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There’s this struggle with having kids 13 years apart.
In the time since my firstborn to my second born, we did it all. From the first time in the snow, staying in a hotel, a trip to the zoo, seeing the ocean, attending a concert, first trip to church camp, we made sure to leave nothing out.
I couldn’t wait to introduce him to something new. I loved experiencing things through his eyes for the first time. Being a first-time mom back then I had no idea the lengths I would find myself going to just see that surprised look of wonder on his face.
Now here we are way on down the road and I find that I am not cherishing the first moments with my toddler the same way. I worry she is not getting the experiences her older brother has had.
Maybe it is because I am way older, and I am tired. Or maybe because it is hard to put myself in that place of seeing the “firsts” again. All the things we did in the first 13 years of my son’s life were over the top. All the birthday parties, going all out for Christmas, pouring everything into him, has somehow made it a little less eventful for my second born.
I can’t help but wonder if it is like this for parents with kids that are closer in age. While your first born is having experiences for the first time, the younger sibling is usually experiencing it simultaneously. I know that’s not always the case but it has to be kind of like killing two birds with one stone.
Having children over a decade apart puts you right back into the race at the starting line, round 2. There’s a tremendous amount of stamina required to maintain the momentum we were going at before.
For example, during Christmas, I realized that my 3-year-old daughter has actually NEVER been to see Santa…like ever. At age 3, my firstborn had seen Santa 3 times. I can blame the pandemic a little but honestly, it was just never a huge deal, never a priority like it was with our first.
When my son was a toddler, I was riding all over town on my bicycle with him strapped to his seat in the back. Now, there’s an old bike out back with flat tires and we don’t even own a toddler bike seat anymore.
I’ve heard about the second child getting jipped before, but what about when there’s many many years between the first and the second? I worry that she’s not going to get all the full experiences that her brother has. Don’t get me wrong, the child is not deprived. I just feel that her childhood is not reaching its full potential.
I don’t want to fail her because I’ve lost momentum. None of us can help the fact that the world turned upside down within her first few years of life, leaving us all a little burnt out and tired.
But I hold out hope that because she has a completely different personality and because she’s a girl, she will get a lot of “firsts” of her own in the future.
Does anybody else feel like they are failing their second child? Does anyone have kids over a decade apart struggling to find family activities due to a generational gap?