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My 2 boys are 6 years apart and they can't get enough of each other! My oldest was so excited to have a younger brother, and really enjoys teaching him things and doting on him. When he is gone (spending the night at a friend's house or even just gone for the evening), my younest will cry for his big brother. Sometimes my oldest will even go in and comfort him in the night if he has a bad dream or something. They rarely fight about anything, unless my youngest grabs a toy or something from my oldest or gets into his room and starts rifling through his things. Sometimes my youngest gets "crabby" with his big brother, but not any moreso than he does with me at times ;).

From the time my oldest was 18 mos old, everyone told me how horrible it was for him to "still" be an only child, what a miserable life he would have, how he would be a spoiled brat, etc. At first I thought I only wanted one child, but when my oldest got to be 3 or 4, I started to realize what a great big brother he would be. I started trying to get pregnant again but experienced infertility and wasn't able to conceive for another year or so. By that time, all of the nay-sayers were so fed up with me and my cruel decision to have an only child that they had stopped chastising me and simply branded me as hopeless.

When I got pregnant, everyone came out of the woodwork again. Family, friends and complete strangers would come up to me and tell me that I was heartless and insensitive for spacing my kids so far apart. Seriously, a complete stranger brought me to tears at Burger King when I was 9 months pregnant and sitting there enjoying a nice moment with my soon-to-be 6 year-old. She came up to us and asked my son how old he was, then looked at me and said, "How sad that your children will never be friends." (For all she knew, I could've had 5 more at home with a sitter!)

So many people told me I was basically going to have two "only children," and that they would hate each other and never get along. Some ridiculous wife of one of my husband's colleagues told me what a sad decision I had made and that my kids would never bond with each other because of the age difference. She was bragging about having 6 kids all only about one year apart. (Hmmmm, wouldn't that make her oldest and youngest kids 6 years apart?) I told her, "Oh, I'm sorry to hear that your oldest and youngest don't get along with each other!" She was completely baffled by my response and bragged that her oldest and youngest got along the best of any of them. She was so stupid she didn't even get it!

So there is the mentality of those who would criticize your decision to wait! Everyone is eating their words now when they see the beautiful relationship between my boys. Now I get complete strangers coming up to me and telling my oldest son what a great big brother he is!

Overall, it's been great. I wouldn't have it any other way! :)


[This message has been edited by Cheryl3 (edited 04-08-2003).]
It's funny how opinionated people are over this issue. I live in the midwest, where it's very common to have a ton of kids very close together. But I can certainly sympathize with you Robyn, because I've heard people make comments to other moms about having their kids "too close together." It usually happens in the supermarket when the poor mom has one or two kids who are throwing a tantrum. People will say stupid things like "You've got a handful there, how far apart are they?" Like you need nosey questions when you are just trying to control your children long enough to get to the checkout stand!

I keep hearing that the "ideal" age difference is 18-24 months apart. Even some of the parenting magazines I get are saying this. It's funny how everyone is so eager to label you as selfish if you deviate from that "norm." What's interesting is that my best friend also has 2 boys who are six years apart, but she divorced and remarried, so they have 2 different fathers. No one said a thing to her while she was pregnant except how great it was that she was giving her son a little brother. But since I've been married to the same guy for 12 years it's selfish for me to wait so long. Where's the logic in that?

I think it's great that you've decided to give yourself a breather after all that you've experienced. Good luck and enjoy your girls while they're little! They grow up so fast, and then you'll be ready for another!


[This message has been edited by Cheryl3 (edited 04-10-2003).]

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