Parenthood should be parent-good. I know people who are glad they had their children early and they look forward to when they will be in their early forties with all the children out of the house and they will be drinking mimosas while perched on long-legged stools at a beach bar somewhere in the Caribbean. Then there will be their counterparts running around with toddlers and changing diapers at thirty-eight.
Either parenting is okay – young or late because in most cases, it is fate and not really a choice. Some people that started parenting from as early as their teenage years or early twenties wish they had waited while those that had their children later in life wish they had started parenting earlier.
I was taken aback by the recent statistics that showed just how rampant teenage pregnancies had been during this quarantine period. I have had sleepless nights trying to imagine how the lives of these young girls will turn out. It is my prayer that in some way, they turn their lives around for the better.
Today, I feel the need to talk about young parenthood and all that come with it. You already know that I transitioned from a single girl to a 22-year-old stepmum of four children. That in itself was relatively young parenthood even though I was not their biological mother.
Benefits of having kids in your early twenties
More energy to run around after the children. You can even pull an all-nighter and manage to function well the next day. This would be a stretch for when one is forty and you would need more help around the house.
Your body bounces back quickly. Most people that have children young lose baby fat faster and they snap back to their pre-baby weight in a relatively short amount of time as compared to those that had children later.
You are less likely to run into fertility issues. When you are young, you do not have to worry about a biological clock ticking. All you need to worry about spacing and you are good to go. When you are older, however, such things as whether or not you can have kids can worry you.
With that said, young parenthood can also have its fair share of downsides. Just because the difference between you and your 20-year-old daughter cannot be pointed out – because you look like age mates – does not mean it has always been all rosy.
Many young parents face insurmountable challenges and some even swear not to have any more kids after the first or second.
Parenting requires a lot. One has to be stable financially, mentally, physically and emotionally to be able to provide the best for their children, lest it becomes a path to distraction.
Most girls that get pregnant in primary and secondary school do not go back to school to finish their studies. Those that get pregnant in tertiary institutions have to sacrifice their youth and skip some phases because parenting and especially motherhood calls for a lot more involvement. You’ve gotta GROW UP.
Without proper knowledge, a strong support system and lack of finances, young parenthood can be hell. Post-partum depression becomes almost inevitable and if you are not in the right mental capacity, you may neglect your child which is detrimental to their overall growth.
So, having children early may look like all fun and games until it comes down to the nitty-gritties of it.
Let’s talk contraceptives
Most of such pregnancies are unplanned and we will not bury our heads in the sand and say abstinence is the way to go. We know there are children from as early as 10 years that are sexually active. It is important to talk to our children about contraception and sex education and save them from having to flush their futures down the drain.
It is better for them to wait until they are in stable relationships like say a marriage, with their careers in line and finances to match before they start having kids. There is no harm in waiting a little longer because parenthood is here to stay.