I get it. Especially in Utah, there’s this list of “goals” that people are aiming for; marriage, children, house, blah, blah, etc. Not that this is a bad thing, but especially in Utah culture, we sometimes forget that there’s more to life than getting hitched and having babies.
Anytime I go to an event involving people from high school, they look at me differently. I’m no longer just a peer. It’s like having your boss walk into the room, or your church leader, or someone of “higher ranking”. People ask me about how I’m doing; meaning…how am I handling two kids, school, and life? The answer to this is always the same; mildly drowning, but I’m fine. I feel like I’m hijacking the conversation if I go further. It sounds like someone trying to one-up everyone else. And I hate “mom-jacking”..aka “Oh, you don’t know tired till you’ve had kids!!!!!” or “Boy, you think your life is meaningful now…wait till you have kids!!!!”
Do I say stuff like this to my husband when we’re b*tching about entitled people? Sure. Do I say them to my friends or other people whom I care about? No. I’m not that much of a dick.
Look, tell me about you. I’m serious. I ask you how things are doing, and you say “Just school,” or “Just living the single life”. I know that it might seem like much to you, but I think that it’s awesome. You’re building yourself. You’re educating yourself. You’re figuring out the world. Don’t minimize your accomplishments just because my two womb-squirrels are hanging off of me.
Let me be clear: I do not think you inferior to myself in any way just because you don’t have womb-squirrels.
Chances are that you’re farther ahead in school than me. You’re on a pathway to a career. And even if you’re not doing either of those, it doesn’t matter! You have choices right now. You can take chances. You can do whatever you can handle!
Can I just tell you what a relief it is to talk to people who don’t have kids?? When I first had Haven, I pretty much only talked to other parents. It was like the equivalent of working at a bank and only ever reading anything about loans, banking, or mortgages. It gets really boring hearing people talk about their babies who are just like other babies. My babies are just like other babies. Sure, they have their own stories or whatever…but babies are pretty much all the same. Besides, we can talk about babies one day when you have babies should you choose to do so. I love hearing about your childless life!!! Really. I do. Even if it’s stuff that is seemingly boring to you. Tell me about your church service mission. I wanna hear about your trips and travels. Tell me about your major and why you picked it. Tell me about your job, boyfriend, girlfriend…both?! Tell me about your friggin life!!
And the sympathy. Ohhhhh the sympathy….
“Well, school is kinda tough because of the dumb kids,” says me.
“Oh wow. I’m struggling with school, but I can’t imagine doing it with two kids!”
Yes. But I’m also just doing school with two kids. I get enough in student grants and loans to not have to work a “real job”. Yes, that also means that I’ll be drowning in debt upon graduation. You have to work. You have to go to a job and deal with a boss. You have to fit that around homework, dating, family life, activities, work, and balancing a boyfriend/girlfriend…..both? Yes, you can take bathroom breaks uninterrupted by children, but I can do my job in my underwear. I’ve worked full-time and gone to school full-time, taking my GPA as a result. You’re doing both. Or maybe just one because you got a scholarship as a result of taking school seriously. You’re living with your parents because you want to save money. You’re crashing on a friend’s couch because living is expensive. You’re taking unpaid internships for experience in that job you’ll love later.
You’re taking chances.
You’re doing great.
I want to hear about it.
Don’t minimize your accomplishments in front of me. It’s not a contest, and I’m not winning. I got married and had babies right out of high school. One day, you’ll have that too, should you decide to do so. The difference is that you’ll be older, more experienced with life, probably have more money, have your education behind you, and not be drowning in student loans.
Tell me about your adventure. I’m tired of hearing myself share mine.