Disclaimer: This post is not to say that having 3 young children isn’t hard sometimes. It definitely can be but overall we make it work and have a good time. I still have sleepless nights or my children fight.
Happy Thursday! Recently, it seems like everyone is talking about what age gap is best in some Mommy groups I am in. I am in groups for Twiblings (siblings close in age due to things like adoption that more closely mirror twins than a regular sibling set) and Irish Twins (children born within 12 months of each other). We often talk about the struggles and joys of having children so close in age. One thing I have noticed about many of us in the twiblings group is that it seems to be a bit easier for us than when children are further apart in age. This is not to say there aren’t struggles.
The baby stage is rough because you are dealing with two babies who are very close in age (five months for my girls) but are going through different stages of infancy. It’s definitely the hardest thing I have had to deal with as a parent yet. Once I got through that first year everything changed. My girls were on the same level and I felt like I could breathe again. All three of my children were really able to play with each other and I could finally really enjoy them. So here are my reasons why having children close in age is easier than you might think. They are into the same things at the same time. Now they might not be into the exact same things per say. But the nice thing about all of my children being within 2.5 years from each other is they are all into pretend play, dolls or super heroes, legos, play doh and art. I can usually buy certain things that will be for all of them because they will all enjoy playing with it. They share really well. Yes, they can fight over things, it’s totally natural for them to have moments where they suck at sharing but overall my kids rock at sharing. Not only do they rock at it but they learned to do this very early on. My kids really didn’t have a choice but to be really laid back about sharing because there was always a baby or toddler wanting what you have.
So here are some of the things I noticed about having 3 children super close in age that has made parenting a lot easier.
- They are very independent. Another perk to having 3 so close in age is they learned to do things on their own because sometimes Mommy or Daddy can’t get to you as quickly as we’d like because someone else needs us right then. I really noticed this because Everly being our youngest is the most independent at the earliest age. It was like she was always trying to keep up and could do things I didn’t even think she could do at her age. Once Ace even got up early with the girls, didn’t wake us up and made them cereal. I came downstairs right after and they were all sitting eating it and were super content. He was only 5!
- Your oldest is will probably be a nurturer. Ace has always been a sweet, empathetic child. When the girls were born I noticed how much he loved to comfort them and hold them and help me. He makes sure to hold someones hand when we cross the street, he will help the girls get a snack or get something they want. He isn’t just this way with his sisters either. When he was in preschool his friend was upset because his Mom walked out of the class and he told him it would be ok and sang a song to him to comfort him. His sweet heart is something I am very proud of.
- You’re basically a Mama duck. So ever since my kids were walking I have felt like a Mama duck. All of my ducklings following along after me. Not like a crazy mess, one running off this way or that way but literally in a row whether it’s next to me or slightly behind me. My kids have always been so good about just sticking by me like little ducklings do with their mom. They just know that the train is still moving so you better keep up.
- They will be very close. One thing I noticed and lived myself is that children very close in age just naturally seem to be close as children. All siblings of course love each other and have a bond of some sort but when you are close in age you are each others first playmates and best friend. My sister and I are only 19 months apart and literally every memory I have of us as kids is us playing together, sharing toys, clothes and friends. My brother is 8 years older than me and I don’t have a lot of memories with him because when I was in elementary school he was already in middle and high school so he was off with his friends. Our closeness came much later when I was around 19 or 20 (so don’t worry if your kids aren’t close now). So being close in age just means you have more in common and are going to experience similar life events at around the same time. Even the 2 year difference (and maybe gender difference?) with Ace and the girls is a different bond than the girls who are only 5 months apart. My girls have a bond like nothing I have ever seen. They are like magnets to each other. They had their own language as babies for crying out loud! Everly is even translates for Ashlyn if she says something we don’t understand. It’s such a different bond than even what my sister and I had and we were very, very close growing up. I really can’t even explain it but they are very close and they are each others everything.
- You are a more confident parent. I have a group of girlfriends who are in the same life stage as me. We all had our first babies at the same time and we have a group chat where we talk about everything. We have been through the best and worth times of our lives together. I love these girls so much. I was the first one to have the second (and third) babies of the group. I thankfully had them there to help me at play dates to take a baby and vent and talk to. The fun thing about being the first one to have the most kids in the group is you get to tell them “it’s seriously not that bad having a bunch of kids” “it gets easier” or “it will get better” since you went through a bunch of tough times, sleepless nights and everything in between. You know that if you can go to the grocery store with 3 babies and survive that you can do it again and it’s such a confidence boost as a Mom. Heck, I took all 3 of my kids to Epcot alone (and it down poured) and had the best time. People told me I was crazy to go alone with them but once you realize you can do stuff with all of them and they overall are really good about it you feel like you can conquer anything.
So if you are a new Mom of 3 or pregnant with your third and nervous just remember it will get easier. All my friends can tell you I had a rough first year with all three children. Everly never stopped crying, I felt guilty over Ashlyn not getting that one on one time Ace had, I felt like Ace wasn’t getting enough of me either and I was just overwhelmed. It was a rough year but it made me a more confident and patient Mom. I still have moments where I am stressed and my kids fight but overall I really do think to myself “how is it this easy now?” Maybe I am jinxing myself and we will go through a rough stage again soon or maybe in a few years but till then I am enjoying this time that they are all easier than that first year with 3 children under 3.