So, I have to hear it all the time, “You have nothing going on!” “You’re not busy!” “What is so important that you have to do?” “You have no kids, not married, I mean really?” Oh yes, real, true-to-life humans have said this to me. I’ve even heard kids ask me why don’t I have children and why am I not married. Some of them are reminders why I don’t have children. But I digress. They are right, to some degree. I do not have children and I am not married. But is it necessary to have the children or marriage to validate me?
I’ve had quite a few conversations around this topic and have read articles and blogs that argue my point; that being single and childless is enough, at least it should be. Some argue differently, that you should have a child or children by a certain age and/or be married. If you are both you are in the “elite” club. By no means am I putting down or bashing the sanctity of marriage or having children. One day, I hope to be married and MAYBE have children, the jury is still out on that. But in my “right now” moment of living my single self and what I choose to do with my single-selfhood is a choice I made for myself, and I cannot be looked down or regarded differently from my counterparts that chose otherwise.
At this point in my life, it’s about respecting one’s wishes and their choices. Respecting boundaries and also valuing one’s time, regardless if it is filled with children and/or a husband. I’ve learned from my friends who have children that they work hard. They have mouths to feed, homework to check, soccer or basketball or football practices and games to attend, carpools to coordinate and drive (I think I’m lapsing into a t.v. show because I really can’t think of any of my friends that do carpool). Nonetheless, I see them and what they’re doing and I know they’re busy. I respect it. I respect their day-to-day as well as their time and know that it is limited and their choice to include me in their downtime is an honor. My married friends are the same. They have someone that they have entered into a union with and that relationship deserves time and attention. I respect it. Now, here’s the jugular. Why is the same respect not given or valued for a person that works a job, takes care of parents, has a social life, actively dating and goes to the gym 5 days a week? I may be stretching it with the last point but I think the message is clear.
While our 24 hours may not look the same, there is still business being taken care of on all fronts. We have to put aside the societal downward casting attitudes and start valuing one another, regardless of our marital status and/or our state of having children.