I find I discuss the age gaps between my children quite often. Usually because this starts with “Oh you have your hands full don’t you!”. I don’t reply with “Well the third was a mistake, we only wanted two”, because I don’t want poor old Ruby growing up thinking she wasn’t wanted! She was just one huge SURPRISE SUPRISE CILLA. I did threaten to call her Cilla if she was a girl, but this got forgotten! Plus then the name would give it away that she was a teeny-weeny bit not at all planned!
Personally with a six month old baby, who wasn’t sleeping much, the last thing I would have thought about is another! But somehow I was tricked, I can’t recall when ‘it’ happened! But I know that I had just stopped breastfeeding, so should really have focused on that thing called contraception! Oh and here’s the thing, the morning after pill is not an affective method of contraception! Ruby is all the proof you need!
With our first baby at 22, and enjoying her as much as we did, it was tough, all the baby bit comes as one huge shock first time around. Everyone says oh those sleepless nights, but when you are in the thick of it and there is no night you can just catch up, its horrendous! No wonder sleep deprivation is used as an affective method of torture. I felt tortured for months and half the person I was before!
Also the body takes a long time to heal after having a baby and for me with the first, I didn’t feel back to my usual self until a year! For some it can be much longer depending on their birth experience.
So whilst discussing my 15 month age gap with the lady from the children’s centre group recently, there I was merrily laughing about how mad I was and how could people even plan for such a ridiculous age gap,when a lovely very slim and pretty mum perked up and said “Well I’ve got 12 months between my boys”.
Well fuck me, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets! I wanted to say “What the actual?”, but luckily for me she went on to explain that this was also unplanned! Phew I felt normal again, we all make mistakes! She wasn’t at all offended by my outburst either which was lucky! I asked her how she felt, when she found out she was expecting whilst I was holding Ruby who is currently the age her first would have been. She explained the whole birth bit was just so fresh in her mind that she wasn’t yet over it when she found out!
I admire her, she looked amazing for popping out two tiny humans in such a small space of time, and she didn’t seem at all stressed with her children. They were well behaved (I mean how do you do that?) and she looked like she had all her shit together! But I am a realist, in those early days, god that must have been tough!
At the same group I have met another mother with the same age gap as me and she said “I warn you, this is the easier bit, the hardest is yet to come”. She may well be right, but I’m okay with that! I’ll ride the storm, the whole bloody bit of parenthood is just one ruddy great big tornado. Ill do the best with what I have, and well the rest Ill just make up!
The thing I am finding with age gaps, is some advice has been, “Have them close together, get it all over with!”, then others have said to me “A four year age gap is lovely, just as you lose your baby to school you get another one at home!”. But what works for one family may not work for another.
Our eldest is soon to be 8, and I’ve loved all the time we have had together just being a family of 3. I was fortunate to complete university and change my career. She however longed for a sibling from about 3 and watched her cousins and friends around her get siblings. I started to think that maybe we would just stay as we were, not have anymore, because with her I felt complete. I loved our life. But as time went on, I thought about how I had never experienced being an only child and that wasn’t something I wanted for her having had a brother and a sister growing up.
After two miscarriages, we both realised how much we wanted another child, so when our eldest found out at 6 years old she was going to have a sibling she was so overwhelmed and over the moon, she cried! Since the day that he was born, she has loved him so much, I feel almost a bit guilty that we waited so long! She calls him her boy!
For us this age gap works, as the eldest has taught number two such a lot, and he is incredibly affectionate, plus mad for it! But adjusting from an independent six-year-old to a newborn was incredibly hard. I thought I had remembered, but I had not! This time around, the age gap we didn’t plan and I would have never contemplated, is far far easier. I mean I’ve forgotten what sleep is, my boobs are like golf balls in socks anyway and I don’t have a life of my own anymore, so what the hell!
So 6 years, then 15 months, this is us. What’s your age gap if at all? Share your story with me on Facebook, I really do enjoy your comments, all your likes and shares!