Big gaps = hard work!

(27 Posts)

Just wanted to see if anyone else was in similar situation to me? I have 13 yr old dd and 3 yr old ds and it's hard! I'm at 6am most mornings with ds & he is full of beans from the moment I wake up. Spend the morning feeding him (he's always hungry) tidying up, washing etc etc Then some point through the morning my teenage one graces us with her presence, barely speaks. Then spends an age beautifying herself before asking if she can get a lift somewhere and now! Have to then accommodate this and off she goes. Feel like toddler one is only child a lot of the time as teenage one is so busy with friends, parties, sleepovers!
Toddler one has set routine & tucked up in bed by 7 and this is when teenage one comes to left & she is constantly hungry all evening even though she eats a dinner big enough for 7 foot, our working all day man. Teenage one normally up well after I've gone to bed as I'm knackered and know that I'm up at 6 an maybe earlier if toddler one needs a wee, lost his ted, wet the bed etc etc!
Just wondering if others with similar gaps are experiencing a similar life to mine? Just all feels exhausting at times. Sometimes wish I either had 2 similar to dd's age or 2 similar to ds's age but I'm sure there would be difficulties with having your children close in age too!!

SoupDragon Sun 30-Dec-12 10:01:24

I think children = hard work. Regardless of gaps smile

Bonsoir Sun 30-Dec-12 10:01:36

You need to reset your toddler's clock. We also have big gaps (DSS1 is ten years older than DD) and having them all eat together is a huge help.

Yep soupdragon definitly agree that children = hard work but when I only had dd don't quite remember it as exhausting?! Not sure bonsoir how I would reset ds's clock, he is 3, goes to bed at 7pm and up at 6am. They do have tea at the same time but rarely breakfast as dd sleeping but sometimes lunch smile

DeGlitterBug Sun 30-Dec-12 10:09:23

Small age gaps here (4Dcs under 8 years old). Some days I'd gladly swap with you! I agree with pp that kids = hard work regardless of age gaps.

Can you keep the toddler up later? I agree with synchronising mealtimes if possible.

I expect, as with anything, this too will pass. 4 year olds are much easier than 3 year olds smile.

fourbears Sun 30-Dec-12 10:13:59

Yes pretty similar. I have a 12 year old and a 4 year old and it's just as you describe. But I know I would never have coped with two close in age and the age gap was by design. The oldest is pretty reasonable and self-reliant so I just have to cope with the 4 yr old's whims and foibles. But then I'm also conscious that he needs attention and parenting too, just in a different way so he has time in the evenings after little 'un is in bed. It's the best way to have two children for me, anyway. Some people throw their hands up in horror at the age gap, but I've never understood that. Coping with a newborn and a toddler would have been nigh on impossible for me and I wouldn't have enjoyed them.

FrankWippery Sun 30-Dec-12 10:22:26

I have 13 years between DC4 and DC3 and my life is totally opposite. I had my first three within 3 years, so not sure that anything could out busy that. DD3 is almost 4 now and DD1 is at university. DD2 and DS are now 16 and 18, so one drives and the other makes his way around London himself.

SoupDragon Sun 30-Dec-12 10:30:33

when I only had dd don't quite remember it as exhausting

That's because you had a child, not child*ren*.

DS1 and DS2 are 2 years apart and then there is a 5 year gap before DD so I've had smallish and biggish gaps. Both were equally tiring and challenging in different ways.

IsawFoofyShmoofingSantaClaus Sun 30-Dec-12 10:32:26

I have DS (10) and DD (4) so 6 and a half years gap.
They have nothing in common. They play rough and tumble games and clearly love each other but I spend a large amount of time trying to please both (and failing) and fielding arguments.

deglittery think that's what keeps me going is thinking 'this phase will pass' think my 3 year old ds is a very lively wire so agree 4bears that I don't think I could cope with him & newborn or him fighting with a sib really close in age!

tittytittyhanghang Sun 30-Dec-12 10:36:44

similar gap here, ds1 is 12, ds2 is 2. I put it down to going back to the baby/toddler stage again. When we only had ds1, we had a lot of freedom, ds1 was at an age he could go round to dm any time he wanted/we needed unannounced practicaly whereas now if we need to get babysitters we have to prepare in advance for ds2. Aso i think i tended to look back on the baby years with rose tinted glasses as it was quite a while ago!

tittytittyhanghang Sun 30-Dec-12 10:38:02

when I only had dd don't quite remember it as exhausting

I put this down to the fact that i was ten years younger!

forevergreek Sun 30-Dec-12 11:23:04

Could you try putting toddler to bed at 8.30pm, and then encouraging him to stay in bed until 8 am? A couple of nights and his body should adjust

Then by the time you are both up/ dressed then breakfast is more like 8.30/9am and all of you more likely to be on the same track ( although surely teen has to be out early for school?). Then you can all have dinner together in the evening. Does he still nap? If so move it a bit later on in the day

Thanks forevergeek during the week I have to be up for work at 6am so ds automatically gets up with me. I then have to get dd up at 6:30 as she takes so long doing her hair & make up & she just grabs breakfast to have in her room. 3 months ago we cut out his nap as he was getting up at 5am which was too hideous! So now come 7pm he is shattered and he can't sleep in as we leave the house at 7:50am. Iyswim...bit confusing! tittyhanghang completely agree that being 10 years older probably makes a big difference and also probably means I look back on my dd's toddler with rose tinted specs! Ha will prob look back on these crazy years with fondness!!

Totally get what your saying soup and yep can't beat that pfb period! Feel your pain isawsoupdragon there is not a lot my two can do, which is why I feel on one hand having small age gap woul be good cause at least they'd be into similar things at the same time smile

Sorry that last comment was for isawfoofyschmozzingsanta

nananaps Sun 30-Dec-12 13:23:59

Nononono!!!....nana puts hands over ears and hums "lalalalalaalalaaa" !

i was SO hoping it would be much easier with a 10 year gap!

Ds is self sufficient and easy going at 9 nearly 10.

I am expecting dc2 in 4 weeks and could no way have considered another child until ds was at least 5 years old. He was such hard work and didnt sleep a full night until he was 4 and at school.

I am so hoping for one that sleeps, and eats and is easy going...i have heard tale of such babies grin and that ds carries on in his happy little world..til teanage years hit of course.

Im in a dream world me aren't i..sigh sad sound like a pfb new mum dont i sad

SoupDragon Sun 30-Dec-12 13:24:51

Ah... but close together they are into exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. Like the fucking XBox. Which is a problem in itself grin

Aw nananaps really don't want to burst your bubble and for you maybe it will work out perfectly. My dd was a perfect baby/toddler, slept from 6 weeks and complete joy. I was excited to look after her, wash & iron her cute little outfits, prepare lots of home cooked food to wean her with. I was so looking forward to baby no 2 arriving & basically thought it would be like it was with pfb. Hadn't thought that after 10 years of being a parent it wouldn't be quite so exciting putting a wash on. Ds from the word go has been exhausting. Dd was such a sweet girl until she hit high school and then it all changed. But maybe for you cause your first born was hard work then this is going to be your easy baby & first born will remain easy-going. I blame my dd's hormones!
And I see what you mean soup couldn't imagine having 2 with the temper that my ds has vying for my attention!

Did you not find it exhausting frankwittery when having a newborn & 3 teenagers to look after? smile

wordfactory Sun 30-Dec-12 14:08:25

Huge fan of small gaps here - twins !!! Am currently on holiday watching the families with big gaps struggle to please everyone.

Perfect way to do it wordfactory 2 & done! Hope your having a nice time on your hols smile

Nuttyprofessor Sun 30-Dec-12 14:14:54

I found new born and teenager hard. Now I have a 26 year old and an 12 year old it is great. Baby sitter on tap.

Well that nuttyprofessor is definitely something to look forward to! Atm think dd is too young to look after toddler as he's quote crazy. But hoping in a few years this could be an option?!

FrankWippery Sun 30-Dec-12 15:29:09

ohclutter, no, not at all. They were 13, 15 and 16 when she was born and if anything it was a massive bonus to have them about. All three were (and remain) perfectly capable at helping out with her, changing, babysitting etc from the start.

I can only liken it to having one's first child really, but with the huge benefit of hindsight. One doesn't 'forget' what to do at all, rather remembers how little stuff is needed IYKWIM. DD3 was an exceptionally good baby largely because, I think, I went for the benign neglect form of parenting; ie I was very aware the she didn't need scooping up at the slightest squawk. As she's got older (she's now almost 4), I think she has benefitted from having much older siblings.

The only downside, if I can call it that, is that her and DD2 squabble! I have to shake myself in disbelief at times wondering exactly why my 3 year old and my 18 year old are arguing grin.

If I had my time over, there is absolutely nothing I would change. I love having the big gap. The older three's early years are something of a blur tbh, 11 months between the girls, followed by 22 months between DD2 and DS. DS was also born at 28 weeks, so I have 6 months that just blurred past me.

IMO big gaps are wonderful, that and the babysitters!

Shellywelly1973 Sun 30-Dec-12 22:42:11

My dc are 24,21,11,7&4.

Think small age gaps present problems as do large age gaps...swings and roundabout!

I remember when i had dc3 now 11, it was a shock, nothing like i remembered-bloody mother nature!!

Wow shellywelly 5 kids, you must have your hands full. Think that happened with me when I had my 2nd 10 years later it was a lot harder than the first time round! But then also think I was due to everything being new & exciting with first, she was a girl...has been easier as baby/toddler. I didn't have an older child to look after. Lots of factors. Do you ever feel exhausted that you have been doing the same things for 24 years? I know I have friends and family whose children are close together and they say that t can be tiring but gets all the stages over in one go. My sis-in-law has 4 under 5 (4,3,1,0) and some ways I think this looks good that they will be experiencing the same things other ways it looks so exhausting.

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