Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mind The (Age) Gap

By Guest Blogger, Cara Dyksen

My two boys are 8 ½ years apart.  Dubs is 9 and G-monkey is a couple weeks shy of his 1st birthday (*sniff*).  I could write a book about what I’ve learned over the past nine years parenting one, and now two kids - especially boys, but for now a blog post will have to do. 

It's just the way life worked out. This age gap of ours. Ultimately, I know everything happens just the way it should, so I have no regrets.

With that, I have to admit that I have struggled immensely, and still do occasionally, with the balancing act two kids require.  And, two kids with such drastically different needs. A lot happens in over eight years when it comes to child development, right? They are on completely different playing fields. G-monkey prefers "playing" with my kitchen whisk while Dubs would prefer the basketball court or football field.

Often times, like any other mom can probably relate, I am knee deep with the baby and have to beg ask Dubs to carry some weight for me. (And, sometimes that's literal - my (almost) one-year-old is not dainty  at 27 pounds).

I was always so adamant that I would NEVER have/allow Dubs become a helper or a babysitter – he is the brother.  But, now I realize how wrong I was. It's almost impossible not to rely on these perfectly good hands every now and again.

Here's where I make up for turning my oldest into my biggest help: He's the best kid on earth. I can’t really gush about him enough – he is truly one of the sweetest and smartest people I know.  He helps with G-monkey because he wants to, not because he has to.  

He loves us both so much and still shows it!  (Eventually, "they" tell me he might not want to be seen in public with me, but until then, I'll plant kisses on him all day long!)

I also struggled with a deep sense of guilt that my love & attention would now have to be split between two (three, if we're counting the hubs) people.  It seems only natural to me that, after 8 years of being an only child, there might be some animosity when another one joins the (tiny) crew.  But not my Dubs - he was, and remains, ecstatically thrilled!  

I have often found myself downplaying my excitement about the baby in front of Dubs so he wouldn’t get jealous, but that would backfire on me.  This loving brother wouldn’t stop enthusiastically talking about his new little bro and making sure that I was equally as excited.

Of course now as we approach the one year mark as a family of four, I can’t imagine life any other way.  I’m not only thankful for my extra set of (willing and) helping hands, but also the crazy chaos, belly laughs, vicious messes and love that runs even deeper than I ever imagined.

Forever Monkeying Around

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