Thoughts On Sibling Age Gaps

>> Friday, September 25, 2015

Blogging is really hard through all this infertility stuff. Not because of what I’m sharing. I like being upfront and honest. Plus, it’s hard to not share what’s going on in our lives. It’s just the nature of the blogging beast. However, I have to admit it's been especially hard for me lately because for each pregnant person I encounter in real life . . . there are like 10,000 or more bloggers/etc. who are pregnant or have gaggles of kids.


I try not to look. 
I try not to care. 
(Seriously. I don’t even know these people!)
I try to just do me. 

But as we approach October, it’s wearing on me. I dropped Ada off at preschool the other morning (in the midst of my latest miscarriage) and one of her sweet teachers from last year saw my stroller and said: “Oh! Who’s that in there? Ada said last year that you were expecting a baby!” And I just about lost it right there in the parking lot.

So much time has passed, and we’re just standing still. I am starting to feel like a barren alien.


You see, I used to have all these ideals and ideas surrounding age gaps. We knew we didn’t want to have kids back-to-back, so we planned originally to wait until Ada’s second birthday to start casually trying. Well, her surgery and recovery sort of sucked up most of the year. I don’t regret waiting, and we weren’t in a rush. TTC during all that would have been difficult if not impossible -- life happens, plans (hah!) change. 

And I certainly took my previous show of fertility for granted. Of course a baby would be waiting in the wings for us precisely when we were ready.

Right?

This is a long way to say we always wanted a three to four year age gap. By now, those possibilities have come and gone, and I’m (miraculously) feeling much more relaxed about the whole thing. My friends will probably tell you otherwise because I was absolutely o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d with it for a while. Looking back, I was actually just obsessed with why it wasn’t working out, why we kept losing pregnancies, and feeling some major desperation. I was also quite jealous since it seemed other families were able to “choose” their gaps. Heck, there are tons of articles written on the subject, entire forums dedicated to finding the “perfect” gap, etc.

Whenever I see a family at the store or otherwise out and about, I absolutely delight when I see larger gaps. Like, it gives me this HUGE boost. We’re mostly surrounded by kids with 2 to 3 year gaps. Many closer together as well. So, I feel like a hunter in the wild. “Stephen! I saw this family today with a girl who looked about age 8 and a baby!” Or “Did you see those kids? There’s GOT to be at least six years between them!” 

At this stage, I’m much less concerned with the size of the gap. Though, I’d be lying if I told you time doesn’t feel like some immense weight in all of this. I have watched so darned many pregnancies from start to finish and keep waiting (and waiting and waiting) for my turn. In other words: I’m more worried there won’t be an age gap at all. (Again, we are so incredibly blessed with Ada. Please don’t get me wrong. Secondary infertility is such a tricky subject. I am constantly reminding myself that I am grateful and blessed while still not feeling our family is complete.)

So, here it is. If you want another baby, try to have another baby. Don’t fret over perfect or right or what your friends are doing (so, so, so hard!). Don’t take your fertility for granted. Don’t spend hours researching or worrying your time away. But -- on the flip side -- don’t gloat about designing your perfect family. No one wants to hear that.

In the end, all gaps tell stories. Some are longer and have more chapters than others. And what works for one family (or, rather, happens) might not work or work out for yours.

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