On one of my particularly lazy Sundays, I stayed in and had a Sex and the City marathon. In one of the episodes, “A Woman’s Right to Shoes,” Carrie gets her Manolo Blahnik shoes stolen while attending a friend’s baby shower. This was due to everyone having to take of their shoes once entering the friend’s home. This really bothered Carrie because not only were they her favorite pair of shoes, but they cost a pretty penny. When she tried to get her friend to pay for the shoes, the friend taunted her by claiming she has a a real life with kids and other responsibilities and she could only afford to pay $200 for the shoes when the shoes were actually $485.
The “real life” statement stuck with me though. So because Carrie decided to not have children and to spend her hard earned money on things that she liked, it was not a real life? This is something I feel has been a debate between women for many years. To a lot of women, getting married and having children far out weight having a career and choosing to put marriage and children on the back burner or choosing not to have them at all.
At the glamorous age of 26, I am constantly asked when I am going to settle down by other women, mostly twice my age. I dread this question because I really don’t have a plan to settle down at any time in my life. I plan to see the world and while yes, I would love to do that with a partner, it is not the most important thing in my life. I sometimes feel that when I excitedly tell people about my goals, I am met with either disappoint or the dreaded statement of, “You will change when you get older.” I used to feel shame that I was on the fence about having children and I was scared to tell people that if I didn’t have children, I would be completely fine and content with my life.
I have never had the urge or true want to be a mother. I do love children dearly and think they are the purest gifts from God, but I don’t need to have one to appreciate them. When I think about my dream life and where I see myself in the future, I am not quite sure how children would fit into that picture.
To me, having a “real life” is being absolutely happy with the decisions I have made in my life and not feeling ashamed because they don’t match up with someone else’s idea of what a real life is. It’s sad that even if you are completely content in your life, you will always be hit with, “What now?”
People ask this simply because they cannot stomach how you can be happy where you are. They think that you need more. The more being children and marriage. Now I am not 100% against the idea, but this should not be the measure of a woman’s happiness or a man’s.
Different things make different people happy and that is completely okay and I get pure excitement from seeing people living their best lives with or without marriage and children.