The Love and Hate of Having Kids Close Together

Leah Outten @thegracebond
July 03, 2017  | Last Updated: July 03, 2017

I grew up with my siblings being at least 10 years younger than me, so these years of mothering children much closer together has been eye-opening. Most of ours are right around two years apart — and I like it that way! Most of the time.


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The love

They are best friends. Nothing beats the image of my two girls choosing to sit side by side at breakfast time, spinning around together having a dance party, or giggling in their shared bedroom before sleep. They are inseparable!

They have the same interests. Being close in age, the toys and books they acquire often appeal to both, and they love playing together.

They enjoy the same activities. Because of having a similar-aged mentality, they often enjoy the same activities together, whether it's a craft at home, a play museum, or library story time.

The older one teaches the little one. I adore watching an older sibling teach their little sister something. Whether it's pointing out colors, how to climb on the playground, to compromising with a toy — it's a heartwarming sight.

Even at two years old, they adore their new little sibling. I usually am pregnant during my children's 1st year of life, and they are completely clueless that a new baby is coming. All they know is my belly is now taking up all their lap space when we read books at bed time. But, something magical happens when the baby is born, and the concept of a new baby is a reality to them and it is so sweet to witness.

They can share clothes. Assuming, you have two the same gender or you have some gender-neutral clothes, it's pretty helpful when the little one starts to catch up in size and can share wardrobes.

The hate

Jealousy after birth. While my two year olds have instantly adored their new sibling — they were a little irked at me and wanted nothing to do with me for a few days after. That punches a momma's heart black and blue.

Having a baby with a manic, teething two-year-old. Both need attention, both need held still. Both may be teething at the same time. One has the whining down pat, despite knowing they have a few words to utilize, while the other can't speak at all. It's a challenging season.

Going anywhere in public with a baby and a two-year-old. Truthfully, I stay home most days because it can be a nightmare to go anyway. The baby may start crying in hunger, while the toddler is playing grocery cart ninja.

Two in diapers. Talk about expensive! And gross. Double the poops to change. Gag.

The older one teaches the little one. While sometimes this is a great thing and sweet to see, there's also the mischievous times of teaching. Such as, the time they made mud in my bathroom together.

The rough toddler love. It's like the Looney Tunes girl who loves animals too much, Elmyra. “I'll love you, and hug you, and squeeze you all up!” I constantly have to be aware of where the toddler is around the baby and her innocently rough affection.

They fight. Oh, can they fight once they get older! Because they have the same interests, especially in toys, there's a lot of fighting and instigating going on. Sharing is a concept still in constant progress.

Having a four-year-old and two-year-old. The four-year-old sassiness plus the two-year-old tantrums? My sanity nearly goes out the window some days.

Okay, I know the dislike list is longer. You'd think I would hate having them this close together, but what a list doesn't tell you is the weight that each item bears. For me, the joy I find in each of the love category makes it worth it. Most of the time, the “hate” things are very temporary — an hour at the store a week, a squabble over a toy, and eventually the toddler gets potty trained. It's a challenging season at times, for sure, juggling the needs of several little people, but I love watching the bond between them grow closer by the day.


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