Having a baby when you have teens and preteens? Anyone start over?

posted 2 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
1839 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Not me but I know people who have done this.  My best friend just had a baby with her husband whose eldest daughter just turned 12.  They are happy.  She is 34 and he is 40.

My other friend’s mom had a baby when she was a senior in high school.  My friend then got married in her 20s, and her mom couldn’t attend her wedding because she was in labor having another baby.  So that was like a 25+ year gap.  I thought that was crazy but there are many paths to having a happy family.

Also, I was 8 when my youngest brother was born.  We are very close.

Post # 3
1928 posts
Buzzing bee

Not me but I have a friend who is 38 and they have kids who are 16, 14, 6, and 1. They seem to love it. Mt brother is 10 years older than me. My cousin is 15 years older than his sister. 

Post # 4
1554 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

My parents had me when my brothers were 16 and 17 (surprise!). My mum says it was actually easier cause I was a calm girl, they had more financial freedom at 36 than in their 20s, and my brothers were super helpful around the house with cleaning and cooking meals every night. 

What sucks is that now I’m 28 and my mom is 65, by the time my kids are school-age she will be in her 70s…it’s inevitable that she won’t be in as good shape for them as she was for my brothers kids (who are now 14 and 12, she has been super active and involved in their childhood). I also have no cousins my age and my grandparents died relatively early so that really sucked to not have them for my wedding and to meet my children. Overall though I had a good life and having older parents, being around adults a lot made me a mature child.

So there’s pros and cons! Think hard about it though lol, getting back into the baby stage!!

ETA: despite the age gap, I am super close with my siblings and we never fought. I love having two older brothers!

Post # 5
176 posts
Blushing bee

My parents had my baby brother when I was 10 and my older brother was 12. My mom said he was way easier than us as I helped a ton and was super involved in raising him and she was generally more relaxed. I was a built in babysitter and he was my little shadow. Obviously some kids might not love helping as much but I was happy to do it. My older brother and him aren’t close at all (but I don’t have a relationship with him either). He’s now 23 and we’re still super close. He stays over a couple times a month and is close with my partner. I’m having a baby soon and he can’t wait to be an uncle! You’re def not too old to start over again! I’ll be 33 and my partner will turn 43 just after our little guy is born. 

Post # 6
2476 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Not myself personally but my siblings are 12, 11 and 8 years older than me respectively. There were definitely pros and cons. We’re much closer now that we’re all older and age doesn’t matter as much, but when I was young it was very much like I was raised as an only child. My parents were also much older parents than my peers, which didn’t matter much but they definitely weren’t as involved of parents as they were when my oldest siblings were young. Obviously that is just them, not saying that’s always the case but it was my experience. 

It’s hard on me now, because my parents are in their late 60’s. I am 27, my son is 4 and I am currently pregnant. It makes me sad that my parents likely won’t be there for a lot of important moments in my own kids lives when they are older. My olders siblings have older kids so they will get to “know” my parents for longer than my own kids will. Sad to think about, but you truly never know how long you’ll live anyways so I guess all in all it’s not the worst thing. 

Post # 8
540 posts
Busy bee

My youngest and oldest are about 7.5 years apart. I def don’t think you are too old to have anymore kids. My tubes are now tied when I had my 3rd, since divorced, but my FH would have lived to have a child together. Its not in the cards for us unfortunately. Financially we couldn’t afford a reversal and/or another child. My younger brother and I are over 10 years apart. I remember babysitting him a lot but I loved being with him. We are the closest anymore but we had some falling outs when I was getting divorced. 🙁

I say go for it! 

Post # 9
547 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

View original reply
mel2 :  I can’t chime in regarding whether or not the age gap between your children would be an issue, my sister and I are 5 years apart so nothing as large as your potential 17-18 years but I will say I commend your pragmatic way of looking at your situation. Its easy to get swept away in the romanticism of babies but they are an enourmous financial commitment and will perminiently alter your existing family dynamic not to mension possible ramifications for your career. My advice is simply to think through the cold hard practicalities together and see if its something you both want badly enough to pursue. Xx 

Post # 10
9128 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
mel2 :  I wouldn’t do it. I had my kids close together because I wanted an end game at some point. I loved each of their stages (except teenage girl, that stage can go straight to hell) but I was not interested in having youngsters around for 15 years straight. Once we were able to sleep in on weekends again and make our own plans without worrying about play practice, basketball game, violin concert, buddy’s birthday party, science fair, group video project, spelling bee, book report, etc etc etc, there was no turning back. I know a few people who did the big gap and they are happy with their decision, but I am also happy with mine. It just depends on what you want from life. A couple happy healthy kids were enough for me, I did not feel any need for more.

Post # 11
7176 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I met DH when my stepson was 5, and my stepson always wanted another kid in the house (he has two younger sisters and an older stepsister at his mom’s). Unfortunately, we just weren’t ready for awhile. We had our daughter this past April when my stepson was 10, almost 11. At first it was hard contending with a kid who wants to grow up but isn’t quite there/couldn’t take responsibility for himself, and taking care of a newborn. The first 2-3 months were full of rebellion because at our house he was so used to getting 100% of our attention when he wanted it. But since he started 5th grade, his maturity skyrocketed. He’s significantly more helpful around the house when he’s asked or he just plays video games with his friends. If we need to go to bed early, we set an alarm for him and he always goes up to bed when that alarm goes off.

He doesn’t spend much time with our 10 month old, but she absolutely ADORES him when he’s around. We hope to have one more kid soonish because we at least want our daughter to have another sibling to hang out with since her and our oldest are so far apart in age.

FWIW my husband has a full sister 5 years older than him and a half sister 9 years younger than him. He was at his momsm the whole time, so no split custody, but as adults, he’s much closer to his younger sister than his older.

ETA – sometimes I really miss our nights alone, but DH and I make sure to take advantage of baby’s early bedtime on nights we don’t have my stepson.

Post # 12
1285 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Turkey

I’m actually that one kid whose brother is 14 years older and sister 11 years older. I can’t speak from the parents’ point of view of course but my life was awesome. Both my siblings write there for me like another set of parents, best friends and we never argued.

Mom told me she realized what it meant to be a mom after having me at the age of 31. 

Post # 13
238 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

On the flip side, my husband and I went through the same scenario last year (slightly younger teen) and ultimately decided NOT to have a baby. 

Besides the whole starting over thing, it was just too much to fathom being an “on call” parent for FORTY years of my life. Then shoveling all the money that we could have had an early retirement or even a better one with more traveling, towards school fees, tuition, all the costs of raising a child…

I also feared that maybe I’d start mentally  “checking out” when the kid was in high school and I was in my 50s…A family member had a baby brother when he was 17 and his brother 16, and while the parents loved the youngest and took care of him nicely, they were ready to move onto the next stage of life when the youngest was a teen and it kind of showed with how much attention and supervision he received vs. his older brothers at that age. Then the older kids started having grandkids and his parents weren’t as interested/involved as the older 2 kids hoped they would be, because they were still in the age of raising a young kid themselves. Once again, perfectly good people and not neglectful, just ready to move onto their next stage.

I also LOVE telling my son that I’m running to the store, be back in an hour. Making plans with friends. A weekend away. My career stalled enough when he was young, it’s in the best it’s ever been now.

When it came down to it, when I really really thought about it, I just wasn’t ready to give up the next 20 best years like that.

Post # 15
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

If you decide to, take lots of care that you include your existing children and treat them well. My siblings are 10 and 20 years younger than I am and we all have different dads. Each time my mom had a baby, I felt very “kicked out” of her new family. I felt like a built-in babysitter at best and a burden complicating her new family at worst.

When she was trying to get pregnant with my sister (the one who is 20 years younger), she was doing expensive IVF with her new husband and as a result, they didn’t contribute anything financially for college. This was only such a big deal because I had to report their high combined income (even though they got married my senior year of high school and I had a super poor single mom until then — like, received a Habitat for Humanity house poor) even though they weren’t helping, so I didn’t qualify for tons of scholarships I was counting on and didn’t get help from them to offset that.

That bit of saltiness is probably super specific to my situation, though. So that aside, I will always be an awkward second mom to both my siblings. My mom gets upset that I don’t want to have my little sister over for sleepovers or that I won’t go to all of her events (recitals, school events, sports, etc.) but I’m almost 30, married with a baby, and I have my own life. Like the above poster mentioned, my mom is simply not helpful or interested in being a grandma right now because she’s still a mom to a little kid. When I had my own baby, whenever I had questions, my mom would snarkily say “well if you had helped more with your sister you would’ve known …” I was 21! Even when I came home for Christmas or whatever, I wanted to be 21 at the bar with my friends! Not at home helping you with your new baby! I like my sister just fine, but we aren’t close just because we never lived together and we are so far apart.

Anyways, thanks for reminding me that I have many unresolved mommy issues 😂 My recommendations would be to make sure having more children won’t change your financial situation in terms of college for your oldest, don’t expect the older siblings to be free convenient babysitters all the time, and have fairly low expectations for the older kids’ involvement with their siblings as the new kids grow up.

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