The other day I was talking about age and thought I should share about raising kids with large age gap.
There are kids who have mostly with less age gap, in fact my brother and myself have an age gap of three years. Those days that was considered to be an ideal age gap between siblings as they said kids grow together and it will help parents also to raise them etc.
I didn’t follow this norm, well I am one of those black swan who is always going the other way … 😀 !
Well, when I was pregnant with my first kid I only expected to have a girl and this was not to bring in gender issue or discrimination but I felt I know how to raise a girl child as supposed to a boy child.
When you become a mother you don’t know what it is and hence you can expect anything either. Only good thing was that I decided to conceive and deliver and things worked out that way. Luckily my daughter was born and I knew exactly how I am going to raise her.
Everything went well, and even though I delivered her when I was young I grew with her. I made sure what I missed as growing up because my Mom had certain thought process which was more or less old school and hence I filled those gaps with my daughter. I shared information with her as an awareness rather than thinking this is a tabu and I shouldn’t be discussing etc.
As my daughter was growing up I was working hard too. I felt in this busy life if you want to bring your child you better have time for them or else don’t bring them unnecessarily. Hence one kid is sufficient.
It was the time when my daughter started asking for a sibling when I thought of having second kid. Me and my husband discussed about having second child and so our second child was born and at that time my daughter was eight years old. To be frank, I felt it worked out very well for us.
I was able to talk to my daughter about the second child and when my son was born we engaged our daughter in the tasks that would keep her engaged with her little brother as well as make her understand why more attention is given to your brother more than you.
I was able to make my daughter understand this so she never felt jealous of her younger brother in fact, she became a great helper for us. Whenever I am, or my husband is changing the diaper she will help with giving the wipes, diaper, powder etc or even during giving a bath to the little one, it was a great fun game for her.
“The difference between like, love and in love is the same as the difference between for now, for a while, and forever”
Having an eight years gap between kids, gave me an opportunity to spend time with them individually. This was a very satisfying decision for me and for my kids of course as none of them felt they were neglected. By the time my second child was born my daughter was able to understand why babies needs to be taken care all the time and how they need help with everything. This wouldn’t have been possible if they were with less age gap I feel.
Besides, I also had a good break between the two deliveries. After my first one, I wayback to my routine, my work and my workouts. I feel it is very important for everyone to think about self-care and this has no gender. Everyone has the right to it and women should think about those too. But there is no such restrictions because some think of having kids quickly with less age gap will help them to focus on all and get done with their schools and colleges etc.
But spacing your children a little wider means, you get to be back to your normalcy with sleep, and other routines. This time gives you to be energized and refresh for the next one 🙂 !
One thing I figured with the age gap between kids is that there is no rivalry between them. There is more understanding and I noticed they help each other when needed. In my case since my daughter is the older child her understanding with her brother and with us as parents is very well aligned and this makes us only happy for the decisions that we made.
But let me tell you when they have grown at certain age and the older one tries to be mischievous the younger one doesn’t have to take things in that spirit because sometimes I have to interfere and explain them that its a joke and how everyone may not take it in that spirit. So yes, sometimes things go in that direction and it makes the younger one grow faster too 🙂 !
Another benefit for us was in-built babysitter :). When I used to cook and my husband is busy with work my daughter would play with the little one and keep him engaged and entertained so that we could do what we want to do. We were able to go for our parties when my teenager daughter didn’t want to join and looking at the big sister my son also used to decide to stay home and it helped us to leave them at home so that was another benefit with the age gap !
Big kids learn to be responsible and the younger one just learns everything under the sun. Today, my daughter not only understand what’s better for her younger brother but my son also understands and respect the elder sister and the bond they have is amazing which any parent would want for their children.
Though like every coin has two sides, I will not say that there aren’t any challenges. There were times when one has friends and they go and meet their friends and the other one is young and had to be taken to play-dates separately. The questions from the young one, why I don’t get to meet my friends often as big sister gets? Why is she going to meet her friends and I can only go for play-dates etc. Sometimes, playing games or watching movies or any other activity where the age gap can be challenging for you as a parent.
The time when you feel your daughter will be done soon with college and you’re free, you will see you have another child who is only in high-school still. So its not done yet 😀 is a reminder!
Overall, it worked out well for us because we always communicated and explained why one size doesn’t fit all. It helped them understand better not only in the family but their look out outside as well is well understood. They behavior is very matured and it feels good to see how friends after talking to them praise them to us as parents.
I feel, whether there is a big age gap or less age gap, its an experience and you have to set the expectation at home with everyone so that within the family you start understanding each other and make things work out.
At the end, what works for you better may not work for others, people have choices and when they make it they better stick to it together. Be positive and communicative this helps everyone to be on the same page with expectations.
“Love has no eyes, no age, no culture, nor religion. Love has no disability, no gender, nor race. It only takes two crazy individuals to make it happen.”