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10 reasons having kids super-close in age is actually pretty cool

I have a full house of the preschool variety. It attracts the occasional raised eyebrow at the grocery store and a fair number of comments about full hands, but I would venture to say that most of the feedback I get in public, in person, is positive.

And that’s what keeps me hopeful for the end of the upcoming summer, when baby number 4 hits the scene and renders us an official spectacle, because the double stroller with the standing board attachment will officially be maxed out, and even the Costco cart is going to be really, really heavy to push.

But despite the daily inconveniences and hardships of life with other human beings around (ain’t it the truth, no matter the ages/numbers?) there are a few reasons I can think of that make having kids close in age a really sweet deal.

1. You’re already not sleeping, so…efficiency!

It’s true. The baby might be waking up to nurse, or waking you up while still in utero multiple times per night, but the 2 year old isn’t exactly guaranteeing you a solid 8 hours anyway, even on a good night. And the 4 year old cock a doodle doos at sunrise, anyhow, so you might as well leverage your evenings. I cannot even fathom experiencing a solid 3-4 years of “normal” sleep in between kids, only to have my world rocked anew by the horror that is nighttime with a newborn. And what you don’t know, you can’t miss!

2. They might all be in diapers, but you can probably get away with squeezing everybody into the same size.

Size 4 for the preschooler? Check. Size 4 for the 1-year-old? Hey, if the jumbo pack fits, buy it.

3. Dinner time is usually over in under 15 minutes. Flat.

Have you ever set down a plate of food for a litter of puppies/kittens? (I’ll wait while you click over to Youtube for a minute.)

Also, thinking of chicken nuggets? Again? Go for it. This is one easy to please crowd, as long the entree is breaded.

4. Plastic dishes can be thrown into the sink at no additional hassle to you, and without fear of breakage.

Clear the table, little darlings. Yep, just launch it on into the sink from 2 feet below, try to bounce the sippy cup off the faucet while you’re at it.

5. Sharing clothes.

Super efficient, super green, and a super great way to confuse the neighbors on genders and ages. The art of the hand-me-down is alive and well in the closely-spaced family unit. Now pass me that threadbare Spiderman T and we can head out.

6. Confusing distant/older friends and relatives

“Oh, isn’t that sweet, look how big little … wait, which child is that?”

(Did you have another one this past year, or is there a reason the 4 year old is still sitting in a highchair in those Facebook pictures?)

7. Dog piling on Daddy after work only rarely results in actual chiropractic injuries

(He’s still young(ish) and spry, and they’re still ligthweights.)

8. They can all share a single room, if not a single bed.

Why bother with the formalities of assigning an entire twin-matresses’ worth of real estate to each child when they’re all going to lie in a tangled pile of blankets in the center of the floor and call it their sleeping fort?

9. Pretty much nobody can even pronounce their own full name yet, and so it’s hilarious to hear them talk.

I especially like to watch them pepper the doorkeeper at Costco with seemingly random bullet points of information like birthdates, home addresses, and what the Easter bunny brought their cousins.

(Are all these small people speaking in the same English dialect? I’m just going to nervously hand out Dumdums and nod with this frozen smile on my face until they leave…)

10. You can hold your entire family in your lap at the same time.

Priceless. (And occasionally damp.)

24 Comments

  • Amelia @ One Catholic Mama

    All my kids are spaced out further (2.5-4.5 years… not necessarily by choice..that’s just the way it worked out) so I have to disagree with your #1 or at least give an alternative perspective. Having years (or even months) of normal sleep inbetweeen babies is AWESOME and I never found it hard to go back to having a newborn/new baby after having a period of time of normal sleep. Same thing with going back to diapers after having all kids out of diapers. It just hasn’t been an issue. I enjoyed the longer break from the baby stuff, but I found that break refeshing and I never had a problem going back to baby stuff when I did have another baby.

    Not saying it’s better to have babies further apart…I really have no experience with super close spacing, but if one does have them far apart, it’s really not that bad to get that nice break and then go back to baby stuff.

  • Virginia

    CA a mother of 8 in 13 years,I can tell you these are the happiest years of your life.Sure there are struggles, but there are many blessings too!Enjoy it and don’t sweat the small stuff!

  • mo

    4 kids in 5 years….they’re all teenagers now (I survived!) And it just keeps getting better :-). What I miss the most- bathtime! Throw them all in at once and done. Now, I’m lucky to get a hot shower….

  • Doug

    We went from 1 kid to 5 in just under 3 years. 3 the old fashioned way and 1 adopted. As a stay at home dad, I would say this is perfect. I got about 8 out of 10 of these going on. looks like I am in good company.
    Who needs sleep anyway? Even when I have opportunities to sleep, I find something to do.
    And I tell you what else is awesome… telling strangers how many kids I have and their ages. (8, 2 1/2, 1 1/2, 8 months, 1 month) The last 4 are all boys, so yup on the clothes sharing. We hardly have to buy anything.

  • Ashley

    Yes to all! My younger two are 9 months apart (one adopted, one biological) and it’s like a two-for-one special. Changing a diaper anyway? Might as well change 2. Getting one down for a nap? Put them both down! Plus, they have a built in best buddy, accomplice in crime, and constant entertainment. My oldest (almost 6) is/was always looking to me for entertainment. The younger two have each other – way easier!! And now my oldest plays with them. I actually read a book for 20 minutes the other day. Not during nap time! They were all awake and just *leaving me alone*!!! Amazing.

  • silvia

    You just made me laugh at my everyday!! Thanx for the reminder of the fun in between all the clean-up and the pick-up and the clean-up again!! I had 3 kids in 2.10 years!! And it keeps getting different not easier but always better!!! <3

  • Rita

    All great reasons! You definitely sell me on the efficiency of it. Can life really get any more chaotic than it is? I shouldn’t say that out loud, though….

  • Maura

    Love this!!! I am not kidding when I tell you that last Sunday during the sign of peace, the old man in front of us turned around and said “I think you need to have more children, closer together”… My jaw just kind of dropped open and I said “peace be with you too?” And my kids were being good! And I only have 3! Those people have 5! Oh well, this post reminds me there are other crazy people like us out there 🙂 keep it up.

  • theresa @ finding my Little Way

    So funny! Amen to this! I only have two thus far, but they’re definitely both in the same size diapers (well, one recently potty trained…details, details). We’re just about to move the little one into big sister’s room…and maybe 9 months after that there will be a third 😉

  • Sarah

    I became the mama of 4 in 3 years (twins). It’s soooo stressful as I’m now a single mom too (kids are 2-5 now) but a blessing. I especially like the whole family on your lap bit 🙂

  • Diego Serrano

    5 kids. Oldest is 6 years old! Oh yeah BABY!
    I am tired ans suuuuper happy. I think this list can be much much longer, but right now I cannot think. I’m taking a nap! haha

  • Kathy

    Love this! I have 7 kids. The oldest is 12 now, but there was a time when I had 5 under 5. You speak truth. It’s also awesome to see them excited over shared interests, especially when it allows you to get a few minutes of solitude (you know, enough time to chop an onion without little fingers in the way).

  • southwestmomma

    Our oldest will be 5 1/2 when #6 is due. All single births, all birthed by me. Close is all we know! 🙂
    Cute article!

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