Having children close in age
Did you have back to back pregnancies?
I promise I never thought I would be the one with an infant and a toddler both in diapers. It never occurred to me how much stress I would go through and how focused I would have to be to raise more than one little one at a time. Believe me I know that this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, I have a 4yr old, two yr old, and a six month old. I quit my teaching job just to be at home with my kids through this first stage of their young lives.
I remember when I was a teenager, I would see the flustered moms in the store, fustrated because they were trying to juggle the demands of more than one baby at a time. I would say that will not be me! I ended up being just like them!
So why would any one in their right mind have kids close in age?
Well I can not speak for everybody, but as for my husband and I, as Christians we have followed the Word of God and have decided to "multiply". I personally do not think I could endure over 10 kids like the Bates family, but the whole idea of a husband and wife having children is both honorable and meaningful. As far as having them close in age, I thought why not get them out of the way so that they can grow up together and be friends. I was the oldest of seven and my siblings and I were friends and we were able to learn from each other. When I look at myself and my youngest sibling, there are 16 years between us. If my mom only had the two of us it would have been like having two "only" children. I mean we probably would have had that only child syndrome being that far apart.
Another reason I have found it a good idea to have my kids close in age is because I want to do most of my parenting while I am in my twenties and thirties. That way when they are in high school and or college I can give them more responsibilities, and enjoy some liberty myself while in my forties. I know people who have waited to their forties to have kids, living out most of their youth first, and most of the time they might limit themselves to one or two kids. I personally can not imagine myself having the strength to run behind toddlers at that age. Of course that is still young, but growing up with your kids is not all that bad.
For some people birth control options are immoral. For many the idea of enjoying marriage and parenthood is to also enjoy the little lives as they come without planning for them. Letting nature take its course without interference is just fine for some, thus having kids back to back becomes a welcomed possibility.
How to manage having an infant, and toddlers?
Whatever the reason people decide to have their kids close, they should be ready to deal with the ups and downs. Believe me this choice is not for the weak minded. Parents have to be strong to deal with temper tantrums and the soiled diapers that never seem to end. Not to mention the sleepless nights. The high notes make it all worth it, when you look down at those adorable faces and they call you mommy and daddy, when you feel worried about adult situations and you see the joy of life and the energy of your little people as they undo all the cleaning you have done in your house. Looking at pictures and making happy occasions, means so much when you see what you are capable of creating. Having someone to cultivate and to make the best, for me is the highlight of parenting. Realizing that the world needs to have quality, righteous people in the future, parenting more than one child means leaving behind a legacy that will speak volumes. Raising children successfully means all my sacrifices and selflessness will accomplish a goal. So when money gets tight or the screams get too loud, understanding your role makes it durable. Here are some tips I live by:
1) Always be prepared, premake meals, set engaging toys out for your kids to explore
2) Constantly reinforce behavioral expectations at home, so that kids know how to behave everywhere you go. A lot of times parents want to act like their kids should know how to act outside of the home when they are not teaching them at home.
3) Find or make some you time, while the kids are safely sleep or in a trusted person's care
4) Prioritize your duties, your little ones first,
5)Teach kids how to do what they can appropriately do for themselves
6) Keep a general routine, kids feel safe with structure
7) Build character and educate your children every opportunity you have.
8) Do not allow your adult world with its ups and downs to disrupt or hurt their lives
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