A Mom Makes A Hilarious Argument For Smaller Age Gaps Between Siblings
"Teenager, preteen, toddler. What was I thinking?"
Any parent who is working through how many kids to have and how far apart to have them will be met with so many different opinions it’ll make their head spin.
Some argue that having kids far apart in age is best so that you can focus on each child in very different ways, while having old kids help out a bit and fewer jealousy issues. Others recommend having kids 1-2 years apart so that they can be best buddies while allowing you to leave tough phases behind without looking back. There are so many different kinds of facts and figures to consider when family planning.
One mom — who is knee-deep in parenting three kids spanning many years — has a desperate plea to any other parents who are considering having more than one kid: you better have them one after the other.
TikTok mom Kristen Saller vented on the popular video app, begging parents to not make her mistake of spreading out the time between having each of her three kids because now she’s all over the place.
“Just have your kids all together,” she advised, while making a peanut butter sandwich, probably for a hungry kid. “I'm talking one right after the other like a loaf of bread. Just same age group. That's your goal when you're having kids.”
Saller recommends having kids so that they all end up in the same “age group.”
“That's your goal, is to do the same age group and you just have them on the same age group. So that way you can get them all up at the same time and put them all on the same bus. And they can all go to the same f*cking school, not three different schools, not three different buses, not three different emotional roller coasters because they're battling three different milestones,” she says smearing the bread with peanut butter in an unhinged and hilarious manner.
Saller then says with defeat, “Teenager, preteen, toddler. What was I thinking?”
Her video soon went viral, gaining over 700k views and 87k likes, with thousands of comments from other parents who felt the same. One mom joked, “I got one getting off of work while the other is going to prek. I f’d up 😂”
Another said, “14,11,4,&2! I didn’t understand the assignment. 🥺”
“We thought 3yrs was a good gap…. They still fight over the same toys 🥲,” one mom chimed in.
“Mine are 5 years apart, if I could do it again I’d pop them out back 2 back. This diff school thing is for the birds,” another wrote.
While several moms related to Saller’s struggler, other moms who did exactly what she is suggesting have other thoughts on the matter. “I had 3 raging teens at the same time.. it isn't any better I swear lol,” one mom wrote, to which Saller replied with a follow-up video.
Saller notes that, sure, having three teens go off on you daily is not fun, but it’ll be over before this TikTok user knows it while Saller’s teen drama will last for a decade.
“Are you sure? Because that's just one section of your life. That's one section,” she says in the clip. “So, maybe like from 35 to 40, you have these crazy ass teenagers, okay? From 35 to 40 years old. But not me. Not me. I have a crazy ass teenager now in my 30s. And then for all of my 40s, all of my 40s, I'm also gonna have crazy ass teenager.”
One TikTok user joked that her reasoning for spreading out the years between having kids truly had nothing to do with their life stages or sibling dynamics. “I had to space them out so I could keep renewing my stay at home mom status,” they wrote, to which Saller replied with another hilarious follow-up video.
“Wait, you're trying to say that, self-consciously, I did this to myself,” she says in the clip. “For my own, my own benefit and well-being. That makes a lot, that makes sense. Everything I do is for a reason,” she says sardonically.
There is definitely no “right” answer when it comes to the perfect age gap between kids. There are pros and cons to each and every single family dynamic will differ based on different wants and needs. However, there might be some truth to Saller’s point.
Jeannie Kidwell, a psychologist at the University of Tennessee, found that children had a more negative view of themselves and their parents when their closest siblings were around two years apart.
However, once the space between siblings went over four years, the negativity disappeared. Her explanation suggests the ideas that children under the age of four are not developmentally ready to share their parents’ attention and experience resentment towards new siblings.
But there are also negatives that Saller listed off that come with larger age gaps — like three different schedules, teachers, schools, schedules, emotional milestones, etc. It’s enough to make any moms head spin. At least we can all laugh at it?