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Does anyone here have a super-large gap between children?

(23 Posts)
fideline Thu 13-Feb-14 11:34:04

I'm talking about 15years plus. So that you had/have newborn/toddler at same time as exam-taking teenager<s>?

Would you recommend doing this on purpose? grin

Any pointers or warnings?


Misfitless Thu 13-Feb-14 14:17:16

Can I ask you how many DCs you already have, fideline?

Sometimes these situations come about because new relationships evolve, and that couple want a child's hard to say without a bit more info, tbh, as each family's circumstances are different.

My DD finds it quite hard to revise with a houseful of young siblings making a racket, but she is quite happy to revise at her grandparents' or at college.

I do feel that in some respects my DD1 missed out, as a lot of my time was taken up with babies/toddlers. Years of sleep deprivation left me pretty knackered, which she was aware of, as she was old enough to notice.

If all your DCs are tucked up in bed by 7:00pm, and you haven't slept the night before so want to go to bed at 7:30pm, it doesn't matter, but if you've got a teenager wanting to talk about something and you can barely keep your eyes open, it's a bit sad.

This happened to us quite a bit, but then I had 3 children in fairly close succession. If you just had one, it would be over and done with quite quickly.

Holidays are tricky - trying to find something that fits in with toddlers and young children and older teenagers is quite challenging, but not impossible.

I've read lots of positives on here from people with big age gaps before.

Any chance of a bit more info, OP?

WeeClype Thu 13-Feb-14 14:21:10

I've got a 11 week old, DS turns 2 next month, 11 year old and a 16 year old.

When my 16 year old is trying to revise/homework etc she stays up the stairs and when the toddlers asks for her I tell him she's at school lol

fideline Thu 13-Feb-14 14:23:32

I have two teens. Likelihood is I'd be nearing 40 by the time #3 put in an appearance so he/she would probably be the last.

fideline Thu 13-Feb-14 14:27:42

So you both have four? I suppose I am rather counting on one tiny one being easier than two close together were, but I'm probably kidding myself.

Annunziata Thu 13-Feb-14 14:34:06

Yes, 23 years between oldest and youngest. 15 between second youngest and youngest.

Thankfully baby went through her no sleeping at all phase in the summer holidays, but they/we have coped okay with exams and studying so far.

sammatters Thu 13-Feb-14 14:35:27

I have an 8 month old and an 18 year old. Like Misfitless says, it was due to a new relationship, and I had DS1 as a teenager. But we did plan it to an extent - didn't want a small baby when DS1 was studying for exams, so we only started ttc when he was finishing A levels. DS1 is away university now, so DS2 gets my full attention, and DS1 is a handy babysitter on the odd occasion! It is almost more like having two onlies in succession (and I have to admit I'm almost like a new parent as I've forgotten so much and all the rules have changed since I had DS1!).

Misfitless Thu 13-Feb-14 14:36:10

Personally I wouldn't do it then, but I bet most people who answer this thread would.

I think it'd be like being an only child imo, for your DC3, I mean.

My mum had roughly the same age gap between herself and her eldest brother, she always felt she had missed out on the hustle and bustle and fun, and instead felt like an only child, even though she was one of 5!

(If you ask her about her childhood, she says that she couldn't remember any of the older ones being there except her brother, who left when she was about 6. She missed him like mad, and the house seemed really quiet and empty after that.)

I'd do it if I was going to have two more, but not if DC3 was going to be the last. I also might have one more if I only had one DC to start with, as then it would be like having two onlies, rather than a pair/set/group and an only on his/her own.

I'm a bit irrational, though..I just know if it were me, I'd feel left out, but most people probably wouldn't feel the same.

WhisperingShadow Thu 13-Feb-14 14:41:57

My DSS live with us, 18 and 20 this year. My DD is 2. I feel gutted that DSS 20 is thinking of moving in with friends. He adores DD, she adores him, but they will soon be off. I feel bad for her.

I would have another, but DH is 47 so doesn't seem fair.

Positives, I think my DSS now understand parenthood, the challenges and the triumphs.

DH enjoys it more this time round. He says he feels more relaxed.

fideline Thu 13-Feb-14 14:44:21

Misfits Four would be lovely, but of course you can't guarantee fourth when you conceive the third. That aspect of it has occurred to me.

Do your two get to spend much time together Sam? The idea of them all not spending enough time together to really bond also bothers me!

In fact lots of things about the idea bother me, but I can't quite seem to talk myself out of the idea. I have been remarried for three years and flip flopped a lot.

hellyd Thu 13-Feb-14 14:48:53

there is 19 year between me an my sister and like the poster above says it was like being an only child, I don't remember her living at home, but we have a fab relationship, she has no children her choice but her and her husband we the best fun to be with growing up, and now although we aren't geographically close we are very close especially since our mum died.
not sure is that helps but good luck.

fideline Thu 13-Feb-14 15:49:45

Thanks everyone. It really does help to hear first hand experiences.

FortyFacedFuckers Thu 13-Feb-14 16:01:58

I was 17 and my sister was 15 when our brother was born and it worked out fine although he is more like a nephew than brother to me as I often babysit, do the school run etc and he spends his time here playing with my own DS.

NAR4 Fri 14-Feb-14 07:33:59

I have older children doing GCSEs and A Levels and a baby and toddler. My older children aren't bothered by the little ones, they just go to their rooms if they don't want to be bothered by them. The toddler isn't allowed into their rooms unless they invite her in. They do revision and homework in their room. I do sometimes joke, would they like me to try and arrange for a toddler to run around the exam hall screaming and a crying baby to be there, so they can focus during the exam.

The down side is I can't leave either of the little ones to cry at all during the night and am exhausted. Early bedtimes for me to catch up on sleep don't really work with 3 noisy teenagers. Taking the little ones along to my teenagers hobbies (I'm the house taxi because we live in the middle of nowhere) is hard work, trying to keep them entertained until its time to go again.

Shellywelly1973 Sat 15-Feb-14 18:52:02

I've 6 dc 24,22,12,9,5& 12 days.

So I've already done teens with toddlers & will again.

My older 2 dc don't live at home anymore. The younger dc adore them & it's lovely when we're all together.

It's hard as the parent as the needs of all the dc are so different. I actually love it but most people think I'm mad!

tallulah Sat 15-Feb-14 19:52:50

There are a few of us then grin

We had a set of 4, who are now 28, 26, 24 and 22, then a bonus who is almost 7.

The eldest 2 had moved out when the youngest arrived, but the other 2 were doing A levels and GCSEs. I don't remember any problems with revising or anything, and in fact it helped DC3 that the year student loans wanted to know about was the year I was on Mat leave, so he got more loan than DC1 and 2.

Visiting universities with a baby in tow is not to be recommended, especially when they involve an overnight stay.

Our life was complicated by relocating when DC5 was 2 1/2, and DC2 moving back in just over a year ago. They fight like cat and dog. In my dark days on the school run I do wish we hadn't bothered TBH, as much as I love her to bits. I was almost 44 when she was born and that was fine, but now I'm 50 with new health issues and it doesn't feel like such a good idea anymore sad. I watched her playing with DD1's 27 yo boyfriend and felt sad for her that her dad is so much older.

NK346f2849X127d8bca260 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:30:48

We have 6 , eldest 30 and youngest is 10, so we have had teens and babies in the same house.
Only have the youngest 3 at home now and I miss the house filled days !

mygrandchildrenrock Fri 28-Feb-14 20:01:22

I had 3 children, quite close together, by the time I was 23, fast forward to a second marriage and I had 4 & 5 at 40 and 42 (almost 43). When I had 4, the others were 16 & 18 (still at home) and 21 (not at home). A real live baby in the house is the best contraceptive possible for teenagers!
I was pleased I conceived no 5, so that 4 would have a sibling close in age. The older children love their younger brother and sister and vice versa. People that don't know us, think my dh & I only have 2 dc and had them later in life. They don't realise they are another 3 adult ones somewhere! (And grandchildren, youngest dd was an auntie to 3 children when she was born and is now auntie to 7 and loves it!)
There are some disadvantages to having children older, being tired, bodies getting old (dh had a hip replacement etc.) but there are many advantages, loads of patience - you know childhood is short- more financially stable, you've practised on the other children and know what to do this time round!
My youngest two are 16 & 13 and are aware they have older parents, but it doesn't bother them, although my youngest dd would like a trendy mum, but even when I was a young mum I wasn't a trendy one!
Having 5 children has been one of my proudest accomplishments and I am so very glad we did.

Hassled Fri 28-Feb-14 20:04:04

I had a newborn and a toddler at the same time as I had two teenagers - I was either up with the baby or up waiting for the oldest to get in from a night out. And two lots of tantrums - toddler and teenage. But - on the whole it worked well. On-tap babysitting, remember. And they have a great relationship with each other.

I have 15, 14 and 13 weeks... It was definitely planned and is fabulous, the teenagers adore the baby and use her as a great excuse, baby cuddles or GCSE revision?!

Me and my siblings are 36, 35 and 20 and I have a great relationship with my 'baby' brother.

Wuxiapian Fri 28-Feb-14 20:09:52

I have a 16yr old, 13 month old and a 2 week old.

Eldest is from a previous relationship (which ended when he was 3).

I've been with DP 6 years (previously childless) and both wanted kids (before I was too old).

Simples, really.

Tallandgracefulmum Mon 30-Jun-14 01:21:28

My siblings are 49, 44, 34 and 29, I am the 34 year old and get on with all my siblings brilliantly.

I think you should have a gap that suits you, no gap is perfect or worse. Congratulations on bucking the nuclear family trend. We are an aging population and need more children for the future of mankind to live on (that what I say anyway smile)

bubblebabeuk Mon 30-Jun-14 04:04:48

I have 15, 5 & 4. It was hard on my eldest when the younger two came along, definately and that was just ten years gap. I think if you have children in the space between the oldest and youngest it is probably easier, rather than if the eldest has been an only child for a number of years. It is more of a life style change for them in the second example.

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