So word is “you started all over.” At least that’s what people tell you when they find out you’re having another baby years after having had your first. After a while you start to beat them to it.
You can tell when it’s coming. It’s the look they give you when they glance at your belly and then at the kid standing beside you, big enough to ride in the front seat (although you still insist they sit in the back, for safety reasons obviously).
And for awhile there, you worried if you were actually embarking on a nearly impossible task. It was as if you were just about to win Monopoly and suddenly: “Do not pass go … ” How can you possibly win at life now?
But then you realized that you’re already winning, that you aren’t simply starting all over. You are instead prolonging the ride—a ride that has been so profound and such an amazing experience that the sheer joy and excitement outweigh the sudden twists and turns and the nervous feeling you get in your stomach.
You’re not just gearing up for another round of sleep deprivation and diaper changes. You’ve just extended your membership to view life through the eyes of a child, allowing you to bear witness to the magic of childhood a little longer. Seeing the magic through the eyes of their little brother or sister is magic for older siblings, too. And perhaps this time, knowing all you learned the first time around, you’ll feel compelled to savor it, to give yourself a break and lighten up a little so that you can partake in as much as you can—before you blink and the ride has indeed come to an end.
When you see your big kid loving on your little kid and see that love reciprocated as they grow, you’ll have no doubt in your mind that they were destined to be, that those two paths crossed at the most perfect time. And as you watch your big kid move further from your grasp, you’ll be especially grateful for the chance to use the lessons that they’ve taught you. You’ll be grateful that there’s another human being that can bear witness to the amazing human you’re raising. And you’ll be grateful for the second helping of toddler kisses and cuddles.
There are a few things that you wouldn’t know about having children with a large age gap unless you’ve experienced it. Most of us mamas who have done it, who have navigated toddlerhood and the start of the tween years simultaneously, or watched our big cradle our little can tell you: We wouldn’t change a thing.
1. We know we’ve got the best of both worlds.
We get to belt out Disney classics and Taylor Swift. We have company for when we want to ride a roller coaster or if we’d like to take it easy and ride the kiddie ride. We get to have insightful conversations with our big kids and animated ones with our littles.
2. We know we won’t be in the trenches forever.
We’ve made it to the other side before.
Even in the midst of sleep deprivation and diaper blowouts we manage to fair out OK. Sure, we might have our days where we just can’t deal, but the truth is we’ve made it to the other side before. We know that this is just a small moment in time and that “this too shall pass.” We also know we’ll miss “this” like crazy when it does, so we make the most of it.
Continue reading 13 Things Moms of Kids With Large Age Gaps Already Know at mom.me.
Photograph by: Ria Reed Photography for Krishann Briscoe