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Why I’m Thankful I Waited 10 Years to Have Another Child

When I was pregnant with my son Evan—and married to his dad—I thought I had this family planning thing all figured out. My plan was to have three kids, all spaced two years apart. I was 26 when I had Evan, and my goal was to be done having kids at 30.

Much of this kid agenda was driven by the dynamics of my own family. I was raised in a family of four children, and we were each two years apart. I loved being so close in age to my siblings. It helped us have a lot in common, and we were all very bonded. I also loved having a young, active mom.

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But then a bunch of bad shit happened, and Evan’s dad and I divorced. My plans of two more kids in four years were out the window, along with the ex’s belongings. For a very long time, my head was nowhere near the right place to think about another child, but I always knew that I wanted more. Things had obviously changed, and the three kid thing wasn’t as realistic, but I at least wanted one more.

And one more I did have, 10 years later. It happened when the time was right. I see now how everything unfolded perfectly. Of course, way back when my little Evan boy was a baby, I never thought I would have waited so long to give him a sibling. But, I’m so thankful I did, for many reasons, including the following.

I was able to have 10 years to focus solely on my son. Evan had been through a lot. Divorce is not easy for any child. And, in addition, his father moved to another state immediately after we split. Evan needed lots of love and attention, and being that we didn’t have any family living close by, it was going to come mostly from me. Those years we spent together, just the two of us, made us strong. It gave the two of us an unbreakable bond, and it made us both strong individually. We knew that we had real love coming from one another, and that gave us true peace and contentment with our lives.

I found Mr. Right. It took me seven years, but I found the man of my dreams. And he’s an amazing father, to both of our kids. Had I been freaked out by the ticking of my biological clock, or even aware of it, really, I would have solidified the wrong relationship and added a ton of challenges to my life. It took me many years to really be ready for everything to fall into place, perfectly. And it was worth the wait.

I dropped a lot of dough for weird, dumb twentysomething reasons. Now, I don’t give a rip.

I would have been a train wreck. On the surface, I had convinced myself that I wasn’t going to have any more children, that I wasn’t even ever going to marry again. But, most of that was me being afraid and not being in the right frame of mind. But even so, had I been knocked up any moment sooner than I was, it would have been too early. And I would have known it. I just wasn’t ready, until now.

I have live-in help. It may be several years before my son is able to hit the pub scene with his sister—before he can really consider her a friend—but for now he’s an amazing help with her. He’s too much older than her to be jealous, and he’s mature enough to not be annoyed with all the crying and fussing and pooping. At least not when the baby does it. While I hear of and witness my friends’ kids, who are close in age, fighting, bickering, hitting and biting each other, my son is changing Stella’s diaper or giving her a bottle. Awwww yeahhh, boyyyy.

I’m more in tune with my body. Though I exercised and tried to stay fit when I had Evan, I am now much stronger and more aware of my body’s needs. Perhaps it’s that I’m aware of aging and am, in turn, taking better care of my body for health (and, yes, vanity) reasons. But during this pregnancy I didn’t give in to pregnancy cravings, if I ever had them at all. Throughout pregnancy and nursing, I could feel when I was deficient in something and craved food that was good for me, for the most part (Taco Bell Crunch Wrap Supreme).

I’m a minimalist with baby gear. I don’t have the need or care for all the extra stuff that I would have wanted in my 20s. When I had Evan, I was always shopping at the expensive baby boutiques and purchasing the top-shelf, just out on the market, trendiest gear. I just HAD to have so many unnecessary things, clothes, toys, etc. I dropped a lot of dough for weird, dumb, twentysomething reasons. Now, I don’t give a rip. Of course I want safe and reliable gear for Stella, but I couldn’t give two shits whether or not Jessica Simpson was pushing or holding or cupping whatever gear in US Weekly. (I would care if it were Beyoncé, though.) And as for toys, as long as it doesn’t have jagged edges or the potential to release pharmaceuticals, any object lying around the house is cool.

I was REALLY ready to have a baby when I got pregnant. If I had carried out my plan when I was 26 I guarantee I would have been doing it out of a commitment to family planning more than anything. I realized when I found myself in a single mom situation that I really cherished my time alone with my son. And I also felt fortunate when Evan got older and more independent to have time for myself. But as he hit the age of 9, I started to see my little boy mature and need me less. I started to crave a baby. It had been 10 years. I had recharged, and I was ready.

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Yes, I’m thankful I waited 10 years, and it all worked out exactly the way it was supposed to.

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