Friday, January 10, 2014

Those Awkward Family Vacations...

I apologize for being off the radar for the last week, but between returning from vacation, fighting one of the worst cold's ever and catching up on two weeks of missed work, my blog had to wait a week. Vacation did give me one thing. It gave me a bit of fuel for the following post. It's a little different than my usual fitness topics, but it is something I needed to share. 

Holidays are about family. The good, the bad and the awkward always seem to show up during those brief periods where multiple family generations come together for the holidays. This last vacation had its fair share of exciting and awkward moments. Without giving you too much background information I will just dive right in.

I am 26 years old. I am still extremely young and have huge goals for the next few years. I have always loved working and find my passion and spirit comes alive when I have a task set before me and set a plan to get there. Bottom line - at this point in my life I am career driven. In all honestly, most men and a majority of women are at this stage of their life, many are still in college or master's programs and have yet to begin their career journey. I am telling you this for a bit of perspective. 

Over the period of a two week vacation I was asked when I was having children more times than I can count, often by the same person, once even by a five year old. In her defense, the family seems to have baby fever and it only seemed like a natural question to ask. However, I do not appreciate people inserting their desires on my life and constantly pushing me to do something that virtually changes my ENTIRE life, while barely effecting them other than their few visits during the holidays and gift buying. 

I love my extended family, but there are some questions that do not need to be repeatedly asked. I am 26 years old and very into fitness and running. I travel bi-weekly for work and still have some countries I want to visit before I have children - if I even want to. I want a career that I can be proud of, in control of and I have big goals over the next three years that do not account for children. 

Don't get me wrong - I think that having children is a blessing and I admire those who have children and couldn't dream of having another way of life. I, however, know myself and I know that having a child right now, especially just because someone else thinks it's time, is not fair to me and especially not fair to the child. I know myself. I know where I want my life to lead and if and when I decide to have a child I will let them know. But I do not appreciate outside pressure. 

Most of all, I feel like such a question is rude. It's asking about a private moment that should be shared when I choose to. What if I couldn't have children? And even if I can, having a child isn't really something that needs to be asked, you'll know when it happens. It's hard for a women to hide that whole pregnancy thing. So whether it happens now, in three years or five, is it really necessary to push on a couple? Marriage doesn't immediately need children, in my opinion, it's good to take time to be with each other before adding children to the mix. 

I am smart enough to know that I am not ready for a child. I don't want to give up the life I want for myself yet. Having a child is a blessing and one of the best gifts that can be given. But it should not be done for the wrong reasons. I have dreams that I want to pursue and I know that they get exponentially harder to reach when you add an extra person to a family. 

Some people may call me selfish - but I ask you - how many women have children and are not ready for the commitment? Too many. It is never a good thing for a child to grow up in that environment. Having a child is the biggest commitment I know - more than running, training or a career. A child cannot be given back when you decide you are done - they are yours for life. More people should take this into account before they involve children in their lives. It's a permanent thing with no turing back. What is the harm in waiting until I'm 30 before having a child? 

I have my goals and plans and they are MINE alone. I don't tell others when to start a career, quit a job or have a child. I believe everyone needs to make their own decisions and the ones that are right for them. It is not my place to make them uncomfortable by inserting my opposing beliefs. I would never push someone into a life altering decision unless they explicitly asked my opinion. 

Do I want children? Maybe - I'd love to have a little runner or tennis player someday - but when I do it will be a decision between my husband and myself alone. All I ask is that my right to decide is not put into question. I have one life to live and I will live it on my terms. 

Have you ever experienced this or a similar situation with family or friends? How did you handle it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know in the comments!