Photo: Sene More
My younger brother, who is also my best friend, is a year younger than me and the bond we share is unbreakable. I wanted our girls (2 and 5) to have a similar relationship. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way, but three years apart isn’t that bad. Here’s why…
1. I Was Ready
Traumatized after the delivery of our first daughter, I swore to never go through that again. I even went on birth control (for a short period) because, I never wanted to have another child. As our daughter grew, I felt like parenting became easier. I forgot about all the trauma I experienced (labor & delivery, post-partum depression, extreme exhaustion). I really wanted her to have a sibling close in age. It took a couple of years, but I’m happy that I did not have another child until I was ready.
2. Tandem Nursing
I breastfed two children at once for a few months and it was not fun. In fact when I see pictures of mothers tandem nursing, it re-traumatizes me. One baby on the breast looks so beautiful. Two children reminds me of my dark days stuck on the couch, while two children literally suck the life out of me. I also did not like the fact that both of my breasts were exposed (it made nursing in public even harder). I felt completely vulnerable as if I had no control over my own body. I feel a little guilty for stopping our older daughter, and I would have felt worse if she was younger.
3. Body Time To Heal
I did not feel like myself until our daughter was about two years old. I’m happy I gave my body some time to heal.
4. A Little Helper
I don’t ask our five year old to help - she enjoys bathing with her sister, getting her dressed, reading to her and keeping her entertained to name a few. If they were closer in age, I am not sure she would be as helpful. It’s already a struggle getting us ready in the morning. I think it would be a little more difficult if they were closer in age.
5. Everyone Crying
There were a couple of instances where both of our daughters were crying at the same time. Some mothers are not bothered by crying babies. For me, I feel so helpless and it makes me want to cry. I would assume this would happen way more frequently if the girls were closer in age.
6. More Experience
Each child is definitely different, however, because I have been a parent for a little bit longer, it gave me time to hone in on my parenting style and skills.