As you can imagine, I get lots of comments on the ages of my children.
“You sure do have your hands full.”
“How do you do it?”
“I would go crazy.”
In response, “Yep. I have NO idea. And who said I wasn’t?”
When my youngest was born, Lana was a week and a half from her third birthday, and Ace was just shy of 18 months.
People automatically think of all the negatives of having children close in age, but honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Before we had children, we had planned to wait until our oldest was potty trained before trying for another. I mean, it makes sense, right? Who really wants to change diapers for more than one kid over and over every day?
When Lana was born, that quickly changed. She opened up our hearts and minds to the possibility of having more children close in age.
Okay, so it goes without saying that children close in age are harder than spacing them further.
More diapers, formula, and stress. More money to be spent. Less sleep. More frustration; less peace.
Children aren’t self-sufficient as infants and toddlers, so there are more demands on parents at this age. With more children come more demands.
More car seats; to buy, to install, to buckle and unbuckle.
Don’t even get me started on grocery store trips. *insert eye roll* Lord forbid the store doesn’t have a cart with multiple seats. Those precious carts save my sanity. There are JUST enough seats for my three littles, and they LOVE the carts because not a lot of people use them. It is literally the only way to get them to sit still in the cart (most of the time).
One of the BEST parts of having kids close in age is not having to readjust your entire schedule.
Think back to the birth of your first child. You have NO idea what you’re doing. Your sleep cycle is all out of whack. You don’t know why this little baby screams so much. No matter how many articles you read, you just can’t figure out how to get down the perfect breastfeeding routine, or how to really know whose turn it is to fix the baby a bottle.
When you have a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc.) child close to your first baby, you’re still in that routine! You don’t have time to get used to sleeping normal hours. Your body hasn’t readjusted back to its pre-baby bliss of peace and quiet (as much as you can get with a kid, anyways). You haven’t had the chance to get comfortable, yet. So when that next baby finally makes its debut appearance, you’re READY!
Another plus is that they are built-in best friends.
My sister and I are five years apart, and didn’t really get along until she was a teenager herself. With my kids averaging only a year or so apart, they are SO close! There is always someone ready to play with them at the drop of a hat.
When you have more than one kiddo, they can occupy themselves.
If it is just you and your child, you feel obligated to play with them and entertain them every second they’re awake. BUT something magical happens when you give them a sibling.
I honestly didn’t get much “me-time” until I gave birth to my second.
Sounds counter-productive, but I swear it’s true.
And quite honestly, transitioning our family of four to a family of five was significantly easier than our transition from three to four. A toddler doesn’t really know what is going on, especially when they are used to having mommy and daddy all to themselves. When you have two toddlers and you add another baby to the mix, the older sibling is able to help the middle child with the transition. I was able to spend a lot more bonding time with my youngest than I was with my middle because my older two could play together while I tended to the needs of the baby.
Sure, there are more hands to make messes, but that also means there are more hands to CLEAN messes.
Because they are all so close in age, it is extremely easy to combine homeschool lessons.
I don’t have to sit here and rack my brain trying to figure out a schedule that will work so that they can each have their own lessons. I can do all of their lessons together with only slight changes in explanation so that they understand.
And looking down the line, we will empty our nest faster than most (I meannnn, I don’t want them to go, but the relaxation time will be MUCH needed at that point).
In the end….
People are ALWAYS going to have an opinion on your family size. So, if you want to pop out a kid every 9 months or wait 15 years, the choice is up to you. Just make sure you are making the decision based on YOU and YOUR family, and not what someone else has to say.
How far apart are your kids? How do you like their age gap?
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