Raising Sons with Large Age Gaps

Raising my sons with large age gaps has it’s challenge and a whole lot of rewards.

Coming from a family of 6 siblings, all of us are very close in age.  With me being the oldest, I had the experience of knowing what it was all like.  My mother had all six of us by the time she had turned 24 years old.  Six kids in seven years.  No twins, by the way.  In fact, there were 2 children born 11 months apart, and 2 more children born 10 1/2 months apart.  Needless to say, she was on a fast track after having the second born almost 3 years after me.   

A little crazy, you think?  Every person and every family is different.  

Some may think the children will forever have a bond with each other, being born so much closer together.  

I have to disagree.  From my own experiences, I truly believe it is mostly about how the children are being raised.  Not by their age gap.  It is how or if they are taught to love and respect each other, is how it factors out.  

 Raising Sons Quote with SimplyGloria.com

Having my boys with large age gaps in between each other, was just how things happened.  

Life just happened.  

Becoming pregnant at the very young age of 16, obviously wasn’t in the plan.  It just happened.  But, from that moment of knowing I was going to become a mother for the very first time, I would become the best mother I could be… to all three of my sons.

I was raising my Levi, during the rest of my teen years.  It wasn’t until later after I was married after a few years, we decided to add to our little family.  Levi was 6 years old when little brother, Gatlon came into our little world.  

I loved the thought of having them 6 years apart.  Although, my friends would always say, “But, you’re starting all over again!”

Yes, of course I had to repurchase all the material things after having every child.  But, as time goes on, so does change.  The car seats, cribs or even some clothing changes after a few years.  So what? 

But, it was just the beginning.  My little family was becoming a family I wanted to create.  I wanted to surround my children with endless love… and have them feel love towards each other.

Then, life just happened again through the years after having my second son.  

My third and last child, Easton was born 9 years after my second, and 15 years after my first child. 

Of course, you’re probably thinking I could of had maybe one child in between the 9 year gap.  But, each of my children came at different chapters in my life.  Each of course, a true blessing.

Raising Sons with large age gaps in between from SimplyGloria.comThe advantages of raising my sons with large age gaps:

I am able to focus on each child at a time.  Giving them the attention they need while they are going through their individual stages of childhood.  Guiding them through all stages to adulthood, and becoming a man… a gentleman.

I feel there is more bonding time as mother and son.

I have always enjoyed watching how each older brother becomes an example and shows how much he cares for the younger brother.  And, with each other, in general.

There’s no jealousy.  Nor, beating up each other, as brothers normally do.

Raising Sons with SimplyGloria.com 1

The only challenge I face is now that Levi has been out on his own for almost 5 years doing the grown up thing, is to have them join together and have brother time as much as possible.  I truly cherish and feel my heart melt when I get to see all of my boys together, loving each other. 

I know that my job as a mother is to not only bond with each of my sons, but to have them bond and love each other, too. 

My boys may not be within 18 months of each other, or have the same interests, or even be in the same schools with each other… but they are all very close.  They love and cherish each other, as brothers should.  

What are your thoughts/opinions of big or small age differences between siblings?

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Comments

  1. says

    I am so in the same boat. I have An 18,14,11 and then a 5 and 2 year old. Did not plan for this to happen this way, but it is life and it happens! The advantages to this is that with the 5 year old and 2 year old they have so many people around to love on them and treat them like babies. The disadvantage to that is that sometimes it seems like they have 5 parents instead of 2! For my older ones they have to endure the disney channel a lot more then they would really like to and when nap time and bedtime for the small ones comes around things kind of shut down for the older ones but we do our best to try and keep a balance!
    Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet recently posted…Chocolate Pretzel Pecan Shortbread BarsMy Profile

    • says

      Nancy, we have the same issue with the tv. East wants to watch Arthur and Gatlon is on a Friends kick. So we usually play UNO when they argue about the tv. (That’s how I torture them!)

  2. says

    My children are all 6 years apart. I, too, loved that I could get them thru babyhood and off to school and the next stage of their life before another baby came along. I had 14 years from the time the first one left home until the last one left home. I would not have had it any other way.

  3. says

    There are 6 and a half years between me and my oldest sister. People always seem to think that that’s quite strange and there always seems to be a lot of pressure on mothers to have babies quite close together (I know a lot of my friends have said things like “I need to have my second baby soon! The first is almost two!!”) But I totally agree with you. Having seen girls that were born close to each other, I saw them bickering and competing against each other. My sister and I never had that because of the age gap. I got to learn a lot about life from seeing her go through it first, and she got to enjoy seeing me grow up and always feeling like she was looking out for me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    Julia @ hungryandconfused recently posted…Cheese-Topped Chicken Flavour Whole Wheat Dog TreatsMy Profile

    • says

      Julia, that has got to be the greatest feeling. You and your sis have a great relationship. I often wonder what it’d be like if someone was older than me… instead of me being the one to always take care and worry about my siblings. Over here in Utah, if you don’t pop out a kid within that short span… every one starts to think something is wrong with you. 🙂

  4. says

    I love your little family. If I would have known I would have trouble having babies, I would have started much earlier. Mine are 3 years apart and it works, they’re very close, but it’s hard to compare because I don’t know what it would be like to have them 6 or 9 years apart, you know? I would love to adopt, but hubs won’t hear of it! Love your stories!!
    Paula recently posted…Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken SlidersMy Profile

    • says

      Paula, you are too funny! With the span of having my boys, around here in this area, I could have had a dozen kids by now… like all the families were when I was growing up… they had a least a dozen. (Can you imagine?!)

  5. Darlene E says

    I am in the same boat as well. My boys are 33,21,15. Life does happen and always the way God planned. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I had time to spend one on one.. I have 4 siblings we are all door steps. We are all close to each other. We are always there for each other.

    • says

      Darlene, you are so lucky to have a close bond with your siblings now. I love how your children are in different decades, like mine! It is true, we do get to spend more one on one time with them. It’s such a great bonding time that I don’t think a lot of mothers get to have. But, everyone is different. Thanks for stopping by! xo

  6. says

    I can definitely see the pros have spacing your children out! I might have done that if I didn’t wait so long, but I was older, so I didn’t have the luxury. ha My boys are 20 months apart, and we’re going constantly with overlapping sporting events, etc. I love the photo of you with your boys — I’m sure they think you’re the best mom ever!
    marcie recently posted…Cooking School Week 18My Profile

    • says

      Marcie, I see that a lot with other moms… on one side of a soccer field, and running over to the next. I was getting older, too when I had my youngest. Sometimes, I wish I would have sneaked one more in there. You are so sweet to come over and stop by. You always make my day, really. xo

  7. says

    Love this post Gloria! So true, every family is different and just because siblings are close in age doesn’t automatically guarantee that they will have that close bond. My brothers and I are extremely close not because of our age but because our parents taught us to love and respect each other and to always look out for each other. I can only hope my kids will be able to share that same close bond as your boys because it definitely shows how much you love them and they are very lucky to have you as their mom. Thank you for sharing your story and these precious family photos 🙂
    Kelly recently posted…Cheese Ravioli with a Skinny Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo SauceMy Profile

    • says

      I love how your parents taught you to love and respect each other. We never had that growing up… weird, I know. It just sounds like common sense to me. So, that is why I teach my boys the same thing. I can just tell you are such a sweet momma… xo

  8. says

    This is a beautiful post Gloria. You know what’s scariest? You had your sons so far apart and you STILL pretty much had all of them by the time you were my age (30)!! My husband and I are in our third year of marriage and we haven’t started trying yet. We do want children but we’re scared by it at the same time, to be honest. Such a huge change in life, but precious, unique and worth every second of energy spent. My first two brothers and I are about 2-3 years apart (30, 27, 25) but we have a younger brother aged 11 who was born from my Dad’s subsequent marriage. It’s weird as I was 19 when he was born and as I was in a different country (my dad was in the UK) I hardly know him. Neither do my other brothers, to be honest. It’s kinda strange but I do try to treat him like a brother whenever I see him. Glad that your boys have bonded and that they’re travelling together on the road to manhood! You’ve done an amazing job xxx
    laurasmess recently posted…Roasted Figs with Honey, Cointreau and Mint {and Contemplation}My Profile

    • says

      Laura, you’ve just made my whole day!
      You will know when it’s time to start a family. But sometimes, it chooses it’s own time. Funny how *life* seems to always fall right into place when we least expect it to.
      I know exactly what you mean about your relationship with your youngest brother. It is just like that with my older boys’ dad (ex hubby, but my best friend) and his MUCH younger brother (over 20 yrs apart), which have the same father. But, they really don’t have much of a relationship. They just see each other on special occasions. I’m so happy I ‘nudge’ my boys to see each other often. Otherwise, people get busy with their own lives and time just passes by. My older son (long story, but has a biological dad and the dad that raised him, I just mentioned) has (several) siblings from his other (biological) dad. And, Levi always makes it a point to stay in contact with even the younger ones. (Which, one is on the way in late summer!) Levi wants them to always know who he is.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and with your sweet comment… xo

  9. says

    I agree, having a sibling so close in age does not equal to being close or having a forever bond between them. I have two older sisters and one older brother. One sister is 15 months older than I am. My other sister is 5 years older and then there’s my brother who’s 7 years older than I am. Growing up my older brother and oldest sister and I weren’t very close due to the age gap difference but as adults, we are very close and supportive of each other now. My sister who’s 15 months older than I am were close when we were teenagers/early teens but not so close as adults. We’ve had a couple of fall outs and it took years before we started talking to each other. So much for being close.

    I love how each of your boys got your complete attention and how you can completely focus on them while they were/are growing up. Nowadays I rarely see men being gentleman and I’m so glad to see you raising them and instilling that in them. You truly are a wonderful mother Gloria. xo

    • says

      Oh Anne, I hear ya there… there are not very many gentleman out there these days. And, I expect to be treated as a lady and have my boys respect other ladies. (Including their girlfriends! Which they are such gentlemen… so proud!) But, just the other day, I was beyond shocked as I’m walking into an elevator (with 6″ heels on, of course), I almost fell over as the doors were getting ready to shut on me. Long and behold, a guy was standing in there… and did not at all hold the door! My youngest son and my hubby was walking in right behind me. The dude even hurriedly almost pushed me out of the way to get out of the elevator first. The gall some guys have. I was so appalled! His momma definitely did not teach him to be a gentleman!
      But, there’s my “not enough gentleman in this world” story. (hehe) Have a great weekend! xo

  10. C. Meredith says

    Our sons are now 42, 36, & 28. While raising them I enjoyed the big age differences between them & I still do. I remember when I was teaching our oldest son to drive, taking the middle one to his Little Leage games, & toilet training the youngest. Our sons have always been very close & their wives are now close with each other too. Our middle son & daughter-in-law have a son & daughter ages 10 & 1, & it is wonderful to see our grandson dote on his sister. When people used to say things about us HAVING to start over again I used to say that we were GETTING to start over again. Each one of our boys got a lot of attention from my husband & me, & the younger 2 got a lot of loving attention from their wonderful big brothers!

    • says

      C. Meredith, that is exactly how I felt every time some one made it sound like it was a bad thing. I love watching my boys all together. It is kind of rare to have them all together at once… but I cherish I surely cherish those moments so much. I can literally sit back and be mesmerized of how they interact. They may be years apart, but they sure do love each other. I can’t wait until the next chapters of their lives with daughter-in-laws… and babies!!! Thank you for sharing!!

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