The Gap (Raising Kids with a Decade Between Them)



My friend texted me one night, “We only had like 8 more years to go.  Now we will have committed ourselves to almost 30 years of having kids in our house.  T H I R T Y years!!!!”


My twin girls were born 10 years, almost to the day, after my oldest daughter.

I had finally passed the stage of up-all-nighters, every virus known to preschool, puke stained work clothes, diapers, daycare, and watching your kid sleep out of fear… And then I started over.


Moms, you’ve heard it, and you may have even said it, “Oh, just wait til they’re teenagers… You’ll miss these toddler days.”

Mmmhmm.  Except, some of us have both, in the house, currently.  And a lot of wine.


I absolutely love them all, but there are days I’m not sure who has the most insulting thing to say to me.  “You’re not my friend.”  “You stop talking to me.” “I don’t want to talk to you.”

And I’m just over here like, “Until you want something”.


Yes, the oldest can put on her own shoes, bathe herself (I mean, when she’s told three times to do so), remind you about school events (15 minutes before), brush her teeth (that cost an arm in braces), help you with the little ones (while telling you how unfair her life is), and even find her own food. 


Yes, the little ones give you a second chance to be a better parent (nope), give you a loving hug (and lick your face out of nowhere), force you to be responsible (doughnuts before dinner, anyone?), and remind you that you now have a statistically higher chance of a better nursing facility or care taker for those later years when you are FINALLY done raising kids. 


I fantasize about living in a retirement community with my best friend, wearing absurd gold chains and driving golf carts irresponsibly while enjoying our vodka tonics from our BYOB Yeti cooler strapped in with our golf clubs.  NOTE: We’ve not played golf in the years since childbirth.  I’ve watched the likes of Blue’s Clues, Hannah Montana, and Paw Patrol for 13 years now.  I just want cathartic release in cynical grown-up shows from 7-9:30 p.m.  I’ve cued up approximately 4 straight years of Netflix for said anticipated retirement.

A decade ago, my youth and the novelty of a child kept me making cupcakes and inventing creative Halloween costumes after dark on a week night.  Today, I find myself buying cupcakes and costumes, even delivered to the front porch.  But I can also afford those things now.  And three college plans.


Some gap parents say they have more patience as older parents.  I can’t say the same.  I’ve never been a patient person.  I can say between observing the oldest mature and witnessing polar opposite twin personalities, I’ve given up hypersensitivity about developmental markers.  Every child is born their own person, with their own strengths and weaknesses.  Not to say we aren’t critical to their success and shouldn’t be aware, but as another gap mom says to the first-time mom worried about those milestones, “They’ll walk and talk eventually.”


What’s the point of this post?  Just comic relief.  To say, if you’re thinking about having another a decade later, or if you’re in the mix with us, IT’S WORTH IT!


My oldest may drive the twins to kindergarten in 3 years.  I’ll report back how I feel about that when the time comes.


Tonight, they had a wrestling match in the kitchen floor.

One day, the twins will have my sweet oldest to go to with questions, and she’ll have them to laugh at, love on, and commiserate with about the shortcomings of their mother, at any age.