Jamelia: What it’s really like having a 12-year age gap between kids
Many of us have a few years age gap between our kids – maybe 2, 3 or 4 years. Sometimes a little more.
Mum of 3 Jamelia has a 4-year age gap between her older girls (Teja, almost 18) and Tiani (aged 13) – and a 12-year gap between Tiani and her youngest, 12-month-old True.
When we caught up with the 36-year-old singer & TV personality Jamelia during our #MFMA19 judging, we simply had to ask: 12 years… what’s that like?
For Jamelia, it was a total shock to the system! “My middle daughter was 12 when True came along so it’s such a huge gap to have in between.
“You’re kind of relaxed about parenting and you have a baby again and then you realise ‘oh yeah, there’s the sleepless nights, the extra work that it is…
“It can be a shellshock, as much as it can be enjoyable. It’s so much of a blessing, but it’s bloody hard work.”
Fortunately, teenagers Teja and Tiani have taken to their baby sister like ducks to water. “I think they have adapted to True much better than I expected.
“My girls were just used to being my whole entire world, and then marrying my husband, having True, I’ve also inherited a bonus son – having all that happen in the space of 2 years – I think they’ve dealt with it so well.
“They’re such a big help, and honestly I don’t think I would’ve got through this last year without them.”
Of course, when it comes to age gaps between kids, you can’t always plan it.
Life happens, and in Jamelia’s case, that’s exactly what went down: she started dating, married her current husband and quickly found herself a mum-to-be again.
“I guess the age gap was God’s plan, because I was single for a very huge portion of my life. I think it was 9 years – which was fine – and it was actually once my now middle daughter became independent, I was like, ‘hold on, I need to get out there, I need to start dating, I need to find myself a husband’
“Because I was thinking, ‘I’m gonna be on my own, my kids are gonna go off to university and it’s just gonna be me!’
“I started consciously focussing and I started dating and stuff like that, which in itself as a mum is a very new experience and a very tricky experience, particularly having children already.
“There’s a lot to consider and I didn’t enjoy it at all. I didn’t enjoy dating. So, the whole experience I didn’t enjoy because I knew what I wanted, and it was just… #menaretrash,” she laughs. (Joking, obviously!)
“And it was really funny because I met my husband when I was kind of like, ‘you know what? Forget it, I’ll just stay single’.
“I met him a couple of days after my 36th birthday and within a few months we were married, and a few weeks after that we were expecting True.
“It all was a bit of a whirlwind so, yeah, as much as the age gap wasn’t planned – there was no way I was gonna have children close together!”
Images: MadeForMums/Rekha Damhar/Jamelia on Instagram