I feel like everyone hits that point in their life where they look at that check list in the back of their mind and think:
College – Check
Job – Check
House – Not Check?
Marriage – Not Check?
Kids – Not Check?
Panic – Check?
Its that invisible check list that by a certain age you should have marked off all these huge milestones in your life. And if you don’t? Don’t worry, people WILL ask you about it. Frequently.
The number of times someone has asked myself or my boyfriend of 7 years (who’ve I’ve known for 15 years), ‘when are you two going to get married and have kids?’ is so high I can’t even keep track anymore. Whats not funny, is its not just family. Family I don’t mind, they know us, sometimes are joking around – I can be real with them, and they understand and leave it alone. But strangers, friends, acquaintances. Ask. All. The. Time.
It would be silly and stupid to admit that it didn’t bother me. Even at the 3 year mark people had starting asking us about it. Marriage? Children? My boyfriend would just look at me with the same thoughts running through his head. Why do we have to do that now?! Are we missing something, do we need to pass that point in our life, will we miss it?
When we first moved into our own apartment almost 5 years ago, (really 4) it kind of quieted the questions. This was socially acceptable. They got their own place, are biding their time – they must be planning that next step. But we were happy here, just in the new apartment phase, enjoying being on our own together. The real freedom of supporting each other and just enjoying our time.
Those questions were never far, ‘you two going to have kids?’ ‘when do i get to see you walk down the isle?’ ‘why are you wasting your money on that apartment, you should move closer to home and buy a house, it’s a better investment.’ The opinions always streamed in. I will admit that 2 years ago, those comments, and little stabs left behind wounds. They made me upset, I did feel like I was doing something wrong. I felt like we were missing on something everyone else saw.
I was also worried about other feelings inside me. I was growing more and more accustomed to the idea that I don’t want kids now, but I also wasn’t sure if I wanted to ever have kids. That idea, simply, was the most taboo. I was too afraid to bring it up to anyone let alone my boyfriend, because when we had first stated dating, it was a topic we brought up once or twice that – sure, we both wanted kids one day.
But when our family around us started getting engaged, pregnant, and married – that pressure was more and more there, in between us. Like when I say everyone, literally everyone felt like they had something going on, the number of weddings we were and are going to be apart of are so overwhelming. The stress I see everyone put themselves through is also – insane to me.
But you know you can only bottle this up for so long. Of course it would come up one day, I’m not happy to say in a nice easy conversation, but of course a fight. One that started because we were both too afraid of our real feelings and didn’t want to hurt or upset the other person.
Luckily, I would like to say that we’ve always have had a wonderful relationship, where he has always been my best friend first. We talked, and after a long night of mulling over where we were going, where we wanted to be – we were both grateful to realize that neither of us currently want kids, and neither feel a real big push to get married anytime soon.
Will we ever get married? Yes, that is a definite that one day we will tie that knot. But I don’t feel the need for a validation to get it done right now. We love each other, trust each other, and are committed to spend the rest of our life together. We’ve already built this beautiful life together, we have two beautiful fur babies and love to travel, explore and hike together. Just writing this makes me smile to think about all the places and experiences we have shared together.
Will we ever have kids one day? To be honest – probably not. We both dream of owning an animal sanctuary and making a difference rescuing those animals in need. What if it ever happened by accident? Then sure, we would make amazing parents and would never give up that mistake. But do I want kids, right now? No not at all. I love kids, I have a niece and a nephew that I simply adore, they are such beautiful babies and I love to spoil them. But do I picture myself a mom right now? No, not at all.
We knew, when we came to this decision, that neither of us wanted to get married right now, or have kids – we were going to get so much backlash from everyone. Our family, friends, or just people who felt the need to ask. BUT – we didn’t care. That was two years ago – I’ve made it clear, only when it was asked of me what I wanted. I was and am done trying to simply make everyone happy. I can tell you that some of our family was not happy to hear this. I know a few don’t believe the girl who played with dolls when I was a kid day in, day out, doesn’t want to be a mom. But that no longer bothers me.
I am so stinking happy right now. Living for each day, going for a hike yesterday, enjoying nature and chatting away about our vacation next week & the one at the end of the summer. Today we made the last minute plan to go to our game store, spend the day there just having fun with friends.
But that is just it. This is how we both enjoy to live. Just with each other, at our own pace. It might be taboo, that we don’t want to buy a house right now because we are still exploring our life. We don’t want to get married because we prefer to devote our time to ourselves, traveling, going on adventures. We don’t want kids because we don’t. I no longer feel the need to justify this to anyone, knowing that as long as we are happy – that is all that matters.
These little adventures are ours. We are happy living the day to day, knowing that this nature is out there, its beautiful and that’s all we need each day to be happy. I hope that you find this happiness with your best friend, or just within yourself.
Being able to experience life, day to day with my best friend, my lover, is something you can’t describe. But in my opinion, it is the secret of our success, 7 years strong – with lots of love, laughter – oh so much laughter – and adventure together. Remember that, when you feel you are down, the world is trying to say you need to do black and white – that the color you add to your life will add that flavor to everything & drown that out.
So at 26 – I’m happy to say I don’t have every next step of my life planned. I don’t see myself doing XYZ a year or two from now. The biggest things we have planned are our adventures we want to take this year, the things we want to do an experience. Money? Acceptance? Social expectations? Sorry, those didn’t make the cut.