Keep the Adventure Alive
Today’s testimonial comes from Victoria (not her real name), 26-year-old single woman. Thanks so much for your submission!
I come from a family of six kids (I’m #5) and the idea of having kids when I was older was a given. I never thought I wouldn’t have kids because I was taught that the order of life was to get a job, get married and have kids. Everyone I knew had children. I’ve seen all my brothers and sisters get married and a few go on to have children.
At 26, I am not married. This is probably the first reason I don’t have children. I was taught that children should only happen within the confines of marriage. My mother had a child out of wedlock and it was really hard on her and her family. She was thought to be a “less than” until she married my father. He also had a child from a previous marriage that ended in a nasty custody suit.
My dad always said the reason he married my mother is because his son needed a mom and her daughter needed a father. That freaked me out because to me it meant that children decided your life after you had them, you no longer did.
Growing up it was etched into my mind how difficult kids can be and that they are a “forever” commitment that ends your own personal life. However, my mother and siblings (who have kids) all say it is the most rewarding job they have ever had which makes me feel conflicted about whether or not I should have kids. On one hand, I would love to have kids and watch them grow up and have families of their own, but on the other hand, I want the freedom to up and leave and do whatever I want.
I moved out of the Midwest where the mindset, although changing, is to start having kids in your twenties, settle down and build your life around your family. Unlike the rest of my family, I’ve lived and worked in other countries, met people from all walks of life and cultures, and am now living California, where most people tell me I’d be crazy to get married before 30, let alone have kids. I personally feel like I’m still too selfish.
Too many things are up in the air. I like my job, but I want to move on to a new career, possibly a different field. I don’t want to live where I currently am forever; I might want to live overseas again. I do have a boyfriend, but I haven’t heard my “clock ticking” by any means. I’m still trying to figure myself out, let alone another little human being.
Another reason I’m hesitant about having kids is the way parents handle their children these days. Parents put their children above absolutely everything else. My brother and his wife always do this and it has actually put some strain on the entire extended family dynamic. They often cancel on family events and make excuses like “He really had his heart set on seeing the zoo” even though he’s 2 years old. It’s made many people in our family resent them and their kids.
So for now, no children, but it does get harder and harder not to feel like I’m falling behind on the “steps” of life, especially, when all my brothers and sisters are married and either with children or want children. I fear I’ll become an old, boring mother when what I really want is to keep the adventure alive.
If you would like to submit your story, please email me at nokidwoman (at) gmail (dot) com.
Photo Credit: Jorah Mormont via Flickr