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The Joys and Tears of A 13 Month Age Gap

1
I have to be careful what I write and admit here because although my boys are only thirteen months apart in age, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I can’t claim it’s been easy, because it’s been anything but straightforward. I have laughed, cried, never felt more exhausted in my life and created some amazing memories. As they would say on the X Factor (I NEVER thought I would compare my life to a music show), it’s been a roller coaster of a journey.

Scared of childbirth

Regardless of the first traumatic birth and my ongoing health issues

SelfishMother.com
2
(another story), I loved being a Mum, and my husband and I somehow coped with the sleepless nights and gradually adapted to parenthood. We always said we wanted two children, but I was quick to shut down any conversation of having another child because, frankly, I was too scared of experiencing childbirth again. Without going into detail, with a young baby and my health issues, sex was not high on the agenda. We struggled to conceive with our first child, so we didn’t honestly expect a quick fumble (I’m purposely allusive as my Dad might read this!)
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to result in another pregnancy.

Back to back pregnancies

But that it did. When our son was only five months old, I could no longer ignore the familiar signs of pregnancy. It was bittersweet. It was exciting, but I was beginning to settle into being a parent, I was able to exercise again and the sleep, albeit not plentiful, was increasing a smidge. And then there was the sheer panic of pregnancy meaning birth, and birth equating to fear.

You’re brave

One thing that I clearly remember was the looks of shock, and quite possibly pity that I

SelfishMother.com
4
received when I told people I was pregnant again. Generally, reactions involved silence, nervous laughter or phrases such as ‘You’re brave,’ or ‘Are you mad?’. Less than sympathetic or supportive really, but understandable. To this day a friend of mine still mentions to me to her friends ‘As the one who got pregnant when the first was only five-months-old,’ like I’m some sort of parenting legend. I’m not.

Juggling two babies

There was never any doubt that we would have our baby and after a planned c-section, the little ball of

SelfishMother.com
5
wonder bounded into our lives. God, it was hard. Two in nappies, two not walking, and the desperation of trying to coax them to nap at the same time (it occasionally worked and I would silently ninja skip down the stairs avoiding all squeaky floorboards, excited about a possible hour of me time). However, I didn’t know any different. Some said it was probably similar to having twins. I don’t know about this; I just know that two under two hit me like a rather heavy, fast-moving, freight train.

Best of friends

They are now aged four and five and

SelfishMother.com
6
life is getting easier (she says as they wrestle, bundle and fight over toys). They simply adore each other. Best friends and then some. As the age gap is small and they are both boys, they play the same games and entertain each other. Often, they will line up every vehicle in the house (how can bloody hundreds of small cars be that exciting?) to create the ‘world’s longest traffic jam,’ which will keep them occupied for ages. Oh, the simplicity of being a child again.

There were tough times

It’s weird how your brain somehow, conveniently,

SelfishMother.com
7
blocks out the tough times. I know those early years were hard as hell, yet I can’t remember what the most challenging aspects about having such a small age gap were. Possibly being pregnant for almost two years back to back and the toll it took on my body (not to mention the enforced sobriety), the strain of two boys being so utterly dependent on us for so long at the same time, or perhaps the perceived lack of freedom or independence that comes with small people.

In some ways perhaps it was easier than a bigger age gap. I didn’t forget anything

SelfishMother.com
8
because as soon as I had weaned, nappy trained etc., I was starting over with the next one. I pretty much gave up sleep and now independence is making a gradual return. They are best buddies, and I hope they will always be there for each other, whether the bond remains as tight or not. My children came in rapid succession, and I am hugely grateful for them regardless of the tough times. Just be aware there is no chance of a third no matter how many times people ask me if I want to try for a girl!
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- 23 Jan 19

I have to be careful what I write and admit here because although my boys are only thirteen months apart in age, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I can’t claim it’s been easy, because it’s been anything but straightforward. I have laughed, cried, never felt more exhausted in my life and created some amazing memories. As they would say on the X Factor (I NEVER thought I would compare my life to a music show), it’s been a roller coaster of a journey.

Scared of childbirth

Regardless of the first traumatic birth and my ongoing health issues (another story), I loved being a Mum, and my husband and I somehow coped with the sleepless nights and gradually adapted to parenthood. We always said we wanted two children, but I was quick to shut down any conversation of having another child because, frankly, I was too scared of experiencing childbirth again. Without going into detail, with a young baby and my health issues, sex was not high on the agenda. We struggled to conceive with our first child, so we didn’t honestly expect a quick fumble (I’m purposely allusive as my Dad might read this!) to result in another pregnancy.

Back to back pregnancies

But that it did. When our son was only five months old, I could no longer ignore the familiar signs of pregnancy. It was bittersweet. It was exciting, but I was beginning to settle into being a parent, I was able to exercise again and the sleep, albeit not plentiful, was increasing a smidge. And then there was the sheer panic of pregnancy meaning birth, and birth equating to fear.

You’re brave

One thing that I clearly remember was the looks of shock, and quite possibly pity that I received when I told people I was pregnant again. Generally, reactions involved silence, nervous laughter or phrases such as ‘You’re brave,’ or ‘Are you mad?’. Less than sympathetic or supportive really, but understandable. To this day a friend of mine still mentions to me to her friends ‘As the one who got pregnant when the first was only five-months-old,’ like I’m some sort of parenting legend. I’m not.

Juggling two babies

There was never any doubt that we would have our baby and after a planned c-section, the little ball of wonder bounded into our lives. God, it was hard. Two in nappies, two not walking, and the desperation of trying to coax them to nap at the same time (it occasionally worked and I would silently ninja skip down the stairs avoiding all squeaky floorboards, excited about a possible hour of me time). However, I didn’t know any different. Some said it was probably similar to having twins. I don’t know about this; I just know that two under two hit me like a rather heavy, fast-moving, freight train.

Best of friends

They are now aged four and five and life is getting easier (she says as they wrestle, bundle and fight over toys). They simply adore each other. Best friends and then some. As the age gap is small and they are both boys, they play the same games and entertain each other. Often, they will line up every vehicle in the house (how can bloody hundreds of small cars be that exciting?) to create the ‘world’s longest traffic jam,’ which will keep them occupied for ages. Oh, the simplicity of being a child again.

There were tough times

It’s weird how your brain somehow, conveniently, blocks out the tough times. I know those early years were hard as hell, yet I can’t remember what the most challenging aspects about having such a small age gap were. Possibly being pregnant for almost two years back to back and the toll it took on my body (not to mention the enforced sobriety), the strain of two boys being so utterly dependent on us for so long at the same time, or perhaps the perceived lack of freedom or independence that comes with small people.

In some ways perhaps it was easier than a bigger age gap. I didn’t forget anything because as soon as I had weaned, nappy trained etc., I was starting over with the next one. I pretty much gave up sleep and now independence is making a gradual return. They are best buddies, and I hope they will always be there for each other, whether the bond remains as tight or not. My children came in rapid succession, and I am hugely grateful for them regardless of the tough times. Just be aware there is no chance of a third no matter how many times people ask me if I want to try for a girl!

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Corporate to Kids

Who: Sarah - Queen of self-deprecation Job: from corporate HR career to Mum, Writer and Blogger Children: two boys with a 13 month age gap!! Obsessions: writing, Haribos, rainbows, coffee, fizz

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