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10 Reasons Why Having Your Babies at a Young Age is Awesome

10 Reasons Why Having Your Babies at a Young Age is Awesome

I had my son when I was 21 years old. While most of my friends were going to bars and job interviews, I was decorating a nursery and changing poopy diapers. I loved it. I was exactly where I needed to be, and yet people still treated me like I was doing something wrong. People always marvel with horror at how young my husband and I are. When I returned to school and I mentioned that I had a son, my fellow classmate’s mouths would drop open and a rousing course of “I’ll never have kids!” would assail my ears.

With rising feminism women are gaining more respect in the work place and more opportunities. This is such an achievement to be celebrated, and we need to push for even greater gender equality. But in this fight for empowerment, motherhood has been labelled as an anti-feminist choice, when in reality the point of feminism is to gain the right for all women to make what ever choice they desire. If a woman decides to become a mother at a young age, then good for her! That is her right as a woman to make that choice. The fact that I kept my son and was a stay-at-home mom for the first nine months of his life does not make me any less of a feminist.

This is not intended to hate on women who decide to have children later in life. If that’s your choice-then good for you! I just want to support and encourage mama’s who decided to have their babies young. We don’t get the respect or credit we deserve! So, let’s celebrate ourselves and our wonderful choices! Here are 10 reasons why having your babies young is AWESOME.

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1. More Time

I will most likely be able to see my kids retire. I will get to be a part of my son’s life through so many different seasons. My odds of becoming a great-grandmother (which is a total dream of mine!) are much greater than if I had waited another ten years to become a mother. If all goes according to plan, I will most likely get more time with my children than someone who waited until their thirties.

2. Flexible time

Having a child in the middle of my college career seems like the most inconvenient thing ever, but in reality it has worked out swimmingly. When I returned to school my son was old enough to be away from me for several hours at a time, but school never required me to be away from more than four or five hours at a time. The time requirements of classes are so minimal compared to a nine to five job! I honestly think in the right circumstances, during college is one of the easiest times to have a baby.

3. Quick Bounce Back

It’s just a biological fact. Younger bodies bounce back to their pre-pregnancy fitness level quicker than older bodies do. Not that fussing over pre-pregnancy weights is wise or even important to do, but as a 21-year-old it was relatively easy to fit into my old jeans several months after my son was born. Sure I have stretch marks, but most people are surprised to learn that I’ve had a baby!

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4. Skipping the Heartbreak

There are so many inconsequential parts of my life before I was married or a mother that used to keep me up at night. Worrying about dates, going to that cool party, losing five pounds to look better in that dress…etc. etc. I definitely still have my insecurities and frivolous worries, but my priorities are so different now that I have no time or interest in worrying about the silly things I did before. I feel fortunate that I am going to skip another decade of the stress and heartbreak that often come with single life. It doesn’t have to-but it definitely was my experience.

5. Finances

Imagine trying to save for retirement at the same time as paying for your kids tuition! Yikes! My husband and I will likely be finished putting our kids through college and still have time to refocus on our own retirement before it’s too late. Also, babies are expensive, but not as expensive as everyone makes them seem. We did cloth diapers for the first year of my son’s life and he still wears mostly thrift store clothes or hand-me-downs. It’s not glamorous, but he has no concept of designer brands or prestige! He just needs a mom and dad who love him wholeheartedly — not fancy clothes or toys.

6. Fertility

Getting pregnant doesn’t always happen quickly. If you’re young and trying to conceive, there’s no stress! You have plenty of time! Plus, your body is in it’s prime baby-making years, so getting pregnant  will be easier than if you were older.

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7. Early Empty Nesters

My husband and I will be empty nesters in our early forties. That’s a lot of time for us to travel, change careers, move and rediscover our marriage outside the context of hands-on parenting. Many people wait to have kids until several years into their marriage in order to have some time “alone together.” I’m not looking forward to the day that my son decides to head off into the world on his own, but I do find myself day dreaming about all of the freedom my husband and I will have at such a relatively young age.

8. More Energy

Another biological plus about having babies young is a greater reservoir of energy to work with. It’s no surprise that babies are exhausting. They are up every few hours, they constantly need to be fed, rocked and cooed. They are constantly pooping. Babies require care 24/7. And when you’re younger this exhaustion isn’t as debilitating. My husband and I are still able to stay up late talking into the night like we did when we were dating. Of course, we always kick ourselves in the morning when our son woke up at five a.m. but those tired memories were worth it.

9. Optimal Career Planning

It might seem counter intuitive, but getting the trying years of baby raising under my belt in my early twenties will prepare me to more successfully devote myself to my career when I’m ready. Instead of getting several years into my chosen career then taking a big break off of work to stay home for a few months, I’ll be able to commit myself to a career without the burden of juggling a newborn or pregnancy with work demands.

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10. Start a Family

My husband and my son are my two favorite humans. They are my people. I cannot imagine my life without my son. He is a giggly, curious, adventurous little joy. I wouldn’t trade a single minute with him for a more flexible schedule and a million dollars. Having his presence in my life makes everything more sweet. I’m so glad I didn’t wait even one more year before inviting him into my life. By having my son when I was young I got to meet the most precious little boy even sooner!

Featured photo credit: Gabriela Pinto via flickr.com

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Emily Myrin

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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