So, what’s it like having such young kids so close in age?
Honestly, my instinctive, don’t-even-think-about-it answer is usually: I don’t recommend it.
(With a laugh, of course.)
I don’t know why I say that, but I hate that I do. Nope, it’s not always easy. But guess what? I wouldn’t know the difference. If I hadn’t gotten pregnant with Dexter and we still just had Theo, I bet I would say that having a toddler (and just one of them) is challenging, too.
Maybe, just maybe, subconsciously I want everyone to know that I’m workin’ my ass off here, just trying to keep it all together and be the best mom that I can be. I’m not always proud of my words or actions when I get frustrated, but I doubt that it would be much different if I only had one kid. Maybe, just maybe, I think if I make everyone realize how exhausting it is, they might not judge me for flipping my lid from time to time. Or perhaps that makes me feel less guilty for said lid-flipping.
Our plan was to have our kids 2 years apart. We are overachievers, I guess, because they’re only 14 months apart. I got pregnant again when Theo was only 5 months old. So 16 of his 21 months, I have been taking care of him and another baby, too. I have been exhausted for two and a half years. I could count the number of times that I have slept through the night on both hands since Theo was born. Maybe just one hand, if I’m being truthful. I have been nursing and/or pregnant since June of 2009. That’s kind of like having a body, but not really having full control and ownership of it for two and a half solid years.
I don’t recommend it.
Or do I? Because really, it’s not that bad. Like I said, it’s the only experience I’ve known as a parent. There are bad moments, sure. But doesn’t the job of raising 2 kids that are 2 or 3 years apart have it’s share of bad moments, too? What about twins? I’m sure that is just as (if not more) difficult. I don’t think there’s a perfect solution because parenting is never going to be easy breezy. If it is, you must not be doing it right.
I already see the benefits of having babies so close together. They are starting to play together. I love the way Dexter’s face lights up when Theo is giving him attention. Theo is so loving towards Dexter (most of the time) and has adapted just fine to not being the (only) baby. I am already envisioning my boys playing sports, double dating, and sharing friends in school.
Having them so close together seemed like a nightmare when I found out I was pregnant. Now, I feel endlessly lucky. Who knows what might happen a couple years down the road? I have heard too many stories recently about young moms with ovarian cancer. Emergency hysterectomies. Having just one child was never my plan and I would have been heartbroken if the option of having more had been taken away from me.
We are in the thick of it right now and I am well aware that it might get worse before it gets better. It’s getting more interesting as Dexter has recently become extremely mobile. I wonder what Theo will be like a year from now, when Dexter is developmentally where he is now. The story is always changing, evolving.
I’m pretty sure this time in our lives is going to be one that we look back on and ask ourselves, “how did we survive?” with smiles on our faces. Like being in grad school, working full-time at a brand new
job career, and driving 700+ miles every other week or so to see my dying father. It was chaotic and stressful, but so, so worth it and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. There was no other alternative. I did what I had to do and that’s what I’m doing now. It may be a stretch to say I’m loving every second of it, but I bet when I look back, with a smile on my face, that’s how I will remember it.
So you know what? I guess I do recommend it. I’d be lying if I said I wish my life had turned out differently.
Hey, guys, I’m working my ass off here to keep it all together and be the best mom I can be.
There, I said it. Now you know it and I won’t have to act like I’m miserable, raising these babies who were born 14 months apart.
P.S. This post was inspired by Krista at one of my favorite blogs, Not Mommy of the Year. Read her post here.
P.P.S. I have had a handful of people tell me that they can’t or have had trouble commenting on my blog. If you are one of those people or if you have ever had trouble commenting on my blog, please try the new format. If you still have trouble, please email me and let me know. I’d hate to think people aren’t commenting because they can’t! Your comments truly make my day.