After we had our first child, I KNEW my husband and I needed time to adjust to having our world turned upside down with a new baby. But I had zero desire to add another child to our family dynamic until we adjusted to having our baby girl and I’m really glad that I listened to my gut about making that decision. A content parent helps create an environment for happy kids. My youngest and oldest are four years apart and really enjoy one another (most of the time). Here is my case for spacing out your children:
Everyone Has Time to Adjust!
Our first child was such a culture shock. I think it is for most parents. I was the first one in my friend group to have a baby and the first one in my extended family to have a baby. My husband and I were 25 years old when we had our oldest. Up until this point, we were used to being very independent. When you become a parent, you must accept the lifestyle change, learn to find a new rhythm, and figure out what fun looks like as a family unit. Priorities shift and the first two years are a huge adjustment.
Soaking Up When They are Little
The quote “The days are long, but the years are short” is so true for the first four years of parenting a tiny human. Your kids are only little for such a short amount of time. I love being able to enjoy the different phases of my kids. If we had children super close together, I think it would be easy to miss the small moments out of simply trying to survive.
My Oldest Could Be Reasoned With!
When my son was born, my daughter was four years old. This made a huge difference in her ability to understand that baby brother needs to have his diaper changed or to eat. Being able to reason with her about the collective needs of the family made the transition easier. She loves to help and 4 was a fun age to let her be Mommy and Daddy’s little helper. Even if it was just to fetch a diaper or burp cloth, she loved being promoted to a big sister!
Only One Child in Diapers
The four-year age gap meant only one child in diapers at time. Beautiful! Having a larger age gap makes financial logistics a little more palatable from diapers to school costs. The age gap allows for a financial breather for various childcare costs.
It Gave Us Time to Find Ourselves Again.
The respite in between kids allowed us to find our passions outside of parenting again! We were able to take up hobbies, do some fun home renovation projects, have more time for friendships, and most importantly reconnect as a couple. The lull between our two kids was extremely healthy for us as individuals and as a family unit.
I am super aware that not everyone has the luxury of spacing their kids out nor the desire. BUT if you feel pressured to have your kids super close together, know there are pros and cons to however you choose to space your children. The key for our family has been listening to what we can handle!