How Long Should I Wait to have a Second Child?

What is a good age gap to have between kids? I have been wondering this for several years but lately this is taking over my mind space. I always thought a couple of years between children was a good range. With a couple years in between, they are close enough they can be friends but hopefully not so close that they will feel competitive. My sister and I are 15 months apart which means my mom was about 6 months pregnant when she conceived my sister.

I love my sister to death but as kids we were a little to competitive. Their was definitely a lot of sibling rivalry. I always thought I wanted to space my children out a little bit more. Just so each child kind of felt a little bit in their own stage of life but close enough that they could have things in common. On the flip side, my youngest brother is almost 12 years younger than me. As you might guess my mother’s pregnancy¬†was a surprise blessing for our family.

I have had and always will have a special place in my heart for my youngest brother, that no one else can fill. Its not that I love him more but since there is such a gap in our ages I was almost like a second mom to him growing up. Its funny because when he was little he would accidentally call me mom, like all the time. It never hurt my mom’s feelings, at least she never got upset about it. I actually think she thought it was kind of funny because I heard her laugh about it more than once. Its not like I was replacing her, it is just because of the age difference we had more of a parent-child relationship than brother-sister.

To emphasize this point, when I checked my inbox this morning I received a questionnaire from my brother who is in high school now. The questionnaire was asking a lot of things about the profession I chose and why. At the top of the page I noticed it said to interview someone who has been in their chosen field for¬†20 years or more! Lol, how old does my sweet little brother think I am? Now, I did graduate young and never took any years off between high school and college to go “find myself” or anything like that. But come on, I am 30 years old! I have been a nurse for 9 years. Even if you count my babysitting and house cleaning jobs I started at 11 or 12 I still haven’t been working for quite 20 years! What can you do but laugh? It is just how he sees me.

He was and is my special little guy. I would take him with me to the mall, pick him up from school sometimes, and talk to his teachers about his performance etc. I would never change my adolescent experience because it is a big part of who I am today but sometimes I do feel like I never really got to be a kid. When I went to boarding school in high school I didn’t know how to fit in because I related more to moms and older women. Up to that point in my life I had been helping to run a home. I cooked, baked, cleaned, and provided child care in my free time but I didn’t know how to sit around and have teenage conversations.

Like I said before I wouldn’t change my growing up years but sometimes it seems like I have lived my life in reverse. I kind of did the mom thing before I was even in high school. When I went out on my own I had a lot of identity questions to answer because I had never had time to build an identity of my own before. In my mom’s house I knew exactly who I was but when I went out on my own to high school, then college, and then to a place of my own it was a real struggle for me to find my place in the world.

Anyway, I have been blathering on about my personal history for long enough. We all have a unique family situation that plays a big part in forming our personalities and identities. I guess I have always wanted to space my children in a way that they will enjoy each other but still have a little bit of personal space for unique experiences. I also didn’t want them so close that I felt like I was stealing the 1st kid’s childhood with the introduction of the second baby. My grandma has been telling me if I wait too long “they won’t be friends and you want them to be friends!”

It is funny because since I have entered marriage and my child bearing years I sometimes feel like a walking womb. Whenever I go to work, generally about 15-20 other nurses, bosses, and random people from other departments will ask me when I am going to have another baby. In a 12 hour shift I generally have to answer these set of questions from once to twice an hour. On my drive in to work I formulate my response and am ready because I know its coming.

The last day I worked I had to run get something from the team leader’s office first thing in the morning. I knocked. She opened the door. I told her what I needed. She gave it to me. Then she looked up at me and asked, “By the way, you’re not having another baby yet are you? When are you going to?” Lol, I didn’t even make it 10 minutes into the shift without that question. And it doesn’t stop there! Some people cannot leave it at “what is your eta for the second baby” but go on to asking you how hard you are trying and what sex positions you are using, etc. I don’t think of myself as a prude but there are some questions I find a way to avoid answering. This is one of the many reason I didn’t tell anyone when we were trying to conceive my daughter. I just can’t live my life like a reality show. It is too much, but that is another subject.

Anyway, needless to say this intense curiosity in my child bearing status has made me think quite a bit about baby #2. When is a good time? What is the kind of “sweet spot” age gap to have between kids? I am really curious what others think. Does 2 years sound good or it is too long or short. What are your thoughts? If you are interested or have an opinion on this subject click the contact tab and message me your thoughts. Or you can also comment on my facebook page or twitter page and give me your insight!

Have a beautiful day,

Kimily Kendrick

 

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