For whatever reason you were brought to this letter today, I hope you’re able to take something away from it.
To the person reading this...
I myself have known since I was a young child that children were not for me. I was told my entire life by family and friends that I would change my mind as I grew up and grew into the idea of what it means to have a family. The importance it would hold for my life and me and how having children is, “just what you do” in our traditionalist society. Now, at 26, let me be the first to inform and validate you that children are not for everyone… and what the hell is “normal” anyway?!
This is also for those who are maybe on the fence about children, those who are waiting, and for those who desperately want children, but maybe cannot have them.
There is this idea that if you don’t have children in your life you are somehow, “irresponsible” or incapable of being “less tired” or that our lives somehow “lack meaning” without the pitter-patter of little feet. These things are hurtful and could not be further from the truth.
I don’t know why we as women drive wedges between one another and purposefully hurt each other with this notion that because your neighbor’s life is different from yours, that somehow they’re missing out or that they don’t know what “struggle” is. We ALL struggle and we ALL have things in life that make us grow up and deal with the life that was meant for us; children or not. Some women are equally as tired from have grueling jobs, having chronic illnesses or from working her ass off to take care of her parents, and maybe even your parents too! (Where are my healthcare babes at?!) Some women find meaning through jobs, volunteering, traveling or through family, etc., as well! Each aspect comes with it’s own set of struggles and issues. Just because you have children, doesn’t mean you’re the only one who has it tough.
Why are we as women putting ourselves in such small boxes?!
You can be the woman who succeeds in her job with or without children, be that stay at home mom… or dog mom! Be the woman YOU have always wanted to be, that’s why you’re here. Empower your neighbor, don’t tear her down. The same can be said on the opposite side as well. If Becky with the good hair wants to have 50 kids, she better get busy!… and that’s her prerogative! It’s not for you to decide just as it’s not hers to tell you how to live your life. Keep the hurtful statements to yourself.
To the women who desperately want children but haven’t been successful… Understand that there are those of us who understand how painful these statements are to you and how unfair it is for other women to say them to you. Know you are doing your best, and know that being a mother isn’t necessarily biological. You’ll be a mother when you are called upon to be one, in whatever form that takes. Embrace it. You never know how powerful your actions may become.
Whether you are having children or you’re not, your life has meaning and you are important to those around you.
Childless at 26,