My name is Deanna and my kids are 22 years old (Which is strange all on its own because all of my social media has me listed as 29. Weird, right?) and 6 years old. I know. Holy age gap bat-mom! I often get asked about the age gap and what it is like.
I didn’t originally plan to spread them apart that far but life happened and that’s the way it turned out. Honestly, for me, it wasn’t so strange. I have two brothers myself. One is just two years older and the other is thirteen years younger than me. So for me, large age gaps between siblings are the way to go. Okay not really, but I did know a thing or two about them… or maybe not as much as I thought.
We found out we were having a girl very early on. I decided this was a good thing. One of each. My husband felt the same way. We tried to include our son in everything. He got to see her inside my belly. We discussed names with him and let him know he was about to take on an important role, big brother! For us it was just that, big brother! He was at the hospital when she was born and I can tell you it was love at first site. For all of us!
We heard and have continued to hear you have a built in baby sitter, diaper changer, and so on. That is never how we saw it. Who were we to take away any of Cam’s crucial years? This was our choice, our baby, and Cameron’s sister. So that’s exactly what he gained, a baby sister (and the best advertisement for birth control that you can have in your home). Being her brother is always going to be enough and all we expect. We decided he could help with normal tasks but he was not her caregiver and we did not want him to feel like he had to be. We found he is always willing to help us out with whatever we need and so much more. He is the first one to step up if his sister needs something. He also loves to question our parenting in regards to that little lady. He is such an amazing big brother and she is a wonderful little sister too! They have an undeniable bond and I am so thankful I get to see it.
We also get asked if it is like having two separate only-children. The answer to this is yes and no. I’m not shuttling two kids around or running back and forth between activities, but I am still very active in both of their lives. They also spend time together and interact like brother and sister. They build things and play together, they call each other names and even tattle on each other. They protect and worry about one another and even battle for our attention. They go through all of the same emotional and ups and down that most siblings do. My son is away at college now so they no longer have the day to day interaction but the sense of loss my daughter has been feeling reminds us of the huge presence he has in her life.
So what is like to have kids with a fifteen year age gap? For us it isn’t much different than any of our friends. Our kids still fight, they play together, they pick on each other and they love each other so much! We don’t have a built in babysitter but Claire has the best big brother out there and he is willing to hang out with her whenever she asks.