Pros of the 2-year-gap

It took about 7 phone calls to catch my friend Maddie (2 sons, the eldest, two and a half, the other, 11 weeks old) in between breastfeeds and dashing her toilet-training toddler to the loo.

After sympathetically hearing her swear for a bit, I explained that I wanted to hear the good stuff first. So she swore a little more, and then explained why she’d chosen to have a small gap.

‘I am already 35 and I didn’t want to get into that whole amnio arena,’ she explained tiredly. ‘I also still have all the equipment – sterilizers and stuff – and haven’t yet forgotten how to use it, or let my toddler break the important bits. And I am in the Zone. I have long since forgotten what a good night’s sleep feels like. I am used to being as thick as pigshit. And my vagina’s shot now, anyway. And…’

No, Maddie, the good stuff.

‘Well, I mainly did it for the children – I was a single child and it sucked. I wanted my kids to be close enough in age so that they had a real chance of being friends, not too hampered by wildly disparate skill levels and interests.’

I comfortingly pointed out that pigshit-stupid people don’t often use words like ‘disparate’, before hanging up.

Another friend looked at the question from the viewpoint of her own needs.

‘Once the decision was made,’ she said, ‘I didn’t want it hanging in front of me any more, while I watched my life getting pushed further and further back. I felt that, by having the second early, I could at least see the other side. I really needed that, psychologically.’

Yet another mother felt the early trauma of it all was pretty much confined to the first half year after the second birth, and well worth the new camaraderie she sees between her children: now three and one-and-a-half.

‘Sure the first six months were really hectic, but now it’s so fabulous to see them together, already getting so much out of each other. They share toys; they have joint friends (which I suppose won’t last, but is great for now) … they are like a little team… I am so proud of them. It’s magic.’

What’s great about a small gap between siblings?

Want to know more about the two-year gap?
- Truth about the two year gap
- Cons of the two-year gap

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