Kendra Smoot

What age difference do you have between your kids, if you have them? Or between your siblings? Here, five mothers share their kids’ different age gaps…

What Age Gap Do Your Kids Have?

Abbey’s boys, Alex and Ben, are 8 3/4 years apart. She says: “When the baby was born, Alex was about to turn nine. We had secondary infertility, and I had a lot of anxiety about the age difference, but things that are good about it are: there’s so much less fighting, and Alex is really helpful. It’s like having another set of hands — he opens the door for the stroller and grabs the wipes for me. He also delights in the baby. The baby calls bread ‘bun bun’ and it just tickles Alex. Because they are so far apart, they don’t play as peers, but they play together in some ways — like Alex will make a fort and the baby will enjoy it. We work hard to make sure Alex isn’t another parent. He’ll definitely discipline the baby sometimes, and I’m like, that’s my job. And he’s a much harsher would-be parent than I am! Overall, I think this age gap has totally exceeded my expectations of what a sibling connection can be. When I was pregnant, so many people said things like, ‘I had 10 years between my oldest brother and me and we’re so close.’ So, I didn’t plan it, but it’s pretty great!”

Kendra Smoot daughters

Kendra’s daughters, Stella and Imogen, are five years apart. She says: “I was 27 when I had Stella, and it wasn’t totally planned. I went back to work when she was six months old, and my career started going, and we just didn’t really think about having another one. Then, when she was four, I was like, if we do want to have another kid, I guess we should do this. When I was pregnant with Imogen, and Stella was in kindergarten, I was patting myself on the back about the age gap. But then there were a couple years when I was like, this was so dumb — one kid was tired of going to the park, and the other kid always wanted to go to the park. I wondered if I should have had them closer together. But now I’m back to feeling good about it. I mean, Stella can babysit! We went on vacation and, after a full day as a family, my husband and I went out to late dinners! So, it all kind of shakes out.”

What Age Gap Do Your Kids Have?

Kady’s girls, Sylvie and Neeve, are 2 1/2 years apart. She says: “I remember being intentional about the age gap being around two years, if possible. I wanted my kids to be close in age so they’d have common interests. My sister is seven years younger, and when I was little, I was always asking my mom for a sibling. So, I wanted that for my children — the company, a playmate, etc. It’s funny, when I look back at pictures when Sylvie was born, Neeve was still such a baby. She could barely speak! But at the time, I saw her as this really big sister. I like the age difference.”

What Age Gap Do Your Kids Have?

Olivia’s kids, Jimmy and Bo, are one year (and a week) apart. She says: “My kids are the closest in age that I’ve heard of, aside from twins. It was planned — which surprises people — because I’d been a nanny and I thought, let’s get all the diaper years over and done with. So, I was pregnant with a three-month-old baby. The first year was pretty crazy. The most trying thing was that every phase was double the time — so you’d have the terrible twos, but it would be two years long; or teething wasn’t six months, it was twelve months. Nowadays, when they play well together, it’s incredible, but they’re permanently competitive. The younger one sees the older one always doing something first, not realizing it’s because she’s older, since they seem the same age. So, I try hard to focus on their individual talents and achievements.”

What Age Gap Do Your Kids Have?

Sharon has twin boys, Oscar and Owen. She says: “The first year was total chaos. Sometimes I couldn’t tell them apart when they were tiny babies and I just didn’t care! I was so exhausted, it honestly didn’t matter. Plus, they fed at the same time and even pooped at the same time. But when my kids turned one, to help people tell them apart, I decided that Owen would have short hair and Oscar would have long hair. And that’s still true, a decade later. I wanted them to feel like brothers, versus twins, and have their own identities. Another thing: People always think twins will be extra close, and maybe they will, but there doesn’t need to be that pressure. My boys have really different interests, and they get along well, but they don’t need to be best friends just because they’re twins.”

What about the kids in your life? What’s the age gap? How do you feel about it? Toby and Anton are three years apart — here’s the day they met.

P.S. On having an only child, and three words that changed how I parent.

(Top photo from Kendra Smoot’s Instagram.)