I cried on my 35th birthday.
I thought I had my life all planned out and, by the time I hit 35, I intended on having my two or three children, my wonderful husband, and my house with the white picket fence.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, my 35th birthday found me very raw from the breakup of a long-term relationship and living at home with a mother who loves to ask, “When am I going to be a grandmother?”
I have wanted children since I was a child myself. I loved playing with dolls and riding my “babies” in their carriage up and down the sidewalk in front of my house. When my 30th birthday passed and I was childless, I figured I had until I was 35. When 35 hit and I was childless, it was the end of the world.
Until it wasn’t.
There is no way I would have been ready to be a mother by my 35th birthday. My career was just beginning after a series of false starts. Finances weren’t the best because of some silly decisions, and my romantic relationships weren’t anything to write home about.
A child needs stability and I just wasn’t at that point yet. With a woman’s childbearing years extending well into her 40s, there’s time, even though I was convinced there wasn’t.
Before, I would see other women in my age group with their children and secretly envy them. Interestingly, I also see other women in my age group who lament the fact that they had children young. They tell me they envy my freedom.
Being almost 36 and childless, I can see how every day lays the foundation for when I finally get to see my dream come true. I need to get my life in order before another life can be entrusted to me. Now I understand that my time is coming, too. To receive the best gift of your life, you need to be ready. I know one day I will be.