Spacing Children


Hi all,

I am very upset right now because I want more children - our daughter is going to be 2 in November - but right now we’re not financially stable enough to be able to afford it. My husband was recently laid off like so many in the country right now. My husband tells me it is morally irresponsible to purposely bring a child into the world when you’re unsure where your next paycheck is coming from. I understand that, but I’m afraid that by the time we are stable enough to afford more children our daughter will be too old to relate to her brothers and/or sisters. My question to you all is how far apart are your children? If there is a big difference in age, how well do they relate and get along? In the course of knowing my husband, I’ve noticed that his brother who is 4 years older doesn’t really seem to relate to my husband too well. They say that it was that way growing up, too. Not fighting, really, but just doing their own thing. I wanted my children to be friends. Being an only child, I may be a bit ignorant of that family dynamic, but the hope is still there.

Yours in Christ,



I’m the last of 5, and I’m 10 years behind the last one.

I might not get some of the benefits of having siblings close to my age, but thats ok…I had friends.

But I DO get a ton of benefits from having them so much older than me. And so did they.


Hi Agapewolf,

I hear that from my grandparents, too, who were both from large families. I guess they get help with school and the issues that all kids go through.

Thanks for the response, as it brings up another question from an only child. How well did you all get along with your much older brothers and sisters?

Maybe I’m just a worrywart…



My first two are 8 days shy of 2 years apart. I have not yet been blessed with a third baby, and my kids are now 3.5 and 1.5 years old.

Growing up, I was frequently excluded from “the group,” and ended up doing my own thing. I am the oldest of three children. I am 28, my brother is 26, and my sister is 25. I have a difficult time relating to my siblings, and do not consider us close.

When I was in the paid workforce, I had a boss who was best friends with his older sister, who was like 10-12 years older than him. Sharing a home growing up (i.e., being close in age) doesn’t guarantee adult friendships among siblings. And with any luck, we spend far more time as adults than as children.

I firmly believe that no matter how far apart your children are spaced, there is still great potential for them to enjoy each other’s company and truly be friends.


My older brother is 4 years apart from me and we aren’t close necessarily but we love each other and still keep in contact and I miss him everyday. It doesn’t really help that he lives so far away from me or that he’s in the military and doesn’t understand what it is that I’m going through with my discernment because he went Baptist in high school but then again I don’t know what he’s been going through either. He’s willing to look after me if I ever need it and I will always look up to him because he’s my big brother, but I don’t think we’re ever going to be “friends” the bond between siblings is much stronger than that, at least to me it is. I’ll be praying for you and your husband to hear God’s will to know what to do.


I come from a family of four, would have been 5 but mother had a miscarriage…I am the eldest, then my sister whom is 3.5 years younger, a brother whom is 4.5 years younger and another 8 years-youngest-baby brother…

Out of all of us I am the black sheep, I speak with the 4.5 years younger sibling, and once in a while with my sister 3.5 years younger…the baby and I used to be really close but it all changed when I got divorced he says I am the embarrassment to the family…

My sister and I were never best friends and only 3.5 years apart, we got along enough until she became a teen, then things got nasty, she was 16 and I was 19.5 and ever since then things didn’t go so well… My sister 3.5 and brother 4.5 are best friends, they are inseperable, up until now that he’s married and has 2 kids… So it doesn’t really matter how you look at it…My bf is 7 years younger than her brother and they get along perfectly well…My sister’s bf and her sister are 3.5 years apart and are bffl… My sister’s other friend is about 8 years apart from her eldest sister and get along like coffee and milk…

My bf and his brother are 6.5 years apart, they have never gotten along, always fighting for parent’s attention and just a hi and bye relationship that’s it…

My sister and the baby of the family have never gotten along, like each other because they are siblings and love each other but are nowhere near friends…

My kids are aged: 11, 9, and 6…They fight like any brothers and sister, and love each other the way my siblings and I love each other, just get along for the ride and that’s pretty much it…No matter how much I try and teach them to be friends and love each other as such, doesn’t work…Eventually my daughter tells off one then the other and then it all goes to hades…That’s how kids are though…

I have a friend with 3 children similar ages to mine, and 2 get along perfectly well the eldest and youngest and they both tag team on the middle child and vise versa…

I also have another friend with 2 girls, and those little girls are inseperable, bffl…I have never seen 2 little girls ages 6 and 9 get along so well…

My father came from a family of 17 but 4 passed away, and 1 was murdered so I think they only have 10 siblings…something like that…And all the middle kids got along all their lives, together, and the youngest with the eldest, now that they are in their 50s they get together and they are all bffl…some more than others…

My mother came from a family that large as well, but she never got along with any of her siblings when she was growing up. She grew up with aunts and grandparents because her mother was always ill after each birth, don’t know how that woman’s made it this far, lol… My mother is almost 55 and let me tell you now that she’s older she gets along with her siblings but before as a young girl and teen and early adult hood she would rather be as far from her family as possible than ever deal with them. Compared to the education my great grandparents and my mother’s aunts and uncles provided for her, her siblings were illiteral pretty much, uneducated farmer’s children, my mother couldn’t stand them, they were very uncivilized and she has told me this herself. Everything she had they wanted and would team up against her imagine 8 kids running up and jumping you for your make up or money clothes or shoes? She couldn’t have anything when she would visit her mother, she stopped visiting by the time she turned 18… And dreaded going back…

So, it all depends on how you raise your kids…I think the biggest reason why my siblings and I started to not really ever get along was because of favoritism, my father would tell my youngest sibling and myself we were his favs and mother would tell the 2 middle children…lol… it’s hilarious because the dad’s favs moved to other states and mom’s favs still live with her…lol…

I am trying to raise my kids to understand that there are no favs but my daughter still feels that I do have favs just because my youngest does more chores and gets rewarded more often then the other 2 children do…She goes and calls him things like “goodie two shoes” etc…And I remind her that he gets rewarded not because he’s a fav but because he did something good! ANd she would too if she did her chores herself…

So each child has their own free will and you can’t control that as much as you can try…lol…


My first two are 2 1/4 years apart… second two are 3 1/3 years apart. Oldest and youngest (5 1/2 year difference) are also very close.

I am close with my own siblings as well… I consider my sisters (5 and 9 years younger) to be my best friends.


Hi Hope - Children are always a blessing - even in economic downturns. How many great people were born in the depression era and grew up to contribute great things to the world!! That being said, I can still understand why your husband might not want to have a baby right now, being that he is out of work. Especially with the medical bills that a baby incurs, if health insurance was lost along with his job. Just keep the prayers up for increased finanical stability.
Your daughter will love her sibling wether they are 2 years apart or 20.


I have a really close cousin whom is about 13 years apart from her younges sister, and they get along acceptable but as friends they will not even touch the subject…

I know my biological grandmother and her sister’s get along perfectly well, they are all bffl even when one is attacking like example my mother and her children, they will argue but stop after a few mins because they are still good friends…

I have cousins whom are huge age differences and others whom have very little and they all get along perfectly well they are literally partner’s in crimes, lol, they do things together all the time, it’s great…What did their parents do different, GOD only knows… :wink:

One of my friend’s has a tiny tot 16 months old and a 3 year old, 3 year old calls the little brother his baby, and tries to help mommy take care of him…

Another friend has a 13 year old son, and then his exwife has 4 other children from her new husband, 13 year old loves his siblings but wouldn’t live with them even if he had the chance to… Friend is getting remarried to a woman with 2 girls one 13 and the other 6, both teens get along well, so hopefully things will go well for them…

My close friend is 6 years younger than her sister, and they get along enough to get along as family but as friends they can’t stand each other at all…

Another friend lives with her cousin and she respects her cousin they are 15 years apart but they don’t like each other as friends…

One of my sister’s friends is only about 3 years younger than her brother and those 2 are close friends…

My bff is 8 years older than her baby sister and let me tell you that girl is her life, and her little sister lives with her and her hubby and 2 children…she couldn’t live without her sister…

So as long as you try your best to teach your children to love and befriend each other and hope for the best it doesn’t really matter if your kids are 1 year apart of 15 years apart…


Hi all,

Thanks for all of the responses. I’m starting to see that it’s less about age and more about how they are brought up. Maybe a little bit personality mixed in there, too!

Your in Christ,



I would just like to add that I would not place TOO much emphasis on financial stability. The only reason is that in two years you may consider yourself financial stable and have a child… one year later things could come crashing down.

I would pray about it and see what God says! He will never lead you astray unlike financial systems do.


I have 3 kids, 10,6 and 2 and they all get along pretty well…Most siblings I know either fight a little or a lot…Mine fight a little, but for the most part they all relate pretty well…the oldest tries to be like a “father” to my 2 year old…because he’s 8 years older but it’s cute…I feel your husband is right and if you don’t have a job right now, it’s probably not the best situation to bring another kid into family…wait till he gets a job…he’ll get one soon and than try…don’t put more stress on yourself right now…Children are a gift from God but they are expensive…clothes, food, doctor visits(even if you have insurance)…there are copays and some kids get sick a lot, diapers,…I’m just being practical…God bless you…


Exactly, everything depends on how you want to raise your kids and the emphasis you put on each child…Let’s say one is a little dark and the other bright you don’t just elevate the bright one and darken the other you elevate them both equally so that they don’t grow resentment over each other and never give each other the chance to grow closer you know?! That’s just an example…Just as long as you show them the way I am sure they will grow up to be great friends no matter what…

And money situation honey, let me tell you there is never a perfect time for children…closest friend thought she was ready for kids…Hubby and her made 200 grand a year together, owned condos and home, sold both condos after first baby was born she became a sahm because babysitter was too expensive, they nearly went broke dear with 1 child, she told me she didn’t understand how my then husband and I made it with then 2 children and 40000 yearly income…lol… While they made so much money and couldn’t afford their house any more…They learned to live with what they have and now have a 2nd child…

So believe me…lol…My sister and her hubby made about 150 grand a year while she was working, woman had a nervous breakdown and quit working now down to 100 grand a year and they are learning not to spend 1000 dollar on a gucci shirt…lol…

So ask guidance from GOD and good luck…If you need to contact your priest both you and hubby should seek counseling together about this…God bless.


Which is more moral? Not bringing a child into the world when you’re unsure where your next paycheck is coming from, or Not trusting in God to provide what you need for the child he might bless you with.

Withholding the marital act for material reasons used to be a sin. Not sure if it is now. Seems that your husband needs to trust more in God than his employer. Go talk to a priest, because I am sure he will tell you to leave it in God’s hands.


My dad is 1 of 5. He is closer to his brother who is 9 years younger than him than his brother who’s 3years younger. It has more to do with personality and temperment than age difference.


Hi Hope, As a mom of a large family, I enjoy observing the group dynamics and individual sibling relationships. Age plays a role, but personality is a HUGE part of this. (Siblings have an affect on each other’s personality too.) Upbrining and gender of the children have a part to play too. It all intertwines, and the relationships change over the years through various stages of development.

I’m sorry that your family is struggling in these tough economic times. May St. Joseph intercede for your husband to help him find employment. Prayers for you.


Hi all,

Thank you all so much for responding. When I got home today my husband (a math teacher) said that he had gotten a phone call for an interview tomorrow! Please pray to every intercessor (sp?) you can think of.:thumbsup:

I do understand my husband’s point, definately. He is my husband, and I will follow what he says. I just feel the “tick tock”, you know. :slight_smile: Maybe this job interview is a sign from the Lord that we’re on the path to recovery. I do need to give praise to both sets of our parents who have been such a support in this time. Oh, and definately praise to Our Lord.

Yours in Christ,



I don’t have any children, but me and my sister are 2 years apart almost to the day. I can say growing up we were pretty close and played together often. Now that we’re older, we’re even closer.

I definitely enjoyed having a sibling close to my age and would also like to do that with my children some day God willing.

My boyfriend’s brothers are 5 and 7 years older than him and they are not close. When he was at the age of playing around he says that they were too busy in high school and with other friends.


I grew up in a big family. Growing up I was closer to the ones closest in age. As we all became adults, the age difference issue pretty much went away. I’m in the middle of my family order, and I’m probably closest to the ones at either end of the family order.


My boys are 20 month apart and I thought being so close in age would = closeness. I could not have “picked out” two more different personalities if I’d tried. They are polar opposites in EVERYTHING. They get along sometimes, but a lot of the time there is tension and rivalry.

My brother and I were 11 months apart and we were VERY close as little children, but once we both hit 11 or 12, we started going our own way. Today, we’re not close at all. We don’t have animosity, but we’re not “close”. At all.

My children are 13 and almost 12. After my youngest child, I lost 4 babies to miscarriage. We’d hoped to have several children, and thought it would be great to have our older two so close in age, then we had a 5 year gap before I got pregnant again. Our “plan” was our older 2 close in age then maybe 2 younger ones close in age with that gap between. Our plans don’t always work out, though.

We have recently been thinking about having another baby. I am 37 and so not the youngest person in the world anymore, so I’m not sure if it would be the thing to do - - I would also be so scared of losing yet another baby. :frowning: But, the pull to have more babies is strong. I always, ALWAYS wanted several children. I have had the same thoughts as the OP - that my children would be way too far apart. Realistically, my children might be 16 & 15 or even older when/if that baby comes along. I wonder if that is just too much space. But, my mother is the 6th of 7 and her oldest sibling is 17 years older than she. My dad is the 3rd of 4, but that 4th one came when my dad was in 12th grade. Certainly, they were not “friends” growing up, but now that everyone is an adult, they get along well with their “far apart” sibling.

I see that in my own life as well. As a child, I never would’ve picked out a best friend many years older or younger than myself. You gravitate to people in your own age bracket because in childhood, a couple of years is a big deal developmentally. But now, my best friend in the world is a woman 15 years older than I am. And when we are together, it’s like there is no age difference at all. That reassures me that if I were to have another baby when my children are older teens, it would all work out in the end. Like others have said, personality and temperament are probably stronger indicators of adult closeness than age difference.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit