Yep. I am single and childless at 38 years old. Not exactly what I pictured for my life at this age, but I am learning to embrace it. I have found that I was perfectly fine emotionally up until the age of 35. Something happens at 35 that no one tells you about. Most of the pressure starts because as a woman at 35 years old, you hear about how having a child becomes SO MUCH HARDER and there are SO MANY more risks involved. As a woman in 2019, I feel so fortunate that there are so many fertility options for us as we age. I took a leap two years ago and froze my eggs (which I understand isn’t a reality for many due to the financial expense), but if you are a woman 35+ and you really want a family one day, this can be an incredible option that can leave you less worried about that biological clock that just keeps on ticking.
While it may be easier to have children at an older age these days, the unnecessary pressure from family, friends, and society isn’t very encouraging to women over 35. This pressure certainly doesn’t help single women feel reassured and definitely isn't helpful when most of us are spending most of our time trying to find a healthy relationship. And if you’re a woman who feels like she was pressured into this type of lifestyle, then I hope you’re feeling fulfilled…because when women succumb to this type of pressure it’s probably because they have decided to settle. Many times this type of woman settles for the life that friends, family, and society has painted for her and not the life that she may have chosen for herself instead. Well I am 38, single, childless, and while I am still learning my way, I am so grateful for the life that I lead. And I refuse to settle.
There are a few reasons why a woman is still single or childless by 40. One, maybe she doesn’t want children…and THAT IS OK! Two, maybe she has a vision about her career that includes spending most of her time making only that a priority. Three, maybe it just hasn’t happened yet. There are probably hundreds of other reasons, but this has been my experience so far. Not only with my own personal journey, but also for my other 35+ single and childless friends.
No matter what the reason, if you practice loving your life and yourself ALONE…you will always find fulfillment and love. Obviously, a career is important to many and there can be times when we go full force into our career for years because we feel this will be fulfilling. Or we have past relationships that leave us feeling hopeless. But as time passes, life goes by and moves faster and faster. You start seeing your friends have children. You start seeing your parents age. You begin to realize that you don’t only want a family because “that is what you’re supposed to do.” You realize that real fulfillment consists of true companionship…family…true love....and human connection.
Now don’t get me wrong, family does not always have to mean marriage and children. If you are a woman who does not see marriage or children in her future, that is 100% OK! But my suggestion is to find family and connection in community. Family does not have to mean your own blood. Family can mean your best friends, your church community, your yoga studio, your support group. Family can mean so much more than just a husband and children, but you have to find connection with others. In the words of Joe Straynge, “Human connection is the most vital aspect of our existence, without the sweet touch of another being we are lonely stars in an empty space waiting to shine gloriously.”