DH and I have been discussing this a lot lately, before DD was born we wanted our kids 12-18 months apart as they would be great mates, once DD was born I struggled seriously and decided there was no way I could cope with another one so soon. Now I am feeling a lot more together and really enjoying my wee girl and starting to wonder what is the best thing to do.
One part of me thinks having them close together is better for the kids and easier in a few years once they are all past the night waking, nap changing stage, but then I think maybe it's best to leave it and enjoy DD growing up and have another one when she is old enough to go to preschool etc...
What are your opinions on this?
I think you just need to weigh up both the positives and the negatives of whichever outcomes you may be considering, and then decide which things you ultimately would choose to take on.
I planned very close age gaps; it has been wonderful. My kids are 3, 2 and 1. They learn a lot from interacting with each other, each has virtues which really help another. For instance, my daughter is really overserious and sometimes overreactive (and definitely likes to run the show), however my son is much gentler and is extremely sweet and practical. He is not her intellectual equal, and he has different methods of going about things. She changes her behaviour in order to accomodate him, she also benefits from his rougher and more silly play, and she has taught him to be assertive as well as involving him in more quiet and intellectual type play. Both of the older kids completely modify games, conversations and reactions to accomodate for my 1 year old son. He in turn is confident in doing his own thing and making his own fun, and will not hesitate to try new things as he sees his siblings do, nor is he hesitant to speak and to help around the house. He sees language as the means of communication and is mature and aware for his age. I see these things as invaluable lessons and opportunities for them that they may otherwise not have been given. Those kinds of opportunities are not necessarily able to be replicated by a parent.
But on the other hand, it would be an amazing thing for any child to be able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with a loving parent. So your thoughts of having a bigger age gap would allow for that. Some of the things available to only children, or to those with larger age gaps, may become more difficult with close age gaps.
If you feel you may not cope, then think of some issues that would arise with either situation, and try to evaluate how you might react or handle those.
It is entirely personal. I hope you can make a choice you feel comfortable with smile