I remember my vision of my future when I was a young girl, it was filled with lace-trimmed wedding dresses and little brunette daughters running around. It was your typical expectations for one’s future – get married and have kids. That’s just the normal progression of life, what you’re supposed to do. Or is it?
Fast-forward years later to the 21 year old woman that girl became, things might have changed slightly. Just a tad bit. Now my dreams are no longer full of swirling white and lakeside vows, instead they contain helping hands, dedication, and a singular not shared future.
My views on marriage and children have changed dramatically over the years because of various reasons. I’ve been pretty steadfast on my current stance since high school though – that being that I don’t want children or to get married. No thank you, have a nice day, send me a postcard.
Of course, I always hear the typical responses, even from my own mom and sister. These are the usual reactions for the preferred spouse-less:
- “So you want to be alone for the rest of your life?!”
- “Don’t you want to be with someone? Fall in love?”
- “Are you like asexual or something?”
- “I could never be single the rest of my life.”
- “Won’t you be lonely?”
With comments about not wanting kids sounding like this:
- “You’re still young. You’ll change your mind.”
- “I felt that way too when I was your age.”
- “But kids are the future!”
- “Give it some time, you’ll want them later on.”
- “But you would make a great mom!”
I’ve encountered pretty much every opinion one could on either topic. One thing that always stands out to me though is the conclusion that “not being married=not wanting to be with anyone.” This is so far from the truth though, in fact I would love nothing more than to fall in love. Just because marriage isn’t a must for me doesn’t mean so is not being with another. Yes, having a partner isn’t my top priority anymore but it’s still up there.
If you had asked me about marriage two years ago though, I would have passionately told you – “Never. Never ever ever. Not for me. Never never never.” My feelings have relaxed since then and now if I do end up getting hitched in the future it won’ t be the end of the world. Things happen and circumstances change.
Now children? Sorry, not going to happen. I’ve always been open to adoption, but I have no desire to have my own. Pregnancy looks like no fun and you can forget birth. Not my cup of tea to suffer for 9 months and then spend hours trying to expel another human. Yikes! I have tons of respect for the women that choose to endure that. You guys are hardcore. Women are weak? Please, nice joke there.
One thing to note though is that there are more roles for women to have in life than just mother or wife. I think that’s why when some choose to differ from those expected routes, people freak out. Women are so boxed in by society that if they aren’t a mother or wife, others don’t know what to make of them. They become enigmas. With all the opportunities available to women now, we should be allowed to explore and find what roles suit us. One woman might want to focus solely on her career and that’s it. Another might want to be a stay-at-home mom with a husband. Maybe some want to be married, but be childless. Or have children but only be partners. Whatever the outcome or choice, all are acceptable.
As for me, whatever my future holds is alright with me. Whether that includes a wife or husband and kids. As long as I’m happy and loved then the rest are just minor details.