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Old 03-24-2012, 06:15 AM
 
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I have two children currently that are 3 years apart. I loved that spacing, it worked great for us. We were pretty sure we were done having children for many years.

Now my youngest is 5 and we are thinking about having another baby. I go back and forth on the decision almost everyday. While I would love to have another baby, I worry about how my children would have to sacrifice. We do older kid activities with them now, and like to vacation etc. I would think that having a baby would put a cramp in all of that. We would essentially have to live around nap schedules and all of that again. I also worry how it would change the dynamic between my two children who already get along wonderfully.

Any of you have a similar gap between a 2nd and 3rd? How did it go? Or if you decided NOT to go through with the feeling to have more, in retrospect, was it the right decision?
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Old 03-24-2012, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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My kids are 3 1/2 years apart- so far, so good. But my siblings and I are more relevant to your question. My brother is 10 years younger than I am, and 7 years younger than my sister. My mom reports that he napped on the go for my sister and my activities and learned to be flexible with the family schedule, as well as learning how to get along with older kids and adults sooner than on average. We were overjoyed as kids to have a new baby in the family. As an adult, he noted that part of his life was like being an only child, after my sister and I moved out, but he always had two extra adults to ask advice of during his teen years. He jokes around about "my three moms." As adults, the three of us are remarkably close despite being at very different places in our lives. Not sure if that helps at all, but in our family the spacing worked well.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:22 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
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My older two are 19 months apart, and the youngest is seven years younger than the middle child. I am also seven years older than my sister. The big hurdle that I remember was that the middle one was still in pull-ups when the youngest was born (special needs), and the oldest was in diapers when she was born. I think I figured that I had kids in diapers for more than 11 years.

As far as dynamics go, the much older kids will probably not be playmates to the younger one. They aren't able to relate to one another.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Space Coast
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My 2 are 5 years apart. When my oldest was a baby, we planned everything around her feeding/sleep schedule. With the younger one, she just sort of goes along with whatever. Also, I sometimes leave her home with dh to take the older daughter to whatever activity she has scheduled. (Like right now, for example, she is napping and dd1 and I are about to go shopping.)
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:11 AM
 
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My oldest and youngest are 6.5 years apart. While it's true they didn't hang much together as children, that changed once they became teens. They are very close now.

Middle and youngest are only 17 months apart, but they don't have as many shared interests, so, although they like each other, they don't have the bond eldest and youngest do.

I took all of them everywhere as children. A double stroller and a packed diaper bag was a standard sight at baseball, soccer and basketball games.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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My youngest is seven years younger than his closest sibling. He was NOT a surprise, even though most people assume he is.

I did not see any negative changes in our family dynamic. The age difference was great enough that they did not fight over toys or compete for stuff. I did have to carefully monitor stuff like TV shows or video games, but it helped us set up what was for "big boys only." The youngest was exposed to stuff (I'm talking Spongebob-level here) earlier than my older boys were. It's inevitable.

It also brought out a sweet, caring side in my older kids as they enjoyed having a baby in the house. Everyone adjusted to the baby's schedule because that's what life is about.

The bigger change, to me, is growing from a family of four to a family of five. Logistically, everything becomes more difficult.

You no longer fit (comfortably) in a sedan, so a minivan or SUV might be necessary, if you don't already have one.
If you want all your kids to have their own rooms, you won't want any house with fewer than 4 bedrooms.
You have to wait longer to eat at a restaurant since you don't fit easily into a booth or at a 4-top anymore.
At theme parks, someone always has to either ride alone or wait for the next parent to be free to take them on a ride.
In hotel rooms, you will need to start getting a suite with a pull-out couch or someone will sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor.
Everything becomes exponentially more expensive. Family night at the movies costs $50 (plus tax). Tickets for 5 to a pro football game would run you nearly $300.

The other big adjustment was when I went back to elementary school with my youngest, I felt like a grandma next to the other young moms who were there with their first kids. Sometimes it comes in handy to be experienced, though, because you don't have to sign up for everything but let those eager young'uns do it.

Even with all of this, I do not regret having my third child because he is amazing, and I feel like he keeps me young at heart.

There are always a million reasons not to do something big like adding to your family. But family is what you make it.

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Old 03-24-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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We had our sweeties spaced quite far apart....first no1...2 years later no2.....5 years later no3 (pleasant surprise)...7 years later no4...another pleasant surprise...all went well...the older ones are a lot of help with the little ones....but I must admit the youngest had it the best...probably because we had child-rearing down pat by then, and were much calmer, easier going parents.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:07 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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My sister is eleven years younger than me and eight years younger than my middle sister. I was responsible for most of the baby care, whenever I wasn't at school. It wasn't a lot of fun...it was nice having a baby to play with, but I could never go anywhere or do anything because I had to take care of her.

There was a lot of pushing for me to move out of my parents' house as soon as I turned 18. They wanted the bedroom, they wanted to be able to fit everyone comfortably in the car, they wanted to quit spending money on me, etc. So I moved out, tried working full-time and going to college full-time, and that didn't work out for me, probably because I didn't have transportation and was spending all the time I should have been studying or sleeping trying to get to work or school or home on the bus. When my middle sister moved out a few years later to live in the dorm, my mom kept begging me to move back home, but by then I was married and she was nuts to think I'd get a divorce just because she had an empty bedroom in her house.

My parents are in their 60's now and still supporting my youngest sister, who is away at school but who comes home for holidays and flies in her strange internet boyfriends. My dad is retired on disability and they have enough money, but he wonders when my sister is going to stop costing him two grand a month, since he can't claim her on his taxes anymore. He also resents paying for the strange internet boyfriends to fly in.

My sister also really resents my oldest child. She's pushed her down a couple of times when she was mad at me. (I had to tell her I'd file charges for assault if she ever did it again). She's fine with my youngest, it's just the oldest that she has issues with.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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Your responses have been helpful. I guess I'm just worried about the older kids getting a lot less of my time then they do now, because priorities would have to shift with another person to look after. I'ts not so much the logistics that bother me (bigger car, hotel room) more the being able to meet everyone's needs, and still being able to have one-on-one time with the kids.

You've all given me a lot to think about.......
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
He also resents paying for the strange internet boyfriends to fly in.
So why does he do it?
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