Baby with 16 year age gap plus - should we go for it?

(17 Posts)
RedWineDrinker Sun 24-Feb-13 00:55:48

Not really sure if this is the appropriate place for this thread, but I'm hoping some of you may have experience with this! Just in a bit of a dilemma, and not sure how to move forward. Hoping some of you may have some advice/experience with similar setup.

My DP and I are thinking about having a baby, he's 45, I'm 38. We have 3 DDs between us, youngest 16 mine, one 18 and eldest 22, his. We are happy, secure, and enjoy our lives as they are. I had my DD relatively young, 22, and was a stressful experience with little/no support from ex-boyf. My DP is divorced, happy to have another but no big urge for him. Happy either way. All my friends now have small children. I'm feeling like I'm missing out a bit and want to be able to do things with them, and have positive happy time with a baby with my DP, and DDs. But at same time I'm a bit torn in that I know how hard it is, I enjoy my freedom now. Anyone on here in similar situations, with baby, without, with older kids. Any tips/advice on how it works?

Notmyidea Sun 24-Feb-13 08:53:19

I grew up in a family like this, but with older parents. The biggest downsides were to do with my parents advanced age and ill health. (I was caring by age 15 and there had been a big cut in our family's income due to early retirement because of ill health.)
I also felt very much like an only child as the others had flown the nest. I was one of those awful children who spoke, and expected to be spoken to, like a mini adult which didn't make me popular outside the family home. I didn't make friends easily until secondary school. Would you do the "2 in 2 years" thing and have a pair?
The big difference between your plans and my circumstances are that you are "planning." I was an accident that my parents made the best of (at 44 and 51 years of age.)

Possiblyoutedled Sun 24-Feb-13 09:11:01

I have three boys aged 27 25 and 22 and a girl of 11 all from first marriage.
I remarried at 40 to a younger man with no children and at 43 I had dd now two.
Personally I've found it hard to adjust back to babydom and miss my free time social life etc but to see his delight in her makes it worth it.
The others were very pleased with her but apart from the 11 yr old all live away from home.

Mine was the common experience of one parent (Dad) remarrying so I have a DSis who's 17 years younger and a DBro who's 23 years younger. We didn't live together, but tbh we all loved it; I got to be the big, big sis, so far cooler than the parents but with more responsibility, caring, and the ability to tell them off wink and it would appear that they're rather fond of me!

It would be hard to say how your DDs would take it; I'd bet they'd love it, but they may have a wibble- I guess they would be old enough to have a mature conversation about it?

NK2b1f2 Sun 24-Feb-13 17:06:43

Don't think it is a problem. There's 17 years between my older sister and my younger brother (and I am in the middle - all of the same parents). For us it meant each child had the level of attention an only child gets, but the younger ones also had loving older siblings. I am very close to both my older sister and my 'baby' brother. As for older parents, mine were 40 and 52 when the youngest was born and if anything having a child late kept them young. My dad is 85 this year and fitter than me... So it definitely is not a given that a child born to 'older' parents (my mum was practially geriatric at 40 according to wisdom at the time) ends up as a carer or loses their parents early in life.

PumpkinAndHoneyBunny Sun 24-Feb-13 19:38:01

My siblings are 6 and 12 years older than me and it felt like I was an only child growing up. Never had problems making friends in school university work etc but never had a proper sibling relationship with brother/sister, I was always seen as a nuisance. As adults we're not close at all.

IThinkThatWasMine Sun 24-Feb-13 19:51:44

My sisters are 16 and 15 years older than me, and I have no memory of living together with them as they'd both left home by the time I remember much. They're more like aunts than sisters. I grew up pretty much as an only child of older parents - can't say this was always a good experience as my parents were quite "old" in their attitudes, etc.

I'm not in contact with one of my sisters (for reasons unconnected with the age gap). The other one - my oldest dsis - and I share the care of our mother, who is in her 80s. Whilst my sister's family are adults (in fact, they're quite close to my age as she had them young), mine are still children and this causes tension between me and dsis as I have to rush off for school pickups. In many ways I'm living the life of a 50-something with an elderly parent plus the life of an early 40-something with children at school. Like my upbringing, I can't say this is a good experience.

RedWineDrinker Tue 26-Feb-13 16:46:41

Thanks everyone...hmm this is a tricky one. I thought I might have got some more positives but Im glad Im really thinking through and thinking about what life would be like for us, and child in future. I suppose Im a bit disappointed that I didnt get lots of you telling me to go for it, but this is reality and I want to make sure I'll thought all through properly.

I might repost in the over 40's group to see if I can reach others there too. Thanks for the insights smile

loveroflife Tue 26-Feb-13 17:08:36

Hi RedWineDrinker,

I don't have too much to add but I have a sister with 2 years between us and a brother with a 15 year age. My mum says that (with hindsight) she would have had one straight after him or not at all. (She doesn't say this to him though!)

It's pretty tough for her - coming up to her retirement she is having to deal with teenage problems and he is really is a single child so she feels a little guilt for that and I suppose overcompensates. After a large gap she is having to start her parenting all over again.

My sister and I were close with him when we were younger but not so much now as we are just a different generation and have such different interests.

You say your partner is 45 so hoping you fall pregnant straight away then he will be 65 (min) when he/she is 20. How will this impact your finances in terms of your retirement and putting him/her through uni or buying his/her first house?

I think it would be very tiring for you both and bear in mind that the other children may not want to help or babysit as they are nearly adults now and will have their own lives and loves.

Sorry for being so negative but if you enjoy your freedom - hold onto it!

peppajay Wed 27-Feb-13 22:22:59

I have a friend who had her son at 17 and then when he was 14 she had another baby which was planned and with her husband who is the father of her son and this baby was followed by another two. So she has a 24 yr old, a 10 yr old and a 5 and a 4 yr old. Her eldest son wasnt planned and was concieved whilst she was still at school but they brought him up fantastically as young parents but decided not to have any more for a few yrs and that few yrs turned into 14 yrs. Everyone presumes her eldest son was from a previous marriage but all four kids have the same parents. Her eldest son is now at uni training to be a doctor and the other 3 love it when he comes home in the holidays!!

kday Thu 28-Feb-13 14:21:38

I was an only child by my parents but after their divorce my dad had two more kids who are 13 and 15 years younger than me. We're not close at all - they are a different generation to me and I can't say I feel what I imagine is a "real" sibling feeling towards them (not that I know as I don't have any full siblings, but my feeling towards them is warm but kind of distant/detached.
Also, babies/toddlers/preschoolers are such hard work - lovely, but hard work. I started my family relatively late (aged 34) so now I have three little ones but I really think there's a reason we're (biologically speaking) supposed to have kids earlier. I know some people love bring older and having young kids but I think it's exhausting! I would be very reluctant to keep up your freedom if your enjoying it. Sorry not to be more positive.

kday Thu 28-Feb-13 14:23:20

Sorry - that should read "...be reluctant to GIVE up your freedom" obviously!

ConstantCraving Fri 01-Mar-13 21:20:36

There's a massive 20 year gap between my DC's due to secondary infertility. DD is 3 now and we are so happy that we had her. I guess we're quite 'young' in our attitudes, and fit, which helps. DD will obviously be brought up as an only child - as her brother was - and i don't think that's a problem. If you want to do it go for it. The baby bit was a huge shock - but then i think it is for all new parents, but we wouldn't change a thing smile.

MrsExcited Fri 01-Mar-13 22:14:57

Hiya there,

I am the very much wanted and tried for product of a 38 yo Mum and 52 yo Dad.

I am now 28 and 8 weeks pregnant fingers crossed. My Mum and dad are now 66 and 80 respectively, living in the South of France for the last 7 years throwing Parties and having people to stay, in mums case learning better French (she has bought and sold a house in French (what more is there to learn!!)) They are also about to try and sell up and come back for Baby!

They are amazing people, i had a fab upbringing not massively privileged but comfortable and Fun, I had Mum stay at home with me till i was 8, then when i was 13 Dad retired.

I love them both very much and hope i can support them over the next few years the way they did me (though it would appear they are about to do a bit more supporting of me yet)

MrsExcited Fri 01-Mar-13 22:18:59

Ohh wanted to add to this that my older parents also put me through University and have Loaned us our house deposit for a biggish house.

ChristmasJubilee Sat 02-Mar-13 18:08:34

Ds's 1&2 were almost 11 and 9 when ds3 was born when I was 42. He arrived after 2 miscarriages and was very poorly in SCBU so we were absolutely delighted just to have him. I didn't find the first couple of years hard at all but,

I'm now 49 and I'm not as young as I used to be. I find his endless energy exhausting. We no sooner get back from swimming and he wants to go to the park. We get back from the park and he wants to go bowling/for a walk/out on his bike/to soft play - it's constant. He is a lovely little boy, he is clever, really, really bright, generally well mannered and I love him to bits but, if I had known then what I know now, I'm not sure I would have made the same decision.

If I didn't work full time and had some me time or if his Dad or brothers would entertain him sometimes it may not seem so hard. Also, being older, we have no grandparents left ( i looked after my mum until she died last year) so no other support. I would say to anyone in your position to think very carefully first.

rattie77 Mon 04-Mar-13 21:58:41

I had a baby after a 16 year gap, he is 4 now and it is exhausting. I haven't found it easy to adapt to being a mum to a little one again. I had my older children young (20's) and all close in age - it was really hard work and I was e njoying my freedom. I retrained and was in the middle of a masters when I fell pregnant at 45. I did finish the course but haven't worked since - felt huge guilt as I had been at home with others and 'felt' I should with DS. This resulted in me becoming very depressed and we are struggling financially as there is only one wage. I have been trying to get a job for over a year now and am finding it impossible. The older ones are good with him 2 still at home and most of time fine but can get annoyed by him at times. Relationship with DH hasd been awful lately - we are both at breaking point due to exhaustion, financial strain and the demands of a 4 year old. He is very demanding/intense and not an easy child - but we do love him to bits just finding it hard. I wish you the best of luck whatever you decide.

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