I always knew that if I had a choice about our children, and could plan them as best I could, I didn’t want to be a mom of 2 under 2 or 3 under 3 and so on. I know that I could do it, but I wanted to enjoy my babies as babies and toddlers as toddlers before I was pregnant and having another baby. I love the age gap between our children — 2 years, 9 months between our first two and soon-to-be 3.5 years between our last two. Here are some reasons I’ve found over the years as to why I love being pregnant for the third time with two older children age 6 years and 3.5 years.
1. Both kids are independent with their care
Of course Ethan, our 3 year old, isn’t perfect and needs help zipping up jackets and a bit of help with his shirts…and sometimes more encouragement than he really requires, but he’s even a lot more independent than when I was pregnant with a 2 year old in tow. It gives me hope that they are at such great ages to be helpful for me and the baby when they arrive and that they are such good friends and can entertain each other.
2. They can get in and out of their car seats by themselves
This definitely plays off the last point, but not having to haul around a baby/toddler while pregnant has been wonderful. I’ve seen many friends and family go through it, and I always figured if I could plan our children spaced out to the best of my ability I would! I didn’t want to have them close together to go through how hard I imagine it to be on a pregnant body. Hats off to all the women who are pregnant when they have babies and young toddlers! Our 6 year old sits in the very back of our large SUV and can do up and undo his own 5-point harness, while our 3 year old can hop up in his car seat and do his chest clip by himself, all I have to do is the crotch buckle and then lean back to the middle of the SUV to unlatch his buckles when we’re stopped. It’s wonderful!
3. Outings are a breeze – I don’t have to chase them
Even when I was pregnant for the second time, I had a very very busy 2 year old who still required some chasing. Actually, the first time (and one of the few times since) that I spanked him was when he tore off from me in a parking lot when I was almost full-term pregnant and had a really hard time running after him! All in all, they know our expectations when we’re out and about and are very good to go shopping with or to a restaurant, etc. at their ages.
4. I don’t have to be at home for nap time
Ethan definitely still naps and needs to nap, but I don’t have to be at home at a certain time and he does just fine to skip naps. I was actually hoping he’d be done napping by the time baby came, as our oldest was done his naps shortly after he turned 3, but we can’t always get what we hope for, can we?
5. No one is in diapers!
Obviously it’s doable, but one major thing I really wanted to happen for my family was only 1 in diapers at a time. When I potty trained our first, I had a good 6 month break of no diapers and now with this one it’s almost 1 full year of no diapers. Especially because I use cloth, I just did not want that extra laundry and responsibility!
6. The kids are in school part-time
I have really cherished and valued my alone time this school year. Braden is in kindergarten full days Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Fridays and Ethan is in playschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings — so I have two 1/2 days a week to myself, and soon will enjoy two more months (or so!) of those two mornings a week just me and baby. Next year with a 4 month old, we’ll have Braden in grade 1 full time and on the bus to school and back and have to drive Ethan to playschool still for his two mornings a week.
Of course there are pros and cons to everything in life — a lot of people probably look at my situation and are glad they did their 2 under 2 and 3 under 3 to get all the diapers worn at the same time, perhaps potty train 2 at the same time, you don’t have to haul baby gear out of storage multiple times, and you don’t have to hit the rewind button on life. They all generally could start school at the same time and maybe even be on the same sports teams to make life a little less hectic. But, we all do what’s best for us and I’m happy with the way things have turned out for our family!