For some reason, society has perpetuated a narrative for women that if you don’t get married or have children by a certain age, you have failed. And, if you are someone who believes that, I can’t help but laugh.
Not everyone in the world wants to get married, nor does everyone in the world want to have children. There are some people, in fact, who would rather stay single forever—traveling the world or building their own career empire. There are people who want to get married, but not have kids. There are people who want to have kids, but not get married. And, of course, there are people who want both. All of these options, there’s nothing wrong with any of them. However, what is the problem is that society claims that as a woman, if you do not want the latter option, there is something “wrong with you.”
F*ck that noise. Seriously.
There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you want and doing just that. No one should force themselves into a marriage or force themselves to have children just to satisfy someone else’s opinion. Horrible, horrible mistake.
And, if you ever catch yourself feeling like a “failure,” because your family is breathing down your neck, your co-workers keep inviting you to their weddings and, all of your friends say “no” to a spur of the moment road-trip because they have Mommy duties—take a look at the bigger picture of life.
There are tons of milestones you can achieve that have absolutely nothing to do with marriage OR children that are worth being proud of.
1. Getting a college degree/degrees.
Nowadays, it’s common that people get a college degree. But, just because more people are going to college, doesn’t mean that it’s not an accomplishment to graduate and receive your diploma. And, if you’re serious and further your education to obtain a second or third degree – even better.
You should always feel proud of all the hard work you put into anything you do, especially when it is something to better your life and make it easier to achieve your dreams and goals.
2. Moving out of your parents’ house.
Some people move out right after college, others stay home while they get a stable job. No matter when you decide to leave the nest – it’s a big step in growing up. You’re on your own – paying rent, paying bills, going food shopping – and, it is a big deal. It’s not like dorming at college – it’s real life.
3. Landing a job you really want.
Landing a job is hard enough nowadays with the job market being so oversaturated. Therefore, many of us settle for the first gig we’re offered, especially when we’re young. We’re afraid to leave because, well, we don’t want to be unemployed. So, when you finally land a job that you really want—it feels incredible. You enjoy what you do, which makes working less tedious and more exhilarating.
4. Buying your own car.
When we’re young, some of us start out driving our parents’ car. Or, some of us get a pretty crappy hoopdie handed down to us. But, when we’re finally able to buy ourselves our own car – or lease it even – it’s proof that our hard work has paid off in a big way.
5. Getting your first pet outside of your family.
When you move out and get your first pet—a dog, a cat, a bunny rabbit—it shows that you’re mature enough to care for someone else that isn’t just yourself. Sure, you may not be ready to have children – but taking care of an animal is a big deal.
6. Joining a gym and going regularly.
Joining a gym is a big step because let’s face it, we’re all lazy AF inside. No one wants to wake up at 5 a.m. when you have a full day of work ahead of you and run a few miles on a treadmill, but if you drag yourself out of bed and put in effort to take care of your body—you should feel proud. Health is wealth.
7. Quitting a job you’re unhappy at.
Like I said before, quitting a job when you don’t have a backup plan is pretty scary. But, if you’re truly unhappy with where you’re at – there’s no problem with leaving. In fact, I think it’s pretty damn great if you know what you want and don’t want in life and are brave enough to go after it.
8. Ending a toxic friendship or relationship.
Growing up, you learn who is good for you and who is toxic for you, even if it’s a friend or a significant other. Being able to learn what is negative in your life is a big part of moving forward. Being able to walk away from people who weigh you down also shows how far you have come.
9. Going on your first vacation/traveling adventure.
Sure, we all sit at work and Pinterest destinations we would *die* to travel to, but we also realize we’re broke AF and can’t afford to stay in a ocean-side Fiji villa. But, saving up for a vacation you’ve been dreaming about and then actually going on that vacation is something to be hella proud of. Relax, enjoy it, take it all in.
10. Building a solid credit score.
Building credit is really f*cking hard – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Some people grow up thinking credit cards are essentially “free money,” while others just never get a credit card at all. Either way, having a good credit score is important in life—especially when you’re an adult. Getting there, that’s even harder. If you have 700+, consider it a win.