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20 Reasons Why Having Young Parents Can Add Meaning To Your Life

20 Reasons Why Having Young Parents Can Add Meaning To Your Life

For most people, becoming a parent is a life-changing experience. No matter who you are and how old you are, it’s a significant time when you learn the power of unconditional love, selflessness, laughter and how to make time for those who matter.

I know this because I’m 26 and I have three young children. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the experiences I’ve had as a parent. In fact, my husband and I believe that becoming parents at an early stage of our lives has always benefited us, and our kids, in so many ways.

Here are the 20 reasons why having young parents can add meaning to your life.

1. They take you on their own learning journey

I was 18 years old when I had my first child. Although my husband and I were already talking about babies, we were not emotionally and mentally ready to have children yet. We were still in the process of learning who we were and what was important to us. But becoming parents has helped us to grow as people. It has given us more confidence, taught us to care less what other people think, to appreciate the important things in life.

Young parents may not always have the financial stability that older parents have, or the life experience, but we are always learning. We are always giving it our everything. We are always showing our children that no matter what age or stage you are at in life, you always have the potential to learn something new.

2. They make mistakes

Over the past 8 years, my husband and I have become much more patient and understanding parents. We weren’t always like that. At the beginning, we struggled to put on the first diaper, our children’s diets weren’t as healthy as they could be, and we were so focused on routines that we didn’t just enjoy being a parent.

Having children young means that we may not always know what the right thing to do is. But that’s okay.

I’ve always admitted my mistakes, and I’ve always taught my kids that it’s okay to get things wrong. My kids are learning that it’s okay not to be perfect.

3. They always strive to become better

I used to be someone who was too shy to ask questions. Someone who never put their hand up in class. I had a really low self-esteem and lacked confidence. Becoming a parent changed all that for me. I learnt that it takes a lot of courage to speak up. That there’s no shame in asking for help.

Young parents know that others think they’re not ‘up to the job’. They know that people doubt their capabilities. But they absolutely love their children and they are determined to do what’s best for them.

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4. They show you that life is filled with ups and downs

Our family has gone through many different challenges. We’ve moved house several times, we’ve overcome family difficulties, we’ve encountered other personal problems. But we have survived.

Young parents know that difficult times can come and go, but sticking by each other is what’s important.

5. They have an optimistic view of life

As a 26 year old, I am very hopeful about my future. I believe that I still have my whole life ahead of me. I have many more dreams, goals and achievements to strive for. I have places to see, people to meet, lessons to learn.

When raising my three young girls, this approach helps to encourage them to believe that anything is possible. That life is full of so many opportunities. That your life can be whatever you want it to be.

6. They remind you to laugh

My husband and I often do a lot of laughing around our kids. We believe that life can be so stressful and that this is why it’s important to see the lighter side of it. Laughter really is the best medicine.

Having young parents means that you can often bounce back easier. That you can find the humour in every situation.

7. They like being silly and playful with you

Our girls love to hang off their Daddy’s legs like monkeys. They also like to tickle him and chase him around the house. I love sipping on tea with my girls and pretending we’re all having a picnic. Young parents often love to chase their kids around, to crawl around with them in an indoor play ground, to sing along with them in the car. We know that we can be silly at times, but it’s always worth it when our reward is our child’s laughter.

8. They share their hobbies and interests with you

My husband and I first met in a car club. He still loves to tinker with cars and my interest still exists as well. Our girls have a passion for cars too. Sharing our hobbies and interests with our kids shows them that as well as being parents, we’re individuals with our own likes and dislikes.

Young parents want their kids to know that they didn’t ‘mess up’ their life. In fact, they’ve completed their life.

9. They can relate to how you’re feeling

I still have very vivid memories of my childhood. Memories of the activities I did, who I spent time with, and the times when I got upset.

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Although young parents are often seen to have less emotional maturity, they can still imagine how their child would be feeling. They can think back to their own childhood and use that as a starting point. For many young parents, it really doesn’t feel too long ago a time.

10. They show you that it’s okay to cry

My children have seen me cry, and I know there’s no shame in that. I want my kids to know that we all feel down sometimes and it’s much better to let it out. That strength comes from acknowledging how you feel, as opposed to bottling it up inside.

Young parents might be going through a lot of hardship, and struggling to keep their emotions intact. But by crying it out, they’re showing their kids that they’re only human.

11. They don’t let others’ negative opinions rule their life

As a young mother, I’ve been confronted with a lot of criticism and judgement. I’ve had strangers make snide comments. I’ve had my parenting ability questioned because I’m “too young to understand what’s best for your child.”

But I’ve had to have confidence in my abilities. I’ve had to remember everything I’ve done for my kids. All the trouble my first child had breastfeeding and the fact that I persevered. The hundreds of specialist appointments I’ve attended for my girls. All the time I’ve spent rushing back and forth for my kids, determined to do what’s right by them.

Young parents may be given so much unsolicited advice, but they remain strong and do what’s best for their family. They teach their kids that you have to do what’s right for you, not somebody else. That your own happiness is what’s most important.

12. They want you to be less judgemental of others

Being met with all this negativity hasn’t turned me into a bitter person. It’s helped me to raise my children to be kind, to respect others, and not to judge.

Young parents are often judged, so the last thing they want is to do that to someone else.

13. They learn forgiveness through you

I’ve never had the best relationship with my mom. We’ve always clashed due to our personality differences.

But after becoming a mother at 18, I realized all the sacrifices that my mom made to raise my siblings and me. It gave me the strength to forgive her for all the painful things that happened in the past.

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Young parents may have had a difficult relationship with their own parents, but they want their kids to know their grandparents. They want their kids to understand their own identity and to have a greater sense of family.

14. They want you to never give up on your dreams

When I became a mother for the first time, I put my college studies on hold. I chose to stay at home and be there for my daughter. But I never gave up on my dreams. I never gave up my ambitious nature. I never gave on my passion for helping others through psychology and personal development. I now study and work from home.

Young parents do put many of their dreams on hold. They’ve made sacrifices along the way. But they’ve also proven that if they dream hard enough, their dreams can still come true. They want you to know that you shouldn’t give up either.

15. They teach you the importance of self-love

For the first 5 years of parenting, I hardly ever did anything for myself. I was so determined to give the kids my full attention, I dismissed my own needs. But now, I’ll buy things for myself. I take a bit more pride in my appearance. I don’t always say ‘yes’ to please everyone.

Young parents may be stereotyped to be more ‘selfish’, but we just don’t want to completely forget what matters to us. We know that a child deserves a mother who is happy with who they are.

16. They share practical advice with you

When my husband and I had our first child, we’d only moved out recently. We weren’t cooking healthy dinners, we were struggling to keep on top of the housework, and had financial difficulties. But as our circumstances improved, so did our skills.

Young parents are still learning to juggle the responsibilities of being an adult, as well as a parent. But as they’re learning, they’re able to share it with their kids along the way too.

17. They believe in second chances

I have been a stay at home mother. I have worked from home. I have studied from home. My life never stopped because I had children. It simply changed.

Young parents know that sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way that you expected it to, but not to feel discouraged. They want their children to know that you can always get right back up again.

18. They teach you the meaning of unconditional love

All parents make sacrifices. They put their careers on hold. They stop going out as often and don’t remember the last time they had a good night’s sleep.

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Young parents may have to sacrifice just a bit more, but they’re not wishing things were different. Those sacrifices have just deepened their love for you.

19. They teach you to cherish the moment

My husband and I want our kids to value working hard, but we also want them to enjoy life too. We want them to spend hours at a playground just because it’s fun. We want them to dress up in costumes and pretend to be whatever it is that they want to be. We want them to experience life, try new things, step outside their comfort zone.

Being a young mother, I want to make these ‘extra years’ count.

20. They’re proud that their lives are more meaningful now

Throughout the past 8 years, my husband and I have been met with a lot of confusion and surprise. “Why would you want children so early?” people would ask. But for both of us, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s a quote that sums up perfectly how I feel:

“Being a young mom means that we met a little early, but it also means I get to love you a little longer. Some people said that my life ended when I had a baby but my life had just begun. You didn’t take away from my future, you gave me a new one.” – titaa

I am sure that many other young parents can relate to the love that I feel for my kids.

And how much more meaningful they have made my life.

Featured photo credit: Takmeomeo via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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