My children have a 6 year age gap. It does come with some challenges and lots of questions from others. One of the funniest question I get: Are they from the same father? Sometimes I don’t answer, Sometimes I answer : I don’t know (depending on my mood). But yes, I have been married for almost 15 years and they are from the same father. But why 6 years (another question I often get)? I had just graduated from College when my son was born. He had some medical challenges and we could not have a second child. By the time everything settled for my eldest, he was already 5, I got pregnant with my little princess. What are the challenges of such a long age gap?
6-year age gap between children: Challenges and Benefits
Having an age gap between children does come with some challenges, but it also has many sweet benefits! I have 12 years old age gap between my brother and I, so 6 years did not seem that long to me.
- Welcome back to sleepless nights: My son was 6 when my daughter was born. I forgot the sleepless nights and even was enjoying sleep in mornings on the weekends (just until 8 am though).
- You have to go back to diaper changing: but don’t worry you have a little helper. My son was happy to bring the diapers, baby wipes, etc. Anything that made him feel like a grown up.
- You need to buy everything again: My husband and I were not planning on having a second baby at first so we got rid of everything we had. When I got pregnant, I had to buy everything again.
- Family activities become challenging especially in theme parks and family fitness activities. When my son could ride a 3 mile path, my daughter could only do a quarter. So we usually split ourselves: my husband goes with my son for scary rides and my daughter and I go to the less scary ones. Same thing for movies, we split.
But children with age gap is not all challenging, it has its benefits as well!
- One of the nicest things about the age gap is that you get to enjoy each child to the fullest. When my son was 6, he did not want to cuddle as much as my baby daughter. He did not require as much attention (compared to a 2 or 3 year old). So I could take care of my baby without feeling guilty or rushing to change his diaper etc.
- You have one of the best helpers ever: my son was eager to help me: be it bringing me diapers, wipes or toys. He felt so important and it was good for his self esteem. Now that he is 13, he babysits his sister.
- Each child enjoys some ME TIME with the parent (guilt free). My son understood when I took care of his sister. He let me do it and when she slept, I had some great time with him. Now they are 7 and 13, I still do the same. I go on parent-dates with my kids: I go out on a shopping spree with my daughter on her own and go out to the movies on my son separately.
As you can see, yes, there are definitely some challenges that come from having a long age gap between children. There are also many benefits! Once your children reach their adult years, the age gap kind of melts away. The difference between 7 and 12 may seem like miles, but the difference between 30 and 36 is practically nothing. So if worries about an age gap are keeping you from having another child, don’t let it stop you!
Do your children have a wide age gap between them? What are your biggest challenges and benefits?