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Considering another child…. Need Advice. (Anonymous)

February 1, 2010

~Age: 26
~Number of pregnancies and births: 1 and 1
~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are: 3 yrs. old

My husband and I are considering having another child. We’ve been together since I was 18 and have taken our time to plan out our children. The problem I have is this: I really hate and I mean HATE with a passion that if I do get pregnant again our children will be about 4-5 years apart. I really don’t like that at all. I know that it’s my fault since we should’ve done this sooner but a lot of things happened that couldn’t be controlled. By the time the dust cleared I realized that my daughter is turning 4! My brother and sister and I don’t get along and we have about 5-6 years of difference between us. I know that siblings can and do get along all through their lives but I can only draw from my experiences. As crazy as this seems I really wanted “them” to have a real sibling relationship that I never had. I always wanted a brother/sister for my daughter to be 1-2 yrs. apart. That way their teen angst can be sailed through with each other about the same time. I also wanted to go to amusement parks and whatnot and we can all go without worry that the teen thinks or bugs her younger sibling for no reason. Now of course I did numbers and what can a 7 yr. old have in common with an 11 yr. old or a 12 yr. old with a 16 yr. old. Can you help by telling me your experiences as a mother with children of a gap of 4-5 yrs. and also of having a younger/older sibling of 4-5 yrs. apart. I now not everything in life can be controlled but it would be nice to hear stories from both sides. I’ve been told to not think about it and just do it but I can’t help feeling apprehensive. Please help!

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28 Responses to “Considering another child…. Need Advice. (Anonymous)”

  1. Jamma28 Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I have 2 children. Aged 7 and 4. We are currently TTC #3. We also would have had ours one after the other, but life doesn’t always work out the way that you plan. I also considered the fact that the youngest will be at least 5 years younger than our (current) youngest child. I LOVE the 2.5 age difference between our children. We weighed the facts and it came down to our desire to complete our family that doesn’t quite feel complete. I’m sure that whatever happens will work for us, which is all that really matters. Try not to think about it too much. Follow your heart, the rest will fall into place.

  2. charlene Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I am in the same boat as you, however, I am a couple years older. My son is 3 years old and part of me wishes I had done it sooner. I feel like it’s too late but at the same I feel like it’s too early. I don’t want a baby to steal my sons spotlight when he starts kindergarten and all those other milestones. I feel like I’d be cheating on him. :)

  3. Hillary Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I’m in the same situation. We started trying for #2 when my daughter turned three, but now she is four and I’m still not pregnant (had two miscarriages). I’ve done a lot of talking to moms with kids with a wider gap (4-6 years) as well as adults who are much older or younger than their siblings. There seems to be NO correlation between adult relationship and distance between siblings…I know adults who have close sibling relationships who are far apart, and adults with terrible relationships with siblings who are close…and vice versa. Speaking to moms who have kids now, the families with more space between kids talk about how it’s easier to do newborn care, but harder to find playdates that accomodate both kids. The ones with kids closer together have a rough time when they have an infant and toddler at the same time, but are in the same “phase” the whole way through because the kids are in the same schools, activities, etc at the same time. It seems there are pros and cons for each scenario. I’m finally at peace with the fact that my family is not going to mirror my own experience growing up, and that’s okay. Sibling relationships are about personalities and parenting rather than about age. Kids who are far apart may depend more on outside friendships but that is okay!

  4. TrueMother Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Well…Don’t worry too much! I have a brother who is 5 years older than me and we always got along wonderfully while we were growing up! The age gap allowed us to be independant and have our own “phases” without having to share to many of the same things. There was also enough of an age gap that we never fought over the same friends, or were compared to each other at school. I loved having a brother who was a little older than me, and I think he really enjoyed that everything he got to do was year ahead of me. Our parents got to make a big deal out of all his “first”s like losing teeth playing differant sports and learning to drive etc. and by the time I was doing those things they had enough years pass by that it was as if it were new again. Also, don’t worry about them not playing together because of the age gap, my brother and I played a lot together and we rarely fought because he was old enough to be patient with me. Since my brother was older we could do a lot more things together, like ride bikes into town and go to the park without our parents, since he could look out for me. It made it really special and created a unique bond between us that I don’t think we would have had if we were born closer together.
    As a teenager he did tend to go his own ways, but it was alright because by that time I was at the point where I needed some more one on one time with my parents. I think that for a younger sibling, having an older sibling gives them a sense of comfort and the older child becomes experienced in patience and responsibility.

    Even today, despite the 5 year age gap my brother and I have children the same age and vacation together with our families- our relationship is stronger than ever and we respect and appreciate each other as siblings and friends!

    I don’t think that you have anything to fear in having your children a few year apart! No matter the age gap, being siblings is a wonderful bond and connection for any children to be privledged to.

  5. MR Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    My children are four years apart and it is GLORIOUS. They play together every minute they can. Our son loves to care for, play with, and be silly with his baby sister. It was EASY since he was independent. Two for us- with this spacing- was easier than one.

    As an adult, I am closest with my older sister who is seven years older.

    Sibling temperaments and family relationships (ie how parents set it up and facilitate interactions!) have a greater impact than spacing.

    Really, 4 years apart has been bliss for us.

  6. Jeannie Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I totally know where you are coming from — my son will turn four in a few weeks, and I’m 26 weeks pregnant. We had some illness and then some trouble conceiving again — I also had wanted kids closer together, but we are now feeling lucky to get pregnant at all!

    I also worry about the age gap, but from my experience it depends FAR more on the personalities of your kids than the age gap. My dad is within two years and four years of his two brothers; they never see each other. One of my best friends is two years older than her sister, who is two years older than their other sister, and they hate each other. (Seriously. It’s sad!) On the other hand, my mom is seven years older than one of her brothers and 14 years older than her other brother, and they get along AMAZINGLY well. I see them all the time, they spend every holiday together even though they don’t live in the same city.

    Of course you will find people who are very close in age to their sibling and very close; all I’m saying is that the age gap isn’t the only factor to consider.

    So while I do understand where you are coming from, I think people are right to tell you not to worry. Kids will get along if they get along, and the age gap really doesn’t make much of a difference.

  7. Alexis Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    My brother is 6 years older than I am and my did that on purpose! She wanted to give a lot of attention to each of us. She had my brother at 24 and me at 31.

    My brother and I were really close because we never really had to compete over anything. And now that I am 25, and he is 31 (and my husband is 31, born about 5 days later than my brother) the age difference is gone. When we were kids, we never felt jealous of each other – we could come and go into each other’s world as we pleased.

    Also, my brother could start babysitting me by the time I was able to be left alone! My parents are always telling me how much they liked having kids with a good number of years apart. I am planning on having our first two at least four years apart ;)

  8. sady Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    well my little brother and I are 7 years apart, and although we had more of a mother-son relationship he is one of the jewels of my life, we were immensely close growing up, sadly i moved away but he is still my lil bro, and everyone around me knows the importance he has in my life, we still have things in common. things change but i feel like real substantial things in life pretty much remain the same, like love problems, emotions, education and so on

  9. Kerry Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    I have 3 sisters our ages were 10,7,2 and newborn. I am the 3rd. Growing up I was actually closest to my older sister, who is 5 years older then me. We did EVERYTHING together.. you’d think the two oldest and the two youngest would group together.. but it wasn’t like that with us. Now that we are 27, 24, 19 and 17 the age differences aren’t anything, we all feel the same and are close. But I think we were also so close because we were homeschooled, so we were together almost all the time. My son now is 10 months old so I have no experience as far as being a mother to kids with that age gap… only as a sibling :)

  10. Audrey Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    My boys are 4 years and 1 month apart and I LOVE it. My oldest son (6 years) is independent, super helpful and a great big brother. My baby (2 years) gets lot of attention while brother is in kindergarten. We planned for our children to be far apart in age and will do it again in a heartbeat.

  11. Krystal Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    So what are you waiting for? If your going to have another child and are concerned about the age gap then you’d better try sooner than later because your 1rst child is only getting older… If it bothers you that much and you’d rather not have another child again then have them be 5+ years apart in age, so be it.

  12. Melissa Says:
    February 1st, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Seriously, the best thing you can do for your child is give them a sibling. The longer you wait, the bigger the gap will be. As long as you are capable of adding another child to your home, I say go ahead with it. My sisters and I are 4 years apart and 8 years apart…yes, it is a little different growing up because 4 years is a big difference when you’re little. But it doesn’t mean they won’t get along. I know plenty of siblings that were close in age and fought like cats and dogs. It really depends on the child. But even if the gap is larger, they will learn to share and play and will enjoy each other. Having brothers and sisters can be such a huge blessing – please try not to let a bad experience deprive your child of having a sibling. Good luck!

  13. Anna Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Heya
    My son is 10 and my daughter is turning 4 this summer. I’ve had close to none problems with the age difference, on the contrary,my older one have been and is an angel in helping out when i need an extra hand.
    Of course there has been time when he’s been really tired of his sister but that would have happened anyway i think,if they were closer in age.
    I have two younger brothers, one 9 yrs younger and the other 16 yrs younger and we have a really good relationship and had as kids too.
    Don’t worry too much,hun, it will sort itself out.

  14. lanie Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 3:08 am

    HI! Well I am 27 years old and am the youngest of five. My sister who is a year than me are very close but when it comes to really big issues I feel comfort going to my other older sister who is 5 years older. My eldest brother is 6 years older and we are also close. I have different relationships with all of them and the varying ages helps me out with the different phases in my life. They all give me great advice and have also been there to take care of me when I was younger. I have a son who is 32 months. I sometimes think of having another child but I’ve opted to just one. I loved having four older siblings no doubt…I think I just want to focus on one though and give him everything I possibly could.

  15. shannon Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I am right there with you. I always wanted my children to be close in age. I had my first when I was 19 (not planned but such a blessing!). When he was born with many medical issues I knew I did not want another child for a while (if at all since we didn’t know the likely hood of another child being so sick and having to go through what Connor did…you can find me under child loss, “missing my baby boy and expecting my 2nd”). Then when Connor was 15 months old I decided I wanted to give him a sibling…4 months later still no pregnancy and then Connor passed so we stopped trying…that is when I got pregnant…just a few months after my baby boy passed. I think the gap bw Connor and Liam would have been perfect, 2.5 years. I am now in nursing school…I want to graduate and get a job at Children’s Hospital Boston (where I went with Connor) before I have another…which will be in like 3 years…which makes Liam about 4 when we start trying. I don’t like the gap. The more I think about it though, it is not a big deal. I am the youngest of 3, my brother is 5 years older and my sister is 4 years older. I get along with my brother way better than my sister does and they are only 1.5 years apart. I get along with my sister too…we are best friends! To be honest with you they both used to gang up on me when I was little…they were big bullies! But as we got older, and especially now, I can hang out with my sister and have a blast, and I love to hang out with my brother too! So…no worries…do what feels right…or you can adopt an older child, they always need love too!

  16. Samantha Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 7:57 am

    My sister and i are over 4 years apart and are best friends! we haven’t always been close but once i hit about 16 we grew onto eachother!

  17. Amy Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 8:07 am

    My brother and I were 4 years apart, and we were the best of playmates. Don’t let their age difference be the thing to stop you. Blessings! :)

  18. lisa Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 8:39 am

    i feel for you – i am thinking of adding another chil – my first two are 9 and 6. now there will be a 7+ year gap and that sucks. but it will be worse to keep hemming and hawing and make the gap bigger or not have another at all. try to think of the positives. they will not be in competition for the same things (toys, friends, time with mom…) your older child will be able to feel more like a big sister by being able to help with the baby doing small things, when they are older and the younger one needs a confidant your older daughter will be able to fill that role. i am sure if you decide to have another, once that one arrives (no matter when that is) you won’t be able to imagine it any other way. good luck!

  19. Lauren Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    My oldest sister is 7 years older than me, so needless to say we didn’t have a whole lot in common as children. BUT she was a great sister! She would put make up on me and show me off to her friends. Sometimes she would get super annoyed with me as well, but that happens with all siblings. Now I am 25 and she is 32 and we are closer than ever! We are both married and having children so we have alot in common. I wouldn’t worry about the age gap.

  20. mrs. petunia Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    My brother is five and a half years younger than I and we couldn’t be closer. Growing up we were inseparable. I looked out for him and was almost a second mama. However, we were also just good friends and could play for hours and hours and even stay up late into the night talking. I wouldn’t worry about it. In fact, I think that age difference may be ideal as the competition between the siblings will likely be decreased. Go on, have that second baby!

  21. Megan Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    My brother and I are five years apart and we’ve always been incredibly close. We are now 22 and 27 and we’re like best friends. Growing up it was awesome!

  22. Shannon Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I was not close to my brother who was three years older than me and I always hoped that things would be different for my children. After having 3 children, aged 9,6,and 4, we thought we were done having kids, until I got pregnant with our now almost 2 year-old. I have to say that I wasn’t thrilled with having another baby when my youngest was 4 and I was happy to finally be out of the nap/diaper/baby stage for good and I did not like the 5 year age gap. Well, there are 10 years, 7 years, and 5 years in age difference respectively between my oldest 3 and our new daughter. I can say that this child has been the best thing that has ever happened to us. I can’t imagine living life without her. Our older kids absolutely adore her! We homeschool them and they often don’t want to do their work because they want to hug, kiss,and play with Abigail. What a blessing it is to be given the gift of another child. Siblings may never get along, but your past situation does not have to dictate your children’s relationships, we are proof of that!

  23. Audrey Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Well, first of all it’s GOOD you are actually THINKING about this, how crazy are people to tell you just to do it without thinking about it! You have a very valid point and are very smart to thiink about it for your sake and your existing child’s sake. It can make your life miserable if your children are always fighting and can make your older child resentful of the younger one. So here is my story and take on it. I am a just over 7 years older than my little brother and we fought ALL THE TIME!! I also a friend that is around 7 years older than her little brother and she said she has similar feelings to those I am about to describe…. First of all when he was a baby I loved him he was like a living baby doll.. until he started to grow up, then he was like a living nightmare. The problems started when he was around 3 and I was 10, I would “keep an eye” on him alot for my Mom, which I started to resent her and him for after awhile… then there was the fact that since I was in charge of him (you’re the older one, you must set an example, blah blah blah) I expected him to listen to me, and he didn’t. By the time he was 5 and I was 12 he had the “you aren’t an adult you aren’t the boss of me” mentality. Which didn’t work well when I WAS the boss of him and watching him. I remember I always hated going to school knowing that he was going to get to stay at home and play and go to McDonald’s while I was eating crappy school food. Then there was that problem my Mom ran into, different school schedule’s.. when one is in elementary and one in middle and so on, it’s very difficult to make sure you have the time off to be home, if you have somewhere to go you have to wait until the one gets home (if riding the bus) or wait until school gets out, etc. We had some fun times to and I love him to death and once I moved out we got closer, but even now (I’m 28 and he’s going to be 21) we still have a little bit of that tension at times. So my advice is this (especially since your older daughter is a girl): If you do decide to have another one in the 5-7 year age difference, PLEASE do not make her the easy go to babysitter. Please make sure the second child knows that they have to respect and listen to his/her older sister if she is watching them. Now some other people I grew up with had a BIG age difference I belive about 10 years, and that worked because they truly are the BIG brother or sister and the older one is more mature in knowing how to adjust and handle the change. So anyways, quite long winded, but it’s good to know the good the bad and the ugly … whatever you choose I hope it goes well and your family is happy. :)

  24. Audrey Says:
    February 2nd, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Oh and in my humble opinion, I have to beg to differ with Melissa, don’t feel like you need to give your child a sibling, some of the most well balanced, kind, and successful people I know are only children. They all have wonderful relationships with their parents and when I ask them if they wish they had a sibling they all answer NOOOOOOO! They have cousins, friends at school, unless you are living in the middle of no where and home schooling (I’m not saying anything bad about homeschooling, I’m all for it, just saying if they have NO interaction with other children it could be a problem) they will be perfectly happy children and adults being only children, just have friends over and keep close with family.

  25. Ashley Says:
    February 3rd, 2010 at 12:40 am

    My father has 3 younger sisters, one is 3.5 years younger, the next is 8 years younger and the youngest is 15 years younger and he’s always been closest to the youngest 2. I have a sister 3.5 years younger and one 9.5 years younger.

    I was always very close to the sister right after me and the youngest annoyed me to no end! But now that she’s older (almost 19) we’re getting along really well now.

    My cousins are 12 years apart with no siblings in between and they get a long well too.

    I also know tons of siblings 1-3 years apart that couldn’t get along with each other to save their lives! My best friend can’t even be in the same room as her sister that is 2.5 years older. It really all comes down to the individual children and probably with how you raise them to treat each other.

    I wouldn’t stress it! Have an other if you’re ready, wait a little longer if you’re not.

  26. Emily Says:
    February 3rd, 2010 at 7:38 am

    I’m 5 years apart from my brother, and we were always very close and had a fine relationship. My childhood best friend is about a year apart from her brother, and they have never, EVER gotten along.

    Truth is, nothing can determine the relationship between siblings. They’re two different people to begin with!

  27. Bryana Says:
    February 3rd, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    When I found out I was pregnant with #2, my son was 2 months away from turning 3. The day my daughter was born, my kids are now 3 1/2 years apart, almost to the day. When I found out I was pregnant, I started to have the same fear. My brothers and I are 3 years apart. I am the youngest at 22, my brothers are 25 and 28. We have always had wonderful relationships. I don’t think you should allow your fear of what happened between you and your siblings effect whether you want another child. My personal opinion. What happens a couple more years down the road when you realize you REALLY want another child? Then they are 7 maybe 8 years apart which makes it nearly impossible to have a tight relationship. But right now, you have a child yo protect the youngest one :)
    Do what you really truly want in your heart of hearts… only you know what it truly right for you!

  28. Betsy Says:
    February 3rd, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I have 2 kids 5 years apart and I absolutely wouldn’t have done it any other way. I see so many moms pulling their hair out when they have 2 babies. I’ve gotten to enjoy my kids both being babies. My kids love eachother and play with each other all the time. I might have another one in 3 years too.

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