Life is often treated like a chronological checklist of things you must accomplish. First, you graduate high school, then go to college, figure out your career by age 23, fall in love, get married, buy a house, and then have kids.
But according to who do we need to meet all these “milestones” by a specific time?
As a childless millennial, I have dealt with lots of unsolicited advice. And I know I’m not alone. From “y el novio?” comes “when are you having kids?” How does one deal with these irking comments?
Understand that times are changing
Society has set expectations regarding procreation far before any of us were born, all based on societal standards and perhaps even gender norms. What many fail to notice, however, is that the world is constantly evolving. Unfortunately, many seem to relish in the technological advancements of this new world but remain stuck in their traditional mindset.
This is why many of us are waiting longer to have children or simply have no desire to have any.
As someone in her late 20s, I have actively prevented having children. I simply do not think I am ready to take on that kind of lifelong responsibility, and quite frankly, I’m not sure if I ever will. I enjoy my liberties and the freedom to do as I please whenever I want without thinking about anything else.
For starters, be honest. It is essential to speak your mind if someone’s persistent commentary is bothering you. Odds are, they may not even realize that they’re being imprudent.
As a community that has passed down trauma, generation after generation, your abuelita or mom may not understand why questioning your decisions regarding your reproductive health is none of their damn business. Besides, it’s not like you go around asking your tia why she’s such a metida; that would be considered disrespectful, right?
But, we know that many people disregard your wishes because all they care about is chisme. This is when you have to set firm boundaries. Be open and communicate that this is something that is not up for discussion. Kindly ask that they respect your wishes.
And don’t let it slide if they bring it up again. If this person still does not adhere to your boundaries, then feel empowered to distance yourself. Advocate for yourself and protect your inner peace.
Lastly, remember that this is your life and your life only. You don’t have to explain your reasoning if you don’t want to. You don’t have to justify why you rather go to Disney World with your partner rather than push a stroller with a cranky toddler. Remind yourself that people with negative opinions are most likely projecting their misery onto you. Don’t allow that to bring you down.
The beauty of it is that while not everyone will agree with your life choices, they can’t do anything about it because you are the only one in control of your destiny.