Kids and Growing Old: Musings Of A Newly Thirty Year Old Woman
So often we let society overly influence how we feel and act. I could go on for hours about topics like body image, nutrition, and politics but for now let’s just touch on age and children.
Maybe I’m on my own in this, but it annoys me that society teaches us that couples should raise a family once they’re married. While I have no ill feelings towards you wonderful parents out there, it frustrates me that I still find myself doubting my lack of interest in having kids because it’s abnormal, against the grain.
TO HAVE OR NOT TO HAVE
More couples are choosing not to have children though and I commend them for knowing what’s best for them and not succumbing to the wishes of their parents, friends, siblings, in-laws, second cousins, and everyone else that undoubtedly approached them countless times with: “When are you having kids”, “You’ll love having a family,” “Your life will be more complete with children”, “You really should start a family now before it’s too late”, “You’ll regret it later if you don’t….” etc etc. Admit it – it’s still a bit odd for a happily married couple not to want children.
If you find yourself struggling with this weighty decision, don’t feel ashamed if you aren’t jumping for joy at the thought of having kids. Instead you should embrace your ambivalence! I think many people underestimate the option to say “no”, and often each spouse doesn’t equally evaluate the lifestyle and financial impacts of this huge decision. Deciding to wait or not to have kids doesn’t mean you’re cold, heartless, or a kid-hater. Sure people may question your decision but they wouldn’t be the ones raising your kids anyway, so who cares what they say.
If you worry about if you will regret it later, there are always other options like adoption, foster care, mentoring nephews/nieces, volunteering with kids, or even just getting a pet to care for. I’d strongly advise against letting fate decide. If you’re not using protection you’d better be 100% ready to have kids! I know many couples that got pregnant on the first try.
THE HILL IS JUST A LAUNCH PAD FOR NEW THINGS
On to the topic of age, I recently hit a milestone birthday entering a new decade and turned to my mother for moral support. “I never worried about turning older” she said with a straight face. “The only birthday I really remember impacting me was when I turned 60, and that was just because I’d been looking forward to it for so long so I could start getting the senior discount when I go to the movies!” How adorable is that?
My mother’s easy going attitude and positive outlook has been a great anchor in my life and I hope to be as happy as she is when I reach 60! It’s still scary thinking about aging, but I’m determined not to let a number define my level of happiness. Instead of fearing getting older, I want to look forward to being a little old lady with lots of wrinkles from all the smiling and giggling I’ll be doing
I’d really like to slap the person that came up with the phrase “over the hill”. Sure we can’t stop the aging process but why do we have to dread that when we reach middle age, it’s only downhill from there? Shouldn’t we strive to die at our happiest and at the peak of our lives? With an over the hill mentality, it’s no wonder people have mid life crises thinking that things are just going to get worse as each day, month, and year passes.
AND SO WE CONTINUE
Our thoughts and feelings are more powerful than we give credit and I believe they can influence us physically too. If you want to have children, go for it, but don’t judge others for not wanting the same things you do. If you believe you are young, you are! Start thinking positively, avoid stress and pessimistic people, and you’ll see the world of difference.
Never To Wonder