When you have kids back-to-back, people generally have a lot of opinions (not all of them nice). As moms, we definitely have enough on our plate without focusing on the negative. As a mom of two boys only seventeen months apart, I can attest that having kids so close together can come with its challenges, but without a doubt, there are so many great things too.
I’ve found that my boys have fulfilled something in me I didn’t know I needed. They bring me joy every day as they giggle, fight, and even make a mess. The magic of my children’s eyes sparkling with joy as they learn a new skill together or make each other laugh is something special. Here are 5 other reasons I think being a mom of kids close in age is amazing:
1. They have a built-in buddy
My father always taught me family is the most important thing in the world, and my boys are learning that same truth. One of the best things about having kids close in age is that they always have a buddy ready to play with them. There isn’t a huge age gap that gets in the middle of things, and they tend to share the same taste in clothes and movies. Of course, there will always be a little squabbling between siblings, but seeing their love for each other is one of the best things about being a mom.
They are nearly inseparable. And when one is out of sight for more than a few seconds, the other will immediately look and ask for his brother. Just this past week, my husband took my youngest to the store while my eldest took a rare nap. When he woke up to find his brother gone, he was devastated. Their bond is something I would have dreamed to have with my own sibling.
2. They follow the leader
One of the best ways children learn is from watching others, and what better way than seeing their older sibling do some things first, like go to the potty? My oldest had some trouble potty training due to some developmental delays, but potty training the second time around has been better for both children.
I truly believe it has everything to do with my youngest looking up to his older brother and wanting to do what he does. And my eldest has gotten better after seeing his brother learn too. The natural competitive spirit has led to more than one race to the potty and leaves me almost peeing my pants as they encourage each other in the bathroom.
3. Hello, hand-me-downs!
You can save tons of money on cribs, car seats, clothes, and even diapers if you use cloth. Having two boys under two, I was able to use almost 90 percent of the items we had for my first child again. Other than a few stubborn stains, most things were still in great condition.
It was so nice not to have to worry about buying everything new because the prices really add up. Now that my kids are 3 and 4, we have started to buy some new clothes for each as they’ve made their preferences known, but other than that, they are able to share most of their stuff with each other.
4. I can leave pregnancy pains in my rearview
Having children back-to-back meant I didn’t have much time between pregnancies to enjoy my body as a woman again (not just as a pregnant or breastfeeding mom).
Going through two pregnancies quickly and knowing my body will not go through the stress of pregnancy again gives me a new kind of freedom. I’m now fully through the stages of buying maternity clothes, getting new stretch marks, and having milk-engorged breasts that my husband loved—and I hated.
And to be completely honest, I hated being pregnant! Both my pregnancies had complications, so after all my body went through, I couldn’t imagine doing it later in life when I was older and crankier than I am now. I firmly believe if I hadn’t had my second son so quickly, I never would have had another kid.
5. I’m enjoying our family’s new freedom as my kids grow
One of the best things by far is being able to have both children develop at nearly the same speed. Once one slept through the night, the next child soon followed. Once my oldest was out of diapers, my youngest soon followed. And since I only plan to have two children, I know I don’t have to go through the process of sleep training AND potty training again.
Because they’re so close in age, they’re also in similar stages of learning—shapes, colors, and the alphabet—which allows me to focus on these skills with both of them. I can also thoroughly enjoy our new freedoms without worrying about them temporarily going away if I had to do the baby stage all-over.