Is my clock digital?

I’ve had a truly fabulous festive season as always; any time when I get to hang out with friends and family having a laugh is time well spent in my book. There’s just one thing that’s bothering me though…

Over the course of the last month or so, it’s been made abundantly clear to me by people from all parts of my life that a 30 year old woman should want marriage and children. Prior to my birthday trip to NY, I was asked repeatedly if I thought the boy would pop the question and then on my return, was asked whether he did. I’m not sure how many more ways I can say, “I don’t want him to. I don’t want to get married!”.

Then over Christmas, as well as the usual number of people my age announcing babies or their intention for babies, I had one of the most awkward conversations of my life. Picture this: Boxing Day, round with the would-be-in-laws-if-we-married and I end up having a conversation with just his mum. Firstly, she completely undermines my whole career by telling me that like she did with the boy’s father, I’ll likely be “supporting” the boy by following him around on business trips like some kind of trophy in future. WRONG! Then came the big one…”And what about children? Do you have plans for children?”

I couldn’t believe my ears. That question was so far beyond direct from someone I barely know, that I was completely wrong-footed. What I wanted to say was that it’s none of her business. What I actually did was tell the truth and say that we haven’t any plans for children within the next couple of years and I couldn’t say beyond that.

Why is it that a month ago, at 29, it was OK to not want marriage and children but now I seem to be an old maid and should be desperate for these things? I don’t have a ticking clock. Or I can’t hear it if I do. Maybe mine is digital and it’ll stay silent until some sort of alarm goes off. I feel like I’ve only just got my own life sorted, I don’t want to ruin that now by introducing another life into the mix.

From the prevalence of posts of this nature that I’ve seen all over the blogosphere lately, I think we’re facing an issue with a change of life expectations. There’s not only a generational divide but there’s also a divide among my own age group. It still seems that many people in said age group expect their peers will want marriage and babies by 30 as a default setting. There are so many more choices available now that it’s just not the case. If you are traditionally inclined, please do the rest of us a favour and back off. Sure, if we’re best mates, you can probe a bit more but everyone else can get back to floral arrangements and nappies and leave me to my shoe shopping and cocktails. Please. This pressure is unnecessary and unwelcome; we don’t openly criticise you for “settling down”, so you should afford us the same courtesy.

I’m 29 and 13 months old today. That is how I will be counting my age from now on, to avoid these awkward “life” conversations. Just an idea some of the rest of you might want to adopt!

Love to you all, regardless of your marital status 🙂 x

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