in which I make a private matter public

I would like to open the following can of worms:

Sibling spacing.

It is the topic of conversation around here, and there’s something of a debate in DanO and my heads and hearts right now. Every date night we have had has contained at least 20 minutes off throwing around hypotheticals. We want more, O BOY do we want more children, but I think we had this vision in our head of how our family would be spaced before we started our family. (By ‘before we started our family’ I mean before an infant rocked our freaking worlds.) You know?

Sure, there’s no such thing as being prepared for having a baby, but it is a little easier to be unprepared for something you’ve never experienced before, which is not the case this time around. Last time it was “O, forget birth control! BABIES ARE CUTE,” (Ok, there was a little more to it than that.) but this time we find ourselves considering about 800 variables, including but not limited to sibling dynamics, the remodeling of our upstairs, potential cousins, school grade spacing, and my ability to run after OToddler while looking something like this.

TELL ME I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE that could run through sibling spacing scenarios until they are blue (or pink? Will it be pink next??) in the face and be no closer to a decision than I was when I began.

I know it takes 9 months to cook a baby, but start doing the math on our “ideal” spacing (2 years? A little more? A little less?) and suddenly I need to be pregnant THIS SUMMER. Heaven help me.

But maybe that wouldn’t be so bad?

Also, let’s add to it the factor of not actually being in full control of the spacing. We could shoot for a certain spacing and have it take much longer than we expect. (“Shoot for something?” How’s that for a euphemism? (Hi Dad!)).

Two years?

Three years?

But what if we choose three and get four years?

Will they be as distant as my older brother and me were growing up?

If they’re less than 2 years apart, will they be as close as DanO and OBrother (his 19 mo younger brother)?

Would I be able to survive a less than 2 year gap?

And what if our next one has three eyeballs??

::bangs head against keyboard::

71 Responses to “in which I make a private matter public”

  1. courtney elee

    Having 2 under 2 certainly has its days – but mostly its good days! I’m so glad we did it this way. Even though it was NOT planned, I couldnt be happier. Yes I have days where I think I’m going to loose my mind, but I had those w/ just one!
    Sullivan – June 08 (20 months)
    Sawyer – November 09 (3 month)
    So 17 months apart

    And its easier to go through those first 13 weeks while baby #1 is not too mobile (i.e. not walking and requiring so much attention).

  2. Brandy

    Our 2 are about 3wks shy of being 5yrs apart. We totally didn’t plan it that way … in fact, we had been trying for another ever since our oldest turned one. It was just God’s plan.

    Family think we’re completely and totally bonkers for already wanting a third (our youngest is 16 months).

    It’s something that’s between each family and God, I think. For us? We don’t even think about it at all. Our family size, and hence sibling spacing, is completely and totally in His hands and always has been.

    Nurses have found that out about me (cuz I’m not shy in saying so when they ask if I want birth control) and the common response is “oh you’re gonna have a ton of babies then”

    Um, we’ve been married almost 8yrs now. I see two.

    Though, honestly, I’d love a ton of babies!! :-D

  3. Deanna

    This is definitely something that you and hubbs will have to decide together based on what you have planned in your life in the next year or two. Renos and babies don’t mix well!

    I was 1 month preggers for #2 at my first child’s #1 birthday. It was really hard having 2 in diapers and I could hardly get out of bed most mornings and lived on coffee and toast because I hardly sat down. Looking back now I just turned 24 when I had baby #1 and 25 with baby #2, maybe that’s why I made it through!!

    On the other hand, being close in age they are mostly interested in the same music, toys, t.v. shows ect. I am glad now that they are close in age, we can go on vacations and outings and they can both participate. No diapers, no sippy cups and no naps required!!

  4. Sarah

    I don’t think you should assume that children who are closer in age will be closer emotionally.
    For example, one of my best friends is a middle child, who spends the majority of her time with an older brother (5 years older) but much less with her little sister (18 months younger).

    Personalities matter a lot more than spacing, if you ask me.

  5. Erin

    We have a 15 month old and i am 17 weeks pregnant. We wanted to have them close in age, it maybe hard at first but we think it will be worth it. :-)

  6. Jenn

    Based on the home environment you are providing, I would guess your children will be close regardless. :) I have a brother 3 years younger and one 7 years younger. My middle brother still calls me his best friend, and my youngest bro and I used to take road trips and go to concerts…just the two of us. I think your private matter is certainly a personal preference that simply cannot go wrong whatever you choose. Happy Planning! :) ( I am fully aware that this is only one aspect of the million you provided, but I think it’s the only one I am somewhat remotely qualified to comment on.)

    • Jenn

      Um, there are 64 comments on this post….not 5 as I had originally thought. Just thought you’d like to know. (Whoa.)

  7. Twenty Little Toes

    Going back to the question about how much one can plan –
    Personally I always thought I would need a couple of years for “myself” before we have the second baby. You know for things to get back to “normal” in other words, body and boobs back to orignal size, no more diet restriction/freedom because of nursing, being able to wear my pre pregnancy clothes.
    Also, I wanted to enjoy the first baby’s toddlerhood before another new born drops into my lap. Guess what! I had twnis, so much for planning for space.
    But, I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  8. Allison the Roommate

    Wow this has a lot of comments! I say you put it up to a general vote. Maybe a primary election to start things rolling?

  9. nic

    we have four children, all spaced two years apart (soon to be five children as we’re in the process of adopting). sounds like we planned it, right? except we totally didn’t.

    are we happy with this spacing? undeniably. but i also see happy families with siblings spaced closer or much further apart.

    which is all just a really long way of saying that i agree with the roughly five hundred commenters before me who said you pretty much can’t go wrong.


  10. Stephie

    (This is Ali Neibling friend…by the way ) :)
    I just could pass by this particular entry without saying something…lol
    Being that our little guys are weeks apart, and JJ and I would like to space our next one around two years apart (a little over…a little under) we have this EXACT conversation ALL THE TIME as well. It just makes me laugh and sigh a sigh of relief that we are not crazy for going through all the possible senarios too. Man, you and I could have one long hashing out of this topic over the phone sometime! :) I don’t know about you…but when I think about getting as big as I was at the end of pregnancy, all over again, starting this summerish….I want to reconsider this close spacing senario. lol Good luck with the decision.

  11. Jacquelyn

    There are pros and cons to close by 2ish years. There are pros and cons to 4ish years. In my (humble) opinion, 2ish is harder at first, but definitely doable. 4ish is easier at first but maybe they wont be as close growing up since one will be graduating high school while the other is just beginning their high school career. Sibling dynamics was a big deal for me. Big decisions. Have faith that God’s perfect timing will bless your family.


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