Siblings. A Gift To Each Other.

“The best gift you can give them… Each other!”

My friend Heather made this comment on the above picture when Hubby posted it on Facebook the day after Littlest One’s birth.  I have trouble explaining our thoughts on their small gap in age any other way.  They are two years and two months apart in age.  Exactly what we wanted.

Every family has their own thoughts on the ideal separation in age between siblings.  For some it’s 18 months, while others need at least five years.  According to our family doctor, the “ideal” is 2.5-3 years.  I have no idea what that’s based on and I find it interesting that someone thought it was worth the research, but it is what it is: a recommendation.  Though, as with anything, there are plenty of suggestions, there is no universal right or wrong answer; only what works for each individual family.

Our decision to expand our family was not one we took lightly.  We did decide “to let nature take its course” with number two.  But before LM’s birth, we had frequent discussions about what we wanted.  We always knew we wanted at least two children and we wanted them close together.  We both have siblings close in age to us and we love our relationships with them.

Christine Olsen Photography

That aside, about a year after LM was born, I considered stopping at one.  I’d won a six month battle with stress induced depression (not professionally diagnosed postpartum, though I believe it was a mild case) and was finally feeling more like myself again.  In addition to finally feeling comfortable in my own skin, I loved our bond.  I loved having our special time together and I worried that I’d have trouble giving LM enough attention with the addition of another.

Though Hubby understood these feelings, he reminded me that our decision wasn’t just about us or even about LM’s bond with either of us.  For our family, our decision’s more of a bigger picture thing.  It’s about wanting our children to have the closest possible relationship.  We want them to always have each other, no matter what happens to us.

Now, obviously, I know things happen and siblings don’t always get to have each other forever either, because life is life.  AND because we were lucky enough to find each other and start a family at a young age, our children will hopefully have us in their lives for a very long time.  AND siblings can be more than ten years apart and still have a close bond.  That’s not really my point, though.  When I talk about having each other, I’m talking about a specific kind of sibling relationship.  It’s such a special bond based on shared experiences and much different than the bond with a much older sibling or parent.

It’s hard for me to explain what my relationship with my sister is like.  I feel like it’s almost supernatural.  We are so different in so many ways, and yet so connected.  No matter how far apart we live from each other or how often we talk, we know each other inside and out.  We don’t always know what’s going on in the others’ life or what the heck the other was thinking, but we’re pretty good at reading each other and knowing how to provide support.  Yes, we fought like crazy as kids and we probably competed for attention (thought I don’t remember ever feeling that way), but my parents always encouraged us to hold each other close.

So, though it doesn’t work for everyone, and there are days I already wonder “What, IN THE WORLD, was I thinking??”, I’m so happy my boys have one another.  It’s worth every second of sleep deprivation!

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Comments

  1. This is such a great post for me to read right now as we are in the home stretch of waiting for Baby #2. My son will most likely be 23 months old when she arrives. I’ve never known a close sibling relationship, but I really do hope we are giving both of our kids an amazing gift!

    I love the first pic of your two little ones!
    Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Baby’s 2nd Easter (LINKY)

  2. Michelle says:

    Lovely! I hope your boys are great friends :)

  3. Amber says:

    I am the middle of five. The hubs is older (44) so we have discussed the importance of making a decision about a second kid very soon. I love my sibs, and I do wonder if I am depriving Jonas if I choose not to have a second one. I do think 2-3 years is a great age difference for the kids. With Jonas already approaching three, we’ve got a lot of thinking to do. And soon.

    Love the pics of your little men. So cute.
    Amber recently posted..Character Interview Numero Uno

  4. Angela says:

    This is a beautiful post! I love watching my children play with one another…their love for one another is so pure…it melts my heart :)
    Angela recently posted..The Benefits And Joys Of Sensory Play

  5. Ms. Mess says:

    I loved this post. With 7 years between my brother and I, and my husband being an only child—we can’t wait to give our 20 month old a sibling. We just need to accept the fact that we won’t be sleeping for a LONG time. But it will all be worth it!

  6. Lindsay Y. says:

    Hi – new here. A great read, thank you. I have four children. My first two are a whopping 16 months apart. I knew no different so therefore I didn’t think it was THAT “bad.” I suppose it helped that all my babies slept through the night around 6-8 weeks…..anywho….so then between #2 and #3 there is almost a three YEAR gap. That was a nice gap, and a lot of life happened in those three years, included a move across several States – so it didn’t feel that long. And now between #3 and #4, there is a 20 month gap. This one was a lot more difficult. I suppose it’s because I’m older and can’t keep up as well, but all this to say, I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. The bond my two oldest have (boy and girl) is awesome and I pray then never lose that! The younger two girls will also have a precious bond. I sometimes worry if it will always be slit that way – the “big kids” v. the “babies.” I really look forward to later in life when we all get together for holidays – imagine the fun!!
    Lindsay Y. recently posted..Undeserved Blessings {My Birthday}

  7. Alice Graham says:

    There is a nothing that gives a kid much pleasure than having around a sibling whom they can be able to hang around with and play with. It is such a close relationship that is built between them that you will find trying to separate them even for a short while not quite an easy thing.
    Alice Graham recently posted..Review of Shin Ohtakes Max Workouts Program

  8. Nancy says:

    Well yes it truly is a blessing for both the kids as they can grow up learning new things from each other and will also get the morale support from each other…

    Thanks
    Nancy recently posted..Xbox 360 HDMI Cable: The Capabilities

  9. nikonMom says:

    I love this post, and it so closely matches our feelings. My husband was unsure of #2 as he felt we were so perfect as a family. But what tipped the scale was my asking what his life would be like today without his brother, his best friend. We didn’t want our son to not know that bond. I am also best friends with my sister. We’re over 5 years apart, my husband and his brother 2 yrs 1 mo. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you love each other. Now my two boys are 5 and 2, just a few months shy of 3 years apart. They are absolutely inseparable. They are best friends. I tell them all the time their brother will be the most important person in their life growing up. They help each other, look out for each other, love each other. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I know they wouldn’t either. When they play, when they hug and kiss, it’s the most amazing thing to watch. What a gift.

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