Experts claim that the ideal age gap between siblings is around 21 months. Research suggests that with this age gap siblings will grow close and more likely to stay close in adult life and a gap any smaller puts immense pressure on the parents.
The gap between my two children is 23 months and before I had my little princess I thought I wanted 3. I can honestly say I now wouldn’t even entertain the idea of having another. I love my two children more than you could imagine but the thought of juggling a third child makes me reach for the Valium.
When I first had my eldest, the little man who is now just over 2 years old, he was my world. That’s not to say he isn’t now, but whilst I was on maternity leave we did everything; baby sensory, messy play, playgroups, mother and toddlers, soft play you name it. I wanted to make sure he had a stimulating and fulfilled upbringing.
Getting Out of the Door
Although these days we still manage to have plenty of play dates and trips to the park, it is a logistical nightmare trying to get out of the house with two. One cries because they’re tired and the other is hungry. The chorus of wailing reverberates in my skull whilst I try to strategically plan how we will all get out the door clean, fed and hopefully not in tears, although it normally ends with me in tears.
On a Tuesday afternoon, little man goes to nursery and if I am dropping him off for 1pm we have to start getting ready at about 10am;
- Get both kids dressed
- Get myself dressed
- Breakfast for me and my son
- Brush teeth
- Change bag packed
- Nursery bag packed
Ok, I think to myself, we can leave soon. Then the baby begins to cry for milk, its fine I gave myself half an hour extra for that. Then I think I’m ready to walk out of the door and I can smell crap! Which one is it? (The joy of having this age gap is that they are both in nappies and I now have two bums to wipe every morning.)
Eventually when I do get into the car, my eldest (who is supposed to be going to nursery) falls asleep and the baby is screaming. Why is the wrong baby asleep?!
This is quite typical of most days when I want to leave the house. But I don’t let it stop me, I simply get on with it (and then moan about it to my husband that night).
I remember the first time I was left on my own with the two children when my husband had to return to work after an extended paternity leave. I was petrified of doing it all on my own. I had been lucky enough to have my other half help me for over a month (find out why), so we always had a child each. Now it was all down to me!
The night before I didn’t get the baby down for bed until nearly midnight, then she work at 2am, then at 5am and just as I had got her back off to sleep, the boy woke up. Breakfast was a joke! I prepared my son’s breakfast and tried to eat something myself but then had to pump some breast milk and feed it to her (she had problems latching on) before I got a look in.
I phoned my husband at work in tears telling him he had to come home but he then gently reminded me that it was only 9.30am! Exhausted wasn’t the word. I then mutter to myself how it was all his fault and that he would be getting the snip at the first opportunity.
All Worth It
Now that baby is coming up to 3 months old, things are getting easier. I’m getting into a stride. But the best part of it, is seeing my two babies interact. My son dotes on his sister, he loves to stroke her hair and give her kisses. He yearns for her to engage with him so much that I have to put on a squeaky voice and pretend its her talking while he chats away to baby.
Even better still, is seeing her face light up when she sees her big brother. She laughs at his silly faces and smiles at him playing.
This has got to be the best feeling in the world.