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Age gaps/number2

14 replies

Tom · 05/05/2004 14:21

Hi All
Wondered if anyone had any thoughts on my predicament. We have a son who is nearly 4 now, and when we got married, my wife told me that she wanted 3/4 children. 1st was an accident, coming a few years before she'd planned to have kids (she is now 29), but both our boy and me are desperate to have another baby - he keeps on about it, and I've been ready for another for the last 2 years. I'm worried that the age gap is just going to be too big for our son to have a really meaningful friendship with a younger bro/sis, and I'm wondering if my wife really does want another kid. She keeps telling me that she has to lose weight before we try, and is constantly going on diets, but she's always snacking and buying chocolate. I wonder if she's just sabotaging her diet. Ho hum.

OP posts:

cab · 05/05/2004 14:40

Tom - it's your wife's body - surely it's up to her what she does with it?
Ref the age gap - like your son, my dd (4 this summer), has plagued me about wanting a sibling for years now. Just found out (age 40) that I'm finally pregnant again - and guess what - dd told me today that she no longer wants a sibling - great! (Doesn't know I'm pregnant yet.).
Perhaps if you take the pressure off a bit your wife will be able to make up her own mind.
(I'm assuming the age gap will not matter so much when my dd and potential sibling are older?)


Tom · 05/05/2004 14:49

I know it's her body - which is why it's her decision. I want a baby, our son wants a baby, but we're not having a baby - that's because it's very clear between us that it's her decision, because it's her body. And I haven't mentioned it to her in months because she just complains about her weight. But then she does nothing about it - she goes on a new diet every week and by Tuesday she's eating choc bars. I'm wondering if she doesn't really want another child.

OP posts:

gold123 · 05/05/2004 14:49

Have you actually asked her outright, maybe she is worried about something, that you could possibly reassure her about. As for the age thing - well whatever the age gap, there are issues. I have a 2yr 4mth age gap between my daughter and son, and I got quite frustrated at times with my daughter, as I could never give my whole attention to my new born son which she had. At least you would have that opportunity whilst your son is at school.


gold123 · 05/05/2004 14:54

Who is the main carer for your son ? do you both work ? if it is you that stays at home, do you think that maybe she is a bit envious of you being there for your child and not her ? I don't know really - I don;t know what to say - i'm just waffling now !!!


Tom · 05/05/2004 14:58

We share childcare. Our son goes to nursery from 1pm - 3.30 - my wife has him in the morning, drops him off (I work), then I pick him up and look after him until he's asleep (she works).

Of course, when he goes to school in September, she'll hardly have any time with him, and I'll be doing all the childcare in the week (I do a 40 hour week too).

I've asked her straight up and she tells me it's the weight/body issue - she was rather large during the last pregnancy and she doesn't want to end up unable to get down to a decent size again.

Anyone else got a 5 year age gap? What's it like?

OP posts:

cab · 05/05/2004 15:33

Sounds to me like she needs a little tlc Tom, and perhaps, reassurance that you love her as a person and not a baby-making machine.
She's obviously scared that she'll be even bigger this time around and that could be enough to put her off totally.
Believe me it's quite a thought to go through all of that again - just wish the stork story had been true! (And that's from someone who's been trying again for a few years and had a miscarriage in between.)


Twinkie · 05/05/2004 15:40

Sorry at 4 years iodl and without the experience your son has no idea what having a sibling will be like - how do you know he is ready?? - He will exhibit feelings of jealousy and insecurity and lots of otherstuff that he knows nothing about and to say that he is ready is niave and maybe he is just mirroring what you want and what he has heard you say - and sorry but it is your wife's decision if she wants to get pregnant and have another child and jointly yours and nothing what so ever to do with what your son wants he cannot understand the huge process that your wives body will have to go through!!

Maybe she really does not want another one and actually just has no will power when it comes to the diet!!


webmum · 05/05/2004 16:12


I think she might need help to lose her weight.
Going on a diet is not easy adn it takes a lot of strong will. I don't think she's sabotaging the diet on purpose, but it does sound like she needs a lot of reassurance.

This is my opinion, but I don't think you should worry too much about what your son wishes. Having another baby is a decision that you and your wife need to atke together and only the two of you can do that, as you will be the ones responsible for the new baby, not your son or anyone else.

Maybe you could suggets she starts a proper diet plan, rather than a DIY one? Or give her time to do some exercise while you look after ds?

If she is so concerned about her weight there probably is a selfesteem issue as well, and having a baby is probably not the best idea as it's hard enough for people who feel ok about themselves!!!

HAving said that I do sympathise with you, I was trying to convince dh about number 2 for months and he would keep putting it off and I was getting desperate, then it jut happened without planning, and we're both delighted, but had it been for him....GOOD LUCK!!


lou33 · 05/05/2004 16:33

The gap between my first 2 is 4y8m. They are both girls, and while they have their moments of bickering and fighting, they are still close, it has never really been problematic. I have smaller gaps between numbers 2,3 and 4, and that has been pretty much the same as between 1 and 2, in terms of general problems. Plenty of people decide to wait until their first is at school before having another, so I wouldn't worry too much about an age gap. If it gets really big, you will have a built in babysitter one day!

I would suggest sitting down and having a talk with your wife though. Ask her how she really feels about having another child, and explain to her how important it is to you, whilst listening to her reasons to wait. I would tend to leave the opinions of your son out of it. He is very young and his feelings could change from hour to hour, let alone on a long term basis. And, as someone suggested, he may have picked up on your need to increase your family, and be saying he wants a sibling to try and make you happy. He may well be saying the opposite to his mum in private!

Good luck.


bells2 · 05/05/2004 16:50

Tom, I sympathise with you - I can imagine if it were me wanting another child and my husband stalling, I would be feeling frustrated. Your wife is of course still young and certainly has time on her side. I personally took a different view and didn't worry too much about my weight until I had my 3rd baby out of the way. Only now am I finally starting to lose the flab but I can understand her concern.

As far as the age gap is concerned, I know it's not the same as we have a 2 1/2 year old in the middle but the relationship between my nearly 5 year old and the seven month old baby has been a complete and unexpected delight. He absolutely adores him and is incredibly sweet and patient with him. It's obviously early days but there is a very strong bond between them which I sincerely hope will last into adulthood. Good luck anyway - you always seem such a reasonable and understanding husband that I'm sure you'll deal with it the right way.


suedonim · 05/05/2004 17:22

I have gaps of 4.5, 8 and 9yrs between my children and I don't think the large gaps have stopped them from relating to each other. There's 2yrs between my bro and me, and we have never got on, so ime, age has little to do with sibling relationships.

I'm not sure a 4yo can really understand what having a sibling means, and of course, sometimes it's just not possible to fulfill their wishes anyway. My dd would love me to have a baby but as she's one of four and I'm in my late 40's, she's not likely to get her wish.


aloha · 05/05/2004 21:46

I know how she feels Tom. Sometimes pregnancy does terrible things to your body. After I had ds I looked at myself and for amoment actually regretting having him, it was so horrible. Have really struggled with my weight and body image ever since. I'm nearly two stone heavier than I used to be and it kills me - and dieting is bloody hard. This is not a solution I'm afraid and I do sympathise with you too, just saying don't take her feelings personally. Feeling constantly fat and hideous doesn't make you want to be fatter and more hideous. She's also very young so don't panic - big gaps between siblings can be great. Suedonim's family has always sounded ideal to me!
You need to talk to her. Maybe suggest tackling her weight after having another baby and pointing out that lots of people find they gain less second time round and lose it much faster. Also, as others said, make her feel loved and desirable as I tell you, if she feels fat, she won't be feeling very gorgeous.


TW · 05/05/2004 22:09

I agree a lot with what Aloha has said. I now have 3 children (with 3.5 yrs between first and last). I put on loads of weight after the first, which was a REAL shock, but I knew I wanted more quite soon so I decided I wouldn't bother too much until I'd finished having babies. Finally, and my youngest is 2, I have lost over a stone and feel myself again for the first time in 6 years. As has already been pointed out, your wife is still young, and I imagine that being 29 and overweight (or 26 and overweight as I guess she once was) is a whole heap worse than being 35 and overweight, especially if she didn't actually intend to have kids until a bit later.
I think you shouldn't worry about the age gap. You shouldn't feel pressure because of that. I am very glad to have had mine in quick succession, but that was more for me than for them. But I think it works whatever you do, and I think possibly more with boys, for some reason. They are very tender and loving and IME there are fewer issues with them than with a girl who has always been the centre of attention and suddenly isn't.
Nope, I think you should try to put that worry to the back of your mind. What is important is that you and your wife sort out how SHE feels, and what she intends to do about it. Personally, I am glad I did what I did ('tho I LOATHED being overweight) mainly because I don't think I could have gone through the agony of having to lose, only to pile it back on with the next pregnancy. I doubt very much that she is subconsciously trying NOT to lose weight with the picking. I would think that is more of a self esteem thing -she doesn't feel good about herself so there is no incentive. Make her feel good, and special, make her feel really loved, and the weight thing may become less of an issue. I feel desperately for both of you, but please don't let this come between you. I can really understand her struggle, but i can also see why it is difficult for you to get to grips with.
Keep us posted, Tom.


Tom · 06/05/2004 00:05

Thanks everyone - very helpful and kind comments. I haven't spoken to her about it for months, because she knows what I want, and as I said before, it's entirely her decision. I don't want to put any pressure on her by raising it again. I'm just trying to cope with my feelings about it.

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