If you had asked me a few years ago if I would recommend having children close in age, my answer would have been a resounding, “No!” When my children were babies and toddlers, it was challenging, to say the least. Now my tune has drastically changed.
I didn’t plan to have my children 16 months apart. When my daughter was 7 months old, I wasn’t even close to being ready for another baby. It took me a long time to become pregnant with my first, and to say I was shocked the second time around is an understatement! I panicked! But now that my children are six and seven, I am grateful they are close in age. Here are five reasons I think having children close in age is cool.
You keep on rolling
We hadn’t yet packed away any baby stuff when my son was born. The bottles, swing, bouncy seat, and baby toys were all still out. (We did have to buy another crib because my daughter was still in hers.) I didn’t feel like I was starting over; I was merely continuing what I had been doing for the past 16 months.
There’s no jealousy
My daughter was still a baby when my son was born, and she was not the only child for very long. She didn’t have any jealousy or resentment toward him. The main thing we had to deal with was keeping a close eye on her because she wanted to hug him a bit too hard. She doesn’t remember a time without her brother in her life.
They have similar interests
One child is not too old or too young to do the things the other child wants to do. When they were younger, they both loved storytime at the library, tumble time at the YMCA, and taking a walk in the double stroller. They even napped at the same time for almost a year! Now they both love Storyland, playing baseball, and riding bikes. It’s so much easier to keep them both entertained when they are on similar levels.
One school drop-off
My children are only one grade apart. For five years I get to drop them off at one school. One drop-off and pick-up location is seriously convenient. They even have some of the same friends. (I’m guessing this may not be so cool with them when they are teenagers and want to date each other’s friends, but we’ll deal with that when the time comes.)
They are best friends
This is, by far, the best reason. If you ask either of them who their best friends are, they always mention each other. They each have one of their best friends to play with every day. They certainly fight, but they would be lost without each other. When I was putting my daughter to bed the other night, I asked her what she was grateful for. The first thing she said was “my brother.” That right there makes all the challenging toddler years worth it.
I know firsthand that we can’t always plan how far apart our children are, no matter how hard we try. I’m also sure there are a whole host of reasons why it’s great to have children far apart in age. This has been my personal experience, and I’m grateful it worked out the way it did. So, if you’re in the throes of raising two babies or toddlers, trust me — it will be worth it. Hang in there, mama!