Growing up, the majority of my friends were either three years younger or three years older than their sibling. (The majority of them also had just one sibling.) So I always thought a three year age difference between siblings was standard. Standard and practical — that way, only one child would be in diapers at a time.
When my husband and I first started talking about having children, I expressed an interest in becoming a family of five. Although my sister and I are close now, there were times when we didn’t get along. If there were three instead of two of us, there always would’ve been somebody else to turn to during conflicts.
Plus, three’s a party! A fun mix of personalities!
As we pondered our future family, I realized I’d have to rethink my three-year-age-difference philosophy if we were going to have three kids. Would I really want to deal with maternity clothing and leaky breastfeeding boobies over the span of six (or more) years?
But if we were to have three kids who were each two years apart, I’d have to get pregnant every 14 months. I had barely reclaimed my post-pregnancy body when Levi was 14 months old. Would I be willing to give it up again so soon after getting it back…twice?
When Levi was one, I spied two pregnant moms at Gymboree supervising boys around the same age as Levi. At the time, I couldn’t imagine chasing a one-year-old Levi while visibly pregnant with another baby. But is a two year age difference (or less!) between kids the new normal? It seems that more and more parents are choosing to have babies two years apart (or less!) rather than three.
Perhaps families are favoring a two year age difference because many woman are getting pregnant “later in life” (in their 30s instead of their 20s — so old!) and therefore have a shorter window of time to make babies. Or maybe they just want their children to be close in age. But at what cost to mom’s sanity (and figure)?
What do you think is the ideal age difference between children?
P.S. – Do you want to know what Levi is not getting for his second birthday tomorrow? A baby brother or sister!
P.P.S. – What’s the best age to become a mom?
(Photos of Jora Vess from Domestic Reflections and her adorable children taken by Kim of 180360. These insanely gorgeous images make my uterus ache for two more babies.)