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Lydia McLaughlin Reveals Why She Returned To The Real Housewives Of Orange County!

Lydia McLaughlin decided to walk away from The Real Housewives of Orange County after her debut season back in 2013 during the show's eighth season. Now, McLaughlin is back after nearly a four-year hiatus and the mother-of-three reveals why the time was right for her to return to the Bravo hit reality series.

"It was actually really hard to decide to leave," McLaughlin told INSIDER of quitting the show after just one season in 2013. "I think a lot of people thought I was crazy. One of the producers actually said, 'It's lightning in a bottle and it doesn't happen twice,' because I told them maybe I'll just take a break. I just felt like my kids were really young and I wanted to have another kid close in age to them. And so it was the right decision for my family, but it was hard."

During her time off the show, McLaughlin and her husband, Doug, have added on to her family with a third son. Together they've created a new high-end men's magazine called "Nobleman," which is why McLaughlin decided to end her break and continue her story on the 12th season of RHOC.

"I think that's a really interesting kind of story to follow, the two of us really going out, and taking a risk, and starting a magazine, working together, just the two of us to fulfill our dreams," she said. "And then obviously having the new baby being two years old, I felt like he was old enough where he literally isn't attached to me nursing anymore, so I can be more involved and kind of have something on my own," she continued. "Those six months of taping 'Real Housewives' were great, it was much better even than last time."

After the first time around, McLaughlin said she was more prepared and knew what to expect this time around. "Last time, I was really nervous about editing or sharing something, for example, my faith is really important to me and sacred in my life, and I was nervous a lot times when I was filming and talking about that," she said. "I was scared about the way it would be portrayed or how it might be edited. And this time around, I was just more free with it. I think if you do a reality show, you really have to trust the production and trust that your story will get told."

McLaughlin revealed she was somewhat blindsided by the feuds within her co-stars. She hasn't caught up on the show after she left - so she didn't have an accurate idea of where the women's relationships stood when she decided to return.

"I hadn't watched it, so I was assuming that they don't like each other right now, but they just need to talk and it'll be fine," she added. "And then I quickly realized it's not something that talking is necessarily going to help, it might make it worse. These ladies have really hurt each other and there's a lot of pain there, so maybe they're not ready to move on. You know, a cup of coffee and a lunch date isn't going to help. So I kind of had to reevaluate my plan and try to figure out what the best thing is for everybody."

Photo Credit: Bravo