Mind the GAP – that mythical “perfect” age gap between kids

MM2-16

I always find the comment, “Aaah, you have the perfect age gap between your babies” an interesting one. Number one – I don’t feel like anything constitutes “perfect” when it comes to parenting and number two – two in nappies feels on the other side of the perfection scale.

But, recently I watched the most incredible interaction between my little people. My son was unaware of the fact that I was watching him and he went to his sister during her throwing a little rant and tried to comfort her. And the fact that he did it with the most uncharacteristic sensitivity and maturity just made me teary. He is still a baby himself. Sometimes I think that this whole new baby thing hit him by surprise (at his age, no amount of books on the subject being read to you can prepare you for the fact that you’ll be sharing attention with a little wriggling ball of cuteness and crying) and that he’s still unsure of when we’re returning the little visitor. He has grown up so much in these past few months and I catch him smiling a fascinated smile at his sister when she now grabs for the tow-trucks and excavators he lines up in front of her on her play mat.

Gradually I’m feeling more and more human – his sleep has regressed and her sleep … well, I’m doing the puppy feeding through the night so I’m not even sure whether we’re getting enough sleep or whether I’m creating bad habits, but … I’ve realised that as long as they’re alive and I’m relatively vaguely able to hold a conversation (albeit after 2 cups of coffee which means you finish your caffeine quota for the day by 8 am), I’m not going to beat myself up.

More and more, I’m watching them become friends. Okay, maybe friends is a stretch. More like comrades or companions. The greatest gift is to be able to grow up with a sibling – regardless of the size of the age gap and I’m so excited to watch them grow together in so many ways.

Share your thoughts on siblings and age gaps below and join the conversation. More giveaways coming soon 🙂

Lots of love and light,

Modern Mommy AKA Jo-Ann

 

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13 Comments

  1. Chandre_A
    Tue, 16 August 2016
    Reply

    Your post nearly made me teary… I could for a moment visualise myself with my 2 boys aged 2 and 5 .. they proved that sibling rivalry is real lol but they have also proved that love is even more real. I watch them play and care for each other and thank God for the gift of life. It is unreal how kids change you for the better. Motherhood truly is a blessing 🙂

  2. Kalin Jacobus
    Tue, 16 August 2016
    Reply

    I have a two year old daughter, and I keep on hearing comments like “she needs a sibling” and I do believe that having siblings growing up is awesome, so for me its a question of balancing my daughters “need” for a sibling, with other family priorities. I love the fact that you say…regardless of the size of the gap, so when we’re ready – I cant want to see my kids become besties 🙂

  3. Janice Grey
    Tue, 16 August 2016
    Reply

    Im always asked “why the huge age gap” , My 2 miracle daughters are 15 years apart which happened not by choice and I call them miracles because I am unable to carry full term because of health issues. We were always afraid of how the older one would react as she was alone for many years (we feared the sibling rivalry) but her reaction shocked us. When my two daughters met for the first time it was love at first sight and 4 months later they have such a tight bond which is something myself and my siblings never really had. Its amazing to see how the older one cares for and protects the younger one and how the younger one looks up to older one in awe and as if she understands. Watching my kids get along is better than all the things this world could offer. A sibling is a friend given by God.

  4. Tue, 16 August 2016
    Reply

    I was happy after my first born to just have one. I wasn’t against a sibling for her either but my husband insisted that she’d have someone to play with. I am so glad we ended up with two. They are now 5 and 3 and each other’s best friends. My husband and I can sit and chat while they play together and they don’t need our attention as much. They are also not bored as much. It was difficult in the beginning because I just got the eldest off the bottle and nappy; then it all started again with the second child and we felt like the chores never stopped. I don’t think it matters how big or small the gap is, you will adjust. More importantly decide if a sibling is a definite or not and how much energy you will have for them at the age you plan to have them?

  5. Cathe
    Tue, 16 August 2016
    Reply

    I often thought that you did you son an injustice to have a sibling so soon when he still needed all of your attention; it always sadens me to see how quickly our kids are ‘forced’ to grow up when they hang on the one leg because there is not enough arms to pick them up as well. But now it is done and life waltz on…

    The other most interesting reality is that no matter how good friends they are at a young age there is no guarentee that they will be friends when they are all grown up. But that is the risk we take, and life waltz on….

  6. Becky
    Tue, 16 August 2016
    Reply

    Wow Cathe you are so full of love and tact! Not really!

    Congrats Jo-Ann, on your beautiful family. No matter the age gap, what’s important is having healthy children and happy parents.

  7. Michilene
    Sat, 20 August 2016
    Reply

    I’m 17 weeks pregnant and I’ve been so anxious about the 4 year gap that will be between my daughters. I know that this is God’s perfect timing for us because of the serious challenges life through at us recently. But I do wonder if they’ll be best buddies like my brother and I. I made peace with it recently as I realised that it must happen organically. They might grow inseparable from birth or they might love (but not really like) each other their whole lives. But, they are family and that bond cannot be broken. There will always be someone in the world they share a spiritual and physical connection with. It is not up to me to force a friendship but to create the best environment for them to be the little humans they’re destined to be.

  8. Mon, 22 August 2016
    Reply

    My 3 are 1, 4 and 7. Though 4 and 7yr old turn 5 and 8 later this year still. I think I had the perfect gap with the first 2, my daughter was old enough to understand, but young enough not to feel like she deserved to only be an only child (if that makes sense). She was amazing when her brother was born and even more amazing when her 2nd brother was born. The middle child was more than happy for the last addition and again we had no issues. I really think a 3 year gap is a good one, I’ve honestly not had one day of grief or jealousy with my kids. My friends have said that their 4/5yr gap they regret as older child definitely felt entitled as an only child. And friends with kids younger, felt the younger one was still a baby to have to give up being an only child.

    But we deal with whatever gap we are given 🙂 We’re doing the best we can!

  9. Rene Alexander
    Mon, 22 August 2016
    Reply

    Honestly I don’t think that there is a “perfect” age gap.
    I have a 5 year old and my newborn is 4 weeks old today. Currently I am juggling between breastfeeding and art and crafts. Due to circumstances I have to “home school” my 5 yr old while on maternity leave . She is a great little helper (when it suits her of course) and loves to give tones of kisses…..constantly. I am truely enjoying this age gap even if my one boob is in baby’s mouth and other in paint while doing arts and crafts?
    Love being a Mom!!
    Love the blog!!

  10. Gadija Sait
    Tue, 23 August 2016
    Reply

    Sjo what an amazing post my daughter is 3 years old and son a year and 6months its so cute how my daughter just want to make sure his safe and always tell him ” its okay boetie tietie is here”. She always looks for him even though they fight over toys they love each other bath time she must be in the bath with him otherwise he cries. Yes, indeed the gap does not matter at all the love they share for each other is amazing and the love you show to them they will model towards others. Thank you for the inspiring post.

  11. Amina
    Thu, 25 August 2016
    Reply

    I fully agree to your statement below. I so wish for more sleep.”Gradually I’m feeling more and more human – his sleep has regressed and her sleep … well, I’m doing the puppy feeding through the night so I’m not even sure whether we’re getting enough sleep or whether I’m creating bad habits, but … I’ve realised that as long as they’re alive and I’m relatively vaguely able to hold a conversation (albeit after 2 cups of coffee which means you finish your caffeine quota for the day by 8 am), I’m not going to beat myself up.

    More and more, I’m watching them become friends. Okay, maybe friends is a stretch. More like comrades or companions. The greatest gift is to be able to grow up with a sibling – regardless of the size of the age gap and I’m so excited to watch them grow together in so many ways.”
    I have three boys age 10, 7, 23 months old toddler. My 23 month old toddler is more closer to my eldest son however very protective over my 7 year old boy. It is a continuous battle between the three of them when it comes to attention. I went from hot working lady to plump working mother (working at all times). This is my first time reading your blogs and I find it very interesting and helpful. Keep up the good work modern mommy.

  12. Thoko Mlimi
    Wed, 31 August 2016
    Reply

    Having siblings is the best thing parents can ever give to their kids. My sister and I are a year apart, I can honestly say I cant remember my life without her, she’s been there all my life and we just have this unbreakable bond. This teaches kids to care, teach, help, share with one another without parents saying a word.

    I think the gap shouldn’t be too far apart, because this takes away the beauty and magic of growing up together as siblings. When siblings grow together they become best friends, experience everything together and take care of each other. Ok even if the age gap is a bit wide, the LOVE that is shared between siblings is unexplainable and makes home a better place to come back to.

  13. Candice
    Wed, 28 September 2016
    Reply

    My eldest is a 1year and 8 months and my other one is 5 months so my age gap for my boys are not far fetched but watching the two of them bond is the most amazing thing, I placed them on my bed together the other day as both of them were sleeping and I ran out quickly to hang my washing but I can see them through the window as I opened the curtain wide to make sure my eyes is on them and the little one started crying, the eldest one woke up and I see both of them wake up I panic and run in just in case one gets hurt and as I walk into the room the eldest one had his own bottle in the little one mouth and put his head next to him…it was the most precious thing to see. If the eldest one wakes up before his brother he first check if his brother there and if there no sign of his brother he will pull my leg “Mi baba mi baba” . It is tough having two little one’s on nappies but watching the two of them bond is priceless and I will take on that double nappy change anytime

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