Sarah Michelle Gellar: Motherhood Was Worth the Wait
11/06/2009 AT 03:15 PM EST
"I always say, the minute you start dating someone, people ask, 'When are you getting engaged?' And the minute you get engaged, they ask, 'When are you getting married?' " a bemused Gellar tells PEOPLE. "And then the minute you get married, they ask, 'When are you having a baby?' "
Gellar, 32, and Prinze Jr., 33, – who stars in the upcoming season of 24 – took seven years before answering that last question, as evidenced by the Sept. 19 arrival of daughter Charlotte Grace.
"Becoming a parent is the most selfless act, and you need to be at a point in your life where you can give up anything and everything for a child," Gellar says waiting before starting a family. "I don't know if you know how to that when you're in your 20s."
Her husband concurs: "I'm so happy we didn't have kids in our 20s – I just didn't know a thing. You have so much more patience in your 30s, and I feel like I appreciate this so much more."
Charlotte, according to her mom and dad, was well worth the wait. "Every day I look at her and I am in awe," says Gellar. Of course, the new mother knows what's coming next. "The minute you have a baby, everyone asks, 'When are you going to have another one?' "
For more from the new parents, including how parenthood has changed them and what Charlotte's delivery was like, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now