Friday, March 2, 2012

The perfect gap.

With the arrival date of baby #2 falling two days after Stellas second birthday, my two children will have nearly exactly two years difference in age. This has bought me to be thinking about the perfect age gap to have between children in families. I read an article recently that claimed having your second baby withing the first year of your first baby was not healthy for your first borns psychological development. With no real evidence or research to back the article up, I became angry and frustrated with the writer for claiming such things, just adding to the endless guilt we feel as parents. The truth is, there is no perfect age gap. The perfect gap is what works perfectly for you; whether that be four under four or four years between each.

So with the story of our family still in the writing process, I thought I'd turn to some parents of numerous children to share their stories of age differences in the family, their family book has already been written. The first person kind enough to share her story is Stacey, the mother raising four boys. 


" Hi my name is Stacey Saunders a busy mother of 4 boys who is also the person behind Tassie Treasures Facebook page and Blog.

There is a total of three years and three months between the first three of our children and then a further break of three years to our fourth, all boys and all with four letter names. This was only brought to my attention after becoming pregnant with our 4th boy. When a friend said, "How clever your children all have four letters in their names, what have you got picked this time?" How strange we had not even picked up on it, they were just names we had picked.

With just over three years between my babies life was hectic to say the least. I am a very busy person and love to be on the go. I literally go mad when I am bored. So once our youngest turned 1 I was off back to work. Many would say I was mad and I probably would tell anyone else they were but not me.

I had contraception issues after my second son’s birth, the pill no longer suited me and it was not an issue again until after number 3 was born. I then went on to try the contraceptive implant, after a year of horrible side effects I had it removed. My husband at this stage decided that he wanted us to try one more time for a little girl, although I was happily moving forward from midnight feeds, nappies and all that comes with the newborn – 1 year age gap and was really enjoying my time with adults.

With the implant removed and no contraception I was soon pregnant again. After three cesareans very close together this possibly was not the brightest idea, the toll on my body was evident. We suffered complications from the start and during this pregnancy I felt awful my body was definitely protesting. At 37 weeks gestation the placenta started to rupture and little boy number 4 thankfully was born a healthy 7 pound 15 ounces.  It was made VERY clear to me that I was not to have any more children.

My boys were now 6 Years 3 Months, 4 Years 9 Months, Almost 3 years and baby.

I struggled the most with our last baby we had finished nappies during the day, no bottles, and dummies and done away with the entourage of baby junk you need to carry everywhere. Then back to night feeds, prams, nappies and unexplained crying in the middle of the night.  I suppose by the fourth child the novelty of it had worn off and my routine had changed.

The upside of having multiple children

* clothes; hand-me-down
*  I have 4 dish washers
* 4 lawn mowers
* 4 dog walkers/poop cleaner uppers
* 4 handsome boys that love their mum (my favorite part)
* There is always someone to help out or help their siblings with school work and playing etc.
* There is a special bond between close siblings than is unbreakable even though they fight like cats and dogs.

The down side to having 4 children and so close together.

* It is a LOT of work.
* 4 voices all wanting you at the same time.
* Everyone has to wait their turn even a wonderful supportive husband whose turn sometimes never comes.
* Financially it's a little harder; they eat and eat and eat.
* Family holidays, you try getting accommodation for 6 that doesn’t cost the earth.
* Very little time for you.
* They don’t get as much individual time just with Mum and Dad as they would like.

I think if you have the opportunity to have more than 1 child and have the chance to have your children close together, do so and get it all done at once. Sure it’s tonnes of hard work but it is also the most rewarding experience of your life time. They grow up so very quickly; so cherish every moment."

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