whether or not Your lips move

You speak to me

what to do when you’re 30, married, and not a mom February 19, 2011

First of all, let me start off by saying I LOVE my friends who are moms. They are amazing. Nearly all of my closest friends are moms. I admire them and I am glad there are special groups, Bible studies, events, and blogs for them. Most of them probably feel lonely and stressed at times, and I totally understand that. They have a LOT on their plates. So, none of what this post is about is meant to be hurtful to any mommies out there. Some may struggle enough as it is with feeling inadequate (even though they are totally amazing parents).

Like I just said, there is a lot out there for moms. Especially for Christian moms. But at a certain point, especially in Christian circles, you start to get weird looks if you don’t have kids. You’re the odd one out, kind of like it was when you were single and all your girlfriends were getting married. If you’re lucky you might know of some books about infertility that someone told you about. But other than that, being an “older” young married woman in the church (and in the south no less) can be downright depressing.

The Mommy Clubbers. I know the women who do this probably don’t mean to, but some have a major Mommy Club mentality. These are those girls who ask you if you’re pregnant and tease you every time you have a stomach ache (or sneeze). They are the ones who totally ignore you unless they need a baby sitter. They are the ones who never talk to you anymore because they spend their time only with other mommies. They are the ones you thought were good friends, until they got pregnant and began to talk, blog, and tweet about nothing else but their pregnancies and children. These are the Mommy Clubbers.

The Condescenders. Then you have the older women who ask if there is something wrong with you since you don’t have kids yet. They seem to think you exist for little else and that your life must be dreadfully empty without the pitter patter of little feet running through your house. They tell you that if you would just “stop trying” you’d get pregnant, just like so-and-so that they know. Again, I’m fairly certain these ladies mean well. But they are the Condescenders.

The Concerned. Then there are the people you work with and for. They range in their feelings. Some hope you never get pregnant or adopt because you do such great work and they’re afraid you will quit. Some think you are working on your career because you are just killing time before the kids start coming. They can also be Condescenders, but for the most part they are just the Concerned.

The Torturers. And my, oh my. We haven’t even talked about the family. One individual family member can fit into all three categories, as well as the special category really only a family member or in-law can occupy: the Torturers. They meddle. They press. They pester. They hint. They offer advice on what worked for them or so-and-so to get pregnant. They are desperate for grandchildren/nieces/nephews. And of course they too mean well. But they are the Torturers.

The True Friends. And of course there are those amazing diamonds in the rough who invite you into their lives as parents. They answer your sometimes way too personal questions about pregnancy, labor, the adoption process, or all the special challenges and rewards that come with being a parent. They see parenting as a lifelong learning process and admit it when they don’t know all the answers. They continue to invest in your friendship regardless of your mom-status. They allow you to speak into their lives and enjoy having you around them and their kids. These are the True Friends.

What I find is that for many of us in this older age bracket, we live very fulfilled, happy lives. We have loving relationships. We have careers. We have LIFE, even if we haven’t technically brought life into the world. We may yearn for children, and others of us may not. The point is, while we may spend much of the time feeling put down and left out, we’ve got to learn to live with the Mommy Clubbers, the Condescenders, the Concerned, and the Torturers. We can choose to cut ourselves completely off from them, but I don’t think that is the answer.

So instead I just have a bunch of questions. 🙂

What if you don’t want to have kids?

What if you just want to wait to have kids?

How do you interact in a loving, Christlike manner with the above groups of people?

What are some loving responses to the questions and annoying put-down remarks?

What do you do when you’re the “last one” without kids?

What about dealing with fertility issues?

What if you CAN have your own kids but you’d rather adopt?

Does your husband feel any pressure? How does he deal with it, and how do you deal with it together as a couple?

Do you have True Friend moms in your life? How can we be an encouragement to them?

I guess more than anything I’m just hoping I’m not the only one who feels all this. Some days are better than others. Some days I don’t think twice about any of it. Other days it is all I can think about. So, is it just me?

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Are all men liars? January 29, 2010

Filed under: healthy relationships series,sex — Ash @ 11:45 am
Tags: ,

Once when I was in college, as a joke at an open mic night I read Psalm 116:11, “I said in my haste, ‘All men are liars'” to prove that even the Bible said so. All the girls had a pretty good laugh at that one. The guys, not so much.

I just ran across a fascinating article from USA Today. An internet survey of 1200 guys revealed some interesting things about guys ages 15-22. (I would be interested to see the same questions asked of older guys!)

Cool:

  • 45% said they were virgins. (Way to go, guys!!!)
  • 78% agreed there was “way too much pressure” from society to have sex.
  • 53% said they had had a conversation with a parent about preventing pregnancy.
  • 66% said they could be happy in a serious relationship that didn’t include sex.

Yikes:

  • 45% said they were virgins.
  • 53% said they had had a conversation with a parent about preventing pregnancy. 
  • 60% said they had lied about something related to sex.
  • 30% lied about how far they have gone.
  • 24% lied about their number of sexual partners.
  • 23% claimed not to be a virgin when they were.
  • 57% of sexually active respondents said they had had unprotected sex.
  • 51% said having sex before marriage was acceptable in their family. 
  • 53% of guys said having lots of hookups makes them popular, but 71% said it makes girls less popular.

So basically, ladies, you can’t always trust what a guy is telling you about his sex life right of the bat.  One of the survey respondents implied that some guys will tell you whatever they think it is that you want to hear to make you feel special. And how about that double standard concerning hookups??

I know none of this is coming as a surprise to you. But what can we do?

Instead of bashing them and assuming men are all alike, let’s find some ways to send a message to them loud and clear: It’s not OK to lie about your sex life, guys. You don’t have to lie to a girl for her to like you. If you’ve got some mistakes in your past and really think she could be “the one,” tell her about them. If you are inexperienced and you think she needs to know, be honest about it. Contrary to what VH1 wants you to believe, virginity really is cool. Also: you shouldn’t have to lie to one another in order to be “the man.” If those guys are really your friends and worth being around, they will support you in living a life that honors God, yourself, and women–your future wife and daughters especially. 

Ladies, this means you’re going to have to treat yourselves the way you want to be treated–and don’t settle for less. Be smart and ask good questions of the guys you date. Have high and reasonable expectations. Be careful about the way you present yourself–not just in the way you dress, but in the way you act and talk, too. I’ve always heard it said that people can tell a lot about who you truly are by what makes you laugh and what makes you cry. Be aware of the message you are sending guys as you interact with them. Be careful about how much “flirting” you do, including “innocent touches” and hugs. Truth is, girls, when it comes to guys you have WAY more power than you may think you do, and that is something to be wielded with much caution and respect. You’ve got to be diligent in this area because men are extremely fragile when it comes to their sexuality. You can emasculate a guy with one sentence. You can make him fall in love with you with a single glance. I have seen this over and over, girls. I was completely clueless on this front for many years and left quite a trail of broken hearts. Don’t do the same! 

So, are all men liars? Maybe, maybe not. But let’s do what we can to help change the direction our world is going. Start a movement!