In today's society, it seems as if there has been a common standard set- especially for women. Yes, times are changing. Yes, times are evolving. However, this belief has yet to change in the minds of so many people in the world we live in today.
There is a particular timeline that oh, so many people follow from adolescence to adulthood and then into their elderly years.
From ages one to twelve you're learning and testing the limits of your capabilities as you grow both physically and mentally. You're using up your childhood years to the best of your abilities and expelling the most amount of energy and playfulness you can before being hit with the reality that next year you're going to be a teenager.
In your teenage years, you can do one of two things. You can follow the rules or break them, simple as that. There are very few people who walk the line in-between perfect child and rebellious havoc, and as you know, those who are able to do so must have special abilities to charm anyone and everyone who comes their way. Your teenage years are spent learning what is, what can be, and most importantly what you can do.
Following your teenage years, you hit your twenties- the golden years. You are in college, starting your career, and if you're lucky meeting the love of your life. Maybe you'll even get married like so many dreams they will in the close years after college.
And then what happens? You're married, in a stable job, paying a mortgage…and then?
You're pregnant. Having a baby. Giving your parents the grandchild (or grandchildren) they have always wanted. You're suddenly doing everything in your power to ensure that your soon to be little one grows up in a picture-perfect household with the best care, education, and share of love you can provide them.
Now, this picture-perfect reality doesn't have to be your endgame. In fact, there is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to have children this day in age. It's 2019, and even though it's frowned upon or not-so-common to not want to have children of your own, it certainly does not have to be your endgame.
There is a stigma around females who don't want children at least at some point in their lifetime.
"Why don't you want kids of your own? Is there something wrong with you? A condition? An illness? Family issues? A fear of childbirth? Is there just no time? No money? No space? Why wouldn't you want children?"
And in all honesty, there is no way around those questions or having to face the actual reasons you may not want children of your own. The answer can be as simple as it's not something you have planned to as complicated as there's just no time to set aside for it.
And yes, it's not the path the majority of women choose to take. It's rare for anyone to flat-out declare they don't want to have children some point in their lives. However, for me, I don't want to limit myself to a timeline where I will absolutely be having children of my own in my twenties or early thirties.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I absolutely do not want to have children later in life, it's always an option especially if I come across the right person who I want to spend the rest of my life with. However, I'm simply saying I will not limit myself to the timeline that everyone seems to follow.
Personally, I am an incredibly ambitious, goal-centered person. I want to live in a city, am pursuing a career that is extremely time-consuming, and would like to travel the world when my finances permit it. If I were to by chance settle down and have kids, let's say in my late twenties, I don't trust myself to separate the time needed to devote to my child while juggling the preset goals I am already working toward.
And even if it is possible, I absolutely do not want to be the mother who is so wrapped up in her career that she does not have the time to go to her kids' sports games, dance rehearsals or award ceremonies. I would want to be the parent who chaperones the field trips and would want to make up for what I feel I didn't have when growing up.
Aside from my own goals, I wouldn't be comfortable bringing a child into this world without being absolutely positive that they're going to grow up in a safe, enriching environment. Being in the family situation I am, I would never want to subject my child to deal with my family issues. It wouldn't be fair to them, and they would spend years longing for the type of family that their friend from science class, Jack, has or that girl across the street, Ashley, does. I would feel tirelessly guilty.
I would want to stop time just so I could be with them and watch them grow up. I wouldn't want to miss the little moments which I fear is inevitable with the path I've chosen. I would want to provide them the life they deserve to the best of my abilities, but I'm scared I will not be able to.
Having children of your own is a beautiful, miraculous part of life for so many people. For me, however, so is living life for yourself and make your goals a priority. I don't want to regret sacrificing the opportunities that I've wanted and worked for all my life to designate a time in my life to stop and have children. Call me selfish, you absolutely can, but I don't want to push pause on my life to follow the cliche timeline.