Hey Its Okay Not To Be Pregnant

I feel like when you approach any age after around 25 or earlier, you start to as a woman feel an insane pressure from your biological clock and society to wonder whether you’re on the road that you’re “supposed” to have started on by now?  To compound this pressure, there was an infographic floating around the internet that detailed what you should have achieved by a certain age.  Passing your driving test, buying your first home, getting engaged, getting pregnant (there was no section that celebrated the moment you left a toxic relationship or when you got your first dog or learnt how to change a plug fuse because your straighteners wouldn’t work, yknow, MONUMENTAL life moments).

You’re surrounded by friends or colleagues announcing pregnancies and dropping like flies to an attack of the mutant sperm, grand engagement parties, weddings that cost more than my savings account have ever seen (what savings?) and Instagramm’d “just picking up the keys to the new house!” pictures after signing for their first home avec mortgage.  All those things that are deemed expected for a 25+ plus woman that just haven’t yet happened for me.

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To an extent it can be a bit scary to hurtle towards 30 thinking that I’ve not ticked these achievements off of a list of life must haves, especially when you don’t see yourself in a position now to cross them off or to have a child/put a ring on it in the forseeable future. As I approached the ripe old age of 28 at the beginning of May, I began to feel like in some ways I was expected to have hit the milestones and to some (those grandparents who ask whether “you’re next” when your cousin gives birth or when your mum practically begs you to make her a grandmother) like I was maybe “failing” at what a woman is expected to achieve.

But in myself, I know that I’m not.

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Expectations of grandmothers who see you as a barran empty woman because your vagina hasn’t yet passed a child from a hole the size of pee aside, does it really matter?

These life aspirations from generations before us are pencilled in place under the illusion that achieving and ticking them off will the average person happy.  What if, well… they don’t?

If by saying “by this time I should have achieved XYZ” surely I’m setting out  aspirations under the guise that they are my aims to be happy.  Goals and targets are motivational technics, but for me they’re useful for practical goals.  Blogging every day, saving money and so on, but for massive lifestyle choices (like small humans and blancmange dresses) putting up a bar of what I should achieve by 25 and then finding I haven’t achieved them risks the prospect of feeling like I’ve failed and feel unfulfilled.

Along with that, is it guaranteed that those aspirations will make me happy?  What if my “things to make Charl happy” list consists of having a baby, getting married and being able to dance like Beyonce?  Once I tick off my list of aspirations and find myself booty popping and winding and grinding around a stage a la Sasha Fierce with a baby on my hip and a husband in the kitchen, will I be living the epitome of bliss or will I be left in a wonderment of “what now?”tumblr_mxen8oEEL51scv46oo1_500Instead of holding so hard onto the reigns that control our lives and comparing our life timelines to those of others should we instead allow life to happen naturally and cease the pressure we put on achieving milestones.

Because after the ticked off achievements and the wedding that comes one year after the engagement and the baby that comes one year after the wedding, what do we do then?  Does life stop?  Or do we reach the penultimate level of happiness?  I don’t know about you but I don’t like putting a ceiling of limits on my achievements and happiness.enhanced-25901-1401917303-39When it comes to babies it’s only recently that friends from my social circles are deciding to start adding to the population and breeding with their significant others, and as much as I may feel a tiny bit broody by the whole “having a tiny person made from me” and the no doubt undying devotion and love for another being, it just isn’t on my horizon right now… So why should I be made to feel like I’m less of a woman because I haven’t experienced this blessed miracle of life? Which I have been on multiple occasions.anigif_enhanced-16238-1407437477-13Facebook threw me to a crowd of mums who would post such status’ as “don’t know what I did before I had a baby, my life was so meaningless and I was so immature” and I began to wonder that as well as being a not very cleverly veiled dig at those of us without children, perhaps it was more that their lives weren’t up to much before they had a baby rather than a baby making their entire world wonderful #sorrynotsorryanigif_enhanced-22372-1413915010-5To me, each persons life choice is their own. In the same way that girls my age (28) may have a child who’s heading into high school soon, that was their life choice. If at the age of 16, 19 or 23 they found themselves pregnant and decided to have a child then that is their prerogative. If at the age of 16, 19 or 23 I wanted to go on to further education, go into full time work and go on holidays without the financial or emotional responsibility of a child then that is completely my choice to do so. It doesn’t mean that I hate children, I never want them or that I’m a stone hearted cow from hell who thinks that babies are evil. And tosuggest that because I don’t have a child I’m not emotionally mature or “haven’t grown up” or that my life is empty is disrespectful.  There are a number of life factors that may impact on a persons emotional maturity and having a child isn’t the be all end all after all.

I wanted to go along the lines of Glamour Magazine:

Hey its okay not to be where you thought you’d be at 28 (30/21/19 – whatever age).SJP-as-Carrie-carrie-bradshaw-24029211-500-374

It’s okay that the only life plans you have at the moment is V Festival and a weekend away with the girls. It’s okay that you don’t have hundreds of pounds in a savings account because you would rather enjoy your life now. Hey, it’s okay not to be in a relationship because you refuse to settle for some who doesn’t give you butterflies. It’s ok not to have an answer to “where do you see yourself in five years?”.  It’s okay that you aren’t defining your life by other peoples standards or aren’t on track for what you forecasted when you were younger.

It’s okay to do what you want, when you want.

  • Rachel Bradford

    I totally get this – although I have ticked off some of the list.
    But I’m married with a bought house, and no kids right now. But it seems as soon as you start working off the list, you’re expected to complete it all at break neck speed… which I’m not!
    I agree everyone has their own notions of what makes them happy, and what they deem as an achievement… and so we should! Aim for what YOU want, not what society tells you!

    Rach // illustrated-teacup.blogspot.co.uk

  • fashion-mommy

    I had my first and only child at 34, I’d had all the biological clock comments, but until I felt it ticking myself, I concentrated on bags, shoes, travel and cocktails. We do things in our own time, not when others think we should do things.

  • Great post! I think everyone is different, I’m 24 in a few months and can’t see me having children for a long time yet, but I have friends my age that have several! I kinda hate that we are expected to do certain things or have done certain things by a certain age, what matters more is enjoying ourselves and living life the way we want to :)

    Hayley-Eszti | http://www.hayleyeszti.com

  • Lets Talk Beauty

    LOved this post – I have been married almost 10 years & I’m 36. I have no intentions of getting pregnant anytime soon but people always ask the same questions & say we are missing out by not having a family. We are very very happy & life is moving along just fine without babies.

    http://www.letstalkbeauty.co.uk/

  • Michaela Gingell

    omg this post!!!!! Ahhh it’s all so trueee. My step sisters are luckily keeping the baby flow going so that my mum is kept happy. I just dont understand this insane amount of pressure to have certain things done by a certain age ugh no hahaha xxxx

  • At 28 I hadn’t hit any major milestones, I was living with my parents unmarried and no child!! I finally bought a house when I was 31 didn’t have a child until I was nearly 32 and only got married three years ago! I also found that after having said child all I ever got asked was when I was going to have another one!! (i never have). I have just turned 40 and my life isn’t where I thought it would be but that is life you never know whats coming!! I love being a mum but I would be lying if I said there weren’t days when I get nostalgic for my old life pre child!

  • Ami

    I totally agree with this post. I’m 28, I’ve been with my boyfriend for 9 years, and engaged for 2. We bought our house last year instead of paying thousands for one day (wedding) but yet I constantly get asked when our wedding is. If only I had that money tree everyone seems to thinknow I have. ..

  • Thanks for writing this post. I am in Germany at the moment (my native country) and people get children here a lot earlier than in the UK. I will be 25 in October and my grandmother is already wondering when I finally have children. I am only 24, chill out Granny. I don’t have savings, I like to spend my money on Michael Kors and expensive holidays. I want to see the world before I settle down. I have to justify my decisions all the time and I am so fed up doing it. Thanks again for letting me know that I am definately not the only one and that I can do what I want when I want.

  • Kirsty Haynes

    Fantastic post. I’m turning 27 in four days and I am constantly asked ‘When are you going to meet someone?’ ‘When are you going to have babies?’ etc..

    I have definitely not ticked any off on the adulting well ‘list’. Nope. I have no babies to speak of, no partner, no house, no car…not even a driving license!

    I’m super ‘failing’ at this adult situation but I feel it was made a lot harder by being in a 4 year long toxic relationship. Everyone is different and times have changed; it’s harder to be like our parents and have ‘it all’ by 30. And hey, I’m not going to settle just so I can conform to societies ideals.

    If others have hit those milestones, good for them, if you haven’t, who cares? It’s all relative and sod any one who makes you feel otherwise.

    So having said that, I’m going to chill out tonight, with my cat and a glass of wine and watch something I enjoy which isn’t a kids program or fucking football. Whose the real winner here? ;) haha

    Again, fantastic post! Great to see others out there are spinsters just like me.

    http://blessedbymeow.blogspot.com

  • Really love this post – and I say this as someone comfortably married but very unlikely to have children and even more unlikely to save for a deposit on a house! I hate those societal expectations that make people feel like a failure if they haven’t ticked a damn box on the life story checklist. I’m perfectly happy in my rented house with my dog and grumpy husband thank you very much – and I have an amazing shoe wardrobe!

    C xx
    http://curvygirlthin.blogspot.co.uk