“Oh, But You HAVE To…Get Married, Have a Baby, Have Two Babies, Buy a House”

…The List of Life is Endless, If You Listen to Every Fool You Meet

Many people dole out life advice as though they are the reincarnation of Yoda themselves and it is exhausting. Unless they are the emulating an example of the perfect life on Earth, please do your very best to disregard every ounce of advice you receive from another person that does not fit your lifestyle ideals.

Is it? Is it really cruel to only have one child if you know that timewise and financially you can only comfortably afford one, without zapping all of your own life plans completely out of orbit? Is it fair to that child and is it fair to you?

Do not make the decision to do something so permanent so flippantly.

“Oh but you have to get married. What will people think if you don’t?!”

I am pretty sure the people judging me for not getting married would be the same people judging me on my wedding day for the dress I choose, the venue we select, and the wedding we throw. Do I really care what those people think of me? And if I do, isn’t that more worrisome that not getting married?

“Oh but you have to have children! Who will take care of you when you are old otherwise?”

As I continually get older, I think it is pretty foolish that many people had children, banking on the hope that those very children will take care of them in their ripe old age. I have seen a hell of a lot of the exact opposite situations in real life.

The only person we can truly expect anything from and have a true guarantee on return is from ourselves. Everyone else is conditional and expecting anything from others is setting yourself for the huge potential of disappointment, regret and sadness. Stop expecting others to be what you want them to be because they may wake up tomorrow with a completely different prerogative, one with no room for you and your needs at all.

The other day, I was out for coffee with a friend of mine and we were chatting about children; she has two children and had them in her mid-twenties. “What made you decide to have children and have them so soon after marriage?” I asked, as poured some cream into my Americano.

The pressures to do things for the sake of doing them is excessively damaging and dangerous.

Having a child because your mother told you to stop taking birth control because you are now married and it is ‘appropriate’ to have a child shows me that you are completely not ready to have a child.

Society sometimes creates these cookie-cutter visions of life and many of us feel that if we do not fit every mould and crevasse of said vision perfectly we are failing ourselves, our families and just losing in life in general. It is an exhausting way to live, but a lot of us live in said way; keeping up with the Jones’ is what we say, whether it kills us or not.

What are you doing for external praise that is killing you? Whose praise do you value the most and why?

Is it the snarky woman from your weekly yoga class? Why does shoving your new car in her face make you feel better? Why do you feel the need to brag about your new car to her in the first place? What is missing from your life that you need this type of validation?

These fleeting moments of joy we receive from one-upping others is not a healthy way to live life. It is a really difficult habit to master, but learning to live within your means and do what is right for you and your family is the only thing that will truly bring you inner solace and peace. Sure, you might not have the fanciest house, newest car, biggest job or an intimidating bank account balance, but if you can wake up in the morning and find three things to be grateful for, you are winning, I promise you, you are winning.

I write about issues that are near and dear to my heart, with the hope that my stories, experiences, and struggles may empower others: amanlitt.ca

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