By MeOhMy Founder Siobhan (@meohmymum)
When people ask me if I'd recommend having 2 bubs under 18 months or 2 this is what I say....
Our two babes are 17 months apart. I had two under 17 months at home with me, then two under 2 and now two under 2.5.
I get asked a lot of questions. Many people say “Wow, how do you do it?” or “what’s the age gap? Gee, that’s close” (to which I think “no shit!” in my head!). “Did you plan it?” (my personal fave - and yes, FYI!).
But the question I get asked the most, over and above everything else, particularly by new mums with one baby, is “Would you recommend it?”
And my answer isn’t simple.
Our first (our boy) is now nearly 28 months, and our second (our baby girl) is nearly 11 months. So we’re out of that newborn haze now, and a fairly long run of medical and settling problems with both kids. We can see the light ;)
Would I change it? Not for anything.
Would I do it again? Maybe not.
Now that I’ve experienced our boy as a toddler, I realise how hard the 12-24 month (and beyond!) period can be. They can understand so much, yet can’t communicate as much as they’d like. They have so much going on in their little heads and get frustrated a lot, which can lead to behavioural issues.
They are active but don’t really listen (or is this just our boy?!). The practicalities are hard - they might not be great at feeding themselves, and are still in nappies. They might not be great at independent play (which for me meant breastfeeding our new little one was a nightmare and very interrupted, she also had reflux which was a nightmare and meant we gave up breastfeeding after around four months).
I noticed a huge change in our little man when he turned two. He was all of a sudden a pretty independent little boy, grabbing his own drink bottle and shoes on the way out the door. In addition, he got grommets at 25 months and it changed him for the better.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I now know that from nearly aged 2, or 2 onwards, they are more capable of being a bit self sufficient.
The best thing about having our two so close together is that they are super close. So far, we haven’t had any problems with our boy being jealous (I doubt he can even remember when it was just him!).
We chose to 'go again' so soon (we started trying when Harry was 4/5 months) because we always wanted them close, and because of my work situation. I've heard people say having kids close together is like ripping a bandaid off, do it quickly and get it over with! That was always in the back of my mind as well. And I'm an old duck (I was 34 when we had Harry and 35 when we had Aoife).
Anyone who follows me would know about my post natal anxiety. Did it come on because we had them so close? The honest answer is, I don't know. I've always been a highly organised and stressed person, and I now think that I had anxiety well before the kids arrived (but just didn't know it). I was predisposed to it, I'd say.
These days, with Harry approaching 2.5 and Aoife nearly 1, the logistics aren't easy. Double nappies, one running off in one direction not listening while the other is crawling to get at a plug in the wall, one needing a sleep while the other needs to run around at the park, one on puree/chunks while the other is on proper meals but is super picky....BUT we are in a really good phase right now, the kids are able to play together a bit better now and really enjoy each other's company (when Harry's not trying to jump on Aoife or steal her toys, and vice versa actually!).
If you're considering going again soon after your first, I'd say do it - just expect it to be amazing but hard. The first six months in particular after your new babe arrives will be tough.
I now know that from when toddlers are 2 the logistics get more doable, so that would be an easier gap (in my opinion, anyway!).
Now we’re asking do we go again? Insane, right? Some days, we’re all for it (three under 3 anyone? ;) ). Other days,= we think no bloody way!!
Watch this space ;)
As always, let me know if you have any questions!