Expectation vs reality

Expectation vs Reality

March 28, 2018

When I was 15, my expectation of life was that I would be married with two children by the age of 25. It felt like such a long time away and that type of life and timescale seemed perfectly doable. At that age, I never considered not having children or getting married (to a man). It was a given. When I was 25, I readjusted that expectation and figured I’d be married by 30 and maybe I’d have two kids by the time I was 35. I’m 3 months away from 35, and the marriage and kids thing hasn’t happened, I now realise how different the expectation of life can be in comparison to the reality. I was engaged at 24 and it didn’t work out. Maybe that was my sliding doors moment?

Approaching my mid 30’s has made me consider my life choices. Essentially my biological clock is ticking (I hate that expression) and I probably have a 5-year window to have children. I first would need to find a partner or means of having children, then I’d need to actually get pregnant (assuming I can) and pop out two kids. By anyone’s maths, those timescales are tight. The thing is though that I’m not even sure I want that life. I don’t feel at all broody. If anything, being around babies and children solidifies my desire not to have children. The stories I hear from my friends literally makes it sound like the worst thing in the world. They do always caveat their horrendous stories with “It’s so rewarding though.” Is it? Is it REALLY? I’m not convinced.

I’m at a point in life where I’m building a business. I have so much freedom to be creative and do exactly what I want to do. I love my life exactly the way it is and I’m not sure I’d want to give it up. I do struggle to admit that. It makes me sound selfish and slightly odd. There’s a bit of an underlying expectation that all women will have children. I remember being at one of my niece’s birthdays and there was a room of my sister’s friends with their various sized children, some of them hanging off their boobs. “It’ll be you next” I was told reassuringly. “Oh god, I hope not” was my reply. It went down like a cup of cold sick. How could I not want to bring a human life into the world?! The outrage!

At the moment I’m meh about the whole thing but what does concern me is what might happen in 10 or 15 years if I look back and regret not having my own offspring? I could adopt or foster and that’s something I’m open to, but what if I always regret not taking the leap? But then, am I only thinking that because I’ve been conditioned into that thought process? It’s enough to drive you mad if you let it.

I’m fairly sure every human on the planet has thoughts about where they “should” be in life versus where they actually are. Maybe they think about marriage and kids or maybe it’s their careers, how much money they have or how happy they really are. There are so many factors to consider, so many comparisons we can make, so many ways to doubt ourselves. While it’s great to set goals and plan for the future, sometimes it’s better to be grateful for the moment and leave the rest up to the universe. Especially if it’s something you’re not sure about, like in my case with the kid thing.

If you’re reading this and you’re unsure about anything in your life, welcome to the club. It’s one with 7.5 billion members and it’s called the human race. None of us really know what the fuck we’re doing and anyone who appears to have their shit together really doesn’t. You’re normal, I’m normal and we’re all in it together.

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