Our story is that of a wonderful man who came in and took on the role of “Dad” for my twins when they were around six years old. We decided back then that we would eventually add on to our family when the timing was right. Lo and behold, our youngest was born when her siblings were almost ten, and people thought we were crazy.
“Starting over now? You were close to being empty nesters!”
I’d be lying if I said the whole idea wasn’t a little daunting. But I love being a mom and it was a step I was more than willing to take.
It’s Different This Time
When you have kids young, you’re still young when you “start over.” However, thirty and pregnant is much, much different than pregnancy at twenty, even adding in the aspect of twins. Pregnancy ten years later was harder, especially when you’re incredibly sick for nine months but still required to work, get your kids to their activities, prepare meals, etc. I often had a crowd outside the bathroom door, making sure that I was okay.
Unlike friends who have kids close in age and might not fully understand what’s happening, my big kids did. They knew the baby was why mom was sick, they saw how exhausted I was and they knew that delivery could be scary. I’ll never forget my daughter sobbing when she heard it was time for me to go to the hospital. She had learned enough to know this was not going to be a walk in the park. And 15 hours later when she finally heard the words “little sister,” she cried again but this time it was tears of joy.
You see, they are both heads over heels for the little sister. If she makes the slightest peep they are running over to retrieve a dropped toy (even after 20 times) and are doing whatever it takes to earn a cheeky smile from her. I was worried about my heart having room for another baby, but they all fit perfectly. My twins are constantly asking how they can help, and they enjoy all of the new toys she has brought into our home. The older she gets, the more fun they have, especially now that she’s mobile.
The big kids, however, are very busy kids. That made our weekends at softball and baseball tournaments completely different this summer as I was running to breastfeed in the air-conditioned van between games. Quickly packing up and running out the door is no longer an option because the little one requires a lot more than sunblock and a chair. I’ve watched school programs from the hallway while bouncing a baby who is yelling over the songs, and she’s watched several games from her cozy baby carrier.
We’re in the midst of puberty with two kids and diaper changes with the other. We are checking math homework and childproofing the house. You’ll find us preparing for a double eleventh birthday and for the big number 1. It is insane most days but the best kind of insane I could ever imagine. My planner has become my best friend, and we often laugh at how quickly our schedule fills up. There’s not a lot of sleep, my meals are typically cold (sometimes lukewarm now), the big kids are well versed in breastfeeding terms, and the mixture of sports gear and baby toys adds a whole new level of décor to my home.
I understand that having children ten years apart is not ideal, but it works for us. We enjoy the good days, survived the bad ones and thrive on the great days. I wouldn’t trade this wild ride for anything, and if every baby came with ten-year-old siblings, I think you’d agree!
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