As women, we are told that we need to live a certain way. We need to be married and have kids to be of value. In this episode, we get into how we don’t need to be defined by marriage or children to be seen.

Listen to the episode:

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Adult Milestones

We know that there are developmental milestones. Did you know that there are Adult milestones as well:

  1. Completing school
  2. Leaving home
  3. Becoming financially independent
  4. Marrying
  5. Having a child

The thing is, not everyone is following this path anymore. There are fewer adults reaching all of these milestones. More specifically, there are more women not getting to #4 and #5. Additionally, they are thriving without being married and having children. Take that sociologists! Just kidding… but not really.

The Adulting Checklist for Women

From these milestones emerges a pressure packed checklist that women need to fill out as adults. Now, the checklist needs to be completed a certain way. Don’t get married too young or too old. I talked about aging in another episode. Then, when you have children, be sure you have at least two. Only having one isn’t good enough since and an only child will be lonely. Does this sound familiar to you?

I know and look forward to the day when women — single, married and otherwise — no longer need the words “husband” and “baby” to act as a special lemon juice squeezed over our lives in order to make them visible.

Source: Glynnis MacNicol, NY Times

This is the thing, Psychology Today mentioned that results from the Current Population Survey indicate that there are now 117.9 million adults that are single all their lives. This includes those who are divorced or widowed. That’s an increase from 115.8 million last year. So, it’s not just women not having children. It extends to marriage as well. Singlehood is growing and that means females are not conforming to the past society imposed norms.

Singlehood is no longer as restrictive for women as it once was. Women can work, they can borrow money, they can vote, buy houses, start businesses, travel the world and have children without ever formally attaching themselves to a man.

Source: Rebecca Traister, NY Times

You’ll Change Your Mind

Let’s get back to having children. Likewise, there is a sense of disbelief along with the pressure and judgement associated with not having children. When women do decide to not have children and they say that they’re happy, society doesn’t believe them. What these women are told is, “you will change your mind later”. There’s this misconception that one will regret not having children. Additionally, it assumes that you don’t know yourself well enough to chart your own path.

We can choose our social circle

There are social implications attached to not having children. For example, they may not get invited to events that revolve around children. This exclusion starts during the childbearing years and keeps going! However, we can choose our social circles.

Dime En Español

Existe la idea errónea de que uno se arrepentirá de no tener hijos. Además, asume que no te conoces lo suficientemente bien como para crear tu propio camino.

Don’t Forget the Impact of Culture

Lastly, we cannot forget the impact of culture on this topic. We talked about how being Afrolatina adds an additional layer of pressure to this expectation.

Don’t Mix In…because you don’t need to!

Rather listen to these posts instead of reading them? Check out the Don’t Mix In podcast. Join me as I dive into the topics from the blog. Don’t Mix In can be found on Apple Podcasts and pretty much anywhere you find your podcasts! If you are into what you hear, be sure to subscribe and leave me a review.

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