Wherein I Change My Mind About the Ideal Spacing Between BabiesMonica Bielanko
My oldest brother is two-and-a-half years older than I am. My younger brother is two years younger than me and my youngest brother is two-and-a-half years younger than him.
It’s no wonder that, growing up, I always imagined that two years was the ideal spacing between siblings. We were all close but not too close. We had our respective sets of friends but I was able to have crushes on my older brother’s friends, usually to no avail (Casey Child I’m looking at you) and I hope just a few of my younger brother’s friends thought I was the cute older sister.
What I mean to say is, it was fun growing up with siblings fairly close in age. Sure, we fought a lot and yeah, my older brother tortured me a fair amount but he also threatened to kill anyone who messed with me, as every good big brother should.
I remember having dinner with a friend who has two daughters nearly five years apart. I asked her how she felt about the spacing and whether she thought it was too far apart. She indicated that, as far as she was concerned, it was ideal. Her oldest daughter can help out with the younger daughter but the girls are still close enough that they can be friends with each other as they age, and not necessarily as competitive as two siblings closer in age. would be. Rebecca Eckler over at Mommyish agrees. She’s knocked up right now. Her kids will be nearly a decade apart and she says she couldn’t be happier.
“While I didn’t plan or not plan on having another child so far apart from my first, I believe that this is age gap is positively perfect and is going to make my life a lot easier than most who have children 18 months or two or three years apart.”
Eckler goes on to list all the reasons why she believes a ten-year age gap is awesome. You can click the link for specifics, but the gist is that her oldest daughter is independent, more or less, and she won’t ever have to listen to two children endlessly bicker over toys (like I’m being forced to do this very second I type). Her daughter is old enough to understand what having a baby means and is very excited to go through the experience with her mom. Plus, built-in babysitter, DUH! Finally, and maybe most importantly, Eckler says she already had a decade to bond with her daughter. The only downside Eckler comes up with is that it’s been so long that she was pregnant she feels like this is the first time.
For a while there, I was super anxious to plan a third child. I wanted the kid to be close in age to Henry and Violet. But, the more I think about it, the more I realize there are pros and cons to every age gap. And I like this time with my two babies. Another baby might be too much of a strain and then nobody is happy. I guess what I’m saying is I’ve mellowed out about spacing between kids. It no longer matters to me. Whatevs, yo. If the next time I get knocked up Violet is in junior high and Henry is in elementary school, I’d be cool with that. Maybe. I mean, hell, that would make me, what? 45? Probably not gonna happen. But still, I’m cool with whatever happens.
Click on over to Madeline Holler’s article on the pros and cons of various sibling spacings to read more about this topic. Madeline has a pretty interesting opinion – she has three kids who are each four years apart.
You can also find Monica Bielanko on her personal blog, The Girl Who.