‘THE AGE GAP WAS PER­HAPS THE ONE THING WE DIDN’T TALK ABOUT! WE DIDN’T CON­SIDER IT WOULD BE AN IS­SUE’

Little Treasures - - FAM­ILY LIFE -

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.

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