As women, many of us put so much pressure on ourselves to accomplish certain things by a certain time simply because we are comparing our lives to the lives of other women. Many of us even, consciously and unconsciously, put pressure on other women to meet the expectations we’ve created for ourselves without ever considering if those women want what we want or can have what we have. Two of the biggest examples of this is the pressure that we put on ourselves and other women to get married and pregnant by a certain age. I wish we would stop doing this to ourselves and each other because our journeys are so unique. There is not another woman on this Earth who has lived your exact life, experiencing the same trials and obstacles that you have. Not only that, but not every woman wants to get married and not every woman wants or can have children. Before we make assumptions and pass judgement based on what we think another woman should have or be by now, it would be best if we stop and take into account that we don’t know all of the challenges she’s had or has. Instead of adding pressure to her life, try helping her to relieve the pressure she is likely already putting on herself.
I cringe every time I hear a woman ask another woman when she’s getting married or when she’s going to have a baby. Even though it seems harmless and there is often no malice behind it, I cringe because as an Empowerment Coach, I know all to well about the mental and emotional struggles women suffer with because they don’t have a ring or are having complications with conceiving. I have talked to infertile women who have shared with me how much it hurts when people assume that they haven’t had a baby yet because they don’t want to. I have also talked to women who don’t want children and get annoyed by people who try to make them feel guilty about it. Oprah is one of the most successful women in the world and has expressed her disinterest in both getting married and having children. That doesn’t make her any less admirable and powerful. That also doesn’t make her any less of a woman.
As women, we need to do a better job of protecting, understanding, and having compassion for one another. Although all of our journeys are different, we each know the difficulties that women can experience. We each have been through our own storms and struggles so, even though we’re all walking separate paths, it’s not hard to imagine that other women have their share of struggles too. Not one of our lives is perfect. We each have something that we would like to improve upon. Our priorities and goals are also not always the same. While some of us are enjoying the single life, some of us are craving companionship. While some of us are praying to get pregnant, some of us are doing everything we can to prevent it. While some of us are dreaming of a fairy tale wedding, some of us could care less about getting married. As sisters, the best thing that we can do is respect each others journeys, even when it looks different than we think it should, and support each other to keep getting better and stronger along the way.