Get Married Young...Or Old...Or Not At All
By What's Her Face on September 13, 2013
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt
So, I've come across the link for this article on Facebook a couple of times in the past day or so:
I also read the conversation that ensued in the comments section beneath one of those links. It left me feeling rather uneasy. And that uneasy feeling leaves me with an incredible urge to write about it.
I thought the article was okay. Like I said, it was the conversation that came out of it that really got under my skin. That being said, the article itself did seem a little disjointed to me personally and I have my own little theory as to why:
The author begins by sharing that her two older brothers are both married, have kids, a dog...the whole nine yards. This hasn't always been a problem, but now that she's 26 people are beginning to question her and give her a bit of a hard time asking when she will get married and start having kids. She follows that by stating she knows they don't mean anything by it. From there she begins to express how deeply "inadequate", "frozen" these questions make her feel. It makes her feel like she's "not enough", an "outcast", "defective", etc, etc, etc. Then she throws out the idea that maybe her goal in life isn't to get married and have kids. Maybe it will fit into the equation one day, maybe not. If it doesn't, she questions whether the people in her life be okay with that? She wraps everything up by simply emploring people to consider how these questions make others feel and to just stop asking them. She concedes that perhaps these people are care, maybe they're just making small talk, either way, she doesn't like it and wants it to stop.
I want to start out by saying that there a number of things I really appreciate about the article: I like that she expresses happiness for her brothers who are at a different stage than she is; I like that she mentions she doesn't think the people who say these things mean anything by it; I like that she is open and honest about how it makes her feel (these are her feelings and she's allowed to feel them after all!); I like that she questions whether being married (young, apparently) with children is the be all and end all; I especially like that she asks people to stop being so insensitive. Because really...these comments really are incredibly insensitive and they do need to stop.
Anyways, to me there's something really important missing: the truth is that she is valuable. She does matter. And she doesn't matter if one day she gets married and has kids. She matters right now. In her life. As it is. Right now. That even though she may feel "broken" and "inadequate", she is none of those things. She doesn't ever need to get married and have children if she doesn't want to. If she does want to, she is safe (and WISE) to take her time and wait for the right person at the right time. (Which - of course - is very different for everyone!!!)I truly hope she knows all that!
There are so many different possible marriage/baby type scenarios (or non-marriage/non-baby ones) that they are just too many to list.
Pesonally, I'm happy with the way my own life has turned out. And like every living person, I can only really understand my own experience. But while I may not be able to imagine being in a situation that's different than mine I CAN imagine a world view that allows for the possibility that all of these many different possible scenarios can be fulfilling and enjoyable lifestyles.
So I don't understand why a conversation about the article (or the comments people left at the bottom of the article itself) becomes primarily a platform to condemn those who marry young especially if they also happen to have children.
I understand that are issues within certain communities that place unreasonable pressure on women (and men) to get married and start making babies. But is the appropriate response to one unreasonable expectation really to replace with another one?
I love being a young wife and mother. I fell in love at a young age, and he was the one for me. Truth be told, it terrified me that I met and fell in love so young, but now I am so very happy it happened exactly as it did. But just because I am happy with my story doesn't mean you shouldn't be happy with yours.