My little guys 2 and 9.
You've just popped out a baby and you're laying there in the hospital bed recovering from the whole ordeal and one of the first questions you get from visiting well wishers is "so when are you having another one?" ......Umm What!?

I had to stop myself from waving my arms towards said baby (sale of the century style) and calmly stating, (oh, alright, through gritted teeth) "...and here we have one I made earlier."

People are always full of helpful advice, (especially when you have children) which they are not afraid to pass on to you and whether you actually know them or not is irrelevant. You know dear, they say, you better start trying for your next one soon or they'll be too far apart in age and they wont play together! (Like that's something to aim for! My brother and I are just over two years apart and we finally stopped trying to kill one another when I hit 18, we started "playing" well together when we hit our 20's).

So, it got me thinking about the perfect age gap for siblings. I know, everyone has an opinion on this, closer together, further apart, a sensible 3 year gap? Whatever the opinion, like most things there are definite advantages and disadvantages for each.

My children have a lovely 7 year gap and I planned it that way because 7 is my favourite number and .... just kidding. The real reason is that it took me 7 years to get over the horror of my first time experience!! It was bloody hard work. I was not one of those people who glowed and talked about how lovely it was to be creating a life and went for brunch. I was one of those people who's boobs got so big I had to rest them on the table at dinner, when I wasn't in the toilet throwing up that is. My hair got incredibly greasy and my skin broke out like a teenagers and I wanted to punch those glowy, brunchy people.

On an unrelated note, my second pregnancy was marginally better, but I still wasn't glowing and I still didn't brunch and yes, I was still in the toilet throwing up. Aside from all that once our new little guy came to live with us (you know, after the initial torture of sleep deprivation had subsided), I found that the age gap was just lovely. The bigger, older brother is a great help and it has been nice to be able to spend this time bonding with our little guy, while his brother is off at school. Having said that though, it was like going back to the start when you are half way through a game. We didn't have anything, so we had to go and get set up for a baby again and then there's the child proofing and missing stuff because you're home for naps. Even with all that, I have still loved this age gap.

Friends that had there first children when I did, quickly headed back for seconds (and in some cases thirds!) and found it difficult and confronting to have to deal with so many small and unreasonable people at the same time. But now, they're all heading out for coffees, careers and after work drinks as their little chicks are now all off at school and participating in similar age grouped activities at the same time.  

I guess the answer is, you're just ready when you're ready. There is no perfect gap and what works for you may not work for others. I do believe if I had gone back for more earlier I would now be quietly sitting somewhere with lots of greenery, in a nice padded corner, rocking back and forwards ... mumbling something about it not stopping..... actually that still sounds nice.

Whatever works for you,



07/04/2012 12:01am

well said :)


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