Was Having My Babies Close Together a Mistake?
Sometimes I love having my kids close in age. Other times I wonder what the hell I was thinking. Overall, deciding how far apart to space your children can be difficult. Here are some pros and cons to two year spacing.
When I started dreaming about having a family, I imagined having a couple of kids close in age and they’d be the best of friends. I didn’t want a large gap between them because I was eight years younger than the last of my sisters. Believe me, that kind of gap creates a disconnect. (There’s also the fact I only saw them on weekends and holidays, but still we were in completely different life stages.)
As my husband Brian and I tried to conceive our first, we talked about the number of children we wanted to have and a little bit about spacing. It took three years of trying before we conceived our daughter, which created a sense of urgency to try for baby number two sooner rather than later. Poor Brian seemed like he wanted more of a break between babies, but I was factoring in my age and the possibility it could take another three years before another big fat positive.
I decided that we should start trying once my daughter turned one. My daughter’s first birthday came and went, but we didn’t start trying right away since Aunt Flo wasn’t gracing me with her presence on a regular basis quite yet. A few months later my body decided to get with the program so we started trying. Much to our surprise I got pregnant right away.
All of a sudden it was scary to think about taking care of children two years apart.
The Down Side of Similar Age Siblings
Admittedly there are pros and cons for any family planning decision, including sibling spacing. I think one of the most challenging aspects is that they are both very dependent on me. Due to this I often feel like I need more breaks but it can be harder to get time away, especially when the baby won’t take a bottle.
One of the worst problems is when one has a meltdown it can set the other one off. Or they wake each other up when they are supposed to be napping.
Jealousy rears its ugly head sometimes over toys and mama’s attention. My almost three year old struggles when she wants me to do something RIGHT NOW for her but I’m in the middle of say, changing her brother’s poopy diaper. Or they both poop and I have to figure out who to change first.
Why I Love Having My Babies Close Together
There are some benefits to having babies close in age, such as similar nap schedules. I am also making great use of our baby gear and we haven’t bought many baby toys the second time around. Bath time can be done in one shot and they play together. It took awhile before the playmate benefit kicked in, but now that it has I’ve been relieved of some entertainment duties.
As they grow up they (hopefully) will develop a special bond. Many of their interests and abilities will be similar making it easier for one to tag along with the other. They may even have overlapping friends. And since their birthdays are only a month apart it’s possible to combine their parties once in awhile.
While having two in diapers now seems like a pain, it means once my babies are all done with diapers I am all done with diapers. There are attractive aspects of spacing kids out further, but this way it feels less like reliving the whole baby stage from scratch again. I didn’t have time to forget what it was like.
There are days I wonder if it was a mistake. Did we rob my daughter of more solo time with us? Or was it easier for her to accept a sibling closer to her age? Am I cut out for handling two young, high energy kids? Then my daughter will do or say something incredibly adorable with her brother and melt me heart.
Despite the doubts that creep in on rough days, I love it and wouldn’t change a thing.
How far apart are your children? What do you like the most about their spacing?
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