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Fighting Social Norms

I’m at an age where people expect me to have ‘accomplished’ certain things. By now I should own a house, be married and have a few kids so that I can be considered as winning at life. So I thought I’d go through the ‘checklist to life’ and see how I’m going.

Owning a house ✓

Yes! One item checked. About 2 years ago now Jarrod and I talked about buying a house but at the time weren’t ready to jump into all that and wanted to save some money first, we’d been together a year at that point and hadn’t lived together yet so we wanted to make sure that was going to work out. I also wanted to get out of debt and actually have something to contribute to a deposit so we decided to rent for a year and then re-assess.

As you know we have been living in the house we bought for just over a year now so we obviously went ahead with that. It’s only the two of us in our house but it has 4 bedrooms and you can guarantee that when people find that out they give us a knowing look and say “oh, planning for the future?” because of course we are filling all that space with babies!

Married ✗

It seems like, in some peoples mind, this is the most important aspect of the checklist. Marriage is the end goal to life. Maybe this might have been true 50+ years ago when society was even more closed off to “alternative” lifestyles and the point of life was to get married, procreate and have your name continue on through the ages but I don’t understand why it’s still considered such a big deal. Perhaps even more so to some people. Those people who have their weddings mapped out from the time they understood the concept, those people who have this idea of the ‘perfect married couple’ and shove it in everyone’s face, those people who have to have a better wedding than everyone they know to show that their relationship is superior.

I have no problems with the idea of marriage and committing to someone for life. Would I get married? Sure. I really just don’t like the pressure behind planning the marriage, specifically the wedding. To me they should be about celebrating your life and future together not about how much you spent on the food or the reception or your clothes or about how many people are in your wedding party. I wouldn’t want to deal with the stress people put on themselves by making it the ‘perfect’ day. I’d much prefer to save a bunch of money from not having a hyped up wedding and use that to have a nicer/longer honeymoon.

Overall, I couldn’t see my life changing too much if I did get married. I’d just have a fancy new ring, a piece of paper and a new surname.

Kids ✗

If one more person tells me “oh you’ll change your mind” when I say I don’t want kids I may bite their face off. My body and my brain are my own and I know how I feel more than you know how I feel. If I say I don’t want kids, I’ve never wanted kids then maybe you should believe I don’t want kids rather than pushing your ideals onto me. Furthermore I don’t care whether someone feels like having a child was the best decision of their life, why does it automatically need to become part of mine? I have to say, I’m not looking forward to being even older and getting the old “you’re clock is ticking” every time the subject is raised.

Obviously having kids is a sore spot for me. It’s the one thing where people just do not understand if you don’t want them. They just can’t fathom that a woman wouldn’t want a baby to look after and nurture. I want to live my life the way I want to live it and not have the burden of a child to look after. I don’t want to have to outlay thousands of dollars on a child I’d much prefer to spend that on doing nice things for myself. Many people would say that is selfish and perhaps it is but I’m not telling them how to live their lives and expect they shouldn’t feel compelled to tell me how to live mine.

Yikes, 1 out of 3 on the checklist but fortunately, succeeding in these things aren’t what keep me going in life. Hopefully one day, as people become more and more open minded the checklist will change and become about living your best and happiest life rather than living the same life as everyone else.