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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 February 21, 2019

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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