Little Miss and Mini Miss O are 5 years apart in age - almost to the day. For us, this spacing was God's handy work and having spent the last 3 years fending off people's well-meaning advice to 'hurry up and have another', 'get it all out of the way' etc, I'd be lying if I wasn't a little apprehensive awaiting this supposedly 'big' age gap. Would it be as hard to readjust to having a baby baby in the house again as everyone suggested? Would we even have time to buy everything all over again whilst enjoying our final days as a family of 3? Would I love 'the baby' as much as Little Miss O? I mean, I loved my first child soooo much, surely there was little left for another person?!
I did a some googling in an attempt to make myself feel better and came up with very little. Most of the tips were relating to coping with 2 under 2 or starting again after a decade.
So, I've decided to compile my own list of benefits based on what we've experienced so far from our aux naturale 5 yr gap. It's still early days for us but I can see benefits already!
* Our undivided attention
We got 5 whole years to get to know Little Miss O and now, because Little is at school, I get the pleasure of spending 9am-3pm giving my undivided attention to Mini.
* Elder sibling can express their feelings
Little Miss O is so very vocal and has been raised by us to share her feelings. The transition from solo to duo is so far going well. When Little has felt a little displaced by the constant baby care, she has been able to say so. In the first week, when I lived between the bathroom and the bedroom and didnt even go downstairs, Little Miss O asked 'why is nobody taking care of me!' Bless her! We were able to address her feelings when she needed it most.
* Elder sibling can busy themselves whilst Mummy is busy
When there's a Mini around, there are times that I have to focus on her needs first and promptly. This means that Little has to wait. Thankfully, Little Miss O is well capable of doing simple tasks which really helps me. She gets and puts away her own toys, ties her own shoe laces, moisturises and dresses herself, gets herself safely into the car and fastens her belt and she can play without direct assistance too.
* Elder sibling has their own social calendar
For Little Miss O, everything doesn't revolve around 'the baby'. She has her own friends, play dates, extra curricular activities and school - all independent of her sister and these have continued for her. For Little, Mini is an enhancement to her lifestyle and she loves it.
* Gets you up and out!
Since I need to leave the house at 8.30am to do the school run, I am up n dressed n out of the house early. It's a good thing for us as I do school run, chores, fun, nap and then school run again ; ) it breaks up the day and an early start means more fun! What is they say- the days are long but the years are short!
* Little Helper
Little Miss O is a fantastic helper! She willingly fetches things, holds my handbag whilst I hold her sister, buckles herself into the car seat, lets Mini hold her hand in the back of the car, runs like lightening to get a muslin when Mini milks up EVERYWHERE. Little has even told visitors through the letterbox to 'hang on-Mummy's coming' when I've been caught unawares mid-poop explosion! Little loves her new status.
* Little Entertainer
Little enjoys entertaining Mini and seems to do so better than Mr O or I do. Perhaps it's a sister thing but Mini just LOVES Little's made up songs that switch melody midway through! Little can also read well now and has been reading to Mini from the womb.
Whilst no doubt, every family makes their circumstances work for them, our '5 year gap' is working brilliantly for us. I suppose it will be different when I'm spending 4 years doing a double nursery/school run but hey ho for now it's all good and we hope it'll make things easier when we're just paying 1 set of uni fees at a time ; )