I want to write a story about an exceptional young woman, who, for the purpose of this post, I will name Jane.
As I said, Jane is an extraordinary young woman. Coming from a very dysfunctional family she had a rough time growing up. Nothing was given to her, instead, she had to fight for everything that she wanted. College, job, other accomplishments and money, nothing was given served on a silver platter. She moved, by herself, to another country where she knew neither the people, nor the language.
After years and years of cleaning, washing dishes, and waitressing through her high school and college she finally got a good job. Jane is now working a job that corresponds to her vocation. She is and engineer. An electrical and computer engineer. On her graduation day, besides hundreds of men, she was one out of a dozen women graduates.
Now, she is in her mid-twenties and living the time of her life. Well deserved time. Traveling, going to clubs, hanging out with her girlfriends, buying nice clothes,… just having fun.
I forgot to mention that Jane, besides herself, supported her mother and single-mother-of-two sister. She always showed support, both financial and emotional, to her family. Especially to her young niece and nephew. They love her a lot, but she loves them more… like a second mommy. She changed their diapers, played with them, took them to the beach and playground etc. When she was felt lonely she often thought about them.
So, how do I explain how much it annoys me to hear that famous two questions “When will you get married?” and “When will you have kids?” directed to her. They make it sound like all of her previous accomplishments mean nothing because she didn’t get married nor has she children.
I, myself, am a mother of two. I had them at a very young age (for western society criteria), yet I have never thought that I should have been put on a pedestal because of that. Today’s women, when they go through pregnancy, birthing and taking care of a baby (or toddler) think that only they have achieved this lifetime accomplishment and nobody else knows how a huge sacrifice it is. Well, newsflash, women did it for thousands of years, you’re not that special.
You don’t even have to pop out a bunch of kids to be special or, even, relevant. I see a lot of mothers who clearly had their children because society expected them to. That’s why I admire women who chose not to have kids; because they stayed true to themselves and did what they wanted or felt was a good choice for them. I see a lot of mothers who conformed to the society and it’s expectations and ended up dissatisfied and frustrated.
Yes, I know, parenting is an important topic on my blog, but I had to write about being child-free by choice since it concerns a person very close to me. I see a lot of people putting her down because of the fact that she isn’t married nor has children. I want to say to her that despite that fact IS valuable and important, and childlessness doesn’t affect a thing about her.
So cheers to you, Jane. Do what makes you happy, enjoy and don’t conform to other people’s expectations.