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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 September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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