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I was already a mom of two teenagers. I thought I’d move to a city and join corporate America in a few years. But my last baby changed me. There would be no law school or big city living. Now, I write about life in my little country home. And I don’t see that changing.

I thought I’d be that old lady with 10 cats. I already had three I snuggled and loved on. I never cared about the litter box, the clawed couches, or the meowing. But now I find myself disliking pets. I hope that might change.

But for now, that’s the truth.

Before I had my last baby, I dyed and did up my hair. I wore heels and form-fitting dresses. Now, I let the gray shine through. I give my hair a brush and call it a day. A T-shirt and shorts is my go-to outfit. I’ve traded in my heels for comfortable sneakers. But I feel just as beautiful as I did back then.

RELATED: There’s Just Something About That Last Baby

I used to get angry about things out of place. Dishes in the sink and laundry on the floor drove me crazy. But now I consider my house clean as long as there’s no food stuck to the floor.

My last baby has taught me I need to let some things go.

My favorite season was summer. No temperature was too hot. I’d lay in the sun for hours and get a deep tan. But since I’ve had her, I can’t stand the heat. I find myself staying inside with the AC and wishing fall would just get here already. 

I used to love pushing the mower around my lawn and weeding the flowerbeds. But now, I just want to curl up with a book, bake in the kitchen, and snuggle with her.

Not long ago, I was a night owl. I stayed up late to clean. And then watched a movie or two. It would be early in the morning before I’d fall asleep. If my day started at 6 a.m., I woke up feeling rested. These days, I’m ready for bed before she is. And four hours of sleep doesn’t work anymore. 

RELATED: When It’s Your Last Baby

I guess you might say my last baby aged me. And maybe that is partly true.

But I do know she changed me.

Having her made me dislike pets and the heat. It helped me let go of messes and required that I get more sleep. Since having my last baby, my hobbies have changed.

I’m not the same person I was before her. It’s amazing how much a person can change in one year. But all these changes are for the better. I’ll gladly accept all these changes and more because having my last baby filled a hole in my heart. And that change makes every change worth it.

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Katelyn Washington

Katelyn is a writer, editor, and parent to three wonderful children. She is passionate about environmental issues and human rights.

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