8 Years Later...
After I had our second child back in 2006 I thought that our family was complete. We had a boy and a girl, the perfect family... right? I would never have believed that, on that day, 8 years later I'd be holding baby number 3 in my arms.
As the years went by I became broody and I felt incredibly guilty for wanting another baby. It's hard to explain, I just didn't feel as complete as I should have done. We got a puppy and I called him my third child, Flint took on the role willingly but still I couldn't shake that little thought in the back of my head that I'd like a real baby to hold.
We had booked our holiday to Florida and by that time I had come to terms with the fact that there would be no more babies. I was going to find a job after our holiday to regain some independence and I guess I had finally accepted that I was entering a new chapter in my life.
But a week after our return from Florida I found myself staring at a pregnancy test waiting to see if the second blue line was going to appear and when it did I think I went through every possible emotion. I was upset because my plans were no longer going to happen but I was also so happy that I would get to have the third child that I had wanted so much. Again I felt guilt, my eldest children were both planned and I was worried that this baby wouldn't feel as loved because it was unplanned. However, once I was over the shock and my pregnancy hormones had settled down a bit, I couldn't wait to meet our new baby.
She arrived just 4 days before N's 8th birthday and I can finally say that I'm 100% sure my family is complete. The 8 and 11 year age difference means that I have two fantastic little helpers, they play with her, cuddle her and sometimes even help to feed her. E learns so much from them and I believe it benefits her tremendously to have them to look up to. T and N have great fun being silly and playing with her toys and they even enjoy watching Cbeebies again! When I had N, T was only 3 and didn't understand why mummy had to prioritise her needs before his. This is a non-existent issue with a bigger age gap because they understand E's needs must come first.
With regards to myself I have found it physically more demanding being 8 years older with a new baby, I find that I get much more tired than I did with the older two. But on the flip side I have much more patience and I'm also more laid-back about things. I used to get very uptight about mess when I was younger but I couldn't care less about that kind of thing now as long as the children are happy and enjoying themselves. I guess I've seen for myself how quickly they grow up so I just want them to enjoy being a child while they can - mess can be tidied/cleaned up easily but you can't ever get those childhood years back.
Gadgets for bringing up your baby have also seriously improved, it's definitely easier now than it was 8 years ago. The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine has been a life saver, I remember with T and N waiting forever for a bottle to warm up and then it would get too hot so we'd have to try to cool it down, all while baby is screaming at the top of their voice - that is something I really do not miss!
I'm so thankful that E came into our lives and I'm glad we had a big age gap because it has given me the chance to enjoy all those wonderful childhood moments all over again and this time I get to share them with my two VIPs (three if you count Flint) as well as my lovely hubby.
Did you have a big age gap between your children? Did you find it easier or more difficult?