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Childrearing

The Pros And Cons Of Having A Kid At The Same Time As Your Sibling

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The Pros And Cons Of Having A Kid At The Same Time As Your Sibling sisters pregnant 280x189 jpgThis was not my proudest moment: When I found out my sister was pregnant and due just six months after my own son was, I was pissed. Every bit of oldest sibling resentment came flooding back to me. How dare she steal my moment, just like she stole half my parents’ attention? I’d like to blame pregnancy hormones for that regression, but it was probably just plain old sibling rivalry at play.

On a recent visit with family, who live a thousand miles away, the cousins were finally old enough to play with each other, and I’d like to take it all back. Well, almost all of it. After talking to other parents with kids who are almost the same age as their cousins, here’s what I’ve concluded about it (as if any of us really has a choice about when our brothers and sisters are going to procreate):

Pro: Cousins = BFFs.

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Without all the drama of siblings, but with the closeness of a permanent bond, these kids can be the best of friends and playmates. Doubly so if they’re the same age.

Con: Jealousy!

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Just like you had to share your parents’ attention, now you’ve got to divide grandparents’ love. (The grandparents meanwhile, can’t believe their luck. Nor can they believe how much toys cost these days.)

Pro: Shared resources.

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From comparing notes on sleep-training to sharing baby toys, you can help each other all along the way. And if you live close by: babysitting swaps!

Con: Fewer hand-me-downs.

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Of course, when the kids are close in age and size, you don’t get to share much in the way of clothing and toys.

Pro: No sibling FOMO.

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Unlike during childhood (depending on you’re own age difference), you and your brother or sister are on the same page now. You probably don’t have to hear much about your sibling’s crazy partying ways when you’re both up at 6 am watching Sesame Street.

Con: Constant comparisons.

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Are your kids the exact same size? Are they reaching all their milestones at the exact same age? Are they on the same level at school and in sports? Are they equally cute? Are you equally good parents? This sounds like growing up with a sibling all over again.

A mature person will look at this list and know right away that the pros outweigh the cons. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to gripe a little now and then. That, too, is what having a sibling is all about.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

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