Before I became a mother, I always had it in my head that I would have my second child around the time my first baby was two. I really wanted to have a smallish gap between my children so that they would be close, and a couple of years seemed like a good enough gap – we’d be through the baby stage, and my child would be walking and could perhaps help with the new baby a little bit.
However, my daughter was a terrible sleeper (or maybe just a normal baby) and didn’t sleep through the night for a REALLY long time – we’re talking her being over 18 months old when she slept through for the first time. Such extreme tiredness for so long was horrendous, and there was no way on earth I felt ready for another baby and to potentially (but likely I reckon) have sleepless nights again for so long, so soon.
At times it has hit me that my children will have a much bigger age gap than I had ever planned or wanted, and at times that has concerned me. But that’s just life isn’t it – things don’t always work out the way you had planned, and a lot of the time that can be a good thing. I haven’t been ready for a child before now, and I’m still pretty terrified how I’ll cope to be honest, but I’ll hopefully be okay! And perhaps my next baby will be a sleeper ;)
So all this means that my kids will have at least five years between them now, which is not what I had ever expected to be honest, but I think I’m starting to be okay with it now (not that I have a choice!). There are positives and negatives to every age gap I’m sure, and this is what has happened for our family.
Here are 5 Reasons Why I’m Ok With the Age Gap My Kids Will Have:
- I’ll get a bit of help – Ava loves to help me with things now, and especially when that involves her little cousin or a friends’ baby. Having someone there some of the time who will help with the little things like passing me a nappy or watching him or her whilst I nip to the loo will be great, and take a little bit of pressure off. She’s old enough to do that now, without me worrying that she’s picking the baby up by it’s legs or feeding them chocolate at a week old.
- It will help teach my daughter responsibility without any pressure – I’ll always be nearby if A is with her brother or sister, but giving her a little bit of responsibility, such as helping to get the babies food ready or actually feeding her will help to teach her how to be more responsible in a safe environment (ie with me always there!). It will also help teach her how to compromise. With it just being her for so long she can be a bit stubborn and demanding – but having someone else there who needs me should help with that.
- They can still be close – just because they are different ages and may have different interests doesn’t mean that they can’t be close. Some siblings are really close in age and don’t get along well. I think it’s more about their personalities rather than their ages to a point, especially when they are both past the teenager stage and more grown-up.
- I’ll have plenty of time with them separately whilst they are young. Ava is four-and-a-half now, so she’s had a long time for it to just be her and for her to get all of the attention. Now that A is at school any more babies that come along will also have plenty of time with just me whilst she is there. That also means that I don’t have to struggle with looking after a newborn as well as a toddler all the time from the start as I would do if we’d had a second child sooner. (Although school runs with a newborn will be a big challenge for me I’m sure!)
- There’s absolutely nothing I can do about it now! I haven’t had another baby yet and it’s just worked out that way – I can’t change that and so I’m fine with it. Sometimes I think things like this happen for a reason, just like it taking four years and IVF to have Ava – she was meant to be ours. Whenever her brother or sister come along, that will be perfect too.
Do you or did you want a particular age gap between your kids? Is there any particular reason if so? Or do you wish you’d had a different age gap between your children? I’d love to know!