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Anyone out there with a large age gap between siblings?

(38 Posts)
Debbiedowner Thu 17-Aug-06 18:49:56

I am expecting my second child - 14 years after my first! Not intentional, we have been trying for 10 years. Anyone out there with a similar gap who can advise on how to anticipate potential problems?

giddy1 Thu 17-Aug-06 19:06:43

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sallystrawberry Thu 17-Aug-06 19:09:54

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thewomanwhothoughtshewasahat Thu 17-Aug-06 19:13:48

congratulations! what amazing news after so long. My nephew has 2 half-siblings who are 14 and 16 years older than him. They all live together and it certainly has benefits. My db and his dp have willing and caring teenagers to babysit - and even if not actually baby-sitting just being there so you can pop to the shops while he's asleep. They;re also lukcy in that my mum lives near and she babysits if they want to do more grown up stuff - they're off to a festival this weekend with the teenagers. I also have a friend with a gap of about 10 and 12 years - she has loved doing it all over again - given her a new lease of life - says she's much more relaxed - much more able to enjoy her little one. It will have difficulties but how exciting for you all.

agalch Fri 18-Aug-06 07:08:39

Hi debbie

My lot are

Ds1 15 in Sept
Ds2 11 in Dec
Dd1 was 2 this month
Dd2 is 18 days today.

So i have a big 9 yr age gap and a small 2 year gap and theres pros and cons to each.My ds1 does very little with the little ones.He has loads of interests and a gf so he's out a lot.My 10 yr old is soooo good with both the girls and loves them to bits.Would never trust ds1 to babysit even for 5 mins,hes a bit dozy!!

I'm sure you will all be fine and congrats btw.

fisil Fri 18-Aug-06 07:19:57

Hi - there is a big age gap between me and my little brother. I was 12 1/2 when he was born. My older brother is only 15 months older than me and my parents thought their family was complete, but they loved each other very much, and ... whoops!

Is your older child a boy or girl?

I adored my little brother. Caring for him was a wonderful way to get the type of unconditional love that a teenage girl desperately needs. I used to tell him all my tales of woe. One day I came in from school really sad and flopped on my bed crying. My 3 year old brother came and cuddled up to me and started crying too. When I asked why he was crying he said because I was. It was so sweet. We are still very very close.

My older brother was 14 and their relationship was very different. They had a very traditional sibling relationship with the fights and squabbles. They seemed to meet at about 10 years old, if you see what I mean!

However, I am not saying that our relationships were simply because of our gender. My big brother and I had a similar fight and squabble relationship, and are very different in character. We now keep in touch because we are brother and sister. My little brother and I are very similar people, think similarly, have similar interests and are very close friends. I think that is down to personalities, and not the age gap.

cg25 Fri 18-Aug-06 07:26:29

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brimfull Fri 18-Aug-06 08:25:09

Hi DEbbie,
I have an 11 yr age gap between my nearly 15yr old dd and my nearly 4yr old ds.We too had been trying for 10 yrs and were gobsmacked and delighted beyond belief when it finally happened.
DD is at the age when she really just wants to be with her friends ,but when she is with us they have a wonderful relationship.She quite enjoys the normal sibling bickering because it is so normal and she has still quite enjoys the novelty of having a little brother.Her friends think he's the coolest accessory and he's got a bevy of beautiful babysitters!
I think ultimately we would have had a more normal age gap,but life isn't like that and we feel really blessed to have him.Family days out are probably the only difficult matter to resolve as dd isn't really keen on the park and ds isn't enamoured with shopping .
Personally I am more tired with ds but I do have dd to help and she babysits for us a lot.We do pay her for this .
So I don't think there are any huge problems you need to worry about.Congratulations by the way ,nice to hear about someone in the same situation.

iris66 Fri 18-Aug-06 08:26:31

Congratulations Debbidowner! I have a 17 yr old DD & a 7 mth DS. She burst into tears when I told her I was pg and said that everyone would think it was hers . She has taken him for walks a few times but sadly she's been proved right & filthy looks have ruined it for her - sorry - forewarned etc...
After so many years of her having all the attention I was worried but she absolutely adores him. She was in the middle of exams when he was born & so it was quite difficult to give her support/quiet time to revise and I do feel guilty about not being always able to give her enough time now. It's certainly a challenge to keep switching mentally from baby stuff to teenage issues (A levels, boyfriend dramas,hormones, ferrying to & from partys and the like) and I've made a concerted effort to avoid her feeling like she "has to" help with DS (though I have insisted she's a bit more useful round the house (washing actually IN the basket, cook the odd meal etc) but over time she has asked if she can do things (helping with weaning, babysitting etc) and though it presents different challenges than having them close together I love the age gap now. HTH & hope you have a fab experience too - Enjoy !!

brimfull Fri 18-Aug-06 08:28:23

Debbie,I've just reread my post and have to say the reason I would have prefered a more normal age gap is because I look on all my friends with older children and see all the freedom they have now at my age 44,and think I've got another 10 yrs atleast before I'll have that.
A small price to pay though

brimfull Fri 18-Aug-06 08:31:09

oh yes iris ,dd hates the looks she gets when she's alone with ds in town.Talks in a loud voice about waiting for "mummy" when old ladies tut at her.

barnsleytykes Fri 18-Aug-06 08:37:50

my dd1 is 22years and ds1 20 years and ds2 is 4 years

fisil Fri 18-Aug-06 08:43:18

My brother has always had a brilliant sense of humour. When he was about 4 and I was 16 he used to call me mummy and then we would double up laughing at the looks on old lady's faces!

CheesyFeet Fri 18-Aug-06 08:56:58

There is a large gap between my youngest two siblings - 13 years. My youngest sister is 18 years younger than me and our relationship is more niece/aunty than sisters as she doesn't remember me ever living at home. That said, our relationship is a good one and we are in touch all the time.

It was great for my mum because she had more grown up helpers and instant babysitters when dsis was a baby

Auntymandy Fri 18-Aug-06 08:58:02

my eldest is 15 and my youngest not quite 2

ggglimpopo Fri 18-Aug-06 09:13:26

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tomal Fri 18-Aug-06 10:18:41

I have dd 16yrs, Ds1 15yrs and ds2 4yrs.Ds2 was not planned but has brought huge joy to our lives. I agree with others that dd used to get very dirty looks when she pushed him in his pushchair!there are many positives to this age gap. There is less sibling rivalry,lots of people to love him and play with him, extra pairs of hands to help when needed, on hand babysitters (although I have always said that mine should only do it if they wanted to).negatives are that they want to do completely different activities, this can be especially difficult on holiday. Also as somebody else said, you are dealing with widely different problems at the same time - teenage mood swings, boyfriend problems, exam stress, followed by potty training,and the general demands of a young child to play with them and feed them!
Most of the time we are a really happy family and I hope if nothing else, having helped look after a young child will act as a contraceptive to my older ones as they know exactly what hard work looking after a baby is!

iris66 Fri 18-Aug-06 12:03:10

lol at the contraceptive effect tomal. DD announced she was "never ever" going to have children after seeing me pg, the "massiveness" of DS (8lb 2) & the lack of sleep.

brimfull Fri 18-Aug-06 12:14:48

also the contraceptive effect of having a teen who stays up late and a toddler who wakes up time to yourselves.

Debbiedowner Fri 18-Aug-06 12:34:42

Oh Ladies, you have made me laugh so much. Thank you, I feel better just knowing there are so many of you out there who have been there and done it. Although we know our lives will be completely changed when the baby arrives, it sounds like we have lots of fun in store as well.

Judy1234 Fri 25-Aug-06 22:09:45

There is 10 year gap between our older 3 and the twins. It has been brilliant so good for family cohesiveness. I just took all 5 on holiday abroad and the 3 older ones (now just about adults) were like having 3 au pairs with me. The twins could do fun things like being thrown around a pool by big brothers and sisters. It has also helped the older ones learn how to deal with children and made them more responsible and able to see what having a family is like. Sometimes it has been hard - the worst thing can be sleepless nights plus teenage angst which we had a while and now they sleep through the night the worst bit is getting them to sleep so I can relax ata night but then finding that's when the teenagers come into their own so in a sense 24/7 someone is awake just about. We have had days when the baby is waking up at 5 as a teenager is wending its way home from the London nightclub.

kooky Sat 26-Aug-06 13:30:04

congratulations! There is the same age gap between my DS and DD. DS is fabulous with his baby sister, he absolutely dotes on her and looves playing with her. It's great having an extra pair of hands!

catsmother Sun 27-Aug-06 17:24:01

I have a 13.5 year age gap between my two (16 and nearly 3). This wasn't intentional but life just turned out like that.

The advantages are that there is no sibling rivalry, jealousy or bickering. Though my son can find my daughter a "pest", it's clear he dotes on her. There's obviously no competition over toys, or who has the biggest piece of cake. I have 2 stepchildren with a small gap and have to confess the bickering and bullying (of the younger by the older) drives me up the wall.

Disadvantages ??? .... well, one of them is that it's really hitting me hard around about now that instead of the "normal" 16 years or so of real dependence upon me within a more conventional family set-up, I will instead have had nearer 30 years of being totally depended on by the time my daughter is 16. That hadn't really occurred to me (stupid I know) before but as my son is now finally reaching the stage of being properly independent, I've suddenly realised that if I'd had my kids closer together, I would be looking forward to actually being able to go out spontaneously and without worrying about babysitters very soon.

But then again, I wouldn't change my daughter for the world.

Mytholmroyd Mon 28-Aug-06 16:44:11

I have four children, three daughters 16,14 and 5 and a boy of 5 months. Same father. My daughters find it quite amusing that people presume he is their baby - and they do. I too was worried about the reaction but they have been great and are wonderful babysitters. I had just read the eldest the riot act about being sensible with her first serious boyfriend and not getting pregnant and then found out a week later that I was expecting (definitely not planned!) . Talk about having to eat my words - and she really rubbed it in in the best possible taste... Still I hope its a warning to them all!

BabyHare Fri 08-Sep-06 21:34:36

My son was born when my dd was 12... she is more often than not OK with him but it is on her terms definately! She does babysit at a price but I find it very hard switching from bob the builder to potential drugs, smoking, boyfriends etc etc. She is now 15 and my son is 2.5... makes for interesting weekends I have to say! Also hols are a nightmare cos she does not want to go to the farmpark etc and he will not sit still in the cinema... my parents do come in handy..... not the easist age gap in the world but we had IVF in the end after 5 yrs trying so not really our fault... but good luck! x

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