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The struggle may be real, but it's worth it.

Tanvier Peart
Apr, 29, 2016

Having children close in age might sound a little crazy or impossible to some, but the fact of the matter is this: moms are doing it. Sure, there's setbacks, obstacles, and the energy of a small army needed to get through the day, but mothers from all walks of life are doing the damn thing -- and serve as living proof that having children so close together -- and surviving -- is possible.

The stories you're about to read are from mommies who made the choice to have their kids close together. Whether or not you choose to follow in their footsteps is up to you.

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"My four kids (ages 4 to 10) are each two years apart -- and my husband and I are FINALLY coming out of the fog! We're both from big families and knew we wanted a large one of our own. Our kids are emotionally close, good friends, and help each other out. It's a blast, but with kids so close in age, they're very needy. My husband and I joke by saying we haven't slept in 20 years." -- Kelley Kitley

"The best thing about having two kids (ages 3 1/2 and 1 1/2) so close in age is that they will grow up to be best friends for their entire childhood. There's always someone to play with, always someone to eat with, and always someone to watch a show with." -- Kate Trout

"No one tells you that: You'll be in maternity clothes for two years, you'll need an entire pantry for boxes and boxes of diapers and wipes, and both babies will want to be carried at the same time. But ... the bonuses are amazing! My daughters (now ages 5 and 6) always have a friend in each other, are considerate of each other, and enjoy the same things. They are the joys of my life and I'm happy to have had them close together." -- Nwasha Edu

"I always dreamed of having my kids close in age as my sibling and I are 18 months apart; we're very close. I wanted that same experience for my own children (ages 6 and 4). One perk is that you may go through the diaper stage quicker if the younger one looks up to the older one. On the flip side, your body goes through a LOT in just a short amount of time. You can bounce back after one, but after the second, it becomes much harder." -- Lisa Batra

"It wasn't the logistics of it all [having two kids so close together], or the fact that I was nursing two babies at the same time, or the fact that there were constant diaper changes and blowouts. I wish someone had told me that I would be torn up by the fact that I couldn't devote my entire self to my two boys (ages 5 and 6) -- who were both babies and needed me in so many different ways. Knowing that my newborn would never get the undivided attention that my older son got as a baby -- and that I couldn't always run to the aid of my eldest when he needed my assistance was the most -- was heart-wrenching. Eventually, I had to come to terms with it." -- Gaby

"Having my kids close (three children, ages 2, 3, and 5) in age is definitely a blessing and a curse. Every kid hits their terrible twos at different times. I thought I was a pretty lucky mom until about a month ago. No sooner did I brag about my two precious angels to friends that they were going to skip the terrible twos entirely did they turn into little devils. It's almost as if the one inspired the other! Instead of waiting four years for my youngest to go through the terrible twos it's all happening at once. I don't have to restart the process and re-engage in the phases..." -- Summer Blackhurst

"I had three children [identical twin boys after having a son] in 18 months! I stayed at home with them for seven years (hard). Then, I was a single mom working and going to school (hardest). Now I am married, self-employed, and have a flexible schedule for my children (best!). Now ages 14 and 12 1/2, they're all into the same things, share clothes, and will be out of high school in just a few short years. They really are best friends ... When they're not fighting." -- Jodi Preston

"I'm a mother of four (ages 6 to 10) -- including twins -- and at one point, had four children under age 4. It was very hard when they were really young; My husband left for work early each day, and I didn't have family around to help. One of the great things about having our kids so close together is that they all ate the same foods. Another big bonus is that they all play together. This has always been a huge relief because I can get a few minutes of 'me time.'" -- Ozi Okaro

"I had three children in less than three years. The oldest was age 2 1/2 when the third child was born. For over four years, I was hormonal, pregnant, nursing, or both. My co-workers and friends thought I was nuts -- which might have been true -- but I tried to explain, I was in baby mode. Once they are out of diapers, I'm finished with having them. None of this, free of diapers for a year or two and then go back to them again. The biggest downside to having my kids close, besides five years of sleep deprivation, is that my husband and I will be paying college tuition for three students at the same time. Yet, through it all, I strongly encourage my friends to have their children close together. The three grew up as playmates -- and now that they're older, they're even closer than ever." -- Lisa London