My Siblings And I Have An Unusual Age Gap. Here's What It's Like.

Siblings — some with a huge age difference, others with a tiny one — tell all.

Maybe you had a sibling that was close in age, and can’t imagine having navigated childhood without them. Or perhaps you were an only child, and aren’t sure how you would’ve managed having to share your parents’ attention.

Parents often worry about what the “right” age gap is between siblings. There are financial concerns, like the cost of having two kids in day care, or in diapers. And logistical ones, like how to handle drop-off and pickup at more than one school, or how many carseats you have room for in the back row.

Every potential age gap comes with its own benefits and challenges. As is so often the case with parenting, we may not have as much control over the situation as we would like: Sometimes babies arrive in our lives much sooner (or later) than planned, and siblings work out their own dynamic — one which might or might not align with parents’ preferences.

We asked HuffPost readers on Facebook to share their experiences with siblings who were notably far apart (or close together) in age. Their stories highlight how many ways there are for siblings to be happy or unhappy with each other — and sometimes both throughout the course of one lifetime.

Siblings far apart in age can still form close relationships that last a lifetime.
adriana lopetrone via Getty Images
Siblings far apart in age can still form close relationships that last a lifetime.

“My younger (and only) sibling is 20 years younger than me and two years older than my kid. They’re in the same high school right now. I consider us both only children who happen to have a sibling, but we’re very close despite having never lived together.” —Melissa Stratton

“Both of my parents had kids already when they got married. I’m 40 and the youngest of seven. My dad was 52 when I was born and my mom was 30. My oldest sibling was a year older than my mom. I have nieces and nephews older than me, and more great-nieces and nephews than I can count.” —Chelsea Reisner

“We are four girls, with 7 years difference from top to bottom and a one year gap in the middle: the ‘Big Girls’ and the ‘Little Girls.’ We are currently 72, 71, 67 and 65. We are close and have gotten closer as my parents, 92 and 95, decline. Throughout our lives we have paired up in different combinations depending on where we were in life. We have a sisters’ text thread that keeps us close and updated.” —Kathy Cafasso

“My closest sibling is eight years older than me. Oldest sibling was 26 years older. I learned a lot about life skills and was mature for my age. I missed having a playmate though.” —Monty Barb

“My sister is 14 years older than me. I was born at the end of her eighth grade year. She could have chosen to ignore me (who wants to hang out with a baby when you’re in high school?) but instead worked hard to build a relationship between us. She says she waited 14 long years for a sister and I was worth it. We are best friends to this day. We have helped each other raise our children and talk on the phone about 15 times a day.” —Carrie Ann Bronkowski, Chicago

“I am the youngest of six, three girls and three boys. My oldest sibling is 23 years older than me, and the one closest to me is 13 years older. They had a whole other life without me. While they grew up, they moved all around the country since my dad was in the Navy. I was born and raised in Wisconsin. I grew up alongside my nieces and nephews, and one niece is only 3.5 months younger than me. Now that I’m older and have kids of my own, I have a ‘grown up’ relationship with each of them. But I’ll always be the ‘baby sister.’” —Hjordi Van Ausdal

“My older brother was born in 1940. I, in 1946. Younger brother in 1950. My mom said we were quite different from one another. She attributed it to our growing up in very different eras. I think she had a valid point.” —Karen Warren

“My sisters are ten and 15 years older. My life was a conflicting narrative: I was an only child with siblings. I also felt like I had multiple moms as a small child. No shortage of cuddles when I was young!” —Andrea Wood Groth, Colorado

“I am the oldest of six. I have four sisters and a brother. My parents divorced then remarried and each had two more children with their second spouses. The sister that I am closest to is one year and eight months apart from me. My other siblings oare 13, 15, 17 and 21 years younger than me… To say I don’t feel a connection to my siblings seems wrong to me, but there is no connection. My sister that I am closest to lives in the same state as me, so do my brother (27) and sister (25). Most of the time I see them when my mother has a gathering, I guess like most families. But there are no texts or calls between me and my younger siblings.” —Erika T.

“I am 66. My sister is 65. My brother is 64. We have another brother that is 57. Most years there were two or more of us in the same school. My sister and I had different friends. My brother and I had mutual friends and he worked with me in high school, and with my husband before we were married. We were in each other’s weddings and are godparents to each other’s kids.” —Jeanne Perry, Massachusetts/Florida

“I was almost 18 when my youngest brother was born, and he looked like me, so people in my hometown thought he was mine. I also have an older sister (2 years older) and a younger sister (7 years younger than me).” —Mariana Ramirez, California

“My sister was born January 13. I was born on November 25, same year! We were in the same grade in school, people thought we were twins!” —Karen Ording

“I have two little brothers who could be my children. They are 4 and 7 years old. My son is 12 and I’m 42. I’m more of [a] second mom to my siblings.” —Bianca Moore, New York

“My oldest brother is nine years older than me. He left to go to college when he was 17 and I was 8. Although he’s come back to visit over the years, he has been gone ever since. He’s always been quiet and not very talkative, so it’s been hard to maintain a close relationship. I’m usually quite chatty but it’s hard when it’s a one-way conversation. It’s usually done by an email or a rare visit. Now it’s just the two of us. Our parents passed years ago as well as our two siblings.” —Mary Chase Bartley, Massachusetts

“My two oldest sisters were 21 and 19 when I was born, but I also have siblings just a few years older than me. It was great. I became an aunt at three years old, so it was like having more playmates my age. My oldest sister helped convince Mom to let me do things and got me out of the house many times growing up. She was raised very differently since our Mom was a teenager when she had her, but in her 30s when she had me.” —China Shook

“I have a sister who is 34 years younger than me. She’s been the perfect addition to our family.” —Sara Elizabeth Eads

“My baby brother is 10 and I’ll be 28 in a couple weeks! When he was really little and I was still living at home, I was basically like a second mom to him. We’re still super close as we’ve gotten older. He’s my dude.” —Maggie Louise

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