I’ll be honest, being a mommy to two babies 13 months apart is not always a walk in the park. We always knew that we wanted children close, and this works for us because I am off from work for a few years right now, but I never imagined they would be just shy of one year apart! My life takes #twoundertwo to a whole new meaning, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s what I love about having babies so close:
1. Lack of Jealousy
When thinking about having another baby, you always think about how your firstborn will cope. Will they think you have replaced them? Will you have enough time for them? Will you expect too much of them? Will they hate their new sibling? As an only child, I grew up always wanting a sibling, so having more than one child was not even a question for me. I knew that with a growing family would come growing responsibilities, and each child wouldn’t always get much alone time as they once did. All of these things crossed my mind when we found out I was pregnant with Ella. James was only 5 months old, and I was honestly a bit terrified! But the best part about the second pregnancy is that it flies by, and before we knew it we were welcoming baby girl into our family!
I can honestly say that I have never felt as though James has been neglected in the last 4 months that Ella has graced our lives. From the day she arrived, James has wanted to kiss and hug his baby sister, and when he’s not screaming, “EWA!” and running to her, he is ignoring her completely. When you have kids so close in age, the oldest is not mature enough to even realize that they have to share mommy and daddy, and for this I am grateful. James will never know life without his sister, and I will never have to deal with a jealous toddler. I’m sure they will get in their share of fights over the years, and it is often difficult to handle two babies when they both need something, but with a deep breath and an extra episode of Sesame Street, anything is possible!
2. You’re Already in Babyland!
One of the greatest things about having kids close together is that you are literally in the trenches already. Why not throw another baby into the mix?! It felt like a breeze to prepare for Ella, and honestly, we waited until the last minute for most things because we had almost everything we needed! I can’t even imagine if she were a boy; we would literally have to buy nothing. The only thing you may need is another crib 🙂 James is still far from a toddler bed at 17 months.
Not only do you already have the baby swing, pack and play, changing table, bottles, bath stuff, baby toys, clothes etc. still out from your last baby, but you are also used to all the things that come along with a baby. These might include lack of sleep, lack of time for yourself, lack of hygiene, lack of quiet, and lack of alonetime with your spouse, but at least you are used to it! Not to mention the amount of diapers you will see in just a few years; but don’t worry, they are so close in age that they may want to potty train around the same time!
Having a baby is NOT easy! Having a second baby for me was easier, and in a way added a craziness to our lives that made us a bit more easy going. Ella is a better sleeper and eater than James was, probably because we are not obsessing over every little thing she does. She kind of goes with the flow and is out and about with us, because our lives are not going to stop and we are not going to deprive James of what he needs either. Having a second baby added balance to our lives, added a life-long friend for James, and already in 4 months we are in such a schedule that some days I even consider adding another to the mix! (Mostly kidding on that one 😉 )
3. Man-to-Man Defense
To say that my husband and I don’t have much alonetime since having kids is an understatement. He works from home, so luckily for all of us, he is able to spend a lot more time with the kids than most dads. We have a great dynamic in our household, and most days he is able to sneak away from work here and there to let me throw a load of laundry in, or to help with dinner prep, and for that I am extremely grateful!
Even if your husband doesn’t work from home though, one of the best things about having babies close in age is that there is one parent per child. If you were to walk into our house during dinner and bedtime, you would probably say that it resembled an episode of Top Chef, during the quickfire challenge! Chris would probably be feeding James and eating his own meal, while I try to keep Ella happy while trying to eat mine. She usually decides to wake up from her late afternoon nap as soon as we are sitting down to dinner, and either needs to be rocked, fed, or played with. After dinner I usually clean up while Chris gives James a bath, then it’s pjs or bath and pjs for Ella and they both get a bottle before bed. I’m not even going to go into our tag-team when we are trying to leave the house!
It may be crazy at times, but at least we have each other. Most nights we are able to sit down for an hour or so and enjoy a show or a glass of wine, and the weekends are just heavenly because I am not alone and outnumbered all day! I love our family of four, and I can’t imagine it any other way.
4. They Can Share Everything (at least while they don’t know any better!)
As mentioned above, you probably won’t need to buy much when the second child comes along. If you have two kids close in age, you will probably have all of your baby stuff either out or close by in the house! I love dressing Ella in cute pink outfits with bows and frills when we’re out and about or just for fun, but most days she is cuddling up in pajamas, laying on a blue blanket with soccer balls, playing with one of James’ toys. This is so great because I absolutely love getting use out of all our baby stuff again. Not only can we use James’ stuff for Ella, but we have a ton of hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law as well! Lucky us! It’s so cute to watch James feed Ella’s baby dolls too. I love that we never had to give anything away or store things in the basement for our second child someday. And before we know it, we will be done with baby stuff and on to big kid stuff, so I try to enjoy these days while they last 🙂
5. The Bond
This is the greatest thing about having kids close in age. I can’t believe how close my babies have become in only 4 short months and I look forward to their growing relationship as they both grow older. Each day I get to watch James kiss Ella and bring her the pacifier, and Ella smile at James when he does something funny. I can’t even imagine how great it will be in a few months, when Ella is sitting up and becoming more of her own person. The first year of a child’s life flies by, as they all do, but the amount of growth that takes place is monumental! Next year at this time, they will probably be closer in size, closer in physical and mental ability, and their love will definitely be closer as siblings.
If you are thinking about having babies close in age, or even find yourself with Irish Twins, you should thank your lucky stars. This may not have been our exact plan, but it turned out to be the perfect plan for our family. Once you are able to master the art of multitasking, gain more confidence and get beyond the #twoundertwo learning curve, you will find life is joyful and always entertaining with two babies.
I can say that our days are full, our laundry and diaper pails are definitely full, but our hearts are the fullest. Life is just better with babies!