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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 August 15, 2018

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Video Summary

Why is it important to train up our core strength?

There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

One Exercise, multiple benefits

There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

What will happen when you start doing planks every day

    1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

    Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

    • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
    • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
    • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
    • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

    2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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      Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

      Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

      3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

        Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

        4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

          Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

          A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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          A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

          On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

          5. You’ll improve overall balance

            Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

            6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

              Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

              7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                How to hold a plank position

                1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                  How to improve your plank time gradually

                  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                  2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                  Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                  Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                  You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                  • Prolapse
                  • After prolapse surgery
                  • Pelvic pain conditions
                  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                  • Previous childbirth
                  • Overweight

                  Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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