Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I remember reading an article in a Parents magazine a few years back. It discussed sibling spacing and what was "ideal". The author of that piece referred to "two to three years" as "the golden gap". Apparently, when you tally up all the pros and cons, this is supposedly the ideal space between babies.
And I guess I'm not surprised. After all, most of the women in my family, most of the mommies at the preschool, in fact, most of the families I see anywhere seem to like this spacing. I can definitely see its advantages- you're out of all the "baby" things (cribs, diapers, bottles) before welcoming another infant, your older child is old enough to "help" and feel involved, they're not so far apart as to have to worry about all your gear being obsolete. I can see that.
But you know what works for me?
Two kids less than eleven months apart.
I love it. And here's why...
My children have never known any different. There has never been one iota of sibling jealousy simply because it's like they've both always been here. My son does not remember a time when his sister wasn't around. Neither one can remember a time when they did not have to "share" Mommy.
My kids like a lot of the same toys. We were easily able to avoid choking hazards because our kids were both in that phase at the same time. We can easily fill a book shelf with reading material that appeals to both of them. There are no arguments if we choose to let them watch a video because they're into the same stuff. Somehow I think widely spaced siblings may not both be interested in Little People.
I get to stay in the same "mode". Two cribs? Why not? Changing diapers? If I'm doing it for one child, how much tougher is it really with two? Baby-proofing? Already done. I really like the fact that I just stay in the same mind-set and keep on truckin'.
I truly believe that there is no "golden gap". I think what works for one family may not work for the next. And don't think I don't occasionally envy those parents with widely-spaced siblings especially when I see how downright helpful that older sibling sometimes is. I think you just do what's best for your family or, even more importantly, enjoy whatever you're blessed with.
But for me? I love having two kids born within one calendar year (2005 was a busy one!). It Works for Me.
To see what works for other people, check out Works For Me Wednesday, hosted at Rocks in My Dryer.