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Was friend right about age gap?

(37 Posts)
Keepsmiling1 Sun 28-Jun-15 10:44:53


DD1 is almost 4 and starts school in September and DD2 is just 11 weeks old. Someone made a comment to me the other day that I should have waited until DD1 was in school before having DD2 so I could give her all my attention in the day while the eldest was in school and it made me feel really guilty. DD1 goes to nursery each morning until 1pm and then the afternoons we spend together going to play group or meeting with friends or just pottering in the house. I do feel guilty as often DD2 has to come along to whatever activities we're doing even if they're not aimed at her and quite often she doesn't nap very well as we're out and about (whereas with DD1 I always made sure she had a nap in her cot and spent a lot of time getting her used to sleeping in her cot etc).

DD2 will be almost 5 months when DD1 starts school and I'm hoping to stay off on Mat Leave until she's 10/11 months before I go back to work part time. Then we'll have afternoons together before collecting DD1 from school. But obviously DD2 won't have as much 1:1 time with me especially at the moment. Was my friend right? Would it have been better for me to have waited till DD1 was at school before having DD2? I realise there's nothing I can do now but it's really playing on my mind and making me feel bad!

autumnboys Sun 28-Jun-15 10:58:05

Does the friend have kids?

Having more than one is a juggle for time and attention no matter what the age gap and other circumstances. You could equally say that it's lovely for your older child to have some extra time with you before she starts school. Don't worry about it, sounds like you're doing a great job.

Artandco Sun 28-Jun-15 11:01:10

Erm no. We have 14 month gap. Neither child remembers life without the other so neither remember 1-1 time all the time. Every gap has advantages and disadvantages

Athenaviolet Sun 28-Jun-15 11:03:21

The logistics of a newborn on the school run are horrible. I'd avoid that at all costs.

Slimmerforsummer Sun 28-Jun-15 11:04:46

My mum signed herself out of hospital early after having my brother so she could take me for my first day at school.
She wishes she had had him a few months earlier so that we would have had more time together first as I was jealous of him staying home with her and I had to go to school ( even though I loved school!)

I think you are spot on with age gap.

Baby won't really know what's going on til 5-6 months anyway, then you can look at morning baby classes just you and them once eldest is settled in school. Right now they will just be happy watching the bigger ones and eating pooping and sleeping. ;)

tumbletumble Sun 28-Jun-15 11:12:31

I doubt your friend meant you to get so upset by this. It was probably just a random passing comment. There's no perfect age gap!

antimatter Sun 28-Jun-15 11:14:20

There's never "right time" to have kids.

As others say it's always art of juggling and doing the best you can.

Keepsmiling1 Sun 28-Jun-15 12:56:44

Thank you.

Yes she has a DD who is starting school in September too and her second DC is due the week her eldest starts school which is why I think she told me I should have waited because she thinks it's the perfect gap.

I do a couple of baby classes with DD2 at the moment but have to make sure I'm back to get DD1 from nursery. It's also sometimes the case that I have to wake DD2 to collect DD1 which isn't great but I suppose that could be true having to collect DD1 from school!

antimatter Sun 28-Jun-15 13:14:07

perfect gap for me was 2 years - they grew together playing and are best mates now they are teenagers

she woyld have told me off too grin

iliketea Sun 28-Jun-15 13:19:49

Whether she was right or not is neither here nor there. The fact is, most couples cannot plan for the exact time they get pregnant, and for all she knows, you could have been trying for a while. Anyone who plans for the "perfect age gap" whatever that is, is just lucky that they managed to get pregnant at the exact time they wished to..

I think she was just bloody rude..

Biscetti Sun 28-Jun-15 13:21:27

Your friend should mind her own. What a ridiculous thing to say.

Postchildrenpregranny Sun 28-Jun-15 13:23:16

I have a 3yr 10m gap DD 1wasat nursery for a further 6m after DD2was born.She loved being at home or whatever in the afternoons with'my baby sister' whom she adored.DD2ended up much more adaptable as I had to impose some sort of routine on her,including collecting from nursery .I would not have wanted a newborn as soon as DD1started school as I think she would have felt pushed out .She'd settled well at nursery by the time DD2 was born and had several months to get used to a sibling before she went off to 'big school' I didn't plan it but for us it was a perfect gap ,as DD1was an only for quite a long time and DD2 was effectively an only for much of the day from 7 months

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sun 28-Jun-15 13:25:09

DD is 19 months and DC2 is due next week. DD doesn't go to nursery/pre school so no 2 won't get any one to one time! That's just how it is. Many, many children cope. I'm sure it was a throw away comment.

Postchildrenpregranny Sun 28-Jun-15 13:25:37

And despite the age gap, they now get on very well at 29 and 25

ThingummyJigg Sun 28-Jun-15 13:26:34

Your "friend" is using you to justify her choices. How very strange. I would avoid this person. I predict she will only get worse.

paxtecum Sun 28-Jun-15 13:26:54

Your friend has a lot of learn.
Her DD may well feel pushed out and resentful if she starts school when the new baby is born.

Take no notice of her, she's an interfering silly woman.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 28-Jun-15 13:31:15

Ignore her. I had two more children by the time ds1 started school at 4. All has been lovely, and they've all always had lots of attention.

AppleAndBlackberry Sun 28-Jun-15 13:54:17

It sounds like a great age gap. I had 18 months so DD2 did not get masses of attention as a baby but got plenty when DD1 went to nursery and then school. Babies don't really need that much 1 on 1, if any.

Teds77 Sun 28-Jun-15 14:00:54

I have twins. They are 3 and sometimes it makes me sad that they have had virtually no one-on-time. Then I see them running around together, best of friends and think how lucky they are that the perfect playmate was born with them! Every age gap has pluses and minuses. Don't stress or feel guilty x.

Keepsmiling1 Sun 28-Jun-15 14:05:38

Ahh thank you so much you've made me feel much better. I'm a bit of a worrier and it was playing on my mind. Hopefully they will become great friends because they've had the chance to spend some time together at home before school.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sun 28-Jun-15 14:10:51

There's no perfect age gap. And I think your friend might be trying to reassure herself somewhat, as I'm guessing settling a child in school / getting them to school when she's just given birth that week might be a worry for her?
My age gap will be 13 months and people keep telling me how awful it will be. Funnily enough only people with other age gaps say this though. I really do think that a lot of criticism comes from others trying to make themselves feel that their decision is the best.

Lightattheend Sun 28-Jun-15 14:25:39

Not only is there no perfect age gap, it's not easy to get the age gap you want. Not all women get pregnant to order, some women never have an age gap as they can only have one. Your friend has made a very silly comment, I expect she was not thinking beyond herself. Just ignore her!

Northernlurker Sun 28-Jun-15 14:48:18

With friends like that who needs enemies?
Don't worry op, just ignore. I've known people like that, always using their approach as the one true way and everybody else is too dim to keep up.

babybythesea Sun 28-Jun-15 15:06:05

I’ve got that age gap and it’s worked fine.

DD1 is a January baby, and she was 4 and a bit when her sister was born – an April baby. I had a term and the summer holiday with both of them around, and then DD1 started school. It’s all been absolutely fine.
DD1 had a term when things basically stayed the same even though I was more sofa bound breastfeeding etc. But she was also old enough to understand that I couldn’t move for periods of time, and old enough to either occupy herself, or bring me things we could do together while I fed.
Then she started school and there was a big enough gap between the arrival of the baby and the going to school that she didn’t see it as me packing her off to school to spend time with the baby. The baby was an established fact by then. She settled in fine. And started to have her own life more, away from me – her own friends, playdates etc. I became just that bit less central to her views of herself just as her sister got mobile and started to take up a bit more time. I had no issues with jealousy or anything. And DD2 started to get lots of 1 on 1 time just as she got to the stage of starting to need it. Before then, she mostly slept and didn't care whether she was at home alone with me or not as long as her tummy was full and her nappy clean!

Now, DD1 is 6 and DD2 is 2. They play well together and DD1 loves being the big older sister, who can help to keep an eye on the baby (good job I’m here isn’t it mummy. Just think, when I was a baby you had no-one to help and you had to do it all by yourself and now you’re so lucky because you have me to help). DD2 does get dragged round to DD1’s activities but she doesn’t seem to mind and I think seeing her sister do stuff helps her to decide it’s ok – like swimming. There are fall outs. Mostly when DD1 is involved in a complicated lego construction and DD2 bowls along and trashes it. But on the whole the age gap is brilliant. The hard bit is that they don’t have many common interests so I have to play two lots of games, do two lots of jigsaws, read two lots of stories – and that’s likely to continue for a whole yet. So the idea of having them as companions so I don’t have to do as much (!!!!) hasn’t worked out.
But, at the end of the day, we went for a 2 year gap, and got a 4 and a bit year gap. To be honest, we were just so thrilled to be having a DD2 at all that the age gap was, in the end and despite our planning and deciding what would have been perfect, the least important bit!

Stinkersmum Sun 28-Jun-15 15:36:11

There's 7 years between my old sister and I and 16 months between my younger brother and I. Worked well for my parents. WTF is a 'perfect age gap'? Seriously, what kind of self important wanker comes out with that kind of patronising shit, and why do you put up with them? confused

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