8 years apart

I have a daughter who turned 8 in [name]May[/name], and I am due with another daughter in [name]November[/name]. Does anyone have an advice on raising children (sisters) so far apart in age? Everyone assumes this is a second marriage or different father, etc. It isn’t. We have been married almost 10 years, and my hubby was in the military for 4 years, during which I didn’t feel I could handle two babies on my own. When he fulfilled his contract, we tried to conceive for a while, and when it didn’t happen we figured it wasn’t meant to be. After that, I got a new job working full time, and shortly after that our daughter started school. For a few years we didn’t think much about it, until last year we decided to give it one more try. After 5 months, we were pregnant and shocked! =)

Anyway, most ppl have negative comments about “starting over” and how the girls “won’t be close” because of the age difference. In my opinion, this is how it was meant to be and God doesn’t make mistakes, so that is how I reply. But I still would like some advice and comments from those who have gone through the same situation. Thanks!

Personally I think it comes down more to the personalities of the children involved and the way their family raises them. There’s 5 years between my brother and I but we’ve always gotten on really well. I know someone who is really close to his little brother and there’s 8 years between. Sometimes I think it’s more of a problem when the siblings are too close together in age because they feel there’s too much rivalry between them, needing the same things at the same age.

I understand completely. My husband and I are going to start trying for another child later this year and if we are blessed with a pregnancy then our children will be 8 - 9 years apart. This is a concern for me but I think if it is meant to be it will happen and we will deal with whatever issues come up. In regards to people passing judgement on why you waited so long I say it is none of their business. Siblings do not have to be close together in age. There is no mandate out there that says it is so lol. I think it is great that your family has been blessed with another child and I bet your daughter is excited!!!

My daughter just turned 8 last week and I am 6 weeks pregnant now. Our situation is a little different; we had our daughter when we were still teenagers and it took us a long time to overcome all of the difficulties that go along with that. We wanted to make absolute sure we were ready the next time.

I have gotten comments from family members that I must be crazy for wanting to start over. If we had decided to quit at one, our daughter would have been out of the house when we were still in our 30’s and we would have been able to travel and do all of the things we missed out on in our 20’s. But our family just didn’t feel complete. I’m actually really looking forward to seeing the dynamics between the two of them with such a difference in age. My daughter is at an age where she will remember her sibling being born for the rest of her life and I’m looking forward to sharing that memory with her. Not many kids can say that. At her age she has also developed her own sense of individuality that isn’t defined by trying to be like (or different) from her sibling.

On a side note, I have a friend whose daughters are spaced 8 years apart, and although she was trying to conceive for several years before finally having her second, she told me that she would not have had it any other way. Apparently it is much easier having them spaced this far apart :wink:

Everybody here has all the positive comment, i dont want to be the downer but ok…

I have 2 older brothers who are 8 and 9 year older then me. The two of them are almost twins, just 10 months between them. (the oldest was born in november, and the younger brother in folowing september)

I cant say I have ever been as close with them as they are with each other. Having the same friends, going out together, soccer together, …
They still treat me as a baby. I always feel left out, dont know what to say to them. I had a hard time when they were going to puberty and when I am/was going to puberty they were building there houses (together! They helped each other.)

Bottom line is, I feel like a baby when I am with them and I dont feel really comforble when we’re alone in a room. When my parents arent home and I am, they say ‘isnt mom here?’, i go ‘no theyre out’, he says ‘ok, well im going home then’ We dont have much to say to each other.

I would have loved to have a sibling MY OWN age, so i wouldnt feel so alone at times…

My aunt has a 13 year old and a 5 year old. She tried for years, and had several IVF attempts to get pregnant again. The girls get along in a different way that girls who are only a year or two apart do, but they get along. They have different sibling issues than those born close together–but no more problems—if that makes any sense.

And don’t mind what other people think. I know it’s easier said than done, but you made the decisions based on your life situation. They don’t know your life story. And after I say that, I’ll say that I admire and respect your decision not to raise more children than you felt comfortable with while your husband was so far away. My father was away with the military a lot…and it was very hard. I respect someone who can shed social “norms” and follow the timing that is right for them.

Good for you! And congrats on your second :slight_smile:

I don’t have any advice for you, but my brother is twelve years older than me and I don’t think we could be any closer! I have never fallen out with him, and I think I always have thought he was the most amazing person in the world. I don’t know if that would have been different if the age gap had been smaller, but I have never wished we had been closer in age and it has never caused any problems. In fact, for most things it is better that he is older than me and I can’t think of a reason why they might not be close as siblings because there is an eight year age gap.

Good luck, and I’m sure everything will work out fine :slight_smile:

I am 3 years older than my sister, and then 10 years later came my little brother. My mom said he was her easiest baby because she had 2 other mothers to help. We were close when he was little and remain close now. He started Kindergarten when I started college and he had so much fun coming and helping me get my dorm room ready. He remembers when I read him the first few [name]Harry[/name] Potters. And then, when he was 13, I had my daughter. It is so neat to see him -my first “baby”-with her! I can’t wait for him to turn 16 next year so I can have a chauffeur for her!! As to how my mom raised us, she was much stricter with me. By the time he got around to do anything, she was like “whatever!” But he has so many people in town looking over his shoulder-my parents’ friends, my friends, my sister’s friends-that he has to be pretty good!

I’m sure everyone’s been giving you great advice, and I just wanted to add that my friend’s older sister has a son who is 14 and just had a baby daughter last year (about a 12 year age difference). Her older son absolutely ADORES his young sister. He loves to spend time with her, and I think that when he goes to college and then comes home for breaks, etc, it will be really exciting because his sister will still be young and will have so much to share with him. Plus, since she’s so little, he never fights with her or says anything mean about or to her, since she’s just a baby. My friend’s sister thinks that alone is such a blessing! I hope everyone goes well with your family! Good luck!

  • [name]Sydnee[/name]

My oldest sister is 8 years older than me. There are two other siblings in between but to me she has always been someone I look up to, I seek out her advice and I know I can count on her to take care of me if I need her to.
On a note more similar to your children, my other sister has a boy and a girl 8 years apart (the girl is older). They get along just fine. The boy is just two years old now, but his sister loves him more than anything and they play together alot. Also, it is amazing to watch her teaching him things (letters and numbers right now). Plus, she helps my sister to take care of him (my sister is a single mother) and you can already tell that he looks up to her. Personally, due to my experience and what I have seen, I don’t think you will have a problem at all. And it will be lovely for your older daughter to be able to remember her little sister as an infant, and to watch her grow up.

My dad has almost 20 years between him and his oldest brother they have always been really close and gotten along very well, and there is 6 years between me and my oldest sister and we are very close as well. I feel you can’t really judge by the number of years between them whether or not they will be close

My sister and I are 9.5 years apart, it was so much fun for me! I got to help my mom out with a lot of things since I was old enough to understand. My sister and I are inseparable, and she thinks of me as her second mother. I think that as long as you make sure that your 8yo is involved with the baby, everything will be great :slight_smile: Congrats!

Thanks for so many positive responses! I really think my girls will be close, and I’m so excited to see them together! It’s just something I’ve never really went through and needed to hear others’ experiences. Thanks again!

[name]Don[/name]'t listen to the negative comments! I have a friend with an 8 to 10 year gap between her and her sister (I can’t remember exactly) and she says how she thinks that is the perfect age difference. Whereas her other sister, only a couple of years younger than her, was often trying to copy her growing up, rooting around in her things and stealing her clothes, and they fight like you wouldn’t believe, my friend and the youngest sister get on swimmingly. The little sister is young enough to idolise my friend, and my friend is older enough to find her adorable. It works perfectly!

Your children may or may not be close in the long run, I can’t tell, but it will have little to do with age. Sure, sisters closer in age will share experiences like gossiping over boys and make up in their teenage years, but sisters with years apart will still have shared experiences from growing up in the same family, and will probably form a bond while young based on the older caring for the younger. Aside from that, when they are adults eight years will make little difference, and I’m sure that your new little one will value the advice your older daughter will be able to give, matured enough past the season of life that the younger is at to reflect clearly on it, but still close enough to it to remember how she felt at that age.

Good luck! [name]Auburn[/name]

My sister is 20 years older than me. We have a different situation, because we never lived together, but we’re close. We don’t ever fight and I feel like I can tak to her about things. Her boyfriends have to be “[name]Lily[/name]-approved” and she’s gotta know what’s going on in my life. In the end, we love each other and we’re sisters, and I really don’t think it matters how far apart in age we are.

I can give you the parents’ perspective on this, since my first two (girl and boy) are 7 years apart, and then 4 years later we had another boy. They are now almost 28, 21, and 17.

A lot of their closeness has depended on their own life stages. When they were younger, our daughter was close to her littlest brother (10 1/2 years younger) but couldn’t stand the 7-years-younger brother. The two boys were very close. Now, though, the two older ones are VERY close, go out together at night, confide in each other, seem like they could be twins, and the younger one feels (and is) left out! The older ones are young adults and the youngest is still a “kid,” in their eyes.

The biggest challenge has a parent has been finding activities the whole family can enjoy together. It’s hard when you have a teenager and a kindergartner at the same time! Weekend outings, vacations – they didn’t often enjoy the same things. Plus I interviewed a psychologist on raising kids far apart who warned me not to try and make our older child do everything with the family. Older kids are naturally becoming more independent and wanting to be out with their friends, while parents of younger kids spend more time with the family at home. So you need to let go of your older child while spending more family-centered time yourself with the younger one.

There are lots of pluses to having kids far apart but some special challenges too. Ultimately, I think they will work out the closeness issue and stand every chance of being close over the years as siblings born a year apart.

I have a brother 9 years younger than me. He loved his “sissy” when he was little, and although he PRETENDS to be too cool for me right now (he’s 16, he thinks he is too cool for everything) we have a great relationship. I did NOT want him when I was 9, the key for getting me excited and involved was how much my Mom relied on me. I changed diapers, I fed him his first solids, we read books. They aren’t going to be buddies (right away) but they can love and need one another. A close childhood friend of mine had the same situation, but her mom treated the new baby like it was something the older daughter couldn’t touch. The children have never been particularly close because older sister never got a chance to be responsible for the younger one.


My sister and I are 8 years apart. We have the same parents, and their story is very similar to yours. My mom wanted us about 4 years apart, but medical problems of other issues got in the way and I wasnt born until 8 years later. She was told after my sister was born that she would likely not be able to have another. My mom never believed the doctors, and sure enough I was born 8 years later.

Please dont believe people when they say your daughters wont be close. My sister is my best friend and we couldnt be closer. Eventhough we live in different cities now and are in completely different stages of life (she has 3 kids, I’m still in college) we still talk to one another almost every day on the phone. She is my only sibling, how could we not be close? While the gap might see large now, I assure you your girls wont notice it when they are older.

Obviously when we were little we werent as close. My sister was a teenager and I was the annoying little sister. But that is no different then any other sibling dynamic. My 2 nephews are 4 years apart and the oldest one thinks he is “too cool” to hang around his little brother whenever his friends are over. There is always going to be some sibling rivalary no matter what the age gap.

Heres some irony for you, if you are still worried about your girls not being close. My boyfriend and his brother are 15 months apart in age and only a year apart in school, and they are not close to one at all. They have nothing in common and rarely do anything together. They only live 30 min away from one another also. Aparently they were close as kids, but over the years just drifted apart.

My siblings and I are almost 35, almost 26, almost 24, almost 18, almost 16, and almost 12 (the 35-year-old is a step-sister and the 12-year-old is a half-sister). None of us are terribly close. My 35-yr-old step-sister ([name]Jayne[/name]) is pretty close with my 12-yr-old half-sister [name]Macayla[/name] (probably because they have the same dad, and [name]Jayne[/name] has no other siblings). [name]Jayne[/name] and the rest of us aren’t close because, by the time our parents got together, she was already grown (she lived with her bio-mom, as well).

My 26-yr-old sister ([name]Amanda[/name]) and my 24-yr-old brother ([name]Louis[/name]) used to be kinda close as very young children, but [name]Amanda[/name] is very hard to get along with. I was born on my brother’s sixth b-day, and that kinda kept us close, but my parents split when I was three and he moved with our dad to another state. I see him often, but we mostly talk about school stuff (he is almost done with college) and he is getting married after college (it feels like we are in different worlds!). My 16-yr-old sister ([name]Joanna[/name]) and I are just over a year apart (yeah, my age estimates don’t exactly line up…). As kids, we were extremely close. As we got older, our personalities tore us apart. She likes the party crowd, and I spend my Friday nights reading books or studying. We fight a lot too (this again, is due to our different personalities). Then again, we can still be close. My 12-yr-old sister feels sooo much younger than me! I was like 6 when she was born, and everything was about “the new baby”. I wasn’t jealous, but I couldn’t figure out why nobody wanted to play with me…why nobody liked me. It was bad. The fact we have different fathers kinda strained our relationship for a while, too. At the same time, while she gets on my nerves a lot (she is so stubborn), she is still my baby sister, and I try to always look out for her.

I guess it varies from family to family. With spacing kids too far apart, I feel that too much responsibility gets put on the older child (although that may not always be the case). When my youngest sister was born, I had to help out with diaper changes, and I heard “watch your sister while I…” to many times to mention. With my niece too (she lives with us), a lot of responsibility fell on me. I was 13 when she was born, and I had to drop almost everything to care for her. While everybody else had fun, played sports, went shopping, or went out to the movies with other friends, I was stuck at home changing diapers, making bottles, doing laundry, wiping tears, rocking the baby to sleep, and later when she got older (she is almost four now) it became potty training, making lunches for daycare, more laundry (toddlers always manage to dirty their clothing), more tears, baths, etc. plus doing homework and helping out by doing other chores.

What it all comes down to is your own family dynamic. If you can already recognize that the age gap could potentially be an issue, you will probably work hard as a mother to make sure it doesn’t become an issue. I’m sure your daughters will find a way to relate to one another one way or another, at some point in their lives.