With each passing year, people constantly ask me, “When are you getting married?” Or “When are you going to have kids?” For a while, the question bothered me because I often wondered the same thing. There were a lot of friends around me who had already secured their “happily ever after” while I was busy trying to decide if I was going to ignore the current man calling me on my phone. For a while, I yearned for those two things. It’s something I grew up wanting. It’s something I grew up seeing portrayed beautifully by my grandparents. It’s something that felt like it would come natural for me.
Well, now that I’m turning 38, I look around sometimes and think, this isn’t the plan I had in mind. Let me explain. When I graduated college, I had it all laid out. Go back to school and get my master’s. Get a good job. Save some money. Start dating my future husband. Get married. Buy a house. Have a kid or two. Live life. In that order.
I can check off a few items on that list, but I have no clue when I will check off marriage or kids. At almost 38 years young, I’m okay with that! And there are a variety of reasons for the confidence I bask in.
- Marriage is a challenge.
- Being a parent ain’t easy.
- I love living a spontaneous life.
The last time I checked, the divorce rate was over 50%. There are plenty of factors, but since this is about me and how I roll I’ll focus on that. I only plan to get married once. I want to get it right the first time. And if it takes me waiting until the optimal time for it to happen, I’m okay with that. Not being married doesn’t define me as a woman. If anything, it should highlight my value. The one that I place on myself and the one that’s been placed on me. At my age, settling isn’t an option.
Now let’s talk about children. I love kids. Love, love, love kids. However, I’m in my late 30s and I’m not so sure I want to have children at this point. When people ask me about it, the first thing I do after I ask them ‘Why’ is calculate how old I would be when they graduate college? At this rate, I’d be nearing 60! I used to know for sure that I wanted kids. Now, I’m confidently over the line of not wanting to have any. I’m not a 100% sure, but I’m getting close. Between ten nieces and nephews, six great nieces and nephews, two Godchildren and a whole gang of children that I interact with consistently, I’m always busy with someone’s kid.
Lastly, I’m very active and outgoing which means I like being on the move. I like getting up and going when I want to whether it’s with friends or by myself. I like unplanned road trips, dinners and adventures. Can I do these things with a husband? Sure, if he enjoys doing those things as well which is what I need. Can I do these things with kids? Ummm, not as often as I’d like and if I have a newborn, I think the chances are slim to none unless my mother is going to babysit all the time, but I don’t see her fitting that into her retired schedule every time my urge hits.
So, I’m good. I’m okay with not being married. I’m okay with not having kids. Marriage is coming. Kids are too, maybe. In 2019, I hope society stops defining women by the men we are or aren’t attached to and the children we produce. There is so much more to us than that. Instead of thinking something is wrong with me, high five me in my attempts to not get myself caught up in a situation that could lead to heartache and headaches. I still may not get it right, but until someone comes along who is worthy of my energy, time, love, devotion, sustainability, faithfulness, care, protection and value, I’ll remain single, kid free and on the go.
This is me at 38 and I love it!
Kassaundra Shanette Lockhart is a freelance writer.