I have two siblings. I am the oldest. I am four years older than my brother, and he is four years older than my sister. It seems so perfectly planned and well spread out. My mom was a stay-at-home mom until my sister went to Kindergarten, and with the four-year space between us, she got plenty of time with us through all of the important phases and milestones.
Growing up and even into my young adulthood, I naively considered this larger age gap what everyone did. I figured, well, I’ll just do the same!
In my case, things are pretty different. I, like my mom, have three children. What I don’t have is that perfectly planned timing. The older and more informed I became, I learned that most families actually don’t. I have asked so many people, and most have an interesting story on how they ended up with the spacing between kids and the number of kids they have from zero to more than five! Even my parents did not purposely plan us out like it seemed.
I ended up having my kids all within four years. The youngest one is a bonus baby surprise. Sometimes I think the universe gave him to us before we were ready for a third child because of some recent health issues that may make it more complicated to get pregnant had we waited a few more years.
Three kids within four years is perfect for my family, three kids over eight years was perfect for my parents, one child total for one of my best friends – also perfect.
As we very abruptly transitioned from a family with a hectic lifestyle to a family who is now always home together, my children have had many opportunities to play, communicate, argue or team up against my husband and me. Truly, they are quite the triple threat.
Here are some things I have noticed:
My daughter, the middle child, is pretty much in charge. She likes to mother both boys, organize activities, and both of my sons go to her for help. She fends for herself; in fact, I’m sure she’d totally manage the household and keep it in tip-top shape if my husband and I decided to take a few days off.
When my youngest son was born, I was a little worried about the relationship he and my oldest son would have because the oldest was pretty indifferent about the baby. He wasn’t very interested in playing with a baby. Now, at six and two and a half, they are very close. They are both really into sports and all things “spooky.”
Without a doubt, especially with being stuck home, we have had a ton of fights, but within seconds everyone is best friends again. I remember this with my siblings, as well.
The laughter that fills my house, watching them all randomly snuggle up together to watch a show, hearing them stick up for one another or eavesdropping on their plan to ask for Happy Meals for dinner are a few examples of what makes this number and spacing perfect for my family.
What is the age difference between your children?