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Kids close together? - Page 5

post #81 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytwogirls View Post
Maybe I just enjoy my children too much?
Huh?
post #82 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Huh?
I got the impression from some posters that having kids close together in age is a headache, impossible to give them attention all the time, blah, blah blah. Someone said she moms with young ones close together and the mom looks worn out. I LOVE my children close together and yeah it can be challenging, but all in all having them close together is a perfect fit. Maybe I am not making sense, it has been a long night for me....a friend had a 15 hour labor and insisted I be her RN the entire time, and she ended up with a section so I am very tired so sorry if I came off wrong or whatever.....
post #83 of 106
I'm not advocating for closely-spaced children (I've done it, and won't do it again intentionally), but there are much better reasons to have a longer spacing than 'the baby/toddler will have to wait sometimes while I take care of the other child'.

In a 100% perfect world, yes, every child would have his/her needs met without delay, all the time. But I don't live in even close to that world. I get to them as soon as a possibly can, but sometimes, yes, I'm making hamburgers and need to wash my hands first, or I'm getting the fire going first thing in the morning from a few coals so we don't all freeze, or I tried to grab a shower and someone woke up while I have suds in my hair, or I'm elbow deep in the other child's poopy diaper.

I don't avoid cooking, we haven't switched to electric heat, I still bathe, and we had another baby. I'm pretty sure my children will be able to survive all of this with emotional security and attachment intact

Even at 6 months old and 2 years old, I really do think my boys get more joy out of each other than they do frustration because of my occasionally divided attention. The reasons to space the next baby farther out are almost entirely for MY benefit (with the exception of milk supply).
post #84 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
I'm not advocating for closely-spaced children (I've done it, and won't do it again intentionally), but there are much better reasons to have a longer spacing than 'the baby/toddler will have to wait sometimes while I take care of the other child'.

In a 100% perfect world, yes, every child would have his/her needs met without delay, all the time. But I don't live in even close to that world. I get to them as soon as a possibly can, but sometimes, yes, I'm making hamburgers and need to wash my hands first, or I'm getting the fire going first thing in the morning from a few coals so we don't all freeze, or I tried to grab a shower and someone woke up while I have suds in my hair, or I'm elbow deep in the other child's poopy diaper.

I don't avoid cooking, we haven't switched to electric heat, I still bathe, and we had another baby. I'm pretty sure my children will be able to survive all of this with emotional security and attachment intact

Even at 6 months old and 2 years old, I really do think my boys get more joy out of each other than they do frustration because of my occasionally divided attention. The reasons to space the next baby farther out are almost entirely for MY benefit (with the exception of milk supply).
very well said. Thank you for that post I think the best perspective honestly comes from mama's who have BTDT and have closely spaced children. No offense, but if you only have one or have a 5 yr age gap, you really don't have the experience to make blanket assumptions regarding sacrifice and how it could negatively impact the children's well-being.
post #85 of 106
My period returned 2 weeks after giving birth and I was pregnant the next cycle. I had DD 10 months after having DS. DS was planned, DD was a happy oops.

Honestly, the hardest part was being pregnant while DS was still a baby. He was very colicky and I was very burnt out, and also very sick. I didn't get to go to any mommy-baby things with him. I was too busy getting IV therapy and the like. DS also had a number of OTHER issues. We suspected autism for the longest time, but at the moment apparently it's just severe sensory stuff. He is nonverbal but it took him a while to catch on to signing, so there was a LOT of frustration screaming. And it was definitely hard in the first months when DD was nursing round the clock, and I would only get maybe 15 mins of sleep at a stretch because one or the other would be screaming and waking the other up. And getting out of the house was VERY hard because of the sheer logistics. Before DS could reliably walk, I would put him on my back and put her in the stroller or car seat in the shopping cart. But of course she would scream there and yargh. Sometimes I would wear both at once but that was a bit cumbersome for shopping.

Now, that DD is almost 1... It's better. They play together a LOT and they really love each other. DS shares everything with her, they're actually at around the same phase developmentally (she's a bit ahead and he's a bit behind) and he's sleeping through the night in his room and she's still co-sleeping. Sometimes I can give her a sippy of water now instead of a boob. Her unique challenge is that she's a total momma's girl and won't settle for anyone else, including DH. Only I'm allowed to hold her, and this has been going on for months and months now. But it's OK, I love her.

As for aging me, well... Yeah. I'm slowly starting to feel normal again, but honestly it was the pregnancies and sleep deprivation that did me in. I have always looked young for my age, as in being thought to be in my mid-teens when I was 23-24. Then all last year people were calling me ma'am, and definitely not carding me for ANYTHING anymore. Just in the past week they started carding me again, so I think I'm getting back in my groove. But I can definitely see there are wrinkles on my face now and I have a bit of a worn look. My New Year's resolution is to look like I get more sleep. Heh. I'm only 25 but I do need those age-defying make up things a bit. I think I'll be OK though. I felt old for a while and now I'm just starting to feel young and fun again. DH and I are even starting to talk about another baby. :
post #86 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
very well said. Thank you for that post I think the best perspective honestly comes from mama's who have BTDT and have closely spaced children. No offense, but if you only have one or have a 5 yr age gap, you really don't have the experience to make blanket assumptions regarding sacrifice and how it could negatively impact the children's well-being.
I'm sorry that you think my opinion isn't a worthwhile one, since I haven't BTDT. But I have repeatedly said, the divided attention issue is one of the reasons I don't want closely spaced kids. If that isn't an issue for you, then why are you taking this so personally?

And to be totally honest here, the mamas I know IRL with closely spaced kids, well, I watch their kids constantly compete for mama's attention and time. There seems to be a lot of fighting, whining, crying and stress for everyone.

If this doesn't reflect YOUR reality, then that's great!

We're all trying to be good mamas here, why don't we stop feeling so defensive about other people's choices and opinions?

In any case, I think the OP has made her decision.
post #87 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marylizah View Post
I'm sorry that you think my opinion isn't a worthwhile one, since I haven't BTDT. But I have repeatedly said, the divided attention issue is one of the reasons I don't want closely spaced kids. If that isn't an issue for you, then why are you taking this so personally?

And to be totally honest here, the mamas I know IRL with closely spaced kids, well, I watch their kids constantly compete for mama's attention and time. There seems to be a lot of fighting, whining, crying and stress for everyone.

If this doesn't reflect YOUR reality, then that's great!

We're all trying to be good mamas here, why don't we stop feeling so defensive about other people's choices and opinions?

In any case, I think the OP has made her decision.
um, who wouldn't get defensive or take it personally if it's assumed that closely space children are worse off than those that are not. And FWIW, I've never thought my kids were in that category, 2 under 2, that to me, is closely spaced... so it's all relative.

If somone was saying your kids have a disadvantage becasue they won't have as much in common or get along very well because they are several years apart, you might take it the wrong way, too. I don't even believe that to be true, which is why I would never make a statement like that considering my almost 8 yr old gets along wonderfully with the almost 2 yr old.

ETA: if you go back and read your first response here, even though it included the phrase "no offense" you have to see how it could come across that way... considering the number of mama's on this thread (and mdc) who have closely spaced children. And it wasn't just you, I happened to quote you because it obviously struck a chord with me.
post #88 of 106
I just read most of the replies to the OP. I added on before reading them. I'm just a little overwhelmed (underwhelmed might be more apt to say) about the attitudes from people saying that the kids are shortchanged or that you can "only" do it with lots of help. I have no family or friends to help out, although I am a full time SAHM. I am married but I am the only one who parents the kids. So like. It's possible. And my kids are happy. I feel responsible for my OWN happiness.

Am I a little awed when I see SAHM's who are so devoted to their only toddler, who spend hours and hours with one on one attention? Yeah. It's not my life, but it interests me looking in. I know that looking in from the outside my life would be sheer hell to a lot of people, but what can you say, that's life. Am I sometimes jealous of moms of onlies? Not really. I am jealous a LOT of the time, of a LOT of things, but that was never one of them.

Don't believe me? I was jealous about a lot of baby-related things. Like when I saw babies peacefully going out and about with public, snoozing in strollers or chilling in mommyies' arms, when I had to literally jump up and down with DS in the Moby while signing my name at the checkout counter at the grocery store. Because he would scream bloody murder otherwise. Or had to rock him for 4r+ hours of him SCREAMING every night whereas other mommies just gave a bath, a lullaby, nursies and a snuggle and their kid was asleep in half an hour. I was also awed to see pregnant women around me glowing, enjoying pregnancies, having baby showers and bonding with their babies in utero and taking belly casts. When I was in the hospital, sticking myself with cancer medicine an the like. And I was jealous, and still am jealous of moms who have kids who say mama... My son STILL doesn't call me mama, and he's almost 2. I'm waiting to hear that magic word, but I'm not holding my breath.

OK, does that sound bitter enough? My point is, if I can still be happy and my kids can be happy with all that going against us, I'm pretty darn sure that any mommy of two spaced closely together... can have a happy and satisfying experience!
post #89 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineMama View Post
I just read most of the replies to the OP. I added on before reading them. I'm just a little overwhelmed (underwhelmed might be more apt to say) about the attitudes from people saying that the kids are shortchanged or that you can "only" do it with lots of help. I have no family or friends to help out, although I am a full time SAHM. I am married but I am the only one who parents the kids. So like. It's possible. And my kids are happy. I feel responsible for my OWN happiness.

Am I a little awed when I see SAHM's who are so devoted to their only toddler, who spend hours and hours with one on one attention? Yeah. It's not my life, but it interests me looking in. I know that looking in from the outside my life would be sheer hell to a lot of people, but what can you say, that's life. Am I sometimes jealous of moms of onlies? Not really. I am jealous a LOT of the time, of a LOT of things, but that was never one of them.

Don't believe me? I was jealous about a lot of baby-related things. Like when I saw babies peacefully going out and about with public, snoozing in strollers or chilling in mommyies' arms, when I had to literally jump up and down with DS in the Moby while signing my name at the checkout counter at the grocery store. Because he would scream bloody murder otherwise. Or had to rock him for 4r+ hours of him SCREAMING every night whereas other mommies just gave a bath, a lullaby, nursies and a snuggle and their kid was asleep in half an hour. I was also awed to see pregnant women around me glowing, enjoying pregnancies, having baby showers and bonding with their babies in utero and taking belly casts. When I was in the hospital, sticking myself with cancer medicine an the like. And I was jealous, and still am jealous of moms who have kids who say mama... My son STILL doesn't call me mama, and he's almost 2. I'm waiting to hear that magic word, but I'm not holding my breath.

OK, does that sound bitter enough? My point is, if I can still be happy and my kids can be happy with all that going against us, I'm pretty darn sure that any mommy of two spaced closely together... can have a happy and satisfying experience!
That is quite possibly the most powerful, insightful post I have read in a LONG time. Hat's off to you mama! I could not have said it better myself. And yes, like many other mamas, it does get under my skin when other ASSUME my kids are shortchanged, scream for my attention, compete and other nonsense. Thank you for posting this.
post #90 of 106
I don't think my dd was short changed by me having ds when she was only 25.5 months old. He brought her so much joy. She just LOVES him. Sometimes I wish I could clone myself for times when ds wants to nurse to sleep, and dd wants food/milk/xyz NOW. I think it taught her patience and that others have needs, too. I do get frustrated with some things about having two, but it is b/c I am lazy. Little things get to me, like having to buckle both into car seats, zip both of their coats, etc. but it is not bad. I am just lazy. I don't feel like it. I really believe that having the second GAVE more positive things in life to dd vs. taken attention away. She is a really sensitive and caring person. A lot of times I will be giving special attention to dd, and she will tell me to go nurse ds b/c he is looking tired or cranky.
post #91 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marylizah View Post
I'm sorry that you think my opinion isn't a worthwhile one, since I haven't BTDT. But I have repeatedly said, the divided attention issue is one of the reasons I don't want closely spaced kids. If that isn't an issue for you, then why are you taking this so personally?

And to be totally honest here, the mamas I know IRL with closely spaced kids, well, I watch their kids constantly compete for mama's attention and time. There seems to be a lot of fighting, whining, crying and stress for everyone.

If this doesn't reflect YOUR reality, then that's great!

We're all trying to be good mamas here, why don't we stop feeling so defensive about other people's choices and opinions?

In any case, I think the OP has made her decision.
And I did also ask for perspectives from BOTH side- those with closely spaced kids, and those with kids further apart, and what reasoning they had behind it and what they enjoyed/ didn't enjoy.

It does seem to me that you're just stating a perspective, an opinion, and to me it doesn't sound as though you are criticizing anyone.

I believe I have made my decision, but part of me is still not 100% opposed to it either. I'm still sleeping well and babies really are so darn cute I can't say I'd be all that upset if we had a surprise at some point.
post #92 of 106
Thread Starter 
On the shortchanging the older child issue-- I do wonder how much of it has to do with the older child's personality. I think if your older child was the jealous type, or high needs, demanding, etc then you would feel more like you were neglecting that child occasionally while caring for the younger child.

I also again think the mother's personality has a lot to do with. For example, my sister-in-laws sister is pregnant and has a 14 month old son, and she is terrified. She is the kind of mom who tries very hard to do everything perfectly, who has a 2 hr long bedtime routine, whose husband is an airline pilot and is gone 2 weeks or more at a time, and doesn't have family near by to help. She has a tense, perfectionistic, "need to be a perfect mom" mentality (not just about motherhood, but about everything I think). And I think based on her personality she'll have a lot more trouble than, say, my SIL who is laid back to a fault.

I'm not sure anyone is trying to say parents with close-together kids are harming their kids or short-changing their kids by doing so, but are saying that THEY personally would feel bad. And that's OK, that's why they didn't do it :P And of course no one with only 1 child or with children 5 years apart can understand what happens in the daily lives of people with 2 kids under 2, just as it would be just as mysterious the other way around.

This is getting a little bit more tense than I had anticipated it being!
post #93 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
No offense, but if you only have one or have a 5 yr age gap, you really don't have the experience to make blanket assumptions regarding sacrifice and how it could negatively impact the children's well-being.
I have a 6 year age gap , but I wonder if some of these opinions and assumptions begin with the people we are and the children we have? I am a highly sensitive, easily frazzled woman with a highly sensitive, easily frazzled daugther (first born). I never even considered having a second child for a moment before my dd turned 3.5, and then dd start ttc until she was 4 (months of ttc + miscarriage = 6 year age gap). When I only had dd, I could not imagine adequately meeting two babies' needs, but my experience of "needs" might not be the same as another mother's, kwim? After having my second child, I have a completely new experience. I could easily have taken care of two babies like him at the same time.....but two like dd? Totally different story. (she is a really awesome kid, btw )
post #94 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post
I think the best perspective honestly comes from mama's who have BTDT and have closely spaced children.
Well the OP did ask for both perspectives.

Quote:
For those of you with kids close together- did you do it on purpose? What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks? To those who waited longer between kids- I guess same questions? For comparison purposes.
There are good reasons to space children father apart just as there are good reasons to space close together. Only considering one side wouldn't paint a very balanced picture.

ETA - I had this sitting on my screen for a bit and didn't see that the OP already addressed this. Carry on.
post #95 of 106
I think it has a lot to do with the personalities involved! I have posted in a few of these threads, and there are a few people on here who are serious advocates for long age gaps. It always seems lopsided, but to me that's an awfully personal and situation specific thing to be blanket "advocating" for. Watching my older two (17 months apart) develop their truly amazing, close relationship has been one of the greatest joys of my life thusfar, and is absolutely in large part owed to their close age gap. They could be peers from a very young age, before the oldest could ever remember the younger not being there. I can imagine plenty of scenarios where it would have gone poorly, but I can imagine the same for a 4 year age gap. The two kids I know who have had to seek psychological help from having trouble with a sibling adjustment had a 3.5-4 year age gap, but who knows if that's chicken or egg (those parents waited because they had a harder firstborn, or they had become so used to only childhood that they couldn't deal with the shift?).

I will say that for one of the common concerns in this thread- whether a 15-17 month old has a harder time waiting than an older child, generally I found it easier with the small age gap. The needs of the 17 month old were quicker to deal with, more able to be dealt with with a baby in hand(they needed cheese or a song sung, not an extended game of Candyland, and were not offended if the baby was there the way I often see 3 and 4 year olds jealous over their parents full physical and mental attention), and on those very rare occasions when she did have to wait, she didn't take it personally the way my 3 year old can now (my third is 2.75 years younger than my second). Generally it has seemed to me with transitions like this the older the child is, the harder it is for them to adjust. Nonetheless, we are adjusting, and it's certainly true that a larger age gap is physically easier for the mom, in terms of carrying, buckling in, etc.
post #96 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Well the OP did ask for both perspectives.



oh, I know. What I meant was that the best perspective on the logistics of closely spaced children, comes from parents that have BTDT. That is what the OP originally was asking. She was considering possibly getting pregnant as soon as 6 mos PP. She didn't start out saying she was leaning towards a 4 yr age gap and wanted thoughts, though, I do imagine she has found all viewpoints and experiences helpful.
post #97 of 106
I probably can't add anything new, but here is my 2 cents anyway

My children are 26 months apart, and in some ways I love it, in others, not so much. I plan to have my next baby when my son is 3 or 4 and here is why:

- I don't want to mess with my breastmilk supply before he is old enough to wean
- Having mine so close together was very hard in the early days when I was recovering from the birth. You never know what can happen in a birth, and I was in a lot of pain for months after mine, making everything more difficult.
- Both children will be old enough to understand what is going on
- I want a break from pregnancy and nursing so I can really build up my nutrition and health. Some people have disagreed with me on this, but I really believe it can deplete your body.
- I don't want to have two children who need constant carrying, or diaper changing.
- I want to really enjoy my kids, not be burned out

eta one more!
- If I am blessed with a surprise like twins, I will be glad not to have a toddler as well I think.
post #98 of 106
I have these spaces:

13 months apart -- exhausting but my favourite

17 months apart -- still exhausting but a very close second favourite

8 years apart -- do NOT like it at all and didn't plan it that way

2 years 1 month apart -- I don't really like it at all

I could give all my reasons for my likes/dislikes of each space but I'm sure it's been covered in other posts in this thread! I'm going to read through now and will add any of my own opinions if I don't see them elsewhere!
post #99 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnmama View Post
I wonder if some of these opinions and assumptions begin with the people we are and the children we have?(snip) I could easily have taken care of two babies like him at the same time.....but two like dd? Totally different story. (she is a really awesome kid, btw )
Yes to this.
Three of my second son would be easier to take care of than one of my first was. No exaggeration.
post #100 of 106
I haven't read all the posts, so this point might have been made. Our dd is 3yo and we still don't feel ready for another (she'll probably be an only, but we're reserving the right to change our minds about having another as she gets older, starts sleeping, stops nursing, etc.) As I've spent long visits (as in several days with overnights) with friends who have closely spaced kids, one thing that I've noticed is that the older child often seems to have higher expectations placed on them than I think is always age-appropriate. I'm close with someone whose kids are 18 months apart, and while the younger child was still nursing and had minimal separation from mom at age 2, the older child at age 2 was fully weaned and dropped off at preschool five days a week (and expected sit still for long restaurant meals, soothe herself to sleep from a young age, and other things that I think can be a bit much for a child so young) My dd is the same age as the older, and it's always kind of bothered me to see that this little friend was sort of expected to grow up faster-- a 2yo should be allowed to act (and should be comforted) like a 2yo, whether or not there's a younger babe in the picture. I'm not saying that all families with close spacings have this dynamic (and it certainly may be unintentional), but it's something that I've observed a lot and which has definitely influenced my decision to not put my dd in that position.
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