I had my first child at 28, and am pregnant with my second at 35. There were many reasons I decided to wait to have kids until I was in my late twenties; I’m happy with our decision and how motherhood has played out for me so far. Are you wondering whether you should wait to start a family until you’re a little older? Keep reading for some reasons why waiting could work for you too!
- Our retired parents provide us with an incredible support system. Now that all of our parents are older than 65, they are either retired or semi-retired. One set has provided us with consistent childcare so that our seven year old daughter has never spent a day in childcare. The other set lives an hour away, but keeps our daughter several weekends a year. Hello, sleeping in and weekend getaways!
Husband and I enjoying a weekend getaway to a festival in Brown County last summer
- I was ready to take a step back from my career. I had over ten years to devote myself to advancing my career. I traveled extensively all over the U.S. for my job in business and got to see so many parts of our beautiful country. I had a fancy wardrobe full of cute, colored trench coats and pretty high heels. I lived for drinks after work with coworkers and clients. But when the glass ceiling started to get closer and closer and burnout set in, I was happy to take a step back from the rat race.
- We’re more financially stable. My husband is now able to support us without any help from my income for the first time in our eight year relationship. The stress this takes off of me is unbelievable. Do we love the extra income when I’m working? Yes! We can save more, and I can treat myself to things like a pedicure or a new sweater without feeling guilty. But we don’t have to have two incomes, which gives me the flexibility to stay home if I want to, or work a temporary job like I’m doing now.
- I’m more mature and better at controlling my impulses. I had some bad habits I needed to kick before becoming a mom. When things got tough in my twenties, I basically had two solutions: go drinking or go shopping. I finally realized that I don’t act the best when I’ve had too much to drink, and too much shopping leads to credit card balances. But mostly I learned that your have to sit with your anxiety or stress or pain and not run from it or try to numb it. I went to therapy and read self-help books. I got a handle on my compulsive behavior and really started to understand how to better cope with stressful situations. I paid off those credit cards. And I started to understand that the hangover from buying a new outfit or binge drinking on the weekends really isn’t worth it. I know that kicking these bad habits made me a better mom and also a better person in general.
- I’m much more comfortable in my own skin. It’s much easier for me mentally to be ok with gaining pregnancy weight in my thirties than in my twenties.When I was younger, I dieted and worked out obsessively. I was perpetually on the South Beach diet and could probably recite the grocery list for starting Phase I in my sleep. It seemed like there was always a wedding coming up and a dress to fit into. But guess what? Almost all of my friends are married now, so the endless weekends of bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings are done. Is gaining weight every fun? No. Can I see the bigger picture better now? Yes.
- I have almost zero FOMO. FOMO is The Fear of Missing Out. It means you feel like you need to be out, being seen and doing things, and that if you’re not, your friends are and you’re missing out on all the fun. Now that I’m in my thirties, many of the girlfriends that I used to go out with have moved away for their or their husband’s jobs. Now on the weekends, almost all of my friends are at home with their kids too. FOMO? What FOMO? You can’t miss what isn’t happening!
I had my single girl apartment and endless fun nights out with my girlfriends. I dated around and took trips “just because” to New York City and Chicago when I felt like it. I spent money on facials and expensive department store makeup if I wanted to. Those years were amazing and fun and care free. And all of those experiences led me to where I am today: married to a good man and a mom to two beautiful teenage stepdaughters, a sweet seven year old daughter and one on the way. There’s no where or anyone else I would rather be.