If you’re thinking about the size of your family and dreaming of a big one, research suggests that moms who have lots of kids actually age slower.
In case you don’t know, Michelle Duggar is the matriarch of the Duggar family which consists of a mom, a dad, and 19 children. The entire family appears to be each other’s support system and they always look like they might be the happiest family in the world.
I’ve always been jealous of how organized and happy and calm Michelle is, although there is no way I’d want to have a family so large. All those kids would have me hiding in the closet, breathing in jasmine for stress and eating an entire pan of Bailey’s cheesecake bars with my hands.
Can Moms Really Age Slower Because of Kids?
To all you wonderful Mamas who have made it through lots of pregnancies and births, now you have even more to be thankful for. (In addition to all those healthy kiddos.) It appears that science believes you may age slower than normal.
It’s all because of something called Telomeres. These are the “…protective tips at the end of each DNA strand and are indicative of cellular aging. Longer telomeres are integral to cell replication and associated with longevity.”
That’s scientific speak for “your cells will age slower.”
Think of Telomeres as those little cap things at the ends of your shoelaces that keep them from fraying. (The tips of shoelaces are called Aglets, by the way.)
“The slower cell aging may be due to the increase in estrogen during pregnancy, a hormone produced during pregnancy,” says one of the researchers. “Estrogen functions as a potent antioxidant that protects cells against telomere shortening.”
I’ll be honest. This research surprised the heck out of me.
Doesn’t it seem like the more kids you have, the more exhausted you’d be? And the more exhausted you are, the less you take care of yourself? And the less you take care of yourself, the shorter your life?
Yes, more research needs to be done, but it’s a super interesting idea to explore.
Remember the Octo Mom aka Nadya Suleman? I imagine that poor woman barely surviving her 14 kids. Can you fathom trying to raise the octuplets (that’s 8 babies in one belly) and 6 more kids as well? And…there is no Dad or partner on the scene to help her raise them, like with Michelle Duggar.
The New York Times recently interviewed her as the babies are 10 now. (Hard to believe it’s been 10 years since that media circus.)
They reported, “The octuplets are small for their age, but they’re polite, they cook, they’re vegan, they read two books a month and do their homework without being prompted. In spite of all of the horror stories in the tabloids since birth, they’re model fourth graders. How did she do it?”
I agree, NYT. How does she do it? And is she really predisposed to live longer?
God bless moms with lots of kids.
You are seriously tough, brave, and impressive. Watching what you do to raise up your kids is inspiring. Let me say this, from the bottom of my heart…
I hope you do live longer. You deserve a longer life so that maybe you will someday have a minute to sit down and rest! You’re a rockstar. Be proud of it!