For seven wonderful years, my husband and I lived in New York City, where the average age of brides is 32 and the average age of grooms is 34. The national averages are five years younger both for women and men: 27 and 29.

We were an anomaly—we got engaged a few weeks before my 25th birthday. My husband was 26. Our friends were so confused when we called them to announce our happy news. Engaged? As in engaged to be married? They were excited for us, but even more bewildered when we announced we were having a baby three years later.

Dan and I knew the other was “the one” pretty quickly. We started talking about spending our lives together right from the beginning. Granted, we hadn’t just met. We were friends in college and, although we weren’t best friends, we were more than acquaintances. Because of this, we were able to skip over much of the introductory phase of the relationship and jump right into more substantial conversation.

It wasn’t easy in the beginning when our friends couldn’t—or wouldn’t—understand our commitment to each other. They didn’t understand why we spent so much time together, or why we were eager to start our life together. They felt we were way too young to even think about anything more serious than dating.

I couldn’t be happier that we didn’t cave to the pressure to be “young” and “carefree” because nothing about getting married took away our youth or our carefree-ness. The first few years of our marriage were full—the stressful moments strengthened our relationship, and we had tons of fun adventures together.

We were able to be married and enjoy our twosome-ness for three incredible years before deciding we were ready to take on a new challenge: a baby. So many people told us we were crazy to “rush” having a family: Once that baby comes there’s no going back! Get ready to never sleep again! You’ll be so lonely when all your friends are out partying and you’re stuck at home with a baby! Don’t start until your 30s, and if you have any fertility troubles, there’s always IVF!

The IVF comment was my favorite. As if IVF is an easy solution where poof! You snap your fingers and a baby arrives at your door. I have many friends who have gone through IVF and I don’t think any of them would say that’s an easy route.

The partying comment was my second favorite. I’d spent my early 20s “partying”. I was married to my best friend and had a wonderful group of friends I loved spending time with. The time for partying, for me, was over. I felt—and continue to feel—that the limited amount of free time I have is very valuable. Spending that time at a bar where I couldn’t talk to the person next to me is a waste of that precious time.

We’re two years into the parenting gig and five years into marriage; do I wish I’d delayed my wedding and having a baby until now that I’m 30? Not for even one teensy second. We love being parents so much that we’re pregnant with our second baby. I’ve never felt more secure or happy. I thank God every single day that this is my life.

Have there been moments over the past five years that I’ve missed having no responsibility? Of course—that just goes along with the territory of becoming an adult. However, I’m so proud to tell people my husband and I are celebrating our five-year anniversary this fall. Most of my friends just got married this past summer, or are about to get engaged. Some have been dating for many years and finally felt ready; others didn’t meet their spouses until more recently. Timing for everyone is different, but I promise you: life begins—not ends—when you marry the right person and start a family.

You may also like:

I Married Young and Never Looked Back

Dear Husband, I Am With You Even When It’s Hard

The Truth About Marrying Your High School Sweetheart

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here! 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Lilly Holland

I'm a writer and stay-at-home mom to Penny, 15 months. Prior to spending my days with my daughter I was an elementary school teacher. After teaching, writing and being a mother became my full-time job and I haven't looked back since. Follow me on my website or Twitter

You Came between Us

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler between mom and dad under sheet

Right in the middle of our deepest love, you came—just between us. A silent, unseen surprise. A mysterious miracle of incarnated love and joy. From that sacred moment that we couldn’t imagine being any sweeter, came you. Sometime in the middle of all the daily goodbye hugs, my stomach began to grow and you came between us. This beautiful bundle of life blossoming right inside of me. And we were in awe of every single tiny formation of you. In awe of who you were, excited by who you’d be, in awe that you were ours. You came between us...

Keep Reading

To My Wife: I See Your Sacrifice

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Family of 3 sitting on floor together at home

Selfless. No other word more clearly depicts your commitment to your family. Motherhood is drastically different than you dreamed of your whole life—the dreams of what sort of mama you would be, of how much you would enjoy being a mother even on the tough days. Since day one of our relationship, you’ve been selfless. Since day one of being a mama, you’ve been selfless. Your love for your family shines through on the brightest and darkest days. But on the dark days, it shines the brightest. I can’t count the hours of sleep sacrificed, the tears cried, the time...

Keep Reading

If You’re Fighting for Your Marriage Right Now, Keep Going

In: Marriage
Couple embracing with worried look on woman's face

My husband and I just celebrated 20 years of marriage last week. For the first five years of our marriage, we had no kids. We now have six. We have been through multiple moves, job changes, pregnancies, miscarriage, child loss, the death of loved ones, grief, three adoptions, mental illness etc. I see marriage totally differently than I did 20 years ago.  I believe, above everything, it takes two people willing to sacrifice and work hard (maybe one more than the other during different seasons) in order for the marriage to stay afloat. Marriage, if done right, does not puff one up...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

“I Can’t Do This Anymore,” He Said—Then Everything Changed

In: Living, Marriage
Woman with head in hands

The questions are very much valid. Did I know when I married him? Did I know when we struggled with infertility and trying to become parents? Did I know when we unexpectedly became pregnant with our second child? When did you know your husband was an alcoholic? The answer is simple yet so complex, I pretty much knew from the first year, yet I was in complete denial. When I met him, he was just my type—a bad boy with a bad reputation, yet so cute! On our third date or so, I saw how much he could drink and how...

Keep Reading

I Want More than Mediocre Love

In: Marriage
Man and woman holding hands facing away from each other, silhouette

It felt like an out-of-body experience as I watched my fingers type into the Google search bar, “Local divorce lawyers near me.” I just want to know my options. Yet, my heart pounded as realized I was halfway serious in considering a divorce. There was no betrayal, no abuse, no lying, or cheating. My husband was and is a good man. The truth was he did not do anything wrong, I was just convinced he was doing nothing right. We were in the thick of life with a new baby, and I was certain that the man I loved was...

Keep Reading

My Husband’s in Love with a Different Woman Now

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Couple standing by Christmas decorations

He’s in love with a different woman now . . . I met my husband seven years ago. We got married and went on adventures. Went to some weddings and had a bunch of kids. Every Christmas party season, we would celebrate by going out to dinner . . . except this year that one dress didn’t fit. I had my husband try to zip it, and then my mom . . . there was no budging. I had been tiny, I had been heavy—sick and healthy. My weight had been a roller coaster always. But, this special dress had always...

Keep Reading

Did I Deserve My Husband’s Affair?

In: Marriage
Woman looking out window

When my husband left and ran off with a lady from his office, all of my friends and family bombarded me with one massive conclusion: Divorce him! You deserve better! Back then, I agreed. “Yes! I deserve way better than this!” And like a fast-moving train locked in place, my deserving something better became the fuel to cut him off. Then, as time wore on, I began to wonder, what exactly did I “deserve”? In the dictionary, “deserve” means “to have earned or to be given something because of the way you have behaved or the qualities you have.” Am I...

Keep Reading

I’ve Changed My Mind about Everything but You

In: Marriage
Husband and wife selfie in field of wildflowers, color photo

I’ve changed my mind about almost everything but you. When I was a little girl, I couldn’t pick my favorite Spice Girl. I loved Baby Spice, but was also a big fan of sports. So what about Sporty Spice? And all their outfits were so cool, I couldn’t make up my mind about which one I hoped to become one day. When I was in middle school, I’d eagerly await my bi-weekly orthodontist appointments just so I could pick a new band color for my braces. And within a day or two, I’d have already decided I hated them, and...

Keep Reading

Marriage is Not always Equal Effort

In: Marriage
Couple smiling on beach

I’m in the kitchen making dinner, swaying from one foot to the other to mitigate that third-trimester sciatica when I hear the click of your keys in the front door. The dog’s paws lose traction as he scurries to the door and our son stops what he’s doing to look up in anticipation. If our daughter wasn’t napping, she’d scurry to the front door too. For me, I feel my body relax and immense joy fills me up. My husband is home. But here’s what really awes me. The last week, he’s been commuting two hours one way for work-related...

Keep Reading