I Used to Think…

There a lot of things I used to think about life, before I got too involved in living it. One of them was doing things in the right order was best – meet the guy, get married, have babies. In order, all in a neat little row.

Now, I was fortunate that it all worked out that way for me – I followed the prescribed narrative. Chris and I met, were friends for a while, dated for about 5 months, were engaged for just over a year, then got married. We never lived together before marriage, or even considered it. We took a full year to get used to being married before starting our family, and Abbie was born just before our two year anniversary. By those standards, we did everything the “right” way – date, marriage, baby.

I Used to Think

But you know what? As I’ve gotten older and gotten to know more people and situations, I’ve found that the “right way” is a bunch of crap. It’s not a recipe for success, and it just doesn’t matter to anyone but yourself.

I know people that did everything in the complete “wrong” order. I know people who are single parents. I know people who were pregnant first, married afterward. I know people who bought houses together before they got married. I know committed couples who haven’t gotten married at all. I know couples that have decided not to have children. And you know what? It’s all fine. We don’t all have to follow the prescribed way of doing things.

I distinctly remember when I was pregnant with Abbie and my rings stopped fitting because I was so swollen… and I hated it. I hated it not only because I love wearing my rings, but because I was worried about what people I didn’t know would think. I didn’t want to be seen as the one doing things the “wrong” way. It’s so silly to look back on now.

I don’t know why I used to think it mattered so much. I think we’re taught a narrative, a story, as children so we can live up to that story. Is it ideal to have all your ducks in a nice little row? Of course. But it’s not real life. It isn’t how people truly live and love. It shouldn’t matter at all, and it certainly isn’t an indicator of how happy you’ll be.

Just my two cents for this Wednesday.

About Jess

About Jess

Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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11 Responses

  1. I love this post! I often get caught up in the ‘timeline’ of things and wondering if I’m behind on certain aspects, or if I did something TOO early, etc. And all of those thoughts and worries are so silly- no person’s story is the same!

  2. I agree – I think there are benefits for doing things the “right way” especially since I’m a Christian BUT I didn’t do things that way… we got pregnant before we got married and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  3. Even when you think you’ve gone in the right order, life can throw a curveball at you! I was married at 23, widowed at 25, met Justin at 26, pregnant at 27 (almost 28), remarried at 28 and I wouldn’t change a thing! 🙂

    Life is all about the ride and how you enjoy the turns!

  4. That narrative is the one we preached to our daughter from the time she was born. Around age 6 she asked me “if you have to be married before you have babies, how come I am in your wedding pictures?” Oops

  5. I used to think the same way, and honestly sometimes I find myself thinking that way. I think it’s due in part to my New England upbringing, LOL. I used to sing a song when I was little, “__ and __ sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes ___ in a baby carriage.” An innocent little tune, but it’s so telling. I did everything in the “correct” order, too, and I never thought it could be any other way. Now, I know better. Great post. Susan

    1. Thanks! Just got me thinking the other day – I have lots of friends who didn’t do things conventionally, and they’re some of the happiest people I know. To each his own!

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I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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