Linnea and I were talking last week about different things we wanted to blog about, and came up with some topics we want the other person to blog about. Fun huh?
So Linnea's first topic for me to blog about is the age spacing between our children and why we chose the age gaps we did.
Jasper is almost 9, Tindra will be 4 next month and Soren just turned 1.
So given the fact that we were 20 when we got pregnant with Jasper you can probably figure that he wasn't exactly planned. Wanted and loved very much from the start? Yes. But not planned on at that point in our life.
After we had him, and his rather traumatic birth I wasn't even positive I wanted more children. Till he was about 2, then I realized I definitely wanted more. And I wanted a lot more! But we wanted Drew to finish college first, and to get married.
I never had a desire to have my children super close in age together. 3-4 years seemed (and has been) perfect for us and what we have continued now for our 3 kiddos.
Having that age gap (4.5 between Jasper and Tindra and just under 3 between Tindra and Soren) has given me lots of one on one time with each child during that super demanding first couple of years. By the time I had Tindra, Jasper was in preschool and I had a couple of hours a week with just Tindr. Then he started full time kindergarten in the fall. And when I had Soren, Tindra started preschool a few months later and I get those 6 hours a week with just Soren.
Another benefit for their spacing, is by the time I've had another one, the older one(s) are more independent. They were each potty trained, dressed themselves (at their insistence) and could play by themselves for a while. During those first few months and nursing around the clock I was able to set the older ones up with an activity to keep them at least momentarily occupied.
Another pro for us for having the age gap we do, is we were able to really involve the older ones i the whole process. Shopping for new baby, going to doctors appointments (Tindra went with me to all but one of my OB appointments with Soren) going to the ultrasound appointments to see baby on screen. They both got it and were so involved and excited! They were the first ones we told at about 9 weeks after a good ultrasound, and they were the first to meet their new brother. We didn't share names with anyone either time till Jasper (and Jasper and Tindra with Sorens birth) was told first. It was important to us that they were involved every step of the way, as they were going to be the most important people in new babies life.
I'm not sure if this is the case when kids aren't as far apart in age as ours are, but we have never had a second of jealousy bringing a new baby into the house. I was fully expecting it, each time, but I think their age played a big part in that. I feel like they were secure enough with their relationships with both Drew and I, they knew their place in the family, they knew they weren't being replaced by a new baby, maybe because they didn't see themselves as babies anymore? Whatever the reason, we didn't experience any of that and I'm So grateful. I've heard some horror stories of the jealousy!
Another big bonus that I always mention jokingly but I'm actually Not joking, is by spacing my children out I'm delaying having an 'empty nest'. My youngest is 12 months and I am still already dreading the day that I no longer have children in the house. My husband jokes (or maybe isn't joking?) about being excited for that day. I will tear up in an instant at the thought. Yep tears started right this very second. I can't stand the thought of an empty home. So even if my children only live at home till they are 18, by spacing them out I'm getting 26 years of having children living at home, needing me. I also semi joke that I'm going to have another one in like 6 years... then I'm at like 32 years of kids in home! Thats not in the plan, but a bonus to having your first child a week after your 21st birthday....is that you have time to take a big break and 'come back' to having a baby later on. At least thats what I'm telling myself so I'm not super depressed about Soren turning one a couple weeks ago.
The only cons I can think of with the spacing we have is we were kind of out of the 'baby stage' before having the next one. Once you are done with diapers, and late night feedings, and having to actually pack a bag to go out the door you forget what that stage is and we have had to dive right back in three separate times now. I can see how having them close together you maybe aren't as phased by doing it all again because you aren't out of it yet.
The other con is when you have older kids you have a lot of little toys. It just comes with the territory of having kids ages 3+. With Jasper I never had to worry he was going to put something small in his mouth, because we didn't have a bunch of small toys for him to get into. With Tindra and now Soren that's my biggest fears. Tindra has to keep her toys with small parts in her room, and Jasper has to keep his in his room, and Soren doesn't spend time in either of their bedrooms for this reason. But if I'm being completely honest, we think Soren swallowed a bead from Jaspers bracelet once... I'm constantly paranoid they are going to forget or accidentally bring a small piece out into the living room/play room and Sorens grabby little hands will get to it before I do.
What about you? Whats your spacing between kids? I'm sure every spacing has so many pros and cons!