When You Have Your First Kid After 10 Years of Marriage

My husband and I have been together for more than half of our life, we met my senior year of high school, and have been married for 12 years now. We didn’t have our daughter until after our tenth anniversary, though. If you think people have asked you “when are you having another baby” too many times, try being married for a decade with no children! I started telling people to add to the baby fund and then we could have a chat about my reproductive plans. No joke!

I thought we knew a lot about living, but since we had our girl I’ve learned a million things about parenting, and marriage, and survival. Here are some of the best and worst things about waiting a decade to have a baby.

We had already settled into our routines. My husband and I have grown from teenagers to adults together. And that’s definitely created a lot of routines and understanding. We used to have pretty settled chores: he did most of the laundry, I did most of the dishes, I did the bathroom, he always vacuumed, etc. When people were coming over we both buckled down and decluttered the house and we were done pretty quickly. Now, almost two years post-baby, we’re still trying to find our groove with the most vital chores. I think we struggle harder because we have busy schedules and miss our old routines, but we’re working on learning to adapt and change.

We’re so tired!
The most exhausting part of becoming parents later in life is that we are completely exhausted, I know all parents are exhausted, but I feel like I don’t recover nearly as quickly as I did a decade ago. It took me ages to recover from infancy! 

We understand the treasure of our child.
Most of our friends have had their kids for years already, so we’ve been involved in their lives for years now. We’ve watched them raise their large families, and small ones, we’ve watch them struggle with infertility, health problems, and scary diagnoses. And thanks to our years of being involved in their lives, we’ve learned tons about when to be concerned, what to not stress about, and that we need to treasure each moment because they’re gone before we know it. I’m working hard to savor each moment and be thankful and enjoy the experience that we had desired for so long. 

We don’t sweat the small stuff. Our girl is happy and healthy, and we take such joy in spending our time investing in her whenever we are given the opportunity.

Jenny Ditch lives in Illinois with her little family and tries to intentionally treasure every day, which is easier now that she usually gets more sleep.

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