I've written about the abusive relationship I had with my pre-baby body, and how — after growing and feeding my son — I finally respect and appreciate my former enemy for the astonishing, life-giving masterpiece it is.
I learned to listen to my body and take care of myself in a way that never mattered to me before. And not only am I glad that I didn't spend another 10 years clouding my brain with preoccupations that simply don't matter, but I also credit my younger age for allowing my body to bounce back better than I had imagined. (But to be fair, I imagined the worst.)
Bouncing back from labor isn't a reason to get pregnant earlier (especially because all of our bodies respond to pregnancy differently, no matter our age), but it could be a little notch in your favor. Even if you're bummed that your body isn't exactly as it was, imagine adding the natural aging process on top of it. And with more reproductive years ahead of us, we can give ourselves more time in between pregnancies to recover.
But more than vanity reasons, finally understanding our body's purpose and appreciating its mind-blowing abilities isn't a bad thing to learn sooner rather than later. It's something that I never could have understood before experiencing it first-hand.
It's a lesson I'm grateful for every day.
This is part of a weekly "Why I Love Being a Young Mom" series, meant to inspire and encourage women who are starting early. It's no way meant to attack alternative choices, but merely to highlight often-ignored benefits to early motherhood. Email or tweet your favorite reason with the hashtag #earlymama.
Photo: Flickr/La Marqueza