I've been thinking a lot about timing lately. It seems there's no right or wrong when it comes to baby spacing, but it can sure affect the family dynamics!
This is an old picture of my Charlotte (right) and her two favorite cousins. One is exactly her age, and the other is a year and a half older. That's right:The sisters were born 18 months apart. I thought that was super close until yesterday, when we were photographing babies for our October issue and I met a family with two babes born 14 months apart. Imagine having a 5-month-old and being pregnant at the same time! The parents were so calm, collected and prepared though, it must have been meant to be.
I've been able to closely observe the difference between having babies close together and spacing them farther apart as I've spent time with my sister-in-law and her kids over the last few years. The two little girls have built-in playmates in each other (I love that!), and they're much more confident in their social skills, but it definitely looks harder getting out of the house and going places (besides friends' homes or the park) with multiples in tow.
Charlotte has been an only child for over three years now, and she relies on me to fulfill her entertainment needs unless we've scheduled a play date. Iabsolutely love being her best friend- it just makes it tough to accomplish all the other things I need to get done. I clearly see that I've kept her a baby longer because she was my one and only, but I can't say that that's necessarily good or bad. I've so enjoyed every aspect of her babyhood and toddler years because I haven't had to split my attention.
I'm thinking (and hoping) that Char will be a great helper with her new little brother; hopefully it won't crush her to give up her “spoiled only child” status and learn to share Mommy and Daddy. They'll be three and a half years apart, and I'm OK with that, but I am wondering how long to wait until the next pregnancy. If going from one to two is as hard as some of my friends have said, I may need to wait a couple years, but if not, maybe I'll try to get another pregnancy started quickly, while I'm young and resilient!