“Starting Over?” We’re Here To Help

No matter how many children you are blessed with, it is always a juggling act.

There may be challenges if kids are born too close together, but many moms are having babies later in life – sometimes many years after their last child was born.

If you find yourself “starting over,” you are not alone – and there are a few things you need to know.

There are many factors that influence when we have children.

Some moms have their first children in their 20s, and then they are surprised by a new blessing many years later when they least expect it.

Or, the sad reality is that many marriages end in divorce.  Many times, women remarry and start a second family later in life.

Whatever the reasons, it is becoming more common to have large age gaps between children – and there are both advantages and challenges to doing it all over again!

Here’s the good news…

When there is a large age gap between children, it becomes easier to give individualized attention to each child.

They will have much different needs and you won’t be dealing with the same behavioral phases or stages at the same time.

Going through the “terrible twos” and the teenage years at the same time may sound awful, but you will learn that your older children will have more empathy for your crazy parenting world and will mature more quickly.

Older kids can help out with the new little one, something that isn’t possible when kids are spaced close together.  This is a great help to a new mom, and they will probably be fighting over who gets to help feed, change, or rock the baby.

Babies and toddlers with much older siblings tend to learn skills more quickly, and they will get plenty of attention. They can play on the floor with them, read them stories, and even help with bath and bedtime if they are old enough.

It also benefits your older children because they have the unique opportunity of learning caregiving skills, new responsibilities, and the realities of having a child to look after.

This will definitely give them an edge when they start babysitting and even prepare them for parenting down the road!

Of course, there will be challenges.

If it’s been several – or more than several – years since you had an infant at home, you may not remember exactly how you did it.

It may take some time to get the hang of it again, but it’s just like riding a bike – you never forget how to be a new mom!

Being an older mom means you may have more trouble adjusting to the loss of sleep and other stressors that come with having a newborn.

We all get older and our bodies don’t always want to keep up with our lifestyles, but there’s a lot of support out there for older moms!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, friends, or your doctor, and be honest with yourself if you are struggling.

It may be harder to just stay home and take care of the baby when you have much older children.  Now you may be taking baby to school performances, soccer games, or PTA meetings.

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It may be overwhelming to juggle it all, and you may not relate as well to other moms who no longer have small children at home.

Reach out to mom support groups, connect on social media (one of its rare benefits), and find some trusted help with the baby when you have to attend functions with the older kids.

The bottom line is that every baby is a blessing and a joy, kids of all ages are resilient and will love and accept a new addition, and God will give you everything you need to raise another little one – no matter how long it’s been since you were a new mom!

Enlist help from older siblings and family, and cherish every moment of going through the process all over again.

With age comes wisdom and more patience, and all your experience will serve you well and help you to really cherish every moment with your new little one.

And remember, you’ll have more time before you have to deal with “empty nest” syndrome!  It’s the chaos that keeps us young!

Are there large age gaps between any of your children?  What were some of the challenges you faced, and what were some of the advantages to the age gap?  Leave us your thoughts.