I went to Costco the other day and a mother of two school age children stopped me.
“Are they twins?”
No, they’re 15 months apart.
“Ew! Did you do that on purpose?”
Thank heavens for the elderly lady walking past.
“Excuse me? Did you know before all your crazy hormones, women walked around like she is and looked at mothers like you as though they were the crazy ones? To get your age gap we had to give up sex! Who wants that?”
She didn’t even wait for a reply. The other mother and I stood awkwardly watching her go on her grocery shopping way.
I think she was harsh. Just a little. Child spacing is important for marriages, relationships, and sanity. I completely understand why parents wait.
There is some research saying that children (and pregnancies) close together cause health problems for mom and baby, though this research is limited and very uncontrolled. As far as my family goes, I’ve had two unmedicated, uncomplicated, vaginal deliveries. My children are large at first, their growth halts between 7-12 months, and they pick right back up where they left off. We have no chronic issues for either, praise the Lord!
I don’t exactly appreciate how this mother responded to me, although she did apologize for her outburst.
Sebastian and I did plan to have our first two close together. We didn’t want to remove diapers from our lives for fear we would never go back. Our first child, salem, was also an incredible baby.
What life with two under two looks like for us is very different than it does for others.
We don’t have simultaneous daycare costs, as I’m privileged to stay home.
Diapering was already a huge part of our lives, and in this family’s situation, just a little more laundry.
Breastfeeding went smoothly, and weaning salem was as easy as him declining the breast when my milk changed from pregnancy.
Yes, we have to buy more car seats, but this is because we extend rear face our children! Besides cribs, no other baby gear purchases have been necessary!
I live with baby wearing. My toddler cooperates with carts, but, except for Costco, they only have room for one rider. I usually wrap my daughter in our kokadi! Daddy wears the toddler on occasion!
Nap time? I’m incredibly blessed with two BEAUTIFUL sleepers. It’s ok to hate me for that, but nothing I did made them that way. My children love naps, and I hope it stays that way.
Bed time is a little trickier. My husband works 12-14 hours on the average day as a United States Navy submariner. He very rarely makes it home for bed time. And he’s been deployed for a few months now, so I’m basically a professional at bed time! It’s not impossible to do it alone, for those reading this and freaking out because you’re about to be in my shoes!
We eat dinner together. I bathe both kids together. Removing them from the tub makes me a little damp, but water never hurt anyone! I allow the toddler TV time and a glass of milk, to which he stays put snuggled in his towel as he watches his baby Einstein. I rock the baby until she’s very relaxed and then put her in her crib. She puts herself to sleep while I’m reading to the toddler and rocking him until he’s relaxed.
On rare occasions one refuses bed time. But, the good news is, one always goes to bed!
The best part about this age gap is the playing. Salem and Maebel are best friends. I’m not exaggerating. We have our sibling fights, don’t get me wrong. But they’re short lived. They play all day together, they share toys because they don’t know differently, the older teaches the younger a lot and very quickly, and they spend a lot of time snuggling.
We had no idea that our kids would be close friends as well as close in age, although that is what we hoped for. We aren’t naive enough to think it will aways be this way, but we are certainly enjoying them now.
My advice to any mother reading this, expecting her second at a similar or closer age gap, is to ask for help. I’m so incredibly blessed by my family (and many kind strangers) to have help daily. People are usually happy to help, and it gives them a chance to smile at your beautiful babies and enjoy them, too! Sometimes people are rude, but they exist whether you have 1, 7, or no children!
In reality, my husband decided child bearing , “is like ripping off a band aid. Let’s just get the baby stuff over with! I don’t wanna be changing diapers for 10-12 years when it could have been 8!”
Now, in reality, we tried and succeeded to have our second closely follow our first, but I can’t pretend that our third was intentional. We had hoped to space 2 and 3 a little more to today’s “normal age gap” and closely follow 3 with 4, but it’s not always up to us!
In the wise words of my incredible mother of
9 (with almost 40 years of marriage to the father of those 9), “God’s timing is rarely convenient, and always perfect.”
Stay tuned to find out what 3, two and under is like!
What are some pros and cons you’ve found with your children’s age gaps?