We have a bit of an age gap between our children; Josh was born August 2005, Finn December 2007 and we now have Austyn, December 2015, and it’s only once you see them all together that you realise just how grown up the older ones are.
As everyone is aware, when we first found out about our perfect mistake it was a tough pill to swallow; having another baby wasn’t something we had ever thought would happen and while I always wanted baby number 3, we didn’t know we were financially, or personally able to bring another little one into the world. Beard was scared and I was worried about how I would cope with being a stay at home Mum while continuing to run a business… but when you are put in a situation where the decision is taken away from you – you deal with it, and everything simply has to fall into place otherwise you will land on your arse and fail. No one wants to fail.
Josh has Autism and the main thing he cannot stand? Babies. Any babies. The noise they make literally turns his brain inside out. It’s not just a case of a baby crying is annoying (we all know it is), but he has been known to march up to a table in a restaurant and tell people how much he hates their spawn for the noise they are allowing them to make and asks them to leave.
Despite this, people should know this Autistic trait isn’t something he can control, it isn’t something he does to be spiteful or malicious, it’s just the problems he faces with social issues and communication. He says things how they are, and there is zero censorship or concern for anyone’s feelings.
Not good considering he now has a newborn baby brother.
Finn, on the other hand, LOVES babies. Any babies. He always wants to kiss and cuddle them and cannot wait to get involved with feeding, changing and playing with his baby brother.
Despite the love (and potential hate) this is going to be so hard to balance. The age gap is going to cause huge issues, and the sacrifices we are all going to be forced to make before this little one gets into more of a routine is going to be hard to explain to the boys.
We’ve all heard of middle child syndrome. Is that a real thing? We worry about the effects Austyn could have on the boys. The dynamic they have together is excellent (most of the time), so to think that could be jeopardised isn’t something we want to happen, but then it’s not Austyn’s fault he has older siblings – it’s ours.
Going to theme parks just won’t be the same, there are rides we will not be able to do, areas we won’t be able to go, holidays we won’t be able to experience, activities we will have to do separately, films that can’t be watched, events we can’t all go to together. The impact on our older children is huge with such an age gap.
The problems go around and around in our heads and we desperately scramble for answers to all the situations we are going to find ourselves in and then it becomes apparent…
The boys are totally, completely and utterly in love. So far we are fortunate to be blessed with a chilled out baby; very chilled – not one of those little ones who whine for the sake of it, and that suits us just fine – it means Josh is a lot more accepting than we thought he would be.
All those preconceptions about what could go wrong are precisely that, us worrying about what could happen, not what is happening right now; we were missing magical moments because we were always concerned about the could’ve and should’ve of having a significant age gap.
The truth is the age gap is fantastic! There is a two year age gap between Josh and Finn, and it was hard – really tough to juggle a hyperactive toddler with a newborn, but this time round Austyn (and me) have the fantastic help of the boys. Just having someone entertain him in his bouncer while I have a shower is a godsend. Usually, I can never go to the toilet without having an entourage… but they’re entertaining each other. This is perfect!
And what makes it even more perfect? The Dream Genii Feeding Pillow! I constantly used this in pregnancy but since having little man I have also found it’s great for breastfeeding and freeing up your hands; it keeps little ones comfortable, safe and at the optimum height to feed and latch on properly, but it’s also the big brothers perfect accessory.
When the boys want to bottle feed Austyn, this puts my mind at ease that he is at the right angle and that his neck and back are being supported while allowing them some snuggle time, and myself a break. It’s also helpful to give them the confidence with a new baby and an element of freedom without us telling them they are doing it wrong.
So if you want a bit of peace – get yourself a couple of kids at least 8 years older than your youngest. Oh, and a Dream Genii Feeding Pillow. Age gaps are great!
And it’s true what they say, you don’t forget what to do, there are just a plethora of new gadgets to try out!