A friend of mine commented on Facebook the other day that she was annoyed at how people seemed to reduce her just to a childless unmarried person despite her achievements. She had gone back to her hometown, and it seemed the number one question on people’s lips was when she was going to get married. It did not seem to matter that she has a good job, is in a good place financially and is highly educated.
It reminds me of a conversation I had with a former boss. She was married, but had no biological children, and she warned me that regardless of how much financial, professional or other success I achieved, people would always remind me that I was somehow inadequate because I was not a mother.
It seems unfair doesn’t it? The truth is many of us single women have had to figure out our lives ourselves, learn to do things for ourselves, build our own financial stability, buy our own houses and cars, and seek the highest educational summits to be able to earn enough to live the lifestyle we want because we have no choice, no husband to rely on. We have had no Prince Charming to rescue us and so in the process we have learnt to rescue ourselves. We have become extremely strong women.
But perhaps, therein lies the dilemma, because in our culture women are not really allowed to be strong, at least not in the way strength is defined for men. In becoming strong women, many of us single Christian ladies have apparently trespassed on the male domain. No, we are the “weaker” sex, to be protected and rescued by the male species, and to bring forth children. So don’t go around expecting congratulations when you have defied what womanhood means in the Jamaican society.
Personally, I would like to have someone to count on to make some of the decisions in my life from time to time. I don’t want to have to negotiate with a plumber, or decide what is needed to put up a tank stand. I don’t want to have to be bothered with why the car won’t start. I honestly think men are better at that kind of stuff (don’t worry guys, I know that’s not the only reason to have a husband). Nonetheless, my life is what it is in this moment and I refuse to feel sorry for myself or allow others to define me. I make the most of my life, and try to live my God-given purpose as best as I can, thanking God everyday for the amazing life he has given me, single and child-free as I am. In all of this, society’s reductionist approach to single women without children has become nothing to me but mere background noise.
What about you? Are you bothered by the marriage and motherhood pressure?
Daughter of a King