Spacing-your-kids

Spacing Your Kids: Having Them Close Together!

The question of “what is the perfect age gap to have between your children” is a much debated one. One thing I am absolutely certain about though, is that whatever it is, spacing your kids will never be perfect!

The age gap between my girls is 23 months apart. When we went for the first scan with baby no. 2, the Doctor actually told us she was due on her sister’s birthday. Cue ALL the jokes about “Do you guys only do ‘it’ once a year?”!

Yes. That got tired real quick! 

God Has A Plan

Actually, if I had gotten pregnant as soon as we started trying for number two, the gap would have been a lot closer. Clearly God knew what he was doing because we had to wait 10 months before I conceived my youngest … and last! I know many people have children a lot closer than my two are, but I really did struggle to cope with two littles for the first two years. I am not ashamed to admit it.

The Pros of Spacing Your Kids Close Together

That said, I love my girls and I wouldn’t change a thing. Okay, that’s a lie. I’d get more help … actually, I’d accept more help. I’d demand help!

But moving on and accepting my lot in life, here is a list of what I love about the fact that they are only 23 months apart.

Sharing is caring

They are close enough in age to have shared interests in terms of toys, TV programmes, friends, etc. And they can play together and occupy each other when forced to. I mean, isn’t that half the reason to have a second child – company for the other?

Their birthdays are close enough that ‘hand-me-down’ clothes are seasonally relevant for the younger child. If they make it (I’m referring to the clothes), I mean, pre-school is tough on knees. 

On The Bright Side

I only spent four years in nappy hell. You know, the place where you feel like all you do is wipe your kids’ butts and throw sh*t covered money in the bin to add to the pollution of the planet … those years. I am grateful there were only four consecutive years of this phase. Personally, I don’t think I’d have coped if I’d had to stop and then start again a few years later.

Technology For The Win! 

Pre-loved baby apparatus such as  car-seats, pushchairs, bottle warmers etc … there wasn’t really enough time in those nearly two years to reinvent mothering enough for me to have to buy all new equipment. You know, in case my latest child was no longer safe in the equipment the elder one survived quite fine in. So it’s almost like an investment for the future when you buy the first time round.

Dealing With The Trauma

You’re not really far enough out of the trenches that going back in for round two feels too traumatic. It’s like memory-fat – your body and mind just slip back into it without even really needing to adjust. No, it’s not as fun or exciting, but you have your ‘body memory’ to see you through it. And the maternity clothes too. Yay! NOT! 

It’s Not All Amazing! 

There are a few cons to spacing your kids close together, believe it or not. 

Here is a list of what is NOT good about having them less than two years apart!

You Are Naive. Read – IDIOT!

They might play together nicely when it suits them, but they’re actually only whispering to each other to lull you into a false sense of security before they erupt into World War 3 over who snatched who’s Barbie shoe without asking!

They Are Not!

Hand-me-downs only work if your younger child is in the ‘idolising her big sister’ stage at the exact time that you re-introduce the ‘new’ clothes.

It will go one of two ways. Either she will love it and feel special, or, if her sister’s being a vindictive little brat to her she might refuse to wear it! Especially if the older child teases the younger child about her having new clothes while they younger child gets old clothes. You can’t explain to a three-year old that any item of clothing that survived the ‘threenager‘ phase of her older sister, is to be treasured, honored, revered, or even put in the box labelled “She hated it and never wore it because it had fairies on it, not pixies.

Stupid woman! What were you thinking?”

Financial Constraints

Their birthdays are too blady close! Three weeks! Therefore, you are broke for two months in a row and have to deal with two times all of it!

ALL. OF. IT: The actual birthDAY, the school-party DAY, and the party DAY!

Timing Is Everything

Heaven help you if you were foolish enough for your younger child to be born earlier in the year than your older child.

In my case, the younger is born in mid June, the older is born in early July! That means that for around three months prior to the youngest’s birthday, the elder will despair daily about how life is so unfair. Why does her ‘baby’ sister have a birthday first! Then the three weeks between the two will be filled with the elder rubbing it in the youngest’s face about how it’s her birthday in three weeks and the younger has to wait “a whole year” before her next birthday!

FYI – Girls are b*tches! I can’t speak for boys. 

Did I Get It All?

I’d love to know what you wanted, and what you ended up with in terms of spacing your kids. I’m quite sure I missed a few pros and cons in my lists above. Feel free to let me of your favourites!

I’ll just leave this one right here:

spacing-your-kids

Pic courtesy of Fowl Language Comics. http://www.fowllanguagecomics.com


 
 
Life Love and Dirty Dishes
 

Comments

  1. Lol I love the cartoon! It’s true, birthdays are EXHAUSTING, two of mine are two weeks apart but fortunately the older one comes first and also one is a boy and the other a girl so there is less competition. My four kids are all two years apart (totally not planned in any way) and they all have such different relationships with one another. Having a boy in the middle somewhere adds a mischievous dynamic! The youngest two girls are great playmates, it’s lovely to watch. I would love my kids to have close adult relationships when they grow up, I do with my own siblings and it is the most special bond in the world.

  2. As a mom of twins, I am always told that I have it harder that any other parents except for higher order multiple’s. The truth is…it’s easier! My hat goes off to parents of children close in age. Multiplies do most things within a few weeks or months of each other (which means mommy is only super stressed for smaller periods of time). For all you parents with kids close in age…you have the harder parenting. Children at different stages means shifting gears in your parenting on a dime and sleep deprived. The stress with multiples didn’t really come until school, and that is just because of the myth of twins! You are doing a great job! Keep it real!

  3. My boys are five years apart but their birthdays are only within a month of each other and they’re both right around the holidays so from Thanksgiving until tax time I’m broke, lol. My oldest is right before or right after Thanksgiving, depending on the year and my youngest is right between Christmas and New Year’s.

    1. Ouch … that’s a tough financial holiday season! lol

  4. I love this, I don’t think my son wants a little brother or sister anytime soon lol but now that he’s almost two I wish we had baby number 2 before he turned 2 (i think it’s a bit a late now) #stayclassymama

    1. My nearly 6 year old cried yesterday because she doesn’t want a baby sister – who is 4! You can’t win – no matter what you do. lol

  5. Ha ha I sympathise! My three are all two years apart and my youngest two DO share a birthday. But get this, they were both born at 37 and 6 days!! Oh we get all the jokes for sure! Oh and expensive – yes! My husband’s birthday falls on the day before so it really is like Christmas that week! But, I wouldn’t change it for the world because yes it was hard when they were small but they really are the best of friends these days (well most of the time!) #ablogginggoodtime

  6. Your spacing is perfect! My kids are 16, 9, & 5!!!! (Same Dad)!!! I think this I should part of the reason I am crazy!!!!

    1. ??? – same dad! Love it! Just read your pregnancy announcement post! I may have chosen a new dad the second time around! ?

  7. I actually just laughed out loud hard at how you ended your post today about girls being bitches! Thanks for the laugh! I have a friend who has three daughters and a friend who has three sons and there is a HUGE difference in their lives. Both chaotic, but the girl side of life is definitely a cattier, bitchier place for sure! Oddly enough, the mom with daughters drinks more wine than the one with sons. Coincidence? haha

  8. Oh the end of your post made me laugh. As a mum to two girls I concur that they can be b*tches to each other. Mine are three years apart and they still wind each other up rotten! #FridayFrolics

  9. LMAO…love it! All so relevant! and true! Mothering is HARD! I found the 3yr gap between my eldest was really great. My daughter was a star older sister, until she hit about 6yrs old. Now that they’re older..8 and 5, oh goodness..the bickering NEVER ENDS!

    I don’t care about trendy or seasonal…I saved all middle child’s clothing and at this stage, the almost 2yr old has literally gotten almost ZERO new clothing. That will be his lot in life unfortunately. Thankfully for now he’s too young to take this in. lol

    So will you ever become a ‘mom of 3’ or has that ship sailed?

    1. That ship sailed! We made double certain of that in January last year! My moto: 2 hands, 2 kids, and even that is hard! lol
      I heard that transitioning from 1 to 2 is harder than adding more after that. I’m not really prepared to take the chance! lol

      1. People told me 2 to 3 is so easy….. load of BS! It’s bloody hard. Like you say, only sets of hands…lol. I personally found 1 to 2 not so bad, but I think my 2 eldest were really easy kids. This last one…heaven help me…..

  10. I have 3 kids my 2 youngest are 23 months apart also but are a boy and girl . My daughter is the youngest of the 2 . She is 9 and he is 11 they act like an old married couple on the verge of divorce .
    Great post , made me laugh out loud .

    1. haha … ‘on the verge of divorce’ … love it. They keep us on our toes, that’s for sure.

  11. Lol! There is 25 months between my two and I love it too. I absolutely agree with your list. And yes one minute they are all lovely kissing and hugging and playing nicely the next its like they are the worse of enemies. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

  12. I had two miscarriages between baby number one and baby number two so there was no choice about the gap between them…baby number three just came in her own time! #ablogginggoodtime

    1. That they do. I always say, they always come in their own time, when they are ready. So sorry about your miscarriages. Xx

  13. hahaha well if i ever have another theyre going to be pretty far apart in age which i wouldnt have chosen but to be honest ill be happy if im lucky enough to have anymore
    thanks for linking to #ablogginggoodtime

  14. I really really love your posts!! These are all true…my two daughters are 2 and a half years apart, they would’ve been closer if it wasn’t for my 2 miscarriages and struggling with the second one. But I’m glad they are 2.5 years apart, even though they drive me insane at times!

  15. Great post!my girls are 3 years apart (1 and 4 yrs old). Birthdays are within 4 weeks of each other and the hand me down is already working out as my 1 year old wears one year ahead. I have a lot to look forward to!

  16. I love the fact that my kids are so close, mainly because they can keep each other entertained 🙂 … My boys birthdays are 4 days apart. Now that is hectic!

  17. So my ‘plan’ of having two children spaced two years apart went out the window and we ended up with twins second time round! Arrrghhh! And to make matters worse their birthdays are TWO DAYS apart. Three birthdays in three days. It’s a nightmare! I too am naively hoping they’ll all play nicely together too. It’s probably about 3% of the time so far… #itsOK

  18. Yes! All of this! My two eldest are 23 months apart (like your, their birthdays just three weeks from each other, in Feb and March, so – just as we’re heaving a sigh of relief that we’ve paid off the Christmas credit card bills!!)

    This is all perfectly put Carly, both the pros and the cons (by God those first couple of years were TOUGH!)

    #ItsOK xxx

  19. I can relate to all of this! I have two girls too but with a slightly bigger gap – 2 and a half years but it’s still close enough that they can play with each other. I personally thought it was a great gap to leave between them, it worked out well. I think the two year gap+ makes life a bit easier on you as the bigger one is that bit more independent when baby arrives. They were born in two different seasons though which means the hand-me-downs don’t always work. A total bummer!! #itsok

  20. We lost two babies between number one & number two so the spacing was out of our hands – we have just over 3 years between the first two & 2 years between number two & number three #itsok

  21. Mine are 14 months apart. The second was a bit of an oops, but at 3&4 I wouldn’t change it for the world! I agree though, the first 2 years were brutal!!! I was so lucky to have my hubby working from home to help me out during that time!

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