At the moment, every time I log into Facebook there's a friend or a friend of a friend getting married or has just announced being pregnant. If you're a sucker for punishment like me (#FOMO much?!) you also check on People You Used to Like and lo and behold they too are also engaged and pregnant. At 26 I'm not really thinking about these things yet (or rather I wasn't!), honestly, I can barely function as a sole human being with a boyfriend let alone be considering a WEDDING and CHILDREN?!
I have the utmost respect for the people that do decide to take this step, because it's such a life altering one. I mean you're joining your life to someone (literally when we're thinking of children) and from the conversations I've had, it is a forever sort of thing. That really scares me. Forever. With One Person. With A Person. At 26. I've been assured by people much older and much more well-adjusted than me that this is a totally normal feeling because at the base of it, it's me fearing the unknown.
On the other hand. I also get slightly annoyed. Because all these people have achieved great things, working and studying at the same time, holding their shit together while family members died or they were made redundant. And yet, yet nothing quite compares to getting married and having children. I feel really ambivalent about this because as humans I am aware scientifically our job is to reproduce and we've managed to exalt it to cultural cornerstone status. But what about all the other things we do and achieve - starting our own businesses, finishing gradschool with a bit of our soul intact, managing to hold onto a job with a contract?! Why don't we celebrate these things as much? Are they so easy, so common that we dismiss them with a flick of the wrist. 'Oh well she's got a job but not a boyfriend' Cue everyone nodding knowingly and with pity.
Perhaps it is a cultural thing, because my parents have drummed into me: Life is Not Worth Living Unless You Give Us GrandChildren. On hearing that I could die if I even tried having one child, my mother's response was 'Well you can just have one then'. There is no doubt that having a child is their Ultimate Aim for my life. (Mine still involves travelling around the world and going into space) Is it just me that has this, or does it cross culture and societal barriers? Or even a generational thing? Or steps on the life ladder that we're all supposed to climb and do it at the right time because heaven forbid you don't do it the right way - which from what I can gather, we're supposed to do in our late 20s?!
Have we only achieved something when we have children and have a ring (metaphorical) on our finger? I don't just ask this as a woman, I mean this for guys as well because do you feel pressure to marry and settle down and have kids? Do you even want to? Is it wrong if you don't?