Wednesday

spacing

When our baby is born, his or her siblings will be almost-16, 12, and 9 years old. Henry will be at home full time only two years of this baby's life, before he heads off to college (or to be a traveling minstrel, which is what he favors as a life plan this week). Jane will be well into middle school and Elliot will be starting 4th grade.

That's a big age gap, and not one I ever would have planned. I have enjoyed seeing my three children grow up together, and have sometimes felt that even the 4 year gap between Henry and Jane was too long (for them, not for me. I found the wider spacing easier than the 2 year spacing between Jane and Elliot).

I was thinking about this when reading THIS WOMAN'S ACCOUNT of having one baby in her 20s, one in her 30s, and one at age 40. She lays out the pros and cons pretty well.

Along with being excited about having a new baby brother and sister, I do think the children have some apprehension about what it will be like to be so much older than the youngest in our family. Henry worries he won't get to know him or her. Luckily, we do have a good model. Some close friends of ours adopted a baby girl when their sons were in their teens, and those boys ADORE and dote on their little sister, who is now in elementary school.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

a baby sibling is probably the best birth control you could give a teenager.

Anonymous said...

My sister is 12 years older than me and it was hard. Of course, we are the only 2 kids.

dancediva said...

My boyfriend's mother is 16 years older than the youngest sister. They're closer to each other than any of the other siblings. I think it'll be fine. :)

Anonymous said...

My little sister is 9 years younger than me. We didn't relate well when we were younger, as she was "the bratty kid sister," but now that we're both grown, we're very close, and I guess that is what matters in the end.

My mom is 18 years younger than her sister, and her closest sibling is 8 years older than she is. They are fairly close knit.

Anonymous said...

FWIW I'm 15 years older than my youngest sister. We truly were raised separately, but we're very close now.

DR

Lynnster said...

You can share this with Henry (I think I have mentioned this to you before). My boyfriend is 38 and absolutely adores his baby brothers, who are now 23 and 27. In fact, these days, he's really closer with the two of them than he is the brother who's barely a year older than him. And they are really, really close.

It all works out. :)

Mountain Girl said...

A new friend of mine is an attachment parent and has a company that makes great herbal pregnancy teas and such. I thought you might like to check them out. She also makes slings, plaster belly kits, and has great info on Doulas.

http://yourtreeoflife.com/

Leslie said...

I have a 6 year gap between my older and younger "set" of kids, and it's been wonderful. After having had that house full of toddlers, it makes that baby seem SO easy, even though sometimes I felt like I'd forgotten what to do with a baby! And, surprisingly, William has been able to join in quite well with the "big kids." When he was tiny, they all doted on him. Teddy, the next one up, plays pirates and such with him. Now that he's older, he can enjoy a lot of the same movies they watch (they all went out with their daddy to Night at the Museum last night, for instance).

I'm ten years older than my baby sister, and now that we are both grown up with kids, we are quite close. I'm sure it's going to be fine. :-)

Laura said...

mine are 20, 14, 13, 10 and 4. it is an interesting ride, no doubt but i love it. the kids love it even the 20 y/o and the 4 y/o and they are the best of buddies.
i also have sisters 20 and 25 years younger than me and i would do it all over again even the bumps.

meaganfrancis said...

My sibs are 10, 8 and 4 years older than me and I'm close with all of them, especially my sister, who's the oldest. And my sister had her fourth baby almost two years ago, now, with nearly the exact same spacing as your kids, Katie. So far, so good--the big kids really love their little brother and do everything for him. He's got some of the benefits of being an only child, since the older kids have such busy lives and he gets to spend lots of one-on-one time with Mom...but he's still got that family to grow up with and hopefully stay close to when he's an adult. Plus he's got lots of cousins his own age so it's not like he doesn't have close-aged playmates in the family.

My little half-sister is 20 years younger than me. Now that's a weird spacing. She really seems more like my niece than my sister. The boys treat her like a cousin, not an aunt!

Anonymous said...

I have a unique sibling situation. My parents were both previously married (Mom had three girls 12-15 yrs older than me, dad had fraternal twin boys 5 yrs older). Then my parents got married and had my brother and I (fraternal twins). So there's 7 in all! While my relationships with my siblings isn't what you'd call "typical", the love and support is there and it's actually kinda cool to have a "different" family situation!! No worries.

Rachel said...

My mom is 16 years older than one of her sibs and never lived in the same house except for a few summers, they never really got to know each other until they were adults. My husband is 13 years older than his sis and moved out when she was 5. They are super close. We made an big effort always to invite her on all our camping trips and had lots of sleepovers. She still comes over with her new husband at least once a week. She was 3 when we started dating and knows no life before me. We are as close as sisters. I think the relationship is what the older sibs build it into.