‘THE AGE GAP WAS PERHAPS THE ONE THING WE DIDN’T TALK ABOUT! WE DIDN’T CONSIDER IT WOULD BE AN ISSUE’
Adrienne Schierning has two children, Moss, age 10 from a previous relationship, and Winter, age five, with her husband Clinton Watkins.
“Clinton and I each have one sibling, and so I never aspired to having either a single child or a huge family. Moss was planned, but I separated from his dad when Moss was five months old. At that point, I thought I’d probably only ever have one child. I started dating Clinton just before Moss was two. He helped me bake Moss’ second birthday cake but he hadn’t met him yet! Just before Moss turned three we moved in together. Because Clinton was walking into a family situation, it was something we talked about right at the start. It was like, “Do you want to have kids? Well, we’ve got one!” It was a big commitment. Perhaps because that was such a big step, we didn’t immediately talk about having another child. It was about what was right for ‘us’. By the time Moss was four we were talking about it quite a bit. There were many things to consider. We had a happy little unit with one child – did we want to change that? How would it be for Moss to have a sibling? The age gap was perhaps the one thing we didn’t talk about! We didn’t consider it would be an issue. There were a few challenges with the age gap. Moss was very active during my pregnancy and when I was very big he had a bike accident and his face was
bleeding. I had to carry him, a bike and a bump to A&E! But there are plenty of positives about the age gap. Moss was just about to start school so he had his own excitement, something to make him feel special. He was very independent and quite helpful. I could ask him to pass me things, especially when I was breastfeeding, and he’d entertain Winter, read her stories and hold her for me. Ultimately, they’re very close, and Moss is extremely protective of his little sister. He’s very empathetic. He doesn’t get annoyed or bothered by her in the way I guess some children could. They fight like normal siblings do about normal stuff though. There are a few things that Winter can’t do that Moss can, but we’re lucky to have two parents – three in fact – and we just separate and do different things. It’s actually not that often. Moss is really great with his imagination and Winter is enamoured by that. They play these crazy games. Winter was also super excited about starting school and always does her homework, because she’s watched Moss doing that growing up. In our case, the age gap was circumstantial but there have been huge benefits, like being at home with one baby and not washing two sets of nappies. I think there are many factors that come into how siblings get along. The age gap is just one of them.”
From left: Moss, Adrienne, Winter and Clinton.