Posted by Crimson Orchid (5825 posts) - - Show Bio

There is something I feel I need to get off of my chest…

First off, I am a young woman. Almost 23 now. I am single, and happily so. I have no children and no romantic prospect in my life at this time. I am hilariously unprepared and unready for such things. I want a career. I want my own life, at least for a few years. This past year especially…

I feel as though I’m surrounded by young mothers, young families and young children. Many of my friends (actually... all but one of my friends) and people of my generation in general have started families of their own.

Now, getting to my story…

Over the last couple of years, this is what has been happening:

I meet up with a friend, I go to work, I run into an old acquaintance from high school perhaps…

Well, someone brings their kid… And this I probably wouldn’t mind… If this didn’t happen:

“You’re a young woman, you must just be aching to hold this baby!”

or “Now don’t you get caught up in baby fever now!”

or “I bet you just can’t wait to did your claws into some man and make a little bundle of joy for yourself!”

And of course, “When are you gonna find some guy to tie down and get your life started?”

Well first off, I can wait. That’s not the life I want right now… Second, why is it that because I’m a lady that it’s automatically assumed I MUST just NEED a baby? Or a man even? Third.... I've been alive for nearly 23 years. I think it's safe to say my life has started. I don't need a man and babies to have a life.

This is something I am getting increasingly tired of. It’s an old way of thinking that, to me, feels outdated and it doesn’t interest me.

I will admit that there was a time when I really wanted to start a family and follow that path. But over time I came to realize that's not for me. At least not yet.

And the best part… When I try to explain this to the people that say such things to me… To explain that their life just isn’t for me… One of two responses occurs. It’s always either complete bewilderment, like I just shattered everything they’ve ever believed in… Or it’s anger. A “how dare you not follow what I believe is the proper way for you!” and often they try to argue me over it. Argue that I am wrong because young women are supposed to be the ones to want kids and families and not worry over a career and building a life of their own. That's supposed to be the mans job.

I have also tried the method of just not saying anything, the old “smile and nod” tactic… Doesn’t help any. Often they just continue on and on and I don’t care for that.

That, for now, is my rant… I just really don’t want to deal with this kind of thing anymore… It’s frustrating...

And... reading this back to myself... I sound like a total feminist... HA!

I guess I just want some thoughts on what you guys think.

What plan do you guys have? Career? Family? Just going with it and seeing what happens? Am I alone in this thinking or are there others out there?

Open discussion, but please be respectful.

#1 Edited by NlGHTCRAWLER (2898 posts) - - Show Bio

@Crimson Orchid: Preaching to the choir orchid! My mom already wants grandchildren... I make like 10 bucks an hour and I kind of hate kids and have no interest in starting a family with the person i'm with now. Stay strong yo =b

#2 Posted by Crimson Orchid (5825 posts) - - Show Bio

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@Crimson Orchid: Preaching to the choir orchid! My mom already want's grandchildren... I make like 10 bucks an hour and I kind of hate kids and have no interest in starting a family with the person i'm with now. Stay strong yo =b

See, I make more money than anyone I know in my age group (I'm talking 50%-75% more than any of them). But everyone's idea seems to be that I should find some guy to deal with the income and start popping out babies. :P I like making my own money and I like being able to use it for what I like (even if right now it's mostly paying off my car and my student loans).

Thanks for voicing your thoughts on the topic.

#3 Posted by JediXMan (29560 posts) - - Show Bio

You're 23. You shouldn't be thinking about kids at that point in your life.

Least that's my opinion, from a guy's perspective.

Online
#4 Posted by Blood1991 (8098 posts) - - Show Bio

@Crimson Orchid: I think you are completely right. If you want to start a family or not is your decision, whether you get married or not is also YOUR decision. It shouldn't be looked down on, and you shouldn't be pressured, because we each live life differently. I think it is great you have your priorities straight, I'm turning 21 on the 13th and am still lost in a void of choices.

#5 Posted by pooty (10797 posts) - - Show Bio

@Crimson Orchid: My own mother, who raised me and loved me dearly, looked me in the face when I was 17yrs old and said:

If I could go back in time. I NEVER WOULD HAVE HAD KIDS.

She was not being mean. She was being honest. Kids take up so much of your life that you don't have your own life anymore. If you find a man to love that is AWESOME but don't stress over it. And even after you are married:

DON'T HAVE KIDS

#6 Posted by Crimson Orchid (5825 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty said:

@Crimson Orchid: My own mother, who raised me and loved me dearly, looked me in the face when I was 17yrs old and said:

If I could go back in time. I NEVER WOULD HAVE HAD KIDS.

She was not being mean. She was being honest. Kids take up so much of your life that you don't have your own life anymore. If you find a man to love that is AWESOME but don't stress over it. And even after you are married:

DON'T HAVE KIDS

A love life really isn't anything to stress over... at all. The only times I stress over it anymore is when I'm in a relationship. I love my friends, I love my parents and my Grandma and brother. That's enough for now.

#7 Posted by YoungJustice (6669 posts) - - Show Bio

You shouldn't be getting married unless you are extremely in love with someone in your 20's, or even early 30's.

#8 Posted by pooty (10797 posts) - - Show Bio

@Crimson Orchid said:

@pooty said:

@Crimson Orchid: My own mother, who raised me and loved me dearly, looked me in the face when I was 17yrs old and said:

If I could go back in time. I NEVER WOULD HAVE HAD KIDS.

She was not being mean. She was being honest. Kids take up so much of your life that you don't have your own life anymore. If you find a man to love that is AWESOME but don't stress over it. And even after you are married:

DON'T HAVE KIDS

A love life really isn't anything to stress over... at all. The only times I stress over it anymore is when I'm in a relationship. I love my friends, I love my parents and my Grandma and brother. That's enough for now.

Your last sentence is perfect

#9 Posted by Crimson Orchid (5825 posts) - - Show Bio

@pooty said:

@Crimson Orchid said:

@pooty said:

@Crimson Orchid: My own mother, who raised me and loved me dearly, looked me in the face when I was 17yrs old and said:

If I could go back in time. I NEVER WOULD HAVE HAD KIDS.

She was not being mean. She was being honest. Kids take up so much of your life that you don't have your own life anymore. If you find a man to love that is AWESOME but don't stress over it. And even after you are married:

DON'T HAVE KIDS

A love life really isn't anything to stress over... at all. The only times I stress over it anymore is when I'm in a relationship. I love my friends, I love my parents and my Grandma and brother. That's enough for now.

Your last sentence is perfect

Thank ya :)

#10 Posted by minigunman123 (3116 posts) - - Show Bio

Personally, I plan on never having a family. I'm interested solely in a career at this point, maybe romance on the side, but on the side; not as my main reason for being. I'm also a man however and this is generally more common and more readily accepted, so it's not quite the same thing.

My recommendation for you is:

Think hard about what you want, and go for it, and don't let people get in your way. If that means you have to get rid of a couple friends, think on whether you want it that badly, and if you do, don't feel guilty, and don't be mean, just tell them that you think you might need some time away from them or on your own or something. If people start bothering you with ridiculous stuff like "you need to sink your claws into a man" (which I've never heard anyone say IRL, that sounds very... Hmm, "TV"ish?) then just say "no I don't, I don't really want to get married or have a boyfriend right now."

If they can't handle it and get angry, that's when you say "I think this discussion is over", and excuse yourself from their life.

My Mom doesn't like the idea that she might not have grandchildren. I don't tell her this, but IMO, if she wants grandchildren, too bad; it's not her decision and it's not her responsibility. She has no say, no stake, no claim, and no relevance in the matter of whether or not I decide to procreate at some point.

Hope I helped.

#11 Edited by KnightRise (4785 posts) - - Show Bio

At 18, I entered a "legal binding contract" with a 20 year old coworker over a french fry and soda that at age 23, roughly when I graduate college, I would marry her and have a son named Caden MacHenry Harvey. My friend/coworker/fiance claims that he will be a perfect interracial composite of us: close to my skin tone and with gapped teeth and her red hair and blue eyes. I'm 19 now, so I guess I'd better learn how to change a diaper....

Honestly, though, when I get a steady job in my degree's field, I wouldn't mind having kids relatively young. You can relate much easier. But I was at a (suburban) high school swim meet earlier, and I saw all the parents supporting their kids. Most of them may have been early-mid 40s with younger teenage children, but they were well off and happy. And thats what I really want.

Sooooo does anyone know a lawyer to get me out of a five year, two french fry contract?

#12 Posted by Crimson Orchid (5825 posts) - - Show Bio

@minigunman123 said:

If people start bothering you with ridiculous stuff like "you need to sink your claws into a man" (which I've never heard anyone say IRL, that sounds very... Hmm, "TV"ish?)

Lmao, yeah... That's my Grandma for ya... Another one from her is "When are you gonna bring some tall, dark, something, something over for me to meet?"

#13 Posted by minigunman123 (3116 posts) - - Show Bio

@Crimson Orchid said:

@minigunman123 said:

If people start bothering you with ridiculous stuff like "you need to sink your claws into a man" (which I've never heard anyone say IRL, that sounds very... Hmm, "TV"ish?)

Lmao, yeah... That's my Grandma for ya... Another one from her is "When are you gonna bring some tall, dark, something, something over for me to meet?"

Ideally, if faced with that sort of thing, I'd love to go "Not right now, deal with it."

Unfortunately I'd probably have too much respect and just say "Some day."

#14 Posted by Crimson Orchid (5825 posts) - - Show Bio

@KnightRise said:

Honestly, though, when I get a steady job in my degree's field, I wouldn't mind having kids relatively young. You can relate much easier. But I was at a (suburban) high school swim meet earlier, and I saw all the parents supporting their kids. Most of them may have been early-mid 40s with younger teenage children, but they were well off and happy. And that's what I really want.

Everyone has their own path to follow. Young families are meant for some and not others. And honestly, I did used to think that's what I wanted as well, but then I found that's not what's important to me. Honestly I'm not even sure I'm capable of real romantic love.. LOL

#15 Edited by Crimson Orchid (5825 posts) - - Show Bio

@minigunman123 said:

@Crimson Orchid said:

@minigunman123 said:

If people start bothering you with ridiculous stuff like "you need to sink your claws into a man" (which I've never heard anyone say IRL, that sounds very... Hmm, "TV"ish?)

Lmao, yeah... That's my Grandma for ya... Another one from her is "When are you gonna bring some tall, dark, something, something over for me to meet?"

Ideally, if faced with that sort of thing, I'd love to go "Not right now, deal with it."

Unfortunately I'd probably have too much respect and just say "Some day."

Yeah, I've just gotten to the point that I just tell her that I guess it just means she'll have to live longer. lol

#16 Edited by slacker the hacker (7823 posts) - - Show Bio

@Crimson Orchid: 23 sounds a bit young to get married and have kids. 27 or 28 seems more appropriate for that kinda stuff, you know if you want kids ever?

But this coming from a 15 year old who is still in school so I'm probably not very good with this kind of stuff. But when I grow I would like to get married and have kids. I really want to be a dad one day it's one of main goals.

#17 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

I eat babies, so that takes care of that problem. Once a mother sees me stuff her child's chubby little forearm into my mouth to nom on, thoughts about me being a mother kind of take a back seat.

As for the rest? Like you said, its different for everyone although it is annoying as a woman to get comments along those lines. Its doesn't let up either. This is what I have observed so far:

A pretty little thing like you needs to have a man in her life!

(You "find" a man)

So when's the big day?

(You get engaged/married)

Where's the baby? You aren't getting any younger, you know.

(You have a baby)

You can't have Bob/Barbara be an only child. How cruel!

(You have a second baby -- its another girl/boy)

You have to try for a girl/boy!

(You have another baby -- same gender as the first two, repeat above several times until "you get it right". Doesn't matter if you have ten plus kids.)

Throughout all this you are criticized for remaining at home to raise your chiild/ren, and of course the reverse is just as common. I know people who have gotten married pretty young and are happy, and I know others who waited until they were forty plus -- equally as content. I was in a relationship throughout my years in high school and I was shocked my boyfriend at the time assumed we would get married as soon as I graduated. Could be a cultural thing, but it stunned me none-the-less. Pretty much everyone in our social group had his mind-set and were shocked I had a different idea on the matter. Because apparently, that is the goal for all of us, you know, meet someone, settle down, have kids, commiserate with your friends about the hell child-rearing is etc, etc,.

Uhm, no thank you.

My personal feelings aside about marriage, I don't have any plans at all when it comes to commited relationships or having children of my own. I take a more simple approach which I call the "Que Sera Sera" ideology. Live your life, explore paths that appear before you and then, well -- what will be, will be.

You could be facetious and respond with shock when people enquire about your life. Like so:

A pretty little thing like you needs to have a man in her life!

(Response: Oh, I agree. In fact, I have several. I nickname them after the days of the week because *wink*, its keeps our schedules easier to remember.)

So when's the big day?

(Response: Wednesday hooked up with Sunday so Friday and Tuesday want to take their spots. But Thursday said he's not sure about the extra demand on his time because of his own calendar girls so Saturday it is. And yes. Yes he is 'big'. *wink*)

Where's the baby? You aren't getting any younger, you know.

(Response: I'm waiting to hear from Manuela, Juliette, Jahindra, Mei Mei and Olga. Finding a womb-to-rent is so hard now-a-days, I figured I should broaden my options and hey, five at one time gives me better odds in getting a girl and a boy, right? *wink*)

You can't have Bob/Barbara be an only child. How cruel!

(See above.)

You have to try for a girl/boy!

(Again, see above. But don't forget the exaggerated *wink*. Its the Canadian version of "bless your heart" aka "go f#ck yourself." With a smile.)

So --- next time there are babies around and you are inundated with declarations of your ovaries expanding in response, just do as I do and pop that little hand into your mouth (I manage the whole forearm usually -- and inner thighs are the best place to attack if you're lucky to get one with them exposed all ready) and make yummy noises. Its usually a conversation killer.

*wink*

#18 Posted by Strider92 (16094 posts) - - Show Bio

23 seems a bit young to be thinking about kids anyway -.o. If you don't mind my asking where are you from?

#19 Edited by Guardiandevil83 (5280 posts) - - Show Bio

Live your life for you and no one else. I'm 28 years old and everyone I know are either married, engaged, or simply have had Children out of wed-lock. And while I do want children, I would like to establish a bit more before I do.

I've had the same conversations with my family and friends, but strangely enough, they all tell me the same exact thing: WAIT UNTIL YOUR READY! Except for my eldest sister, who really, really, want's me to have a child. I have no problem dating...... I mean, a brotha got needs, ya know? lol. But I've made sure to always wear contraception, and still ''pull out" while wearing one. But do what's right for you, because if you don't, and you start living your life for others, you will regret it. And that's where most resentment for one's child originates, which, could possibly lead to verbal or even physical abuse.

Just do what you've always done. And live your DAMN life for you!

#20 Posted by Crimson Orchid (5825 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis: Definitely lol'd through your response. Thanks for that :)

@Strider92: Canada

#21 Posted by Samimista (20597 posts) - - Show Bio

@Crimson Orchid: Coming out of a teenage woman who lives in the south and see kids having kids, I look and think to myself, "Wow, those gals just messed up their lives by having a child so young." Personally, I'll be getting my tubes tied when I'm older due to health reasons and for the fact I don't want any kids.

If you don't mind me saying though, your friends should realize that it's your life and not theirs. You're still fairly young and have a whole life ahead of you. I don't think anyone should have a kid until their financially settled and either in their late 20s or somewhere in their 30s.

I plan on being an author and a psychiatrist to help people out and to show everyone my stories. I think it's a bit ridiculous how certain people are so hung over with children and romance when there's more to life than that.

I don't know you personally but you sound like a very intelligent mature woman. I'd say don't let others pressure you and do what you please. If your friends keep on nagging or harassing you about popping babies, I'd check them off the list. Never settle for second best and follow your heart.

Granted, I'm just a teenager. If you'd like someone to talk to I'll gladly bring out the virtual platter of cookies and tea for us if you ever just want to have girl talk or anything like that.

#22 Posted by Raiiyn (3448 posts) - - Show Bio

Ugggh I feel your pain. Sometimes I just wonder if my family even understands the concept of independence.

I went home for my Grandmother's birthday and was onslaughted with the following speech:

"You know *insert ridiculous full name thick with accent here** I thought you were going to come home, bring a boyfriend... tell me you're going to get married.. how come you no find nice boy?"

-_-

Im 21.

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting stability and to enjoy a career before considering settling down. ESPECIALLY when you're young. You're not even CLOSE to 30 yet.

LIVE YOUR LIFE! And that goes for guys and girls alike. Relationships and babies aren't the end and be all of life. There is so much more to experience.

#23 Posted by Aiden Cross (15562 posts) - - Show Bio

I completely understand, lol. And if you're not ready or you're not even thinking about it, you can certainly let others know that. I get questions like that a lot, mostly because i have two older brothers which have no intention of settling down so they always joke that 'all our hopes rest on you' or 'you'll be the first, i just know it!'.

Personally i do one day want to settle down, kids, white picket fence etc etc. But not right now, I still want to do a lot of things in life and am actually thinking of going back to school to pursue something i've always wanted. Someone recently told me to live life as it comes to you, and that's what i intend to do now. I can endlessly worry about things that may never come, or i can simply enjoy the moment and see where it takes me.

So to everyone: Screw the expectations people have of you, screw the expectations you have of yourself and just live life as it comes to you ^_^

#24 Posted by lykopis (10756 posts) - - Show Bio

@Aiden Cross: Fellow "Que Sera Sera" advocate! <3

#25 Posted by Aiden Cross (15562 posts) - - Show Bio

@lykopis said:

@Aiden Cross: Fellow "Que Sera Sera" advocate! <3

#26 Posted by Crimson Orchid (5825 posts) - - Show Bio

@Samimista: I'm always up for girl talk, pm me anytime!

#27 Posted by joshmightbe (24601 posts) - - Show Bio

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

@Crimson Orchid: Preaching to the choir orchid! My mom already wants grandchildren... I make like 10 bucks an hour and I kind of hate kids and have no interest in starting a family with the person i'm with now. Stay strong yo =b

Trust me you'll like your own kids much better than other people's children if you ever decide to have some. I always said I didn't want kids but now I can't even imagine life without my daughter, who gets away with saying all the smart ass things I'd love to say to my mother in law because she's small and cute enough to be forgiven instantly.

#28 Posted by Cozy_Da_Djed_Eye (9950 posts) - - Show Bio

Kids.

#29 Posted by PowerHerc (81602 posts) - - Show Bio

You're young; have your kids later.

You have plenty of time.

#30 Posted by RoboShark (1208 posts) - - Show Bio

I tried doing the kid thing, took it very seriously. Got burned, badly. Think I'm gonna go to college next semester.

#31 Posted by TheGoldenOne (38849 posts) - - Show Bio
@PowerHerc said:

You're young; have your kids later.

You have plenty of time.

This.
#32 Posted by Samimista (20597 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheGoldenOne said:

@PowerHerc said:

You're young; have your kids later.

You have plenty of time.

This.

Maybe someday TheGoldenOne will find his TheSilverOne!

#33 Posted by TheGoldenOne (38849 posts) - - Show Bio
@Samimista: lol Already found her, Sami. I just hope it lasts.
#34 Posted by Samimista (20597 posts) - - Show Bio

@TheGoldenOne said:

@Samimista: lol Already found her, Sami. I just hope it lasts.

Oh! =D *cheers with pompoms* Yay! Yay, Yay! ^______^ I'm so happy for you! =D

#35 Posted by Sigurd_Surturson (43 posts) - - Show Bio

What you said, basically. I've no desire for offspring. I'd be a terrible parent, anyways.

#36 Posted by icysloth (1305 posts) - - Show Bio

@Crimson Orchid

I am 22, lots of my really good friends are getting married, in fact I have already been a groomsmen twice, its nice all the girls your age are thinking the same thing "I need to get married". It's easy hunting

#37 Posted by The Stegman (23041 posts) - - Show Bio

Successful life > changing diapers 
 
rolling in dough> buying baby stuff 
 
Buying expensive headphones to go with your expensive Ipod so you can listen to your fancy music> listening to a crying baby.

#38 Posted by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio

23?!?!?!? Thou hast gone beyond ye marrying age! Thou art an old hag now! Dear old lady, in this Victorian age, thou shalt have a benedict by 21!