The title says it all in today’s post.
I always imagined that I would be the parent that would have this “appropriate” age gap between my children, when one turns four years of age, is considered independent (in terms of self feeding, toileting, is able to construct sentences which actually have meaning, and so forth) then I would consider trying for a second child.
In my head, I would imagine the first child being old enough to understand they have a new younger sibling, and it is not okay to use them as a climbing frame or a rag-doll when it comes to play time, but to be more gentle. Another thought in my head was of myself, looking and feeling more human like (having actually had time to brush my hair, or apply some moisturiser to my face…I won’t say makeup because let’s face it, it takes me ages and even i get frustrated at times).
Those dreamy days are long gone, and I am now edging closer to having two children in my house… under the age of two! What the fridge was we thinking? How am I going to handle two children under the age of two? It’s bad enough that the first one Deeja doesn’t sit still for a second to let you catch your breath, and now we have another one on the way!
At times the thought of having two under two gives me heart palpitations, the endless images of me living in my nightie all day and night (which happens 97% of the time anyway), not knowing which child to see to first when they are both crying, and another few more years of sleepless nights. I begin to question myself, what possessed you to have a second child so close to the first one?! How are you going to manage them both when the OH goes back to work?
Surely I’m not the only parent who had ever doubted why they are having a second so quickly? It’s like human nature kicked us in the ass and said this is how it’s going to be, now get on with it! (No well wishes or tips, just a quick push and shove and BAM … we’re pregnant… again).
Putting aside all of the anxiety attacks and heart palpitations I’m having as I once again think about the daily struggle of bribing my kids to bed when it’s nearing bedtime, or to sit still in the pushchair when we attempt to go out.
There are some pros to having a second child close in age to the first. Or so I have been reassured by most parents who have gone through the close in age gap between each of their children. Note that these benefits and disadvantages are merely my opinion, therefore my disadvantage maybe your benefit, but let’s go through them anyway. So let’s take a look at the pro’s:
- Having children close in age means they can play together / entertain each other whilst you have your 5min cuppa.
- They may grow up to be very close.
- You will have your independence back quicker as they will go to school a year or so apart… meaning you will have your hands free when the kids are at school.
- You can return to work when the kids are in school (for parent’s who are wanting to work when their kids go to school).
- Chances are you will already have everything you need from the first baby, such as: clothes, toys, blankets, etc.
- Children close in age may nap together, which means you can nap with them. Or potter around the house getting chores done.
We’ve looked at the pros, but what about the cons?
- The financial strain of having one child can be quite daunting on most of us, with everything adding up such as; nappies, wet wipes, clothes, formula milk for those who choose not to breastfeed, etc. So when it comes to having a second child, can you afford to buy two different size nappies? Formula milk? And clothes?
- Children are very demanding for attention, so how will you split your time to tend to their needs when both children are demanding your attention? Who comes first?
- The sleepless nights just seem to have no end, not until they are sleeping through the night which seems like never.
- Having children always has some impact on a marriage, when partners are not able to spend as much time with each other like before. When they do get time to go out on a date, all that they bring to the table is a conversation about the kids and nothing more. So will having a second child not add to this maritial strain where there is 2% romance and what appears to be two people trying to stay awake until bedtime.
As we are slowly approaching our due date, our minds are left wondering how we will juggle routines for both children (especially since we are routine loving parent’s). So until that time comes, let’s continue wondering… And waiting… until we update you on how life is with two children under the age of two.
Thanks for reading! See you in another post real soon.
Deeja and Mum