On turning 30 and not having children

In April, Lord willing, I will turn 30. In recent months, I have started to think about this. There’s a real panic that sinks in when I remember how close I am to my 30th birthday.  As I dig deeper, the panic seems to stem from the reality that I won’t be a mom by 30 years of age. While I may not have dreamed of having children as a child/teen/young adult, I must have assumed if I did have any that I’d have them by 30. When I compare myself to friends my age or younger than me with children, I feel little. Gosh, they seem to have accomplished so much in their lives and they aren’t yet 30!

What’s interesting is that I have had others (some young moms) compliment me in what I have accomplished thus far in my young adult years. I received my masters and work in my field. Due to not having children early in marriage, we have been able to pay off our student and consumer debt.  We purchased our home 3 years ago and do upgrades when we can afford to. We have traveled to a few of our “bucket list” locations. Of greater significance is that we have had these years to work on our marriage and that has produced much fruit!

Some young mothers can struggle with turning 30 and feeling that they haven’t accomplished a lot while at home raising a young family.  Yet, here I am, turning 30 in April and feeling anxiety when comparing myself to young mothers. I know that “comparison is the thief of joy” – T. Roosevelt but it’s so natural to compare. The preconceived notions on where we need to be in our lives by a certain age aren’t helpful. They only make a non-mom or a mother feel lousy.

I’m mentally preparing myself for 30. Trying not to compare or freak out. I may not be where society might peg me by 30 (a mom), but I don’t want that to take away from the blessings I have to celebrate in my 30 years of existence. Here’s to not panicking, feeling like I’m not enough, or that I’ve accomplished nothing. We’ll see if I can keep this perspective when the dreaded 30 is days and not months away.

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8 thoughts on “On turning 30 and not having children”

  1. I feel like you read my mind! 30 is creepily steadily towards me, and I too have had those panicked moments of comparison. I’m considering blogging a list of accomplishments/fun memories I’ve made in the last 30 years to reflect on, so I can celebrate those things (and not dwell on what I HAVEN’T done). I’m hoping that will make 30 feel less scary!

    I also keep reminding myself of what women my age are dealing with in the countries we work in overseas. In Thailand and India – many are trapped in the sex industry. In Burma – many live as refugees and have suffered horrific human rights abuses at the hands of their military gov’t. In Swaziland, many are mothers but have already passed away from AIDS and didn’t live long enough to raise their children. These are the realities for 30 year old women around the world – but not my reality. When I allow that kind of comparison, I realize I should be grateful that I get the opportunity to turn 30 as a free, healthy, educated woman with incredible opportunities ahead of me. It’s all about perspective….

    (Someone remind me of that next time I find a gray hair! HA! 😉

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