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  • Careful spacing of children

    According to Jan Hunt in the Natural Child book, pg 12 she states: "According to Dr. Barker, "it requires an enormous amount of time and energy on the part of both parents to adequately nurture one child under the age of three. Spacing children is one important thing that parents can do to prevent the exhaustion that occurs when well-intentioned parents take on the very difficult task of trying to meet the emotional needs of closely spaced children."

    Do you agree with this statement?
    18
    Completely agree
    27.78%
    5
    Somewhat agree
    50.00%
    9
    Somewhat disagree
    16.67%
    3
    Completely disagree
    5.56%
    1
    Not sure
    0.00%
    0

    The poll is expired.


  • #2
    Of course I only have my own experience to compare. My children are 3yrs 1mo apart and I STILL have difficulty nurturing both of them the way I would like. Does the availability of sibling relationship and sibling nurturing replace that partially... Possibly.... Is it possible to still have a wonderful close relationship with closely space children, OF COURSE-- YES--- Do I think it is easier on the primary caregiver to do attachment parenting if they are farther apart.. YES!

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    • #3
      mine are 3 years 19 days

      I feel it's important for the older child to understand what is happening and be past the stage of needing to be carried and such as that is hard while pregnant. It also gives the first child longer to breastfeed as many will wean during pregnancy

      of course though life happens and people need to adapt

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      • #4
        Mine are 18 months apart.

        I work hard at putting A LOT of extra time into nurturing and connecting with both of them. I do get emotionally exhausted sometimes and just kind of "touched-out". Thankfully I have a supportive and loving husband who helps create balance for everyone.

        I know I am not ready for another child that closely spaced yet! The demands have been difficult. But I also see a very close relationship forming between my kids and I love that!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kelly View Post
          Mine are 18 months apart.

          I work hard at putting A LOT of extra time into nurturing and connecting with both of them. I do get emotionally exhausted sometimes and just kind of "touched-out". Thankfully I have a supportive and loving husband who helps create balance for everyone.

          I know I am not ready for another child that closely spaced yet! The demands have been difficult. But I also see a very close relationship forming between my kids and I love that!
          My two are 23mo apart and those first 3 months were very difficult, but not impossible. I will try to make sure there is more time in between the 2nd and 3rd but don't regret the spacing of my first two.

          Comment


          • #6
            [QUOTE=stephanie;14596]Spacing children is one important thing that parents can do to prevent the exhaustion that occurs when well-intentioned parents take on the very difficult task of trying to meet the emotional needs of closely spaced children."
            QUOTE]

            I completely agree that spacing children farther apart would be less exhausting. Having children close in age is a challenge. Having twins is a BIG challenge! But I don't think that means that parents shouldn't have closely spaced children - just that they might need more help and support, and will likely be exhausted at least for the first several years. Each family needs to decide for themselves if they are up for that added emotional challenge!

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            • #7
              Our children will be three years and approx. 2 mos. apart. I'm hoping for a smooth transition, but i know that any age separation will cause anxiety. I didn't want my children to be too far apart, so they can play and grow together. I'm optimistic that three years gives our first son plenty of time to feel attached, though, I know to expect some regression and acting out once the baby arrives. We have family with children 15 mos. apart and they are managing just fine. It's a little hectic but the siblings are close and all very loving to each other. i definately think the closer the children are in age makes for a rough first few years as the children need so much from caregivers. however, i think parents have to decide (and sometimes nature decides!!) what they want for their family. No family is exactly the same, so a three or four year spacing wouldn't be perfect for everyone.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by stephanie View Post
                According to Jan Hunt in the Natural Child book, pg 12 she states: "Spacing children is one important thing that parents can do to prevent the exhaustion that occurs when well-intentioned parents take on the very difficult task of trying to meet the emotional needs of closely spaced children."

                Do you agree with this statement?
                i don't know about this. we spaced ours 3years apart b/c ds1 was so high need we were exhausted. but i'm wondering about parents of multiples. i would hate to think that these parents are somehow doomed to "exhaustion" and the other implications of this statement.

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                • #9
                  My kids are:
                  DS1 just turned four on 28th
                  DD will be 3 on the 1st of next month
                  DS2 6 months

                  DS1 was 12 months & four days old when DD was born. When DS2 was born DS1 was almost 3 1/2 & DD was almost 2 1/2. So until a couple days ago I had 3 children 3 & under.

                  Have I been exhausted? Definately! Still am at times, lol! Have I been overwhelmed? Yes & still am lol! Have a been blessed? Extremely! Have I given & experienced more love than I ever knew before? Positively! Would I do it all over again? YES!

                  The first few months after DD was born & had 2 babies so close in age was the hardest for me b/c DS1 wasn't co-sleeping but DD was & I was running between 2 screaming babies nursing them. When DS1 was 18 mos. & DD was 6 mos. we brought DS1 in bed w/ us too & it was a life saver!

                  I am BFing all three right now (DS1 took break but now nurses occassionally.) All co-sleeping w/ us too.

                  The hardest part for me is breastfeeding everyone. It is so very important to them all that it is hard to meet everyone's needs in that way w/o sacrificing your own desire to have nobody touch you for two seconds! Ha ha! Sometimes I've felt as if all I did all day was nurse someone. DD & DS2 both BFed alot right now & it is a bit of a challenge sometimes but it is alot easier this time around since I have more experience. I do wish I could give more individual time to each of my LOs but you know what? I must not be screwing up as bad as I sometimes think b/c my 2 older children constantly show AP ways w/ their brother & really no jealousy. I know my kids very well & know if extra attention might be needed & always find a way to give it even if it is only a few minutes, it still helps alot!

                  We pray that God will bless us with more children & are currently waiting until close to DS2 self-weaning b/c I have a medical condition & physical limitations right now & must look out for my health so as to be able to care for my children, the ones here now & any in the future.

                  Having children so close in age has really helped me grow as a person & stretch me to limits I never knew I could go to. I struggle every day & also grow every day but only by the grace of God do I make it through the tough "mommy is only one person" days, lol!

                  I do believe my first two may have suffered in certain ways b/c they might not have received as much attention they might have got had they been further apart but at the same time, they have learned a great deal by being close together & they are inseperable & always looking out for each other.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As a side note......

                    If you see a mom who has children close in age, especially 3 or more, do not say, even if not meaning in bad way, "You sure have your hands full!" The mom may be emotionally or physically exhausted already & this may make her feel bad. Even if she is not exhausted it some times comes across as a put down & also the kids are listening & may come to feel people see them as a burden. I get this at least 2-5 times EVERY time I take my LOs in public. Even had I lady tell me she felt sorry for me & she wishes there was something she could do. (Also was a bit snotty in commenting on my kids' ages). I think she wanted to help & meant well but I didn't quite get it b/c I was carrying my baby, DS1 & DD was walking & holding onto the cart I was pulling & they were behaving well & we were all smiling & having a good time. ???

                    Anyway, say instead "What a beautiful family you have!" or "What beautiful children you have!" These comments are far & few between but sure can make a tired mom smile! No matter how many or how close or spaced her kids are!
                    Last edited by blessedmama; 08-30-2008, 06:14 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by blessedmama View Post
                      As a side note......

                      If you see a mom who has children close in age, especially 3 or more, do not say, even if not meaning in bad way, "You sure have your hands full!" The mom may be emotionally or physically exhausted already & this may make her feel bad. Even if she is not exhausted it some times comes across as a put down & also the kids are listening & may come to feel people see them as a burden.
                      I had to comment on this...

                      I agree that the comment, "you have your hands full" can be a very unhelpful thing to hear! I've heard it too, and my two kids are over three years apart.

                      I wonder what would happen if you turned it around, in both your thoughts and your response? For example, when they say, "Boy, you really have your hands full!" put a big happy smile on your face and reply, "But what a wonderful way to have them full!"

                      It might make them rethink about what they said, and have a wonderful new viewpoint.

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                      • #12
                        Forgot to mention other reason waiting until baby is close to self-weaning is b/c want him to have full benefit of nursing. That is the one thing I do regret with my DS1 only being 3 months when DD was conceived is that we had to supplement w/ soy milk (actual milk not formula) b/c he started losing weight & didn't want solids when milk deminished due to pregnancy & went back to only BFing after baby born & milk in again. If mothers are able to breastfeed, baby deserves breastmilk & I do feel guilty b/c he missed out on several months of it his first year of life.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mahogny View Post
                          I had to comment on this...

                          I agree that the comment, "you have your hands full" can be a very unhelpful thing to hear! I've heard it too, and my two kids are over three years apart.

                          I wonder what would happen if you turned it around, in both your thoughts and your response? For example, when they say, "Boy, you really have your hands full!" put a big happy smile on your face and reply, "But what a wonderful way to have them full!"

                          It might make them rethink about what they said, and have a wonderful new viewpoint.

                          YES! I totally agree w/ you & I always think of what I will say before hand like "Full of blessings!" but when in the moment, I am way to busy concentrating on keeping my LOs w/ me & involved w/ what we are doing (they help shop & such) that I can't respond as I wish. If DH is with us he says something great though! But by myself takes all my energy w/ my kids since carrying baby & other 2 usually like walking. Have to work on it! Although, few time I have responded it some times turned into the person complaining about their own kids & how they'd NEVER have more & really don't want my kids hearing that. Some do change their view like you said or at least they are surprised that I am happy being w/ my kids.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by blessedmama View Post
                            We pray that God will bless us with more children & are currently waiting until close to DS2 self-weaning b/c I have a medical condition & physical limitations right now & must look out for my health so as to be able to care for my children, the ones here now & any in the future.
                            Day after wrote this, found out # four is on the way, lol!

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                            • #15
                              I have mixed emotions on this. I did use to think it is important and I understand her viewpoint. But I think one huge thing that is missed here is that we can't always plan how our life is going to turn out. I totally took my fertility for granted b/c with our first son we got pregnant our first month of trying. For our next child we planned on waiting until DS was close to weaning. A few months after 2 he was down to every other day nursing so we started trying thinking that would give us a little less than a 3 year spacing.. It took about 18 months this time around. And now I'm pregnant with twins so obviously this theory isn't going to work for me in that department either!

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