“This archaic idea – that a woman who is unmarried and childless at 30 is somehow unnatural – will probably always exist, and, like most social standards, it is ridiculous.” ~ Beth Ditto
This world is as incredible as it can be harsh. It can be as care free as it can be filled with pressures and opinions. I have touched on the subject of stereotypes and expectations many times on this blog, yet I have also shied away from posting on one that is deeply personal until now. It is actually ironic because I rarely shy away from anything. Yet, every time I sit down to make sense my words are scrambled, and my emotions are on high alert.
A woman’s reproductive life even beyond politics has always been open to gossip fodder. Is she going to have kids? Is she not? Why they heck isn’t she? I know people who literally from the day they were born knew all they wanted to be was a mother. They went to school to get a “MRS” Degree, and then had children soon after.
If that is your dream. Do it. It is admirable to raise the next generation.
Just as it is admirable for the women who want to cure cancer. Or go into politics. Make their mark a different way. Their is no shame in not wanting to be a mother.
And for those who choose to do both. I admire you, because I want to know when you sleep.
But for many women, they aren’t given that choice. Yet without anyone knowing they are still judged harshly. They are still asked invasive personal questions.
“WHY are you not a mom?”
“Are you going to have kids?”
“Your clock is ticking you know!”
My response albeit snarky is “Why is it your business?” in my head at least. Usually I just shrug my shoulders and attempt to change the subject. Of course those busy bodies tend not to let it go very easily.
Their is the “natural order” which despite archaic societal preconception still lives on in this supposed modern world we grace. Graduate college, get married, have kids. It may not always happen in that order, but it is suppose too. No one is happy until you have children. And many times one, won’t appease the gossipers. Many of my married friends get inundated with those questions like it is the cover of People Magazine.
/ Photo courtesy of Shutter Stock /
While I might not be married, I have been asked as well. I have been told over and over again my clock is ticking. I need to find a man. If I want kids I need to do it soon.
Yes ma’am there is a lot of things I need to do, but A rushing the process and B giving you the latest on when I am reproducing is not it. Nor is it your’s or ANYONES business..
Many of the people who ask those questions don’t know me, nor do they know the struggles I go through every month.
Oh it might be a taboo subject. Hell J-Law talking about her uterus, stirred up the ire of people everywhere on social media. Yet the issues countless women face daily are completely negated when someone tells me I need to get a move on if I want children. Like it is my soul purpose in life.
I know that. I know my clock is ticking. My clock ticks every time of the month and even twice a month. It is a time bombed waiting to explode and it does whenever I have a cyst burst and am in excruciating pain. I hear it when I can’t decide on going to a city emergency room, or to suffer in my apartment in silence. It is constant noise when I am fighting the pain and debating on whether I should take the painkillers I am deathly afraid of becoming addicted too or crawl into the fetal position and pray it passes quickly. It ticks every time I am hemorrhaging and need iron because I am so badly anemic.
It is a badly tuned grandfather clock ticking away reminding me their is a huge chance I will not be able to conceive naturally and I might as well be hiking Everest backwards.
It ticks every time I start dating someone new and THAT conversation comes up.
The gong sounds when I see my friends struggle with infertility and miscarriages and my heart goes out to them, because I know despite being “single.” And I dread it, because in a few years I will be in their boat.
I hear it when I look into the eyes of my beautiful nieces and handsome nephews and realize that battle might be a long shot, but that at least I am blessed to be an aunt.
Even if, as people, even family members tell me, “It isn’t the same.”
Oh yes I know all about the clock. The clock and I are in a constant battle even without the reminder from society daily. We don’t get to dictate life. We don’t get to dictate what God and science has decided for us no matter how many prayers or medical procedures we may have.
Yes it ticks. Yes I may never have children. It doesn’t mean I, or any other woman is less then. It doesn’t mean we don’t want them. That we don’t shed tears when our bodies continue monthly to remind us despite not working correctly.
Life is not a simple laid out plan. It is messily complicated, full of highs and lows making time lines obsolete. No one. NO ONE knows what goes on in another person’s life. It might seem like innocuous gossip, but words can hurt making that person feel like they lost the shoulder they so desperately needed.
I always say “You do you.” Because no one else can. Our struggles are our own. But it doesn’t mean we have to go through them alone. We all have the responsibility to be a positive respectful force, both for ourselves and for others. That clock is unique for all of us, so do you and know no matter what your journey in this life is you are loved and supported.
8 thoughts on “Tick-Tock Goes a Woman’s Clock”
Oh wow, this topic is so painfully true. The pressures as a women we have; getting married, having kids is so incredibly cringeworthy and tiresome to say the least. I don’t know how we all fell upon this idea where when you hit your late 20’s that you should already be settled down and such but it’s such false information. As if we don’t have enough pressure it is to make it in the working world to add this nonsense to the mix is completely crude. I wish people would look at the statistics more deeply because how many of those girls who get married at a young age end up unhappy, with kids, and inevitably divorced. Like, let us be, when its our time it’ll all fall into place! Girl power lol
Yass! Preach it girl! And yes girl power! I agree with everything you wrote. It really is people accomplish things at their own pace. Nothing ever good came from rushing anything. yes! I agree a hundred percent. It really will. I have definitely taken a different path in life (one of which was not going to a four year college right out of high school) but it was the right one for me. Everyone is unique and what works for one doesn’t always work for someone else. Not to mention you never know what someone is going through. Thanks so much for reading and for your insightful thoughts. So much love to you beauty! <3
I feel your pain! I’ll be 36 in a little over a month. My husband’s two brothers each have three kids. People actually have the nerve to tell us we’re selfish for not having kids (in an overpopultaed world where so many kids need to be adopted, AND without any knowledge of the medical issues that may be involved.) When asked when we’re, “going to make a baby” I reply, “I don’t know, we’re still practicing.”
Oh My God. I just spit out my coffee I am laughing so hard. (in a very quiet coffee shop…oops) That is the most brilliant come back I have heard. I would love to see the expression on their face! Actually I might have to start using that! Thanks for the laughs and levity 🙂 <3
On a serious note. Hugs. It really does amaze me the nerve of people. It isn't any of their business what anyone else does. <3
Oh, sweet K. I hate that these societal pressures exist to this extent too. But you could not have said it any better- you are NOT less than because you choose not to have kids or do A, B, and C of those that place those expectations on women (and who have NO place to judge or tell anyone to live their lives). It’s not about what you do or what you produce, it’s about who you are (or whose you are if I’m gonna go all Christian girl 😉 ). Ha! My Aunt is like our second mom- she never had kids due to life circumstances and what not… but she loves us like her own. Just like how you love your niece and nephew. Life isn’t about having the title “mom” or “wife”, it’s about loving others with all you’ve got. And you have got that down! You’re amazing, girl. Like you said, “you do you!”. This post will resonate with more people than you know! xo
Awe Mack thank you so much for your sweet words! They meant a lot! And I love that “it is about who you are or whose you are” you can go all Christian girl on me any day sweets! 💗
I love that about your aunt. And I agree wholeheartedly. Some how society has started focusing on labels rather then actions. Anyone can be given a label or a title but it is what you do with it that counts.
Thank you again for your sweet but true words. I really hope it does if for nothing else women know they aren’t alone. Thank you beauty. YOU are amazing! so much love to you! 😘😘😘
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Great post! I’ve been married for 3 years & I’m in my late 30’s so you can imagine how people feel it’s their duty to remind me that I have to “get going”. What baffles me is why WE get to face the inquisition. My husband never gets bombarded with questions about our reproductive choices. Isn’t it funny that asking people about their finances is socially unacceptable, but asking them about their reproductive choices is? It cracks me up.
Before I was married when people brought up “my clock” I would just say “I’m looking for a mate to mate with because despite the times, a lot of people still aren’t ok with seeing women knocked up out of wedlock”. That always shut them up. I still haven’t found the right way to shut people down now that I’m married and we don’t have any desire to procreate.