over time.  There's an 18 year gap between my oldest sister and I and only an 18 month gap between my other sister and I.  Growing up, I was closer to the one closer in age and now I'm probably closer to the older one because our personalities and life styles are similar.

 

We have a ten year gap between our oldest children and our youngest children -- oldest ones biological, younger ones adopted.  I watch those relationships ebb and flow.  

 

Bottom line -- it will change over time and there's no right answer.


  • WoolySocks likes this

#82 zoobie

zoobie

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10210 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:36 AM

Thanks everyone. I think what I am worried about is missing out on my older kids childhood. They are now all old enough to go to movies, museums, field trips, etc. When we go on vacation we don't really have to split up much. On the other hand, my oldest is almost 11 so I am sure in a few years we will be splitting up again even without a baby. While the 5-10 range has reasonably similar interests, I'm sure it changes when they are 9-14.

 

This aspect has been hard for me. My older kids were 9 and 7 when #3 was born and then #4 came less than 2 years later. I've been stuck home with challenging little ones while DH does the fun stuff with the big kids. I do not enjoy the baby/toddler/preschooler stage, and I was just feeling human again when I got pregnant with #3. I wanted to travel and enjoy things with them, but that has all disappeared. There's pretty much not a time in the day when someone isn't needing me for something. We can't afford help, and family isn't reliable. If I live until my youngest is 5-6, I would not survive another baby.



#83 Katy

Katy

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6196 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 12:42 PM

My dad (oldest) had a huge age gap between him and his youngest (surprise) sister.  She was always his favorite, and she has always been my favorite aunt. The gap seems to have removed any aspect of competition between them and they've always been very supportive of each other.

 

As to the stuck at home thing - there is no reason you can't decide to embrace babywearing, switch from a purse to a huge diaper bag, and take baby everywhere. Not every family stays home nonstop with infants. It's a different kind of busy, but stuck at home with routines is an American culture thing.  It's not the standard everywhere. Seems like I read some book about the ways different cultures cater to children, and in one of the South American countries (Argentina?) parents just carted small children with them - they napped whereever they were, whenever they were tired, rather than the way we do things here - adjusting our whole lives to our kids.  I'm not saying routine isn't ideal in terms of children's moods, but I do think kids are more adaptable than we give them credit for.


Edited by Katy, 19 May 2017 - 12:47 PM.

  • Pamela H in Texas likes this

#84 mommyoffive

mommyoffive

    Just Visiting

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2297 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:03 PM

This aspect has been hard for me. My older kids were 9 and 7 when #3 was born and then #4 came less than 2 years later. I've been stuck home with challenging little ones while DH does the fun stuff with the big kids. I do not enjoy the baby/toddler/preschooler stage, and I was just feeling human again when I got pregnant with #3. I wanted to travel and enjoy things with them, but that has all disappeared. There's pretty much not a time in the day when someone isn't needing me for something. We can't afford help, and family isn't reliable. If I live until my youngest is 5-6, I would not survive another baby.

 

How old is your little one?  

 

I think you have to make sure you and dh are switching off so you both get to do the fun things with the older ones.   



#85 zoobie

zoobie

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10210 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:08 PM

How old is your little one?  

 

I think you have to make sure you and dh are switching off so you both get to do the fun things with the older ones.   

 

That was the short version for the interwebs. While yes, switching would be an obvious solution, for various reasons (such as him not being able to breastfeed and one child having MSPI among many others), it has not worked for us. I know it will get better as they get older, but when you're dying inside, waiting a few more years doesn't seem that helpful.



#86 seemesew

seemesew

    Hive Mind Level 3 Worker: Honeymaking Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 195 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:04 PM

My 4th and 3rd are 5 years apart and they are best friends! It may change but for now my 4th thinks hes just one of the older kids and they are all good friends, oh my older 3 are all 2 years apart. :0)



#87 Tbog

Tbog

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4291 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 07:12 PM

My older brother is 2.5 yrs older than me and we aren't very close. My younger brothers are 11 and 12 years younger and we get along great. The older of the two and I text or talk a few times a week.

#88 MotherGoose

MotherGoose

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2203 posts

Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:01 PM

Posted from another thread : So if my eight year old was in school, she wouldn't have been outside enjoying the cool morning air, before the heat sets in and we go do school, with her older sister and toddler brother while mama worked in the garden. They wouldn't have decided to have a water balloon fight. Brother wouldn't have pushed his toy car across her path at the precise moment she was running, and she wouldn't have tripped and fallen, bruising badly, but not breaking, her arm. Everyone would have been at some safe and sterilized place. And yesterday, brother wouldn't have crunched down on a tasty snail and had sisters put him in a headlock to remove it from his mouth...evidently he liked it! Oh the stories and memories they will have! 💕💕
  • Scarlett likes this