(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!”