Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Breaking the Baby Break

(John-Paul at age 2, Andrew is 1)

 I’ve always come from the school of thought that believes having babies close in age is the better way to space your children.  And we did just that.  John-Paul was born 9 months after we got married, Andrew came 19 months later, Eamon arrived two years after him, and Maggie completed our little family (at the time) with her birth just a short 14 months after Eamon.  If you do the math, you’ll see that John-Paul was still four years old when Maggie was born.  Four kids aged four and under!

(John-Paul is 3, Andrew is 2, Eamon is a newborn)

Having our children so close together had a lot of positives.  I left my full-time position as an auditor when John-Paul was born, so I was at home being a mom anyway – why not add more children?  Our kids were never spoiled, learned very early on that they were not the center of the universe, and understood the value of sharing and patience at young ages.  They also had plenty of friends around all the time!  Phil and I were fully entrenched in diapers, baby food, nighttime wakings, scheduling things around nap times, and it all didn’t seem like a big deal.  This was our life.  We just kept truckin’.  In fact, the thought of taking a break from it all and then re-entering that world was scarier than to just stay in it. 
(Eamon is 15 months, Maggie is one month)
But then that break came.  Our four babies and toddlers grew up and began entering school one-by-one.  I started working part-time out of the house.  And then came the day that ALL four children were in school and I began working full-time.  We settled into a busy but nice routine and were all handling it quite well.  Although we always thought we would have more babies, the further we got away from the baby stage, the harder that stage seemed.  All of our children were potty-trained and slept through the night.  They were becoming very independent, and we were getting used to the luxuries of not carrying a diaper bag everywhere we went, not preparing bottles, not being so tied to the house for nap times, etc.  We were even able to start saving a little money for our future!

Now that this baby is due in a few months, we are pondering all the ways his/her life will be different.  This little one will have a mom that works full-time L.  He/She will have BIG siblings who are so excited to be adding a baby to the house, and are actually capable (we’re hoping) of helping out.  This baby will never be starved for attention or lacking for entertainment J. Phil and I are not quite ready for the late night feedings and daycare bills, but we are so happy to have another Martin in our house, and willing to do whatever it takes!
I don’t think we will ever truly know which way of spacing children is “best”,  but we do know that God’s planning  is definitely best for our family and we will continue to try to accept His Will and His timing.  As Mother Theresa said, “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle.  I just wish He didn’t trust me so much!”


  1. Your kids all look exactly the same as babies as they do now! Just TALLER!!! That is so funny ;) I think that having a large break in between children may not be as helpful mentally. I am already enjoying sleeping through the night, less diapers, independent children who walk, etc. It's hard to break that cycle mentally and get back into the baby frame of mind. Each month that I find out I'm not pregnant I breathe a sigh of relief...for a couple days. Then the baby fever sets in like crazy!!!!

  2. Arg! Blogger is dead to me. I just wrote a long comment (prob. too long!) and Blogger ate it. Sigh . . . I'll have to try back later. Good post, though. :)

  3. I had 4 in 7 go guys!

    We were in the same situation. I can tell you the kids love this little person in our house. They play and play and play with her.

    I had a very hard day yesterday trying to do outside work and she needed me all the time.

    The only thing with this little girl in my life...all my other kids have a buddy...I feel like my little baby needs a sib. also.

    HOWEVER...I will be 43 next week...ugh so old.

  4. I enjoyed reading this Colleen. You know, at the time when we got married it seemed that everyone around us had a spacing of two years in between children. We thought that was about "perfect" and we'd aim for the same. Then we miscarried in between Lily & Jonah and then we struggled getting pregnant after Jonah.
    Now it seems that those family and friends (and bloggers) we've surrounded ourselves with are having children WAY less than two years apart. I now feel like I'm "behind" compared to so many others.
    But then I realize how fun it is right now to watch the kids with Gianna and have them helping me thru the day. I wouldn't trade that for anything. It makes for a whole new dimension in the newborn stage.
    It's amazing too how already at 7 wks. postpartum I'm contemplating a buddy for Gianna so that she won't be alone ;) Time will tell, but we've definitely seen how God's perfect timing is perfect whether those babies are close together or further apart. You just never know what wonderful plans He has for your family, as long as we remain open.

  5. well i agree and disagree. my oldest is by far the most spolied of all of our kids since she was nearly 4 when her brother arrived and i don't recommend such a gap but--that was only because i lost a baby inbetween. otherwise she was to have a sibling by 22 months. But I guess God wanted her to be more special and have an extra long spolied period. The 3 boys came all at once and after that spolied wasn't a concern.

    what I disagree about is the wonderful age gap between my 13 year old and almost 1 year old. I highly recommend having a baby when your oldest is 13. I truly have a mothers helper and things are so much easier now. I don't feel nearly as overwhelmed when i had just all little ones. Plus i think it benefits her too since all her peers are into boys etc and she knows first hand how hard having a baby can be, she sings along to baby songs etc, she plays with little ones--it keeps her young and innocent. so i think the best families have kids of assorted ages and age gaps.

  6. This just means that you will need to get started trying again right after this baby is born! :)

  7. I think different spacing works for different families at different times. There are 2 1/2 years between Sierra and Makenna which I love {I enjoy extended breastfeeding, so having them any closer didn't really happen for us}. Then Jeremy really wasn't sure he wanted to have any more than two {and I knew I wanted several more, lol!} So, I was patient. There are almost 4 years between Makenna and Kameryn, which seemed like an eternity! But there are positive and negatives to each, I think. And there will be less than 2 1/2 years between Kameryn and our newest. Now Jeremy wishes we would've spaced them closer together. I don't know. Now I'm just rambling ;) I guess the bottom line is that there is no perfect spacing, lol!


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