When you were young, did you ever predict your future age for…Getting married?
Having children?
Cultivating a career? My magic number for marriage was 26. I figured my mom was married at 24. I would get engaged at 25, and married by 26.
My magic number for my first child was 28. After the wedding, we’d wait about a year or so and then I would get pregnant. I would be 28 when the baby came. We would have at least three children, and I would be done with all of my pregnancies by 35.
My magic number to be a career woman was 30. I would be independently wealthy and professionally fulfilled by 30; because when you are young, you figure that you have SO MUCH time between your teenage years and being 30 that you SHOULD BE able to accomplish a lifetime of achievements by then. This year, I will be 29. The only thing I have “accomplished” is marriage (and I was 2 years late, according to my calculations). Isn’t it funny how life steps in and we realize what little say we have over most of the big milestones? We know we shouldn’t try to control these things, but sometimes we try to anyway. (Maybe we do control the direction of our careers, but it’s not nearly as easy as I thought it would be.)
I have this girlfriend who constantly hounds her boyfriend to “marry her” because she’s “getting so old”. Well, she’s 29. I told her I didn’t think that was old. She told me that it was easy for me to say that because I was already married. At first, I felt she was being ridiculous. But then I realized that lately I have been pressuring myself to have a baby by 30, because my magic list told me I should have delivered my first baby last year.
The list follows me wherever I go. I haven’t shredded it to bits, but I have used some white-out, re-configured it, and created a few amendments. What about you? Did you ever have “a list”?

thelessthandomesticgoddess

14 Comments

  1. Reply

    Cathleya

    January 20, 2010

    Prediction: Engaged at 24, Married at 25
    Reality: Engaged at 25, Married at 26

    Predition: First child by 28
    Reality: Won't even entertain the idea of children until I turn 30.

    Never really thought about the career thing… Just figured I'd get a job out of Undergrad (21) and work until retirement… which is what I've ended up doing. Career is a loose term… I just want to work at a job I enjoy and a salary I'm happy with. I'm not married to a specific "career" or job track.

    My dad describes me best when people ask if I enjoyed working as a videographer…

    "It's not that she loves it, it's that she likes making money."

    Which is so true. Although I do admit I actually love working for Weddingbee, even though it's a bit more stressful than my old job (lots of customer service! My old job was just me doing pretty much whatever I wanted in my editing cave 🙂 ).

    Admittedly, if I were not married or on the track to marriage right now, I'd be really stressed out (I'm 28). I don't even know if I'm that embarassed to admit that… it was just part of what I wanted before I turned 28… so I'm glad I'm where I want to be. I'd be in a panic if I weren't married by 30. But that's just me! Being married makes me healthy. Mark gives structure to my life. Otherwise I'd just work all the time and sit on my ass and do nothing… he's my motivator to… live life!

  2. Reply

    Cheap Wife

    January 20, 2010

    Oh my gosh, I know!
    What I think is funny is when you are young…certian ages sound so grown up. I am 30. I thought 30 was SO grown up and by 30 I would be married and have 2 kids. But then suddenly I was 25 and I didn't FEEL 5 years from 30. It's funny how your perspective changes
    The time(age) thing is kinda getting to be though when it comes to kids. My mom had me at 32 and she was areally "old mom". I know how that is her personality and not due to age. But because of that I always thought "I don't want to be an old mom like she is" I NEVER thought I would have kids at 32…I thought the magic age was about 28 for the 1st and 30rd for the 2nd child. I have 2 years until I finish school so that means I will not have the 1st one until I am my mom's age:32-33. I won't get around to the 2nd one until I am 34-35 eek! It kinda bothers me…I wish I could freeze time and still have my first baby at age 30

  3. Reply

    honey my heart

    January 20, 2010

    i totally had a list! my dream was to have fab career at 25, married at 27, kids at 28. then reality came in. i got married at 26 and am turning 27 next month. kids are are only thoughts for now, since i haven't hit 28 yet and my recently married friends still don't have kids. i think it is the career that has gotten to me. i thought that all i had to do is work hard after college and in a few years land my dream position. now i know that a career is, and may always be, in the making. i remember being so sure about everything when i was 18, how my 20s would be building blocks to have everything i wanted in my 30s. but now i know that it all takes time.

  4. Reply

    Mo

    January 20, 2010

    I'll be 27 when I get married, but I don't remember ever having a timeline, except maybe to have a kid before the age of 35? Looking back, I thought 26 was OLD so who knows what my timeline was!
    I want to shoot for 30 to have a kid too, but with school and the boy's school, that just seems nuts.
    Great post!

  5. Reply

    Kiana

    January 20, 2010

    I never had a list, I'm just not that type of person. I'm a planner, but a short-term one and I don't set expectations. My husband, on the other hand, thought he'd be married with at least one kid if not TWO by now and he's only 29! I say it's good life gets in the way sometimes…when we're thinking these things at 16 or 17, we don't realize the vast time needed and desired to reach those grand milestones. 30 seems "old" when you're that young and if we don't get married or have kids by the time we hit that mark, we think the world may crumble before it happens…that goes for when you're daydreaming as a teenager or an actual adult! lol

  6. Reply

    Sandy

    January 21, 2010

    I always thought I'd get married soon after college and 2 kids by the time I was 28. Well, I went to law school, graduated at 25 and got out of a LT relationship soon thereafter…so my plans were way off track. I ended up engaged at 28, married at 29, and now I'm 30 with no babies (yet!). We said we'd start trying for a baby around our 2 year anniversary…so the earliest I could have my first kid is 31-32.

  7. Reply

    -J.Darling

    January 21, 2010

    While I never had a list per-say, you can tell from reading my blog that I struggle with the societal "shoulds". As they say in Sex in the City, "Are we women shoulding ourselves to death?"

    I think for women it is different. That Biological clock thing is VERY real. It's not a tick tock kind of clock either. Eventually, it becomes a screeching alarm clock.

    But I'll tell ya, getting divorced at 26 definately wasn't part of any plan.

    However, I learned more from that incredibly painful experience than I perhaps would have from a smoother path.

    I wouldn't trade the lessons I learned from that experience for all the well-laid plans in the world. (Granted, I'd trade the pain and enduring the divorce itself. I think it's the hardest thing to go through, short of the death of a child. It's not like a break-up; it's something completely different.) But if it weren't for that, I'd never know how strong I am, how important respect, trust, and boundaries are, and the difference between getting what you want and getting what you need out of a relationship.

    I just hit 30, and as a PCOS patient w/ an advanced case, I know my odds of having kids the good old fashioned way are pretty much out the window completely right now. I'm not interested in infertility treatments, but I've found that, when the timing is right, I'm looking forward to adopting to expand my family. If I happen to be 35 when I find the right guy, right situation, than so be it.

    Some things are worth waiting for. 😉

  8. Reply

    AmyJean {Relentless Bride}

    January 21, 2010

    I had the same magic number. Dating seriously by 24, married by 26, first child no later than 28… I'm going to be 33… lol!

  9. Reply

    Brandi

    January 21, 2010

    My list went opposite of what I wanted when I was younger. I wanted to have a high profile journalism career in the city as soon as I graduated from college, and then get married around or after 30. Instead, I got married right after college, I'm moving to the country, and… well I'm not working towards a career in journalism anymore… but I think my career will start to take a stronger path around then. But I LOVE how my life has turned out. God had better plans for me 🙂

  10. Reply

    stephanie michele

    January 21, 2010

    I've totally had a list, and it's never gone as planned. I was supposed to be married (if ever) at 30. That happened at 26. Once I was married, kids would start at 30 – now, I have no idea when/if I want to have them. Career I figured would already have sprouted by now, but it hasn't. It seems like the older I get, the more I am trying to prolong everything 🙂

  11. Reply

    Kasia Fink

    January 22, 2010

    My list was exactly the same as yours – and I thought I was being so conservative to think I'd be married at 26. That's so OLD (or so it seemed, back then).

    In reality, I got married and will have my first babe four years later. A lot happens in 4 years! But I wouldn't trade those years for anything.

  12. Reply

    Krista

    January 23, 2010

    My age for marriage was 27. And I was 27. I think that's a coincidence, b/c I always planned to cure cancer before I got married. I think I was a little ambitious.

  13. Reply

    Kristin ~ Bien Living

    January 26, 2010

    Both of my sisters were married at 21, so I thought I'd do the same thing! ACK! I would feel terrible for the person that married my 21 year old self :/ When I was younger, I definitely thought I'd have kids by now (I'm 29). Now I am feeling the 30 year old deadline for kids, as it is getting closer and closer every day. Who knows?!

  14. Reply

    Jessebel

    January 27, 2010

    As a child, I thought I would be done with college and married by 22 and have at least 2 kids by 30. Instead, I completed college at 22 (but my bday was almost 2 weeks after), married at 26, and kids will happen after 30.

    The marriage and kids stuff didn't concern me as much as the career, or lack thereof did. It bothered me for a while mostly because so many people define themselves by what they do for a living. So I was really at a loss at what that meant for me. Luckily, I know what I want to do now but at the moment, it's only something that can be attained gradually.

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