Personal ponderings from a natural night-owl!

Choices

Fellow blogger Colleen over at MommieDaze posted about an interesting conversation with a woman she had met just five minutes earlier.  This woman confessed to these strangers that she married a man who reluctantly agreed to one child with her knowing that she wanted more than one, assuming she could “talk him into” having more kids.  Go here to read the details!

Colleen posed some interesting questions at the end of her post, which I was planning to answer in her comments.  But when I saw how long winded and passionate I was getting, and how long it’s been since I’ve blogged, I figured I’d better make it my own blog post.

Q: Did she wait too long to start thinking about a family?  Should she have prioritized that over career sooner?

No one can say that she did or didn’t wait too long, since it’s such a personal decision.  But life is about choices, and when you open some doors, you close others.  That’s reality – and why it’s important to plan for the big stuff.

Q:  If she’d started looking for a husband sooner, would she have found a more compatible Mr. Right?

I don’t know that it’s a timing issue as much as a priority issue.  My parents were both teachers, and nearly all of my grandparents had college degrees, so I was late into high school before I realized that not every kid goes to college.  (Yes, really!)  Therefore, in my head, all my studies were to prepare me for college and the life beyond.

In much the same way, I always assumed I would get married.  Therefore, dating was a way to learn more about people and help me figure out what characteristics I wanted and didn’t want in a man (versus just a way to have fun).

If you don’t get serious about college until senior year, how prepared are you?  If you don’t think about serious relationships and what it takes to have one – and keep one – until you are late into your childbearing years…

Q:  Did she settle by marrying presumably the first guy that came along?

That question assumes a lot.  I don’t know that he was the first guy who came along.  But it DOES look like she focused on her goal of “getting married” without thinking through what it takes to STAY married.


Q:  Should she have waited for the guy who wanted as many children as she, or was it right for her to heed the ticking of her biological clock and cut this deal with him?

She didn’t cut a deal, really; she went into the marriage dishonestly.  She makes it clear that he said one, she agreed on the surface knowing she didn’t agree in her heart, and thought she would or could change him – a sure recipe for disaster.  I see divorce or at least great unhappiness in their future.  I would also venture to say that she is insecure and immature.  Insecure because she didn’t respect herself enough to keep looking for someone with her same goals and immature for thinking she could change someone to be the way she wanted him to be.

Q:  What if she did wait, and never found Mr. Right, and never had a family at all?

There are far more ways to have a family than marrying and having a child.  I honestly believe not everyone who can SHOULD have a child.

Q:  What about her plan to “talk him into more”, which in girl speak usually translates to manipulate?

Yeah, I think I made my feelings on that point perfectly clear. (-:

Q:  I’m not judging her choices…

Sure you are.  We all are.  It’s human.  And we are all judged by OUR choices every day.  Our choices reflect our priorities, and therefore shed honest light on who we are inside.

…I just think it’s an interesting example of what today’s woman is faced with. Do you try to have it all? Do you have to make a choice between career and family? What do you do if your biological clock is a ticking time bomb and you haven’t found Prince Charming yet?

It’s not just today’s women who are faced with those choices.  Women have ALWAYS been faced with those choices throughout history.  It’s just easier to carve one’s own path nowadays. (-:

Yes, I try to have it all.  And I believe I CAN have it all, but not at the same time. (-:  Choices.

Yes, you have to make a choice between career and family.  Sometimes career will win, sometimes family will win.  It’s a balancing act – and truly reflective of what you value most in your life.  I am not comdemning people – men or women – who chose work over family, but I do feel sorry for them.  In trying to have both, they often get neither.  Choices.

And if you have’t found Prince Charming, I think you need to look at YOURSELF.  I know someone who never married, ever, because no one was good enough.  Expecting perfection is unrealistic.  After all, YOU aren’t perfect!  Expecting to find someone “close enough” and change him or her is also unrealistic and selfish. The alternative?  Decide what’s REALLY important to you, focus on those characteristics, and let go of the rest.

Relationships that last take compromise, trust, and mutual growth.  He will change, but not always the way you expect.  And if it’s a strong relationship, YOU will change, too – and love it!

My husband adds a whole other dimension to who I am.  We are alike in some ways and different in others – thank heavens!  After 13 years of marriage, he has become more like me in some respects, and I like him in others.  We balance each other – and he has made me a better person.  I wouldn’t want to raise our children alone, though I am a strong person and could do it if I had to.  He’s not perfect and never will be – neither am or will I.  But he IS my Prince Charming and my knight in shining armor.  And I wouldn’t chose to have it any other way.

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Comments on: "Choices" (6)

  1. Smiles —
    Glad you are writing again —
    gonna add my two cents here…….just because I am single, never married, no kids, 48, and content……very.

    #8 Q: What if she did wait, and never found Mr. Right, and never had a family at all?

    THAT WOULD BE OKAY. She could have survived…….perhaps flourished……even more than she will ever know.
    Instead, it seems she entered into a partnership unfairly, has put a child in jeopardy of being raised by parents who are unhappy or divorced, and seemed to have only one goal in life…….but at what cost?
    Being Married can’t be the final victory — nor being a mom, can it???

    And though I partially agree with “And if you have’t found Prince Charming, I think you need to look at YOURSELF. ”

    Are we all guaranteed a Prince Charming?? Have I missed the mark, not been given entrance to the club, made mistakes that made me unworthy — because I have not found Prince Charming………….
    I gotta say NO.

    I have made mistakes in my life, and if there is a Prince Charming — he is gonna have to love me, lock stock and baggage — but I can’t judge who I am if I remain single as being a failure because of who I am……maybe I have been given the gift of being content and single……..and that is just fine.

    Would I like to meet PC?? — sure….smiles, a second income would be nice (but that isn’t a given), someone to listen to me (but that isn’t a given), someone who enjoys being with me over anyone else (hmmm, not likely), and someone who completes me (not sure that exists)……but marriage can’t be my final hurdle…..my crossing the finish line.

    I like what you had to say — but as a single, never married, no kids……I had to add just a bit.

    Jen

  2. Jen,

    What fantastic points. I am so glad for your point of view.

    You are exactly right that not marrying is ok. Being married, or even staying married, isn’t a finale. Neither is having a child. Neither is having a career. Neither is having friends or contributing to the greater good or any other “accomplishment.” They are all merely parts of a whole person, dimensions of a life.

    As for the statement about looking inward if you haven’t found PC, I hope I did not offend you, dear friend. Not everyone envisions that life path, and my thoughts were directed more toward those who say that finding PC is their heart’s goal.

    “Are we all guaranteed a PC?” Interesting question. I have to say that, yes, I believe there is a PC out there for everyone, but NOT a flawless person. And of course, any PC would have to love you for who you are – and everything that made you that way – or he (or she) wouldn’t be your PC.

    As for receiving the gift of being single and content, I believe that would be as much a gift as a spouse. I have to say that I have known only a very few women in my life with that gift – and no men, curiously. But no, I don’t think being single makes someone a failure or unworthy of anything.

    Thanks for reading and sharing your comments.

  3. cornishevangelist said:

    From Billy
    No Condemnation
    Although your flesh continues to fail you, it still does not change the fact that in Christ Jesus you are His child, and that the only thing that can separate you from God is unconfessed sin.
    Read more on cornishevangelist.wordpress.com
    Cornishevangelist’s Weblog

  4. I think you hit the nail on the head. Her biggest mistake was focusing on the goal of getting married, and she wasn’t thinking long-term. I think there is a feeling that we are entitled to happily ever after and the white picket fence.

    I also agree with Jen that she would have survived just fine with out even getting married in the first place. I know a lot of happy single and childless women who wouldn’t have it any other way. Very good point.

    I guess I was judging her a little. But I was also trying to understand her.

    Your right. women have always been faced with these issues, but in the past they didn’t have a choice to make. Society did it for them. Now there are so many options, SAHM, working mom, single working womAn with or without at kids, WAHM. I think sometimes women, like the one I met, get confused by trying to fit themselves into whatever role they see as socially correct. When really they should just be listening to what they want.

    Thanks for your great response to this! This is an interesting discussion.

  5. […] over at Midnight Musings wrote a fantastic response to […]

  6. Smiles — you did not offend……
    in fact, you made a good point……..and I am looking within…….but not because I will reinvent myself just to be what “he” wants me to be.

    I need to remember I need to work on what “HE” (God, in this case for me) wants me to be. If I keep that in focus, I do quite well.

    It is when I try to be what I think people want me to be that I screw up so royally.

    I liked this post….I enjoy the comments……

    now off to read your next post.
    Jen

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