There’s a saying something along the lines of “nothing worth having comes easy.” If the author of this quote wasn’t directly referring to having kids, they definitely should have been. My friend and I were just recently discussing what we thought the “best” age gap between siblings is. Does such a thing even exist? While I’m sure there are pros and cons with every age gap, I love having two kids close in age.
The early days
Our son was born 16 months after our daughter. My husband and I didn’t fully grasp what we were getting ourselves into, although no parents really do. We were told our first-born was an “easy” baby and we just naively thought all babies were like that. All too soon, we were thrown into a world with two babies. That’s right two kids close in age.
Both were in diapers, neither one walking and a “big” sister who could barely utter the word baby. The sibling helper that some of my friends had in their older child(ren) was not even a remote possibility for us. In those early days, my daughter couldn’t even get herself up and down off the couch without toppling over, let alone go get me a diaper or a burp cloth. I’ve had friends with twins tell me they think twins would be easier! A lot of the first few years was a serious blur. My experience was definitely not for the faint-of-heart.
Now I am the mom of a seven and almost-six-year-old. I can’t imagine one without the other or having them farther apart in age. They have their own separate interests, but do many things together and are very close. All that playing together also means I don’t have to constantly be trying to entertain them. We are able to move in and out of each parenting phase fairly quickly. It felt like we had a crib in the house forever. However, once we were done with it we were REALLY done with it. There was no need to store it away only to take it out several years later.
When we do something as a family, like go to Disney World, we don’t really have to “divide and conquer” as many have to do when they have a larger age gap between siblings. Larger gaps often mean different phases and different interests. I can’t imagine having kids in different phases of life, but parents of kids with a bigger age gap probably can’t imagine having to change 15+ diapers a day because you have kids close in age.
In all seriousness, I understand that not all families are able to “plan” their kids out in the way that they may want to. All kids and parents have their own unique challenges and personalities, so the “best” age gap between siblings is really not a science, but a personal preference. I am so happy that I had my kids very close together and I truly hope that they remain lifelong friends. I swapped my maternity jeans for mom jeans years ago and I’ve never looked back.