My Kids Have A 5-Year Age Gap And I Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way
BY JEN KOSSOWAN, MAMA.PAPA.BUBBA
Photo © Jen Kossowan
May 14, 2018
It seems to be the way it goes after having a baby: You have the typical one-and-a-half to two-year grace period and then the so-will-you-have-another-one-soon questions begin rolling in. I think it’s quite common to have kiddos spaced two(ish) years apart and while I truly think there are perks to any sibling age gap, what I’ve learned from having mine five-and-a-half years apart is that having kids further apart is pretty awesome too!
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One-on-one time with each.
The first one will be in school by the time the second one makes their debut. Having just your baby with you during the day feels reminiscent of being a first-time parent. All of those lovely things you did with your firstborn, you can now do with your second born. Parent-tot swim lessons, never-ending cuddle sessions while watching Gilmore Girls reruns, coffee dates with friends while your babes sleep in their strollers — go for it!
You’re through a lot of the hard parts with your older child.
By the time your second one comes along, you’re already through the typically tricky parts that come with having a toddler. Your older one is no longer in diapers, they are likely sleeping well, they are able to communicate their feelings effectively and they are a lot more independent. All of this make the transition to having a newborn around easier.
You’ve had a break.
Being through those tricky toddler stages also means you’ve had a bit of a “break.” Of course parenting comes with few actual breaks and there always seems to be something to keep you on your toes. But by the time my little one made his debut, I hadn’t changed a diaper or been up through the night in several years. We’d been able to do all kinds of things that are generally easier once past the toddler stage, so I was ready to dive back into having a baby around again. Not to mention that your body has had a good break from being pregnant, giving birth and breastfeeding.
You’ve got a fantastic helper.
For us, having our second when our first was already five years old not only meant that she was able to help, but it also meant that she genuinely wanted to help! It’s a bit of a balance because you don’t want to put too much on the older sibling, but someone running and grabbing a new packet of wipes, fetching a pacifier, or singing to the baby while you run to the washroom can be such a lifesaver some days.
Fewer expenses at any one given point.
Admittedly, I hadn’t thought of this perk until a mama friend with age-gap kiddos pointed it out to me recently. This will vary family-to-family and situation-to-situation of course, but there seems to be certain stages in kids’ lives where there are significant costs. In her case, having kids with a big age gap means that she won’t have two requiring diapers, wipes and formula at the same time, or have two in daycare full-time, or (most likely) college.
Of course having children far apart isn't for everyone and it’s not always as easy as deciding how many years apart you want your kiddos, but there are definitely plenty of reasons why having kids with a big age gap is awesome.
What do you love most about the gap in your children’s ages?