My cute cousin Brighton posted on her blog the other day that she often writes essays in her head. I realized I do the same thing, quite frequently in fact. Although I'm sure mine aren't as beautifully articulated as her are, here is one of them.
My interactions with people these days are in about 15-30 minute bursts where we exchange some general information about ourselves and sprinkle in some funny anecdotes here and there. Then I leave their house or workplace and never see them again. In almost all of these conversations, the subject of kids comes up. I ask about their family (few people get life insurance without someone to leave it to, after all) to distract them from the needle I'm about to put in their arm or as a precursor to the fact that I'm about to ask them to pee in a cup. For some reason that's gross to people who aren't nurses... go figure... They usually tell me a little about each of their children and ask if I have any kids. I respond with a quip about how being a nursing student is enough responsibility for now. I don't know why, but this response is almost always met with something along the lines of, "You are so smart to do that!" or "Waiting to have kids until you finish school is SUCH a good idea," or my personal favorite: "I SO wish I did that!" and then, as if suddenly remembering, quickly adding, "Oh, but I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything."
Until recently, I wasn't quite sure how to respond to this. I used to say things like, "Yeah, we're having a lot of fun," and "My husband seems to always see the kid in the grocery store throwing a fit but never the little girl that runs up and hugs her dad's legs." While these are both true, that's not the reason we don't have kids. My response the last few weeks has been different, and more accurately expresses the way I feel about the subject. "It's just what the plan has been for us. We have friends who got married around the same time we did, and they're happy with kids, but we're just not there yet."
At the risk of sounding like I'm trying to justify the fact that it's still just the two of us after nearly five years (by Mormon standards we should at least be on our 2nd kid right now, right?), that's not my point. My point is that there is only one timeline that anyone should adhere to, and that's the Lord's. Because social media puts every wedding announcement, graduation picture and newborn in a basket right in our face, we are fooled into thinking that we're behind or missing out if we haven't accomplished the same things as our acquaintances from high school. We see their highlight reel and compare it with our outtakes. It cheapens our accomplishments in our own eyes, and frankly, it's a load of crap! If you feel like you're doing all you can to be a good person and do what Heavenly Father would want you to do, let that be enough, because it absolutely is. Whether you're single, struggling to have your first baby, on baby #3 and feeling like you're buried in diapers and laundry, what you are doing is important. Let's all try to keep that in mind, OK?