Today (Sunday) is National Sibling Day, so I’m writing this in tribute to my 2 lovely sisters and for my two sibling daughters.3 Sisters
I’m the eldest of 3 sisters and I can’t imagine being without them. There’s only 18 months between me and my middle sister and then 2 years between her and the youngest. Of course like all other children, we squabbled and fought when we were growing up. But from our teenage years, we got on a lot better, went out to pubs and clubs together and now remain incredibly close.
From August 2008 we were all married within 14 months of each other and then suddenly we were all pregnant together in 2011. My youngest sister and I were pregnant with our first babies and my middle sister with her second. We all gave birth to 3 girls within 4 months of each other! It was seen as such an unusual story that Gurgle Magazine interviewed and photographed us.I was so lucky to have my sisters in those crazy early days with a newborn baby. I remember texting my youngest sister a lot whose baby was just 6 weeks older than mine to compare notes on sleep, feeds, moods and anything else that was bothering us. It was so lovely to have such a support system with whom I could talk, ask questions and and share experiences, I really felt it created an even stronger bond. We were all on maternity leave at the same time and so we met up every week to talk and compare notes. We still meet up fairly regularly now and I think the cousins will be close too. Sibling Daughters
With 22 months between my two daughters, I really hope that they will grow up to be friends and to look out for each other just as I did with my sisters. Alice is 4 and Eva is 2 so they are at an age where I can see them being really loving towards each other. Alice will especially look out for Eva if they are in a new place or situation, like a children’s party. They have moments where they are fighting and squabbling, but I especially love that they are now old enough to amuse themselves for good chunks of time on their own.They share a room and have bunk beds which is lovely as I think this has brought them together. I love hearing them chatting to each other at night!
Disappearing Siblings?My great grandmother had 9 children. My Nan pictured above had 4 children (my dad and 3 sisters). My parents had 3 daughters and I’ve gone on to have 2 children. Are siblings in decline? I know of a lot of people with 2 kids, but I now seem to know of a lot more people who have one child and hardly any that have 3 children or more. This made me think about why siblings might be disappearing:
- Women having children later. More women than ever are having children later in life and I guess this affects the amount of children that parents now have. I was 36 when I had my eldest. I quite possibly would have had more children if I had started earlier.
- Work commitments. Most women are now going back to work after having a child and to ensure they don’t lose their position at work are often taking time to have their second child, if at all. This is unlike previous generations where the woman’s place was in the home and so she continued to churn out 6 or 7 kids at a time.
- Practicalities. There are more issues to think about when you have more than 2 children. I’m thinking primarily about car seats and the size of the car. Possibly also families will consider needing a bigger house. It didn’t seem to be too much of a problem when I was a child, we were all piled into the back of a car and squashed on to the floor!
- Money. Whilst generations ago people like my Nan and Great Nan would have ‘made do’, there’s probably too much pressure now for people to have a very comfortable life with nice house, cars and holidays. Some parents I guess think they’d rather have fewer children and give them more.
- Don’t want them. Whether they’re put off by horrific births first time round or worn out from crazy toddler days, some mums and dads have simply had enough after the first one. I also know of several couples where the wife would like another one but the husband does not.
- Can’t have them. I also know of several couples who would love a second child or more but it simply hasn’t happened for them.
I know everyone and every family is different. We can’t chose whether we have siblings or even if we get on with them, I’m so grateful to have had mine growing up and grateful that I still count them as my best friends.