Thursday, August 25, 2011

How far apart to space the kiddos?

Ok, so remember how a a month ago I said I was just gonna go with the flow and not worry about future stuff? Well, I'm going to take a break from that for a moment and freak out about a dilemma. Come with me?

"Happiness" shirt from See Baby Grow; Jean Shorts from Old Navy via eBay; Pink Shoes: Thrifted
You know those cute little shirts that say "big sister" or "little brother"? Adorable right? I passed a rack of them at the store the other day but had to tell myself to just keep walking. Lil' J ain't going to be a big sister anytime (relatively) soon so I shouldn't even get that thought process going. It's dangerous grounds.

For now, when she occasionally does wear a t-shirt, the words on it have nothing to do with having more siblings. They're simple. Peace. Love. Happiness. No hidden messages on these. Well, the back does say "see baby grow" but that has nothing to do with a baby in utero and everything to do with my first child growing.

I'm not sure you can understand the love you'll have for a child until you have a child. I mean, I knew I loved my daughter long before she was born. That love grew as she grew in my belly but when I first saw her--Gosh, I loved her more than I knew was possible. I felt like my heart could burst. All I wanted to do was stare at her, hold her. I couldn't comprehend this love until I experienced it for myself. I think the same thing goes for having a second child.

Pink Bandanna via Walmart
Now I know how it feels to love a child SO MUCH, but I can't imagine splitting that love with another. I've heard people say the love it multiplied, not divided--Or maybe I'm just thinking of Sister Wives--Either way, won't my TIME be divided? My daughter clings to me like white on rice. And seeing as I slept through half of my pregnancy last time, it will be impossible to do that next time around.

When I had Lil' J I mentally prepared to have another as soon as possible. Of course, my husband had other plans. As time has gone on I've really enjoyed this one-on-one time with the daughter I've always dreamed of and it's so hard to imagine adding another to the mix.

I thought I wanted them to be super close in age so they could be super tight but that's not always the case with siblings. I've asked the spacing question numerous times, and I always get a slew of responses which lead me to realize one thing--Everyone seems to be happy with what they have.

Love shirt via See Baby Grow
It took me a while to realize this because I didn't want to see it. Instead I noted there are rare cases where the mom wishes she didn't have a 7-year gap, and ignored instances where the mom wished she had more alone time with her baby before having another. I was seeing what I wanted to see. But in reality, overall, most people seem to like the way they have it.

I can't imagine not being able to give my daughter all of my attention but at the same time I crave the feeling of holding a newborn. I want to start over with my daughter is what I want. Can't I go back? Relive those moments? I know now more than ever to cherish those moments because oh man, they go fast. Even when she throws one of her hilarious little temper tantrums. Instead of getting upset, I can't help but laugh at how silly she looks flopping and whining because she's not getting what she wants. How in the world do they learn these things?!

Anyway, why did I whine when she was so tiny? She's fun now, but I can't go back.

What gives me something more to think about is the fact that next time may be the last time I have a baby. My last pregnancy, last time to experience all those firsts. I'm afraid to miss #2's firsts because I'm watching Lil' J's firsts or vice versa. I'm not sure when kids become more independent... 2? 5? 18? Never? I guess it depends on the kid.

I guess there's no perfect answer, or it's different for everyone, but for now, I'm thinking two and a half years would be a nice not-too-close not-too-far gap for me. Hopefully that'll mean needing no new diapers, as Lil' J will hopefully be growing out as #2 gets in them. She'll hopefully be talking more and able to communicate some of her thoughts, but they'll only be two grades apart in school. If we have a boy next, I don't think they'll really be best friends anyway, and the whole age gap dilemma won't even matter. If we have a girl, I assume they will be BFFs, but because I think that, they'll probably not get along at all.

The good thing is I'm not freaking out like last time where I was like "HOLY HECK WHEN AM I GONNA HAVE A KID? I CAN'T DECIDE!!" This time it's like "Eh. I already have a one, I guess I'll have another when I have another." Especially because people tell me it's 152,000Xs harder. So I ain't rushing that. My husband says if I want, we can just stop with Lil' J, but Eff that!

Another, selfish thing on my mind is thinking that my independence will be like 100% gone once another is born. Between work, a husband, taking a billion pictures, and enjoying writing about it all here during my free time, I can't imagine accomplishing everything with another in the mix.

I'm finally beginning to feel like I have a handle on it all, and I'm thinking about taking a cooking class, or a creative writing class. Maybe even a photography class. But with time being split between two children I feel like time to myself will just be wrong. I mean, I know it's not, but in order to give enough time to each child I'll have to give up some more "me time" I imagine. And while kids change your life and are the BEST thing in the world, I'm not sure I'm quite ready for all of this times two.

Hopefully that will change eventually. But for now, we're keeping those "big sister" shirts out of her closet and making more room for dresses!

Decisions decisions. ... But no rush! Just thinking about it all for a moment.

How far apart did you space your kiddos? Curious.

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