A friend of mine pointed out to me that I had written a blog post referencing “The Child” back in 2012. In fact, my wife and I talked about The Child as far back as I can remember being with her. (That’s something I didn’t do with other girlfriends, by the way.) We started off joking about what a “weirdo” our child would be because her and I are weirdos ourselves. Then we moved into more serious talk about having a child after we got married. And then we finally pulled the trigger on having a child a couple of years ago.
Needless to say, it took a little bit for The Child to arrive. It took a lot of patience to wait, too. There were times when we were ready to just forget it all and adopt a child. There were times when we were ready to not adopt at all. But we remained committed to the plan, and here we are. We’re parents.
You’ve probably heard the saying that “good things come to those who wait.” That is true for many things, and it is very true for parenting for us. Because we both waited until our careers were well underway, this little baby sitting next to me will have a step up on her peers with regards to finances and stability. My wife and I are not teenagers or young adults whose lives may still be going from one phase to another. We bought a house. We have a car each. We have three master’s degrees between the two of us.
I know that it’s easier said than done. A lot of people have unplanned pregnancies. A lot of other people have a child and then something big changes in their lives. Then there are those for whom patience is a commodity. They either have to work several jobs to make ends meet, or they can’t make ends meet because of their life situations.
For us, this patience translated into being parents at a time when we understand each other really well. We don’t need to give each other hints as to what the other person needs to do to take care of the baby. We work very well in tandem to take care of that little person, and we are giving each other plenty of breaks and time to nap. Plus, we’re at a place in our careers where we can take time to look after the baby for a few weeks before ramping up activities back to full-time.
Oh, and this patience for having this child also brought with it plenty of friends who are just the most awesome and supportive people ever. Younger us wouldn’t have had that many friends, or friends who have children of their own and offer invaluable advice.
So, yeah, life is good at this point, and I’m sure there will be sleepless nights when the baby gets an earache or is otherwise inconsolable. But the patience that we practiced in becoming parents will surely pay off with all the wisdom we’ve accumulated. Of course, this is just our experience.
Your mileage may vary.
René F. Najera, DrPH
I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
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