Nope, it wasn’t an accident; we planned it this way. Here are the reasons why I’m glad my kids are close in age.
My two oldest kids, G and B, are 20 months apart in age.
Why yes, they were both planned, thank you for asking. I don’t think I’d even returned to work after my maternity leave with G before J started asking me when we could have another. I was still horrified by the C-section I’d had. Getting knocked up again wasn’t even on my radar, even though I knew I wanted three or four kids.
As G’s first birthday approached, I jumped on the let’s-have-another-baby train. We found out we were pregnant with B the weekend after G turned one and she was born almost exactly 20 months after G. The fact that we intentionally had two children so close together was mind-boggling to people (most especially to the strangers bold enough to comment on my growing belly as I was out and about with G).
Granted, we didn’t fully know what we getting unto. How could we have? Still, we knew a second baby would be hard work, especially so close to the first. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly, and it was something we’ve never regretted. In fact, I continue to be so happy that we chose to have our first two kids so close together.
Why I’m Glad My Kids Are Close in Age
You’re Still in Baby Mode
One of the comments we got most often when we told people we were pregnant with B- and there were a lot of comments- was, “but you’ll have two in diapers!”
The idea of having two kids under two didn’t bother us nearly as much as people expected it to. After all, we didn’t know anything different. And besides, changing diapers- the diapers of your own children, at least- isn’t so bad. We ended up appreciating having our kids in diapers at the same time. It was just what we knew.
Now that our next baby is going to be almost exactly four years younger than its next closest sibling, we’re going to have to get back in baby mode all over again. We’ve grown used to uninterrupted sleep, and the lack of spit up and drool around our house is kind of nice. There aren’t even words to describe how excited we are about this baby, but jumping right back into baby mode is going to be a big adjustment.
They Play Well Together
More often than not, our kids get along so well. I never get tired of watching them interact. From taking care of their baby dolls in their “house” (under the kitchen table), to hunting a “mysterious animal” in the yard outside, their imaginations are beautiful. I know watching them with the new baby will be its own level of special, but I’m so happy they have each other as built-in playmates.
We Had Them When We Were Young
Babies are hard work. Amen? The sleepless nights, the constant worry that you’re doing things right. Not to mention the nine months of pregnancy + the labor mom gets to experience.
I was 23 when G was born and 25 when B was born; J is just a year older than me. As hard as that new baby time is, I think it was easier than it could have been because we were younger and handled the ups and downs better. This pregnancy has been the toughest yet; I know part of the reason is because I have two active toddlers, but I know the other part is because I’m 29. If we choose to have another baby after this, I’ll be in my 30s for that pregnancy.
They’ll Have Each Other Through School
The kids are 20 months apart and B has a summer birthday. We’ve chosen to start her “early”, which means she’ll be one of the youngest students in her class. It also means she’ll be right behind G in school. He’ll begin kindergarten next year and she’ll start the year after. They’re best friends, and I love knowing that he’ll always be there to look out for her (or more likely, she’ll be there to look out for him).
I know having kids close in age brings up financial concerns, like paying for college and buying cars. Those are issues we’ve talked about, and they’re not something to be minimized, but they don’t change how lucky my kids are to be so close together.
As I noted above, the baby we’re expecting this summer will be four years younger than the next oldest. I love our current spacing, but it’s also all I know. I’m planning a future post all about what I’m most looking forward to about having a big age gap.
How close in age are your children? What’s your favorite thing about their spacing?
Clare Speer says
So sweet… and my situation was about the opposite… my girls are 5 & 1/2 years apart…. I guess there are pluses to both – yours would be, yes, you had them young and they play well together! Mine was… I don’t know – I feel like their personalities were totally different so I enjoyed them different! Blessings on your beautiful family!
I’d say there are definite pros and cons either way, and our perspective is clouded by our own experience. I’ll get to experience the big age difference in just a few months!
Hmmm…my boys are 24 months apart (7yrs & 5yrs) and when they’re not loving up and tearing the house apart playing together, they are fighting and competing. Either way, the headache is constant. Maybe because they are boys, I don’t know.
It’s all I know, too..*smiles*..and all I love so much that I do not want another one, for now.
They are beautiful together and to be able to have them is a blessing I do not take lightly.
Oh, I think my experience might be entirely different if I had two boys. Or two girls. As it is, there’s much more camaraderie than competition.