The Band-Aid Approach to Child Spacing

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It seems that with each stage of life, there comes a requisite question.

Once you’ve been dating someone for a while, you hear, “When will you two get married?”

Then as soon as you get married, you immediately her, “When will you two have a baby?”

And after Baby #1 is born, you’re pummeled with, “So, when’s #2 going to come?”

My kids are 2 years, 7 months apart, and while I cannot claim that I intentionally set out to have that exact spacing, I always thought it was pretty darn perfect.

I’m surprised by the number of times I’ve been asked by moms of 1, how far apart my girls are and if I like it that way. I always answer that it worked wonderfully for us because Baby #1 could do a few things for herself by the time Baby #2 arrived, yet my kids are still close enough in age to play together and have a lot in common.

I always wanted a couple years between my kids, and honestly, I confess that words like “completely insane” and “totally crazy” have come out of my mouth in regards to women who intentionally have their babies back-to-back.

I have a friend who gave birth to her first child just 12 minutes after I gave birth to my oldest, and she delivered her second baby a mere 19 months later. The day she delivered Baby #2, I distinctly remember sitting at the dinner table and saying to my husband, “How much would it suck if we were bringing home a newborn right now?”

But here’s the thing; I’ve changed my views.

Well, kinda.

I’ve been at this motherhood gig for 5 years now, and I can honestly say that I *now* see a lot of pros to having your kids close together. Sure, in many ways it’s like you have 2 babies on your hands for a while, but once you have them both walking and talking, drinking from a cup and feeding themselves, life gets so much better.

And as much as I do love the spacing of my girls (and would have needed to be heavily medicated to survive life with a newborn plus a 1 year old), I find myself hurrying up the aging process of my baby. She’s 2.5 now, but I catch myself saying things like, “I can’t wait to be done with diapers” and “When she gets a little older, we can take both girls to…” and “It will be so much different when she can ______ like Kate can.”

All the many, many, many things that make life with a baby such a challenge, will never, ever change. It doesn’t matter how many kids you have, or how far apart they are, there’s no denying the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into being a mom.

So to me? It’s become a matter of your personal “band-aid approach.” Do you prefer to rip out all of your arm hairs at once, even though you know the pain will be overwhelming and excruciating, simply because it’s over really fast and you can move on with life? Or do you prefer to tediously pluck your hairs, one by one, which takes a whole lot longer, but isn’t as painful?

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