The age at which people start having kids seems to be getting later and later as time goes by. People often put off having kids because of schooling, careers, traveling, or other endeavors. Because of this, the age of parents nowadays is closer to thirty and young parenting isn’t always encouraged in society. But, being a young parent myself, I hate that about society. Especially since, in so many ways, young parenting is the best ever.
There are tons of reasons why being a young parent is awesome. But three stand out to me as the foundational perks of the job.
First, there’s the fact that we have been in our children’s shoes most recently. Ok, so taking our first steps isn’t something we remember off-hand, but when our kids do things like go to their first day of middle school and their first school dance, we will only be twenty years or so ahead of the game (and, believe it or not, not much changes in twenty years). We will be able to bring ourselves back to those experiences more easily than parents who started much later than us, and that will help us to better feel what our children are feeling in that moment. Plus, looking at recent trends, some of our clothes from when we went to school dances will probably be in style again soon, so it’s perfect.
The second reason is that, while older parents tend to have it all figured out, we young parents are often still trying to reach our own goals. And while stability is a key aspect of parenting, being excited about life’s possibilities is, in my opinion, even more important. Young parents may not be living in the city they always wanted to live in or working that job they always dreamt of, but that’s part of what makes us so much fun. We young parents are always encouraging our kids to keep dreaming because we know that we still have dreams on our minds as well. And what better way to bond with our kids than by dreaming together? “You don’t know what you want to be when you grow up? Well, neither do I! Actually, no, you’re right, I want to be a princess.”
The third, and perhaps most significant, perk of being a young parent is that we have a ton of energy. We are younger, and therefore we are often more spry than our older parent friends. Having to carry crying babies around at all hours? We can totally handle that. Having to read the same book eight times a night before bed? No big deal. Waking every hour in those first few weeks for feedings? We can do that. In fact, we just pulled all-nighters for weeks a couple of years ago during final exams in college. We got this. We will not be shaken.
People need to start giving young parents their due credit. Just because we were only recently allowed to go to bars doesn’t mean we are any less capable of being good parents than our elders. In fact, we’re pretty darn great at it.