real life

My mother's group asked me if I regret having two children 17 months apart.

My husband and I have two children under the of two. They are 17 months apart – currently four months and 21 months – and a ‘pigeon pair’. The most common response when I tell people how old they are is “woah, you must be busy”. I feel like responding “derrrrr, of course”, but (usually) manage to hold my tongue and smile.

If you’re doing the maths, yes we fell pregnant when our firstborn, our boy, was just eight months old. And before you ask (like some people have actually had the gall to), yes we did plan it that way!

Siobhan with her daughter. image supplied.

I’ve written before about how tough the logistics of two under two (then two under 18 months) are. When you have two in nappies, and the eldest is an active mischief-making toddler who can’t seem to play by himself without getting into some sort of danger, it is definitely full on. Add a newborn who wouldn’t breast feed properly for a good three months because of reflux, and the toddler who keeps getting every daycare bug under the sun, and it’s been fun and games. I’ve even landed myself with postnatal depression - which has come on due to a combination of a few factors, but I’m sure the craziness of the age gap has a little something to do with it.

image via istock

Taking all of that into account, I’m sure people wonder whether it’s all been worth it. Would I do it differently if I had a choice? Do I regret our decision to “go again” so soon? I had my mothers group ask me the other day what I thought, as they were all discussing when they would try for another baby. I’ve even asked myself the same questions.


And the answer is HELL NO.

Yes, I’m in the thick of it. My body has copped a lot. With a husband who works a lot, and me trying to hold down a freelance career along with looking after the two babes, it’s full on. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

We always wanted our babies close together in age. The way we saw it, it was like ripping off a bandaid - getting all the hard stuff out of the way in the space of just a few years. And for our situation, with my job ending when our first was born and nothing to race back to (not to mention my age...let’s no go there!), trying for another was the next logical move.

I’ve already seen the benefits that their being close will bring. Our boy is already ‘helping’ our baby girl play and giving her loads of cuddles. He is old enough to help me look after her, but not too old to get jealous. He is learning to share a lot earlier than he would have otherwise, and she is fascinated by him in every single way.

Our boy has loved getting out his old baby toys for our girl, and still loves them himself. Yes, I have to watch him closely otherwise he’ll body slam and suffocate her, or accidentally dunk her in the bath. I’m on constant watch. But it gets easier all the time - for example, before Christmas he couldn’t feed himself, so I was trying to feed them both back to back, or sometimes at the same time. Now, he loves feeding himself and is pretty good at it, and it’s already made life a lot easier.

For all the hard work, emotions and pain, I’m definitely glad we ‘went again’ so soon.  When he gives her cuddles, or runs into her room each morning to pat (well, smack!) her head it fills my heart to the brim. And when she smiles her big gummy smile at him and follows him with her eyes around the room, I can’t help see the future and look forward to the day when they’re running around together.

It’s oh so worth it, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Right, off I go back to the multiple nappy changes and feeds…:)