I Refuse To Make My Youngest Child “The Baby” Of The Family

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shutterstock_74689858No matter how accidental it may look, my husband and I decided to have both of our sons close in age. On purpose. So, I now have a two-and-a-half year old and a one-year-old who are 16 months apart.

As they’ve gotten a little older, and some of the toddler-on-baby abuse has ceased, I have started to realize that they are probably going to grow up like twins. I don’t know how this is going to pan out when my older son wants more privileges because he is the big brother, but I’m beginning to think I prefer it this way.

I’ve said before that my husband and I both came from three-kid families. While that is all fine and good, there is one major three-kid family issue that few people talk about: the baby of the family. My husband and I both have a little baby brother in our family. And when I say little, I mean that my youngest brother is actually over 6 feet tall. But it took him much longer than normal to stop acting like a baby.

I love my brother very much and think he is a wonderful person, and I also like my brother-in-law, who happens to be the baby of his family. But my husband and I have talked about it several times and have observed how the youngest child often has more privileges, gets their way, mooches longer, and may act less like an adult compared to older siblings. I think my brother has achieved a great deal and is a skilled artist, but my parents still act like he has hung the moon when he pays his bills on time.

All that is to say that I hope I raise my sons more like twins to potentially eliminate that baby of the family dynamic. I hope that since they are close in age, they will learn everything together, and they will probably drive and start working at around the same time. It may be possible to have a three-kid family without cultivating “the baby,” but I haven’t seen a good example of it yet. In my two-kid family, no one is getting babied after they are out of diapers.

(Image: Timothy Boomer/Shutterstock)