Now that I'm an older mom, with a preteen daughter and son, and also a toddler, I get a lot of people curiously asking me "why the big gap?" I can't help but think that some questions are better left unasked.
If you stop and think about the many reasons why there might be a large gap in age among a woman's children, you might think better of asking about it.
When I myself started getting questions and remarks on "the big gap" in my kids ages, I was immediately struck by how invasive it is as a question- and I'm pretty transparent and open with my life and history.
What if the woman you're asking has had 10 miscarriages during that "big gap"? I've met more than one woman who volunteered this tragic information as I was fitting her for a bra, or cashing her out at Evymama. I was so happy that I didn't ask in these instances. There are surely others who are not so forthcoming- and why should they be? How dare a stranger reopen that wound with idle curiosity?
I've known women who were dealing with serious illnesses during their big gap. Women who were going through fertility treatments. Women in abusive, neglectful or unfulfilling relationships that it took some time to get out of before restarting their lives, and yes, having another baby with a new partner.
Is any of this a stranger's business? I think you know the answer. It's a question better left unasked.
If you're ever at a loss for something to say to a woman who tells you that her kids are aged 10, 8 and 2 months, just say "how lovely, you must be so happy," and let it go. If she wants to share more information with you, she will.