7 BENEFITS OF STARTING A FAMILY YOUNG
Okay, before anyone gets up on their high horse, no I am not condoning teen pregnancy. I believe that before you have kids you should make sure that you are truly ready; that means being with the person you intend to spend the rest of your life with and being mentally prepared to let go of your freedom and love selflessly. HOWEVER… as a woman who got married and had a baby before I turned 21, I am constantly bombarded with questions of ‘why’. Why on earth would I do that? Why would I give up my younger years to start a family? Well, I’m here to tell you why.
Having babies young used to be the norm.
It was only about 30 years ago when the average age for having your first child was 21! But these days it is judged, even frowned upon. Women are encouraged to go out and live their lives first… get a career, go travelling, party, have fun while you still can! My issue with this is that it is implying that women with kids can’t have a career. It’s implying that families can’t travel. It’s implying that mamas can no longer have a drink with friends. and that having a family isn’t fun! Sure, there may be some restrictions once you start a family – obviously you’re not going to be falling out of a nightclub drunk as a skunk every Friday night, but then, is that such a bad thing? But besides the restrictions that you’ll have to learn to work around, there are SO many benefits to starting a family young. So if you are a young mama, read this, and then the next time someone shoots you a dirty look you can start reeling off the reasons why your decision was a GOOD one!
You will have so much more energy!
Motherhood is draining. The newborn days are filled with sleepless nights of feeding and burping and changing. The toddler days are filled with running after a small person who is stupidly quick for their size and picking up and endless trail of toys. And the child / teen days? Well, let’s just say I am mentally preparing myself to live on coffee.
At 22 years of age I am knackered, but then I think about what it would be like if I was doing all this ten or twenty years later like many women do these days. The thought of running after a toddler in my 40s? I’m getting tired just thinking about it!
Pulling an all-nighter is a lot easier when you are younger!
Do you ever hear of 40-year-olds partying into the early hours of the morning? No, because as we get older our bodies naturally rely on sleep more. When you are younger it is much easier to have a night of little to no sleep and still be able to function as a normal human being the following day. Those in their early 20s tend to be ‘night owls’, whereas as we get older we tend to lose that ability.
Our bodies are DESIGNED to have children young!
There is a reason that women who try to conceive later in life tend to struggle more than those in their twenties. Our peak baby-making years SCIENTIFICALLY are between 18 and 25 years of age. Once you pass this age your fertility will begin to decline. That’s how God designed us.
Despite modern medicine allowing us to continue having babies into our later years, you will likely still be faced with issues, and that’s not just with conception. Carrying a baby is your late 30s and beyond is significantly more risky. Sadly, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, diabetes and high blood pressure are all more likely the older you are.
If you do run into fertility issues, you have more time.
Imagine the scene… you’ve waited to have kids. You’ve got your career ambitions and your partying days out of the way. You are finally ready to start trying for a baby in your late thirties. Then you struggle to conceive. In the back of your mind, you are going to be worried about that clock ticking.
Whereas, if you try for a baby at a young age and discover that you’re having issues getting pregnant, you have much more time to explore other options and keep trying. Infertility is incredibly stressful, but it would be a whole lot LESS stressful if you knew you had more time to get help.
Your parents will have longer-lasting relationships with their grandchildren!
If you are a young parent, then your parents are likely to be young grandparents. That means that instead of only having 20 years of enjoying their grandchildren, they might have 50. The same goes for the kids. They will know their grandparents for longer and will be able to hold onto many more memories.
My daughter is lucky enough to know her great-grandparents. My Nan is one of the most special people in the world to me. My grandfather walked me down the aisle! And to know that they have had a chance to watch my baby grow up into the little person that she is means so much to me.
YOU will be young grandparents.
Sticking with the grandparents theme… when your kids grow up and leave home and get married and have kids, Lord willing you will still be young enough to enjoy those grand-kids. Instead of being that granny who sits in a rocking chair and knits, you can be the cool Nan who takes them to water parks and rides bikes with them. How would you rather be remembered by the next generation?
You will have a longer and more vibrant life after kids.
If you have your kids in your early twenties, then by the time they are all out of the house you will only be in your early fourties. That gives you plenty of time to enjoy your newfound freedom. You can revisit a passionate marriage, take a once-in-a-lifetime round-the-world trip, participate in adrenaline activities, start a new business, the possibilities are endless. That’s not to say that you couldn’t do those things later on in life, but wouldn’t you rather do it when you don’t have the possibility of needing a hip replacement? I know I would.
Starting a family young is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly, and for some women having babies later on in life is what’s right for them. But all I ask from those older women is to stop with the judgement and the looking down on younger mamas. Children are a blessing whatever age you are, and a woman in her twenties is just as likely to be a good mama as a woman in her thirties or forties. I’d love to hear from any young mamas out there! What blessings did you experience by making that decision?