22 Perks of Having Kids in Your Early 20s
OK, so Lorelai Gilmore had Rory when she was 16 years old, and while we aren't condoning teen pregnancies (and recognize that Gilmore Girls, as much as we love it, isn't real life), there are some serious benefits to having babies young.
Still, with each passing year, women are waiting longer to have kids. In 1970, the median age was 21. Last year, that number had risen to 26, an age that still feels too young to many career-minded millennials. Although you may often hear your peers extol the thrills of spending their 20s on themselves — traveling, building a career, dating — you can and should be proud of the fact that you spent yours raising kids. Here's why.
- You have so much more energy.
- Sleep isn't as big of a deal when you're younger. You can survive on less of it — even pulling an occasional all-nighter — and still get through the day without much incident.
- You'll probably be one of the only people in your group of friends to have a baby, so yours will be a bit of a novelty, which often means being spoiled with visits and gifts!
- Your kids will have longer-lasting, more memorable relationships with their grandparents.
- Because of your early start, your parents are also young enough to have a more active role in helping to raise your child.
- Your kids are very likely to meet some of their great-grandparents, and they might even have them in their lives throughout their childhood.
- Your body bounces back much more quickly, and with much less effort on your part.
- You're less likely to run into fertility issues.
- If you do run into problems conceiving, you have plenty of time to keep trying or to explore other options.
- You don't miss a lot of "adult" freedoms — or have to adjust to life without them — because you never really experienced them without a baby.
- As one of the youngest moms in your child's elementary school class, you'll be more able to relate to similarly aged teachers, who will in turn be more comfortable reaching out to you over concerns they might otherwise avoid discussing.
- You can look forward to enjoying your future grandchildren while you still have the energy to do so on your terms.
- There's much less peer pressure. You're able to make parenting decisions that are best for your family without having to feel overwhelmed by how your friends are disciplining their kids, for instance.
- Your body just works better. You're more flexible, and you can kneel over a bathtub without getting a backache or chase a crawling baby for hours on end without feeling completely wiped.
- When a child grows up with young parents, they are less sheltered from big-picture conversations, like financial hardships and sacrifice, which can teach them valuable lessons.
- When your friends start getting pregnant, you're the one they turn to for advice.
- There's less chance the stressful baby years will affect your opportunities for advancement when they come early in your professional life, before your career really gets going.
- Being a mom shifts your priorities in unimaginable ways. When you're still in your 20s, you're more willing to make a big life change or take a career risk postbaby than you would be if you were already well-established.
- Although it wasn't always appreciated in the earlier years, being reminded of how young you are in your 30s — and beyond — feels pretty great.
- You never had to waste a lot of time worrying whether or not you could even have kids.
- By the time your kids are out of the house, you're only in your 40s and can enjoy the newfound freedom in more exciting ways — revisiting a passionate marriage, traveling to exotic destinations, starting a new business — than you'd be able to in your late 50s.
- You have that much longer to enjoy motherhood.