Top five unexpectedly good things about having babies close together

When Ruth was five months old, we found out we were pregnant with Rose. When Rose was about seven months old, we found out we were pregnant with Wren! Having children this close together is not for the faint of heart, but it does come with some unexpected perks. For example,

1) None of your baby stuff is in storage. That’s right! No need to send your husband up to the attic for all that baby junk that has been up there for a few years and worry about cleaning off the mold, dust and spiders. It is all still out! In fact, there is still a baby in it. Don’t get too comfortable in that exersaucer, baby. I’m counting on you learning to walk in the next few months. And soothe a newborn.

2) It’s like you had twins the easy way. Once they reach a certain age, strangers will fawn over your “twins.” I personally think that the moms of multiples rock, and I love pretending like I’m part of that prestigious club. Then, I feel guilty about basking in the undeserved praise and admit they are a year apart.

3) You can still remember all the tricks you used with the other baby. Each baby is still completely different, but you have a few weapons in your arsenal to make things easier. Swaddling is like riding a bike, you still remember all the weird ways to hold a newborn to stop fussiness, and you can change a diaper in three seconds flat, on any surface, without any getting poop or pee outside the dirty diaper.

4) You don’t have to worry about Aunt Flo for years. Years! I must admit, I have not missed it.

5) You don’t have to worry about the older one adjusting to no longer being an only child. Having siblings is pretty much all my kids have ever known, so we have never had to deal with issues relating to the adjustment to the new baby. They are old pros at this baby thing too. Ruth and Rose are way better at getting Wren to laugh than I am, and they can pop that paci back in her mouth in record time (when they are not putting it in their own mouths).

This is only tangentially related, but I once saw an entire comments section of an article devoted to whether “Irish Twins” was a derogatory term or not. You know, because it is derived from the fact that those uncouth Irish Catholics were too barbaric to use birth control and thus tended to have children close together. (I hope you could feel the sarcasm dripping off that last sentence). I was aghast at the thread because it was the only time I have ever been offended that there was even a discussion about whether something was offensive or not. First of all, everyone should stop assuming that “birth control” is some fool proof way of controlling pregnancies. It’s not. Unless, of course, you include abortion in the birth control category. In that case, I guess that is why it is called “birth control” and not “pregnancy control.” Second of all, Catholics can use birth control. It’s called NFP, and it is just as effective as the chemicals. Third of all, what is so barbaric about being ok with having children close together? It is insulting that one would consider references to child spacing like mine insulting. (If that makes any sense).

I belong to the freakishly fertile category (we did not intend to have children close together), but now that my girls are here, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love watching them grow up together, being so close in age and so close in their relationships with each other. To all of you mamas of “Irish Twins” (say it loud, and say it proud, baby), what unexpected perks have I missed? 20140628-205155-75115075.jpg

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About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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9 Responses to Top five unexpectedly good things about having babies close together

  1. Éowyn Fair says:

    I am not a mom yet, but as the eldest of four with a large gap between siblings, I can tell you I would prefer it to be closer! My first sister is almost 6 years younger, the next sister 8 years, and my little brother is 10 years younger (so younger are 2 years apart). I NEVER got along with the first sister. She was always just far enough away in age that she wanted to do everything I did (steal my friends, steal my toys, go places with me) but it wasn’t always appropriate for her to do so. I had some friends who had issues (people who needed friends and needed help) and some who just wouldn’t think about what they said around a little kid. When I was 16 she was 10; probably not good to hang out together with my friends. The other two were young enough that they didn’t care, and they all played with each other anyway. As it is, the younger two are fairly close, though they do bicker occasionally, they are still friends. None of us really is close to the first sister, “C”. By the time “C” got old enough that I could take her places and we could relate, the relationship damage had been done. (Other home and personality issues also kept us from being close.) The other two are now 16 and 18, and my husband and I are pretty close to them and we hang out frequently. We play board games, video games, go to movies, hang out at coffee shops, go shopping, whatever! We are actually friends!

    Another interesting side-effect of having kids farther apart is that the personalities don’t develop in the stereotypical way. I was an only child for 5 years; I didn’t have trouble adjusting to siblings, but my personality is a bit different I think. I am dominant, like a first born, but also an observer and somewhat introverted. Because there is so much distance in age, “C” behaves like a first-born and is very competitive and strong-willed. Sister 2 is more like an introverted middle child, and brother is definitely the baby (but he’s the only boy so he’s special anyway).

    Just thought some people might like to hear it from the child’s perspective. 😉

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    • sylcell says:

      That is so interesting! I think there are pros and cons to any kind of child spacing. My two sisters are Irish Twins and have always been very close. I’m the oldest and my youngest sibling who is five years younger than I has always had a close relationship with me. And he is the only boy! Family dynamics are so fascinating to me.

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      • Éowyn Fair says:

        My brother and I have always been relatively close, and I think it’s partially because the 10-year age gap has given us more of a mentor relationship at first, where my sister who is nearly 6 years younger was apparently not young enough (or not willing) to be mentored or taken places etc. and was always attempting to compete. It doesn’t help that we look very different (she looks different from the other three of us). lol.

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      • morgan says:

        I think that really interesting, too. I’ve got three siblings, the three eldest of us are only three years apart (I’m the eldest, then come the two boys). Our youngest (a girl) is another three years younger. My brothers and I have always been somewhat close-knit, with the two boys being the closest.
        with my sister; i don’t get along very well. She only is close with my youngest brother, which I always blamed on the fact that she’s so much younger than the rest of us.
        (And that is the reason I had all my kids very close together)

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  2. rachandboys says:

    My eldest boys are 16 months apart and the best thing for them is no matter where we go they always have each other to play with and they like doing the same things, I couldn’t imagine having a large age gap and them not wanting to play with each other.

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  3. Emily says:

    I loved this! I am enjoying our 4th so much. He is my first long term baby, with no teeth at 8 months, no crawling or standing and no desire for real food yet. He is always pleasant and Aunt Flo hasn’t been around since 2012.

    Like

  4. I too fall into the “freakishly fertile” catergory… My children are now 6yr, 5yr, 4yr, 3yr & 18 mo. Yes- all sorts of BC was used… No- I would not have it any other way 🙂 http://Www.oneblessedmommie.etsy.com

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Siné says:

    My crew isn’t as closely spaced as yours as I had two miscarriages between my 2nd child and my youngest. My first two, however, are 16 months apart and the twin question comes up everytime we go out. I will say remembering the tricks you used with previous babies is a super useful benefit. Also, not losing my Momma muscles in between kids is both useful and needed (how else am I supposed to hold an infant and a toddler at the same time while the preschooler tries to trap me in his monster trap?

    Liked by 1 person

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