The two lines appeared pink: pregnant. With a son in first grade, my routine is my own for six hours a day. A part time job, and the opportunity to still be a stay at home Mom– my life is ideal. And even though I had always hoped for another child, I had grown used to the idea and the opportunity to have a little bit of my own time to myself.
But then those two lines appeared, and my life suddenly got turned upside down. Now I worry. Will they be too far apart? I consulted friends, the internet and the experts for advice.
Many parents say that having their children farther apart in years is a fantastic opportunity to really build a bond with them. It’s a great way to really get to know your child and have the time to build a strong foundation before sending them off to school. They also have the time to be with you and have more of your time and attention.
Parents with siblings farther apart in age also mention that they have the opportunity to rebuild financially in between each child. When you have children so close together, it is hard financially. There are so many doctor appointments, diapers, formula, and other expenses associated with babies. As they grow older and grow out of the diaper phase, they get less expensive, allowing for families to recover financially. Consider the cost of just having a baby., Normal out of pocket delivery expenses for a baby run approximately $2,000. For a baby ages 0-2, it could cost you almost $8,000 a year! And once they hit preschool, you’re looking at almost $9,000! However, once they hit kindergarten and first grade, prices per year drop drastically as they attend public school and growth spurts slow significantly.
It’s also helpful to have older siblings. Older siblings tend to nurture and help younger siblings. Many parents state that it was nice having an older sibling around. They were able to grab things, babysit, or just be a great example to younger children. One parent mentioned, “I never taught my (youngest) daughter how to tie her shoes. Her older brother did.”
However, having siblings spaced farther apart isn’t just ice cream and sprinkles. It can also cause a lot of friction. Many parents mention that interests are just too different with such a large age difference between children. They don’t play the same things, and they don’t play together as well together like siblings closer in age seem to. That usually means that you are playing entertainer or looking for friends that child’s age to play with.
Parents with siblings spaced farther apart also mention that kids seem to fight a lot as they are younger, but once in late teens to adult years, their children grow closer. In fact, many mention that they are great friends–now–but often wondered when they were younger if they would be close.
Vacations can also be trickier. One Mom mentioned that she didn’t see her husband or daughter the entire time they were at Disneyland. Her husband and daughter spent most of the time on the fast rides while she stayed most of the day in Fantasyland. Having children farther apart definitely makes it trickier for parents looking to entertain their children. Younger children can be forced to do what the older siblings want to even though they aren’t quite ready, or older siblings can be forced to do what the younger sibling wants. This can cause a lot of resentment.
The great thing about having children is that it’s a personal decision, and having children closer or farther apart will always have it’s positives and negatives. It’s what is best for you and your family that counts.