Four years ago our second baby entered the world. Whilst it had taken four long years, failed treatments and then an unexpected surprise before our first, Holly, came around; Jack was not quite so patient. We didn’t plan for such a short age gap, but nevertheless there we were – a newborn in arms and an eighteen month at home.
Those first few days flew by in a happy blur of adjusting to life as a family of four and soaking up those newborn moments. But soon things became a bit more real and, I will admit, a struggle. If you want to read more you can do here
So, four years down the line and where are we now?
Alive, I feel, is the strongest word I can use. We made it, the kids made it and our marriage fought its way through. It’s not been an easy journey, with family illness, my own diagnosis of depression and chronic fatigue and just general life. All that running alongside taking care of two very young children, both of whom were totally dependant on us, sometimes I look back and wonder how on earth we did it.
But we did. And our children are testament to that. Holly is now five and started school last September. She is thriving, both academically and socially and we are extremely proud of her. Jack is turning four and starts school in September too. He is headstrong, stubborn and a delight all in one, and we love him for his crazy ways.
Our day to day lives have moulded into a way that has helped us get through the difficult times. I am at home full time, although I did recently began working one day a week, which was a huge step. As I said, Holly is in school five days a week and Jack does three full days in nursery. I manage my chronic fatigue by sleeping when I can and when he is home Mr H chips in a lot.
A small age gap means the children go from enjoying play times, as they are now at an age where this is a similar stage for them, and falling out a lot. And loudly. Holly is pretty bossy but Jack doesn’t take any of it and generally just ignores her. They are both still at the screaming and whinging stage, and it’s usually high-pitched and like running nails down a chalkboard. However in the plus side, they dress themselves, brush their own teeth and hair and recently Holly has started getting breakfast herself.
The house constantly looks like a war zone and I’m trying to make my peace with that. I do encourage them to tidy up their mess but unfortunately their daddy isn’t the tidiest so I fear I’m fighting a losing battle. They are both extremely loving and caring, though, and when the time arises I know they will be there for each other.
A small age gap is not easy and I wouldn’t advise anyone to enter into it lightly. However Mr H and I both feel we are finally coming out of the other side to a time when we can enjoy their closeness. They play with the same things, they like the same outings and are in the same group for things like kids clubs on holiday. If you are in the early days of this time then I’m here to try and ease your minds – it does get easier. It won’t happen straight away and you may have some hard times ahead but you will get through it and it will be an amazing journey. Just hold on tight.