When I describe the ages of my siblings, I am accustomed to others react with shock and disbelief. My family dynamic seems to come as a surprise compared to other traditional siblings. We are very spread out. My older brother, and eldest sibling, was 15-years-old when our youngest sibling was born. There are four of us total.
But when you break it down, the ages don’t seem too extreme. My brother and I are 4 years apart, my little brother and I are 5 years apart, and my little brother and little sister are 6 years apart. As a whole though, my parents raised children from 1983 to 2016, when my little sister finally turned 18. That is some long child raising years!
Honestly, I wouldn’t have any other way.
When I say I love my siblings, I ADORE them. I would do anything for them. We’re all quite different in our own ways, but yet, still so similar. I am sure (and would imagine) most people feel the same way about their own siblings, but I have wondered if our age difference has allowed some unique factors or prevented some stereotypical challenges.
For one, my sister and I hardly fought.
She was born when I was 11 and as the only girl prior amidst brothers, oh how I begged and prayed for a sister. It felt like my dream I had so long was finally coming true! Because of this age difference, there was quite a number of years where we couldn’t share clothes or fight over boys. Even when she was an annoying small child, I thought she was the cutest thing and had been an active sister in her formative years. She was never a nuisance to me – after all, I had been wishing for her existence for years.
That’s not to say we didn’t fight with the other siblings
In our household, it always seemed to be worse with the sibling who was directly older or directly younger. I fought with my older brother and little brother. My little brother and little sister fought. For the most part due to our birth order, my brothers rarely fought as I did with my sister.
One big con of having spaced out siblings that I see often is parents asking for babysitters too much. I have either blocked it out or maybe my parents didn’t do too much without us, but I never remember being burdened by this. I was responsible for my little brother after school and I do remember a couple of summers where I stayed with my sister, but overall this didn’t seem to be a big issue in our household.
Another worry parents may have is children are in different life stages with spaced-out siblings. And that is definitely true. But then you all grow up and you are all adults – and thus, in the same life stage. My brothers share a 9 year difference and are close, and I too relate to the majority of my siblings as we are in similar life stages in regards to child rearing or paving our career path.
It’s always a toss-up with kids
We probably all know that there is no way to predict what our children’s future relationships will be with their siblings. I know siblings very close in age who rarely talk to each and some who are best friends. Or siblings spread apart who feel like the other is a stranger or some who talk to each other every day. If your kids are a little further apart than you first desired, don’t stress! You may be surprised how their relationship will be later in life. For now, just follow the cliche advice: Do what’s best for you and your family, and all the other pieces will fall into place.