Mind the gap: 2 under 2
As you probably know by now, the Beard and I are expecting another bundle of
chaos joy this year. We’re due in July which means that the age gap between #2 (shame, who doesn’t even have a cute nickname) and Baby J will be about 16 or 17 months. What has been strange for me is that most – if not all – people have reacted quite strongly to this. I know people are weird and all but surely you’d realise that blurting out “Were you planning another one?” is not exactly polite.
Besides, a two year age gap seems to be quite common. Is 22 or 24 months really that different to 17?
I’ve given it some thought and I really think having children who are a year and a half or two years apart is not very different. Both age gaps will mean that the older sibling is walking and not quite talking so movement is no problem but communication is. Of course, this is coming from me who has a 12-month old and has no idea about babies any older than that, but to me this makes sense.
Maybe people are freaking out because they realise I’ve only been not-pregnant for 9 months before starting this
debacle journey again – and breastfeeding for those 9 months so essentially not having full ownership of my own body for 3 consecutive years (3 years!)? Maybe that’s why they’re getting their knickers in a twist?
A definite plus is that I don’t have to put away any of Baby J’s clothes or toys because they are going straight into #2’s cupboard. Baby J is only just growing out of his Doona which means he’ll get a new car seat and #2 gets his Doona and that all works out quite nicely on the timeline.
For me it was the fact that I didn’t really get my body back into shape after Baby J, and I had a very good excuse: why should I get my body back only to lose it again in a couple months?
The biggest advantage of all this craziness though – because deep down I do know it’s a little crazy having a baby and falling pregnant again in the same year, especially considering we’re in the process of moving house as well – is that we know we’ll soon be out of the tunnel of sleepless nights and nappies. I don’t think I could go back to “normal” for a few years and then do this all over again.
Having said all this, I am realising day by day the negatives of my current situation. Baby J can crawl but is not yet walking. He weighs 10 kilos. He requires a lot of picking up and moving around. I am now 20 weeks pregnant and my bump is getting so big it’ll soon need its own seat on the plane. Sleeping is a mission because my bladder keeps reminding me throughout the night that it exists and I get exhausted just walking around Pick ‘n Pay nevermind working and looking after J.
It’s getting more and more difficult to be a mom to Baby J at the same time as grow #2. Playing with him on the floor is rough on my back and the constant getting up and sitting down takes me a lot longer than it does him to race across the living room to the nearest plug socket. Picking him up all the time is exhausting and it’s almost impossible for me to put him down in his crib without cutting off all circulation to #2. If somebody had mentioned all this to me a few months ago I might actually have listened!
Anyway, there is a day in my not-too-distant future when I will be able to drink copious amount of wine and coffee and walk up a flight of stairs without stopping halfway for a snack and sleep for a solid five hours. That’s not going to be any day soon but that day will come and I will be so appreciative when it does.
What do you think?
PS: This post was inspired by Vee from In The Meantime,who has the opposite issue of a 10-year gap!