Need Advice on Having Another Child with 12 Year Old

Updated on January 22, 2010
S.B. asks from Santa Clara, CA
7 answers

I am a very active mom of an 12 year old daughter and considering having another child.
On one side, I'm thinking that I must be crazy. On the other side I would love to give my daughter a sibling. I have such mixed emotions about raising a baby and a teenager at the same time. I keep thinking "do I really want to do this all over again at 39".
My daughter is a very busy and spirited child which has and still requires a lot of time and energy. I worry that she will be very jealous of a baby, but then again it may be good for her. Please share your experience with me if you have had children 10 years or more apart. thank you!

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi Shari,
Yes you will be starting all over again but I think having a baby in the house is so much fun. I waited 16yrs before having another child and I wished I did not wait so long. Although the timing was right and now we all have so much fun with her.



answers from San Francisco on

I can really relate to what you are going through. I was 22 with my first son, and 33 when son #2 was born. It was not our idea of ideal, but my husband and I are both very thankful for the children we have. It is challenging to raise them with the age gap, but there are advantages to. You have the chance to devote more time to the 2nd one because the older child is more self reliant. Your daughter may get jealous or you may have the opportunity to show her what being a mother is all about. Your daughter is old enough, to appreciate the lessons and understand more, than if she was much younger.

You'll be a better mother now that you are older and more mature. But it is a BIG change to go from one child of a 12 year old to a baby in the house. You really have to want to change the dynamics of your family. I worried about all that but it all works itself out and now I cannot imagine our life without our youngest son. He has alot of spark that keeps me on my toes but I'm more equipped to handle that at this older age than in my 20's. Also, I recognize now when it is wise to ask friends for advise or find books on parenting topics.

Both of our sons, are a blessing. The age gap of 11 years has made life more interesting. They are 11 and 23 now and still share a bedroom. It is great to see them go out together to go play basketball together. Our oldest son also is able give his youngest brother with homework.

I wish you the best. Make sure you consider all sides before you make a decision. In the end, it the choice of you and your husband.

We've been married 26 years.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi Shari, I was twelve when my dad and stepmom had my younger sister and although I thought they were crazy at first it was such a blessing. Sure her mom will have a baby to tend to around the clock but she can learn responsibility, patience and how to be a good example to a little one. For the most part shell have a blast. I just had a baby and live with my husband and almost ten year old stepson. He has enjoyed the little one to pieces and I think it's healthy for him to live with another sibling. I can't imagine you'll regret it and I think children should learn to deal with change.



answers from Phoenix on

I will put it to you very simply.....YOU NEVER REGRET HAVING A CHILD, YOU ONLY REGRET NOT HAVING ONE. I have 2 girls almost 13 and 14 and now have a 20 month old boy. I had him at age 39 and I feel so blessed to have this last opportunity to have another baby. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me (all my kids are), and it does change things, but the love you feel for the baby makes it ok. You won't have a lot of the freedoms you have now to just run around here and there with your daughter, but you just have to make a conscious effort to compliment her, tell her stories about when she was a baby, etc. And just overall, hug her and pay attention to her as much as you can. I am a single mom of 3 and there are definately times I feel I am spreading myself thin, but I have NEVER regretted this baby. My daughters feel irritated occasionally that I am so busy with the baby, but I remind them that they received the SAME attention at that age...then I tell them stories and the tone changes. They LOVE and adore their brother. So I say, absolutely, do it!!! Oh, and it will keep you young. Ha ha.



answers from San Francisco on


I can share that my mother's sister was born when my mom was 8 years old. My mother had a very maternal relationship with her sister which her sister (my aunt) came to resent through the years. They were never truly close as adults and their mutual dislike intensified through the years largely due to my aunt's resentment towards my mom for feeling so maternal and responsible for her. I have observed neighbors with a 17 year old son and 10 year old daughter. They have never been close and at times it seemed like the son bullied his sister rather than having an older brother nuturing relationship. Even my husband who has 4 years between he and his brother and and 8 years between he and his sister do not have very close relationships. These experiences have caused me to have strong biases towards having kids closer in age. Have you considered adoption to add a family member closer in age to your daughter?



answers from San Francisco on

Hello, I too have a 12 year old and I am 36. Although I can't say that i have a very active schedule with my son (besides baseball 4x a week in the spring), I just had a baby 2 weeks ago and I LOVE it! I thought that my son might not express so much interest in the baby, especially because she is a girl, but he is very intrigued and is surprisingly helpful. He loves hearing stories about himself as a newborn/toddler, and the similarities that they share.
If I were you, I wouldn't worry about your daughter. She will build great character sharing her life with a sibling.
I am so happy that I chose to have another baby, I am over the moon with her! Good luck in your decision.



answers from San Francisco on


I have a 5 month old daughter and a 13 year old daughter. My oldest adores her little sister but she is still a 13 year old hormonal teenager. So not only am I dealing with a new baby after all these years but the mood swings and attitude of a know it all teenager. Sometimes I feel really bad because my oldest doesn't get the attention that she use to. I love having both girls and wouldn't change a thing. My 13 year old was going to be a typical teen with attitude and all with or without a new sibling. So be prepared for the ups and downs of parenting a teen. As dumb as this sounds I had forgotten that a new baby is all consuming and even with the best of intentions the baby is dependent on you (and Dad) for everything and the older one will have to come second.

Good Luck.

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