If you are a modern woman trying to manage being an adult and balancing both work and home life, you have experienced this. No, not the inexorable ticking of your biological clock, more the consistent reminder from men and elders alike that said clock is in fact ticking and that this imaginary and often arbitrary timeline should define how you live your life. It’s funny how you can be both too young to get married or too old to believe that this could be the one. Too young to have kids or too old to even be thinking about it. Too young to settle on a career path or too old to start a new one. Too much and often altogether too little. This is what others will try to tell you. They wish to not only NOT allow you to live your best life but wish to push you into a box of their own making to define you. To that I say, what box? What clock? What label?
Don’t get me wrong, having kids is amazing. I have three that combine their mom’s ability to be irrelevant and casual with their dad’s rather… um, conscientiousness. And there’s definitely a time that these additions make the most sense to arrive. It turned out that pregnant at 40 made perfect sense for me, and your magic number may be something completely different. Sometimes life makes the most sense when it totally doesn’t!
This concept of the biological clock came from a time when it was assumed by many that women couldn’t have it all, as if having a job and a family couldn’t be interchanged in a miss as it is in a mister. We were told that to keep us out of the job market. We were told that to make sure that we women knew that our place was really at home. It was a different world then and what made sense at the time certainly doesn’t resemble the realities of today. The world has changed. We each now have the ability to set our own timeline.
At various points in my life, I’ve done the opposite of what was expected of me. I marched to my own beat, making both mistakes and the best decisions ever. Every step taken was my choice, and all combined to make me who I am today. And I like me. I always look to this one quote for direction, (from Mother Teresa’s prayer), “May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be”. By listening to myself and keeping that in mind, I’ve been able to be kinder to me, managing to find a path through this life that speaks tome and ofme, as a woman.
Be kind to yourself and be a woman on your own time. Let that clock tick. Use it as a drumbeat to dance through your best life.
This article was originally published in the Fall 2018 edition of RG Magazine.