Baby, or Not to Baby? That Is Your Judgemental Friend’s Question…
Recently, it’s become very apparent that I am too old to be single and without child. In the South, I am pretty much Quasimodo. In the North, I’m another wedding guest with no plus one. And my life also has no meaning because I don’t know how babies work. Clearly, my life is over. Where are my cats?
Growing up into womanhood, my mind was far from the thought of settling down, marriage and babies. I never dreamed of my wedding day, I never imagined what my kids names would be, I never thought about where my ideal home would be nestled. This started way before I saw my own family split from divorce, or my friends having kids at a young age, or anything else that would deter me from the lifestyle of creating the ‘ideal’ family. I was happy with rolling with the punches.
My life has been far from conventional. I planned my wedding once, when I was engaged. Only to have it fall from reality into something more suitable, like…not…being married. I like the idea of living together forever till one of us decides the tax breaks are big enough to get hitched. I see these reality shows on TV about the excitement of this impossible expectation of the perfect day. I see girlfriends freak out about planning a wedding. You know what that looks like? Something I don’t want to do.
Being married sounds awesome, don’t get me wrong. I love the idea of vowing till forever in front of friends and family. I like shiny things on my finger. I like the official title change to wife, so that shiesty ho’s would shake in their boots at the sound of ‘Don’t mess with him, Dez is his WIFE!’
It’s not even January, and most of my vacation time is already booked to wedding related things. I’m attending three, I am in two this year. Maid of Honor for one of them. Not to mention the plethora of babies that are shooting out of my friends at an ungodly pace. Over the past three years, my Facebook News Feed has changed from photos of binge drinking, vacation photos from Vegas and Cabo, status updates about terrible dates and angry political rants…to engagement photos, wedding announcements, sonograms and babies dressed up as pumpkins. What.The.Hell.Happened?
I’m 28 and single with no children.
And I am pitied.
Oh I KNOW I am not alone in this. There are plenty of women & men in my age range that are in the same boat, so this post is for you, for us. Whether in a committed relationship and just want to stay that way. For women who enjoy making the most out of their lives, and understand having a spouse or a child, although may satisfy some people, is just not what we need at the moment.
Which reminds me of a wonderful episode of SATC, A Woman’s Right To Shoes… in which the married mother of two, devalues Carrie’s lifestyle choice – and insinuates because she is married with children, Carrie’s choices are ‘insane’. Although not a realistic portrayal of what happens in life, it makes my point very well.
The way I look at it, you have the rest of your life to devote to other people, and your choices are limited once you create a family, your life is no longer about you. From the day you were born till about 18yr old, your parents are in control. From 19-35 (maybe longer) you get about 16 years that is yours to do with what you want. Make your own choices, find out who you are, and more importantly, find out what you can bring to the table when you finally DO get involved. 35yrs old in my opinion is about the time, biologically speaking, to make a decision whether or not you want a rugrat. You don’t have to have one at 35, but that’s when I decided I should at least make up my mind, for the sake of health and making sure I still have the energy to keep up.
And from 35 till death…50-60 years maybe, if you say “I Do” or “Put A Baby In Me”, you no longer get a 100% vote in your own decisions. So if you think about it, 16yrs out of 80yrs, that’s only 20% of your life that you get to have all to yourself. That’s it….
Oh sure, there are perfect scenarios out there, where the both of you love and support each others feelings and goals. But for the other 99%, you’re both going to have to make big sacrifices at some point. Moving for a better job, taking in an elderly parent, buying a house, even deciding on the perfect vacation. I don’t know about you guys, but I would be lucky if I got one European vacation once every ten years, and now you would have to compromise where. And rightfully so, in a healthy well balanced marriage, big decisions should be accompanied with big compromises.
So, to recap, this message isn’t about how shitty it is to be married or have kids. In fact, marriage sounds cool as hell. And with the right person, I bet it is. Kids sound messy and aggravating….but fun and fulfilling. But I don’t have either. So why am I made out to feel like I’m slacking in the ‘life’ department.
The fact is, I’m not. I lead a quite exciting, honest and completely gratifying life and I don’t need someone to enhance it for me. The people I invite into my life are there because I want them there. The holidays are a tough time to be lonely, that big ole bed can get cold… and all those happy couples with bouncing children don’t look that scary. But nothing is better than knowing you’re doing just fine with your choices.
I made the choice to develop who I am so that I’m ready to fully commit when the time comes. So I know who I am, where my morals and boundaries are and live comfortably knowing my character won’t be swayed by suggestion or guilt. I want to use my time wisely so I can be the best damn partner I can be. And I realize we all change overtime (just as humans), but hopefully I would’ve built a strong foundation for myself, to trust my gut long-term.
I’d love to take a moment and congratulate all my friends getting married and having babies. I am genuinely thrilled for you! You have literally doubled my friend count this year….
This year, I decide my New Year’s mascot is not a baby….
…it’s my Masters degree and a new passport.
But who knows, life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.