Three Blessings of Parenting With an Age Gap
When I was dreaming of my future family, I had a picture much like the family I grew up in. My brother and I are twenty months apart. We grew up playing together. We were very close and shared neighborhood friends. I pictured the same exact scenario for me. Fast forward to when I was twenty five. I was a newlywed and found out we had a baby on the way! Boom. Family started.
Nate was born five days after Julia turned three. Three years apart was a little more than what I had thought my span between children would be, but we were still in the general target area, as far as I was concerned. Then, the miscarriages started. Time flew by. Suddenly, we no longer had toddlers and Nate was close to being out of elementary school. We decided to adopt and our sweet Riley entered our lives. Suddenly we had an eight year age gap after a three year age gap. And now, we have another one on the way! When this sweet baby is born, Julia will be fifteen.
It may not be anything like I expected, but it is a huge blessing! The blessings of parenting with an age gap are unexpected and wonderful! I'd love to share my top three blessings of parenting with an age gap.
1. Helping hands
Julia is a classic first born. She is responsible and helpful. Brian and I are able to have dates without budgeting for a babysitter. Julia is proud to be CPR and First Aid trained and loves that we trust her to be in charge.
This has an unexpected side affect. The kids bond. They have secret stories and jokes that come from getting time alone together.
2. Falling in love with the toddler years
Age three can be hard. I would challenge anyone who tells you differently. But, I look at Julia and three was so long ago. She was so funny and spunky and feisty. I spent way too much time with Clorox wipes and schedules instead of throwing the ball outside. It is easier this time for me to parent this almost-preschooler stage. I can look at Riley and the DVDs that are on the floor and scratched and sticky and know that this is going to pass. His cute voice, his funny phrases, and his giant, tackling hugs make up for every single bag of chips I find hidden in the couch cushions.
3. The variety of life
It's fun for me! One day, I may be taking Riley to MOPS and the next day, I am painting with Julia and her friends. I get a little bit of a lot. Right now, I interact with fourteen year-olds who love to paint, eleven year-olds who face-time so that they can mine-craft together, and a toddler who just wants to kick a ball. It makes life interesting and fun and different! For me, this is perfect.
Do you have an age gap? What is your age gap and what are the blessings of parenting with an age gap for you?