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Fayette-Mom: With two in diapers, rewards come later

Posted January 24, 2011

Jennifer Joyner

My children are 19 months apart in age.

It is quite safe to say those first few years of being the parent to two children are a blur. Two kids in diapers, two babies still sleeping in cribs, trying to get one child to give up the pacifier while desperate for the other child to embrace it. There were many times my husband and I looked at each other, wondering what were we thinking when we opted to have kids so close together.

But now that my children are older, I must say, the rewards are many.

My son and daughter are unbelievably close. They are each other’s preferred playmate and they spend hours on end together, making up games to play, enjoying the same movies, building blanket forts and secret hideouts. And while there is plenty of “She won’t let me have a turn!” and “He’s being mean!” thrown about, for the most part, they get along extremely well, and it warms my heart to no end. I didn’t have close sibling relationships growing up, and I am delighted my children are getting the experience.

Another benefit to having kids close in age is that generally, their interests are the same. It’s easy to plan weekend outings and family game nights when your children like the same things. Sure, there are some gender differences, but that’s where their closeness really comes in handy: Eli is willing to put up with the princess stuff for his sister, while Emma embraces Star Wars and superheroes. Everybody gets a turn and, for the most part, everyone is happy.

I often wonder if this will last. Will Emma become annoyed by her little brother as she gets older? Will Eli deem himself too cool to do the icky girl stuff at some point? I suppose some of that is inevitable, and really, normal. I’ll have to find a way to live with it. But underneath any future sibling hostility, I’ll know there’s genuine affection there. That’s enough for me.

Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in September. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.


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  • courtneywine Jan 26, 2011

    I LOVE this article! My girls are exactly 19mths apart (both have birthdays on the 13th!) and they are now 3yrs and 18mths! They are each other's best friends and I am so thrilled. It helps that they are of the same sex, I think, and I can't say that I will always wear "rose colored glasses" and think they won't someday argue, but for now, it's wonderful to see them play, share, teach, and grow up together. My brother and I were six years apart and are still not close so, like you, I love seeing my daughters become best friends so early on. They are both still in diapers and we have tough days but I know those days will end all too soon and I'll miss them terribly. Thanks for sharing such a great article!

  • cheryllm12 Jan 26, 2011

    My 2 oldest children are not quite 18 months apart. Just getting through the diapers and potty training was a real monster. But after that,everything was down hill. They are now 21 & 19 years old. The oldest just turned 21! Now my oldest has 2 that are 2 years apart. And she is telling me she dont know how I did it. I loved every minute of it. And wouldnt change a thing

  • brentsara Jan 25, 2011

    My kids are 17 months apart - the first year was tough but things are getting better now that they are almost 3 and 17mths. Just found this website - - wish I had known about it sooner!

  • eri815 Jan 25, 2011

    My brother and I are 15 months apart... and our kids are 4 days shy of being a year apart. MawMaw and PawPaw love it! I on the other hand, don't know how they did it. We're going to wait a little longer before trying for #2, but I do hope that they're close enough together to be able to play together!