Finding Myself Again After Motherhood

I’m a mom of one with another on the way and I can’t imagine things being any different. I am so lucky to be where I am. But I can’t help to think, what’s next? There’s still more to come but what is the next big milestone besides just “being a mom”?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. And then the other day I watched this video called The Expiry Date that luxury skin care brand SK-II created (I saw it because I use and love their products). What I learned after watching the video, and doing a little research, is that in parts of Asia it’s widely believed that an unmarried woman has expired after the age of 30. I found this information so heartbreaking. I wasn’t married until I was 32 and that was the perfect timeline for me. I certainly wasn’t “expired”.

Watch the video I’m talking about below.

After watching the video, I started thinking about my own daughter and the pressures that she’ll face while growing up. The pressure to find Mr. Right before it’s “too late.” The pressure to keep up with the achievements of her peers. The pressure to have kids because her “biological clock is ticking.” I want her to know that she doesn’t have an expiration date. I want her to know that her worth is not based on whether or not she’s living her life according to society’s pre-determined timelines for women and she will be strong, beautiful, loved and appreciated, regardless of the path she’s chosen. I also need to remind myself of these things.

Reflecting back on the last 5-10 years, I can’t help but think about the moments leading up to all of my milestones. I feel like I have always lived life on my own terms but the pressure to follow a pre-defined timeline was definitely still there. I honestly feel like these pressures are part of the reason I decided to become the Bachelorette. At only 25 years old I felt like I should be engaged and on my way to having kids. Looking back now it feels crazy to me that I thought I needed to be married to someone at that point in my life. In general, it seems like a lot of women put pressure on themselves to get married and have kids by 30. Why is that? I got married at 32 and I’m now having my second baby at 33 and I feel like the timing couldn’t have been more perfect…for me. If these things had happened at 28 and 29 would they have been any less perfect? Of course not. Everyone is different everyone has their own timeline. But why is 30 that magic number we all strive to do these things by?

Actress Chloe Bennet recently gave her fresh perspective on The Expiry Date and how she chooses to live life according to her own plans – you can watch it here. For me, living life on my own terms means not listening to outside pressures telling me I need to accomplish certain things by a certain time.

I really want to encourage all of you to share in the comments how you live life on your own terms. Or, use the hashtag #INeverExpire to join the conversation. I hope women all over the country, and even the world, forget about society’s artificial timelines and expectations and just live your life.


139 Thoughts

139 thoughts on “Finding Myself Again After Motherhood

    1. I hope you don’t feel those pressures Charmaine! I feel like I know you since I chat with you here on my blog everyday. Sending hugs! xoxo

  1. So true! I have a single friend in her mid-30’s and her mom is convinced she’s too old to get married and the pressure is real!

    1. That is so sad to me. I’m sure she is kind and strong and an amazing woman! Give her my love!

      1. Thanks for sharing this Ali, I was Married @ 30 years old & now I feel like a big pressure is having kids. All my married friends have kids besides us & I felt if I didn’t have a kid @ 31 then I’d be to old & expired. Loved this blog.

  2. Thank you for sharing this Ali. As a mom, it’s nice to hear your perspective. I got Married at 29 and had my first baby at 32 and my second at 34. That was the right timeline for me and I’m so happy it all happened when it did.

  3. Ugh this is so beautiful and important! I myself got married at 24 and have a (ALMOST 😭) one year old at 27. This was right for me. So many of my friends are unmarried and post those stupid memes about friends getting married or engaged and they’re just sitting there with a dog or watching Netflix and they drive me crazy! There’s no “right” way of living. If you’re honoring yourself and have some sort of faith, whether it be in God, Gods, or the Universe itself- you’re going to be okay and you should choose to be happy. I think that’s what it really comes down to! Oh and #ineverexpire and #mydaughterwillneverexpire either.

    1. Those memes upset me too. I thin it’s wonderful to find love, but I also think it’s wonderful to be single and happy!

  4. I hate that they even have such a thing as the expiration date! Everyone should be able to live their life how they want! Regardless of how long it takes them to find “their person” at 20 or even 50!! As long you’re happy, keep doing what you’re doing and just live! You can’t have all the negative what if’s, that’s where regret comes in..I met my husband online in a chat room over 13 years ago, we were married in 2014 and our son was born in 2016 and I just turned 30 in January!

    1. Sadly, I think the “expiration date” is a common belief in some Asian cultures. So heartbreaking.

  5. I think the reason there is pressure (especially to have children by a certain age) is because, biologically, there is a timeline. It’s a proven fact that women’s chances of conceiving naturally decreases at age 30 and only continues to decline.
    So, I think a lot of women who know they want to have kids one day, but haven’t met the right person to share that with yet, just end up feeling that clock ticking.
    Yes, we have come a long way with healthcare and options for women who aren’t ready to have a baby in their twenties, but that can come at a cost both financially and emotionally…

      1. Although there is some (SOME) truth to what you are saying about fertility decreasing with age, the real truth is women are waiting longer to have babies. I’m 43 and conceived naturally at 41. Women have options today and you can get pregnant when you are older.

        1. While this is true, those “options” are very expensive and emotionally exhausting to use. IVF is not easy by any means and is too expensive for most women. The real conversation should be around taking the burden of fertility off of women as a whole and to do that we need equality in our healthcare system, and we are very far from that in this country.

          1. I’m glad you spoke of this bc even tho you can have kids naturally when you’re older, it’s rarer. Fertility rates go down dramatically at 37. As a mom with grown kids and a nurse I have studied this -(& had my 2 boys at 31 and 34) – I always tell my friends that you HAVE to think about it. Bc it is a reality for women and it is different for men and trust me I sometimes get sort of pissed off about that to tell you the truth. Especially when I think about all the sacrifices I’ve made personally that my ex didn’t make or have to make. And that older men can have a second chance at happiness with a second, younger and fertile wife and family as is such a trend. Altho my bf is exactly that and became a mom at 42 naturally and after seeing all the issues THEY have I am happy for her but not at all envious! I think it’s bad to promote that idea that you don’t have to think about age and fertility (via celebrities who have the dough to make it happen – I just read about actress Rachael Weisz having her first child at 48) – but I DO think women should not be made to feel bad about their timelines. That is such a personal thing. I lived in Asia for two years and since then I have so appreciated the freedoms as women we have here. But as a single mom I wish we had the social benefits that places like Sweden have such as free childcare and education bc that is key to women not having to have make sacrifice financially and otherwise if you are a single mom. For example, a new mom female pilot I follow was able to be trained for free and work and provide well for her daughter while being gone – partner or not partner – as any woman has to do when they work whether they travel as pilot or not. Well I got off the point here but you can see Ali you have hit a nerve here with opening up this good discussion Thank you!

      2. Actually, a lot of the research that all those fear inducing terms like “geriatric pregnancy,” increased risk of defects,” etc. is based on really outdated studies (like seriously, some as old as medieval France). Also, the facts we are given are lots of times given out of context. For instance, the risk of birth defects DOES double after 40, but from 0.5% to 1%. Scary? Sure! But not as scary as what I was envisioning after I was first told this (i.e. If I have a baby after 40 it’s 100% going to be born with three arms).

        In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that overall, women’s fertility is INCREASING (although sometimes it seems the opposite because we are in a time, when, thankfully, it’s more common to talk openly about if you are struggling to conceive than in previous generations).

        I’m not saying that there isn’t some truth to what we hear, or that we shouldn’t throw out all advice in favor of making unwise decisions, but I think we as women need to take our health and reproduction into our own hands when it comes to this kind of stuff. Armed with accurate knowledge, we can make decisions about what’s best for our own bodies and families, and not just go off of what we’ve been told our whole lives.

        A few articles on this subject:

    1. Beautifully written! I’m preggos right now, first baby at 37. This message speaks to me so much and I have so many mixed emotions about it all, granted a fair amount of those emotions probably stem from the fact that my hormones are all out of whack right now too, haha! I feel that at this age, it’s been difficult on my body and I considered myself a healthy and fit person prior to pregnancy. I constantly worry that I won’t get my energy back to what it was pre pregnancy and that I won’t be able to run around and be that fun mom I’ve always wanted to be. It’s hard for me to assess what is the temporary version of me going through this pregnancy and what is “getting older”. I will say this is a surreal, incredible experience, one day you are you and the next day you have a little babe in your belly dictating how often you should eat, sleep, move, rest…. It’s pretty neat actually and at the end of the day I think God and the power of love you have for your child gets you through it all. I am glad I waited, those memories of adventure and independence I will treasure forever and share with my little one day!

    2. Not all women want to get married and have children, but are made to feel badly (and like they are “running out of time” and expiring because of THAT). Their parents want grandkids, people tell them they will regret it, etc… I don’t think the “timeline” for having kids matters if you aren’t ready, because it’s NOT more important to have bio kids than to have bio kids because you want to and are ready to be a good parent. The time pressure is there whether a woman is in an abusive relationship, mentally fragile and unable to parent, lacking the desire to have kids and happy with life as is, etc… people push women to hurry up and get married and have kids whether or not they want to. I don’t think women should try to “beat the clock” to have bio kids… there are more important things than having bio kids and this timeline pressure totally annoys me.

  6. I really needed to read this today so thanks for this. I turn 31 in 29 days and I feel this “pressure” constantly, so to hear/read someone say that it’s okay is super comforting. I always just think to myself that it’ll happen when I’m ready and that time hasn’t come yet and I’m slowly starting to feel okay. To think there are woman out there that are being told that they “expire” breaks my heart. I absolutely love the last sentence you wrote because that’s exactly how I’m choosing to walk through my 30s (even though they just started..haha). #INeverExpire ♥️

    1. Yes! One of my favorite sayings is “If you are looking for love STOP, it will find you when you start doing that things you love” Meaning, live your life to make YOU happy with YOU doing all the things you love! xoxo

  7. I absolutely love that you have shared this!! And unfortunately it’s not just women. Unmarried Indian men after the age 30 are looked at as unmarriable past that! It’s so heartbreaking!! So thankful for a loving family that encouraged me no matter what age for my dreams!! As humans we should all be encouraging and loving to others, we don’t know what so many people have to face everyday no matter age or ethnicity.

  8. I don’t usually comment on your post though I do read them often. This one definitely touched my heart and I can see why it’s a topic that has stayed with you. I recently got married, became a wife and a bonus parent (as we like to call it) and graduated with a masters degree in counseling psychology, something I have been working towards for years and now as I begin searching for a job in my field, I can honestly say I have never felt so lost or questioned what is the next milestone. I definitely feel incredibly blessed to be where I am and have the most incredible husband but society has a way of manipulating those thoughts and it amazed me how quickly I began sinking into a state of depression. Thankfully, I am surrounded by a wonderful group of people who have kept me sane, humble, and motivated in this process but no one ever discusses the impact of life transitions so I appreciate you bringing up this topic!

  9. I’m a mother of two and I’m 23 was married when I was 19 so I had the opposite saying I was to young. I wanted to be a mom and it just happened a lot faster for me than some other people I married my high school sweetheart. It’s important to not always listen to what people say and just live your life. 30 is not old or expired my mom was 35 when she was pregnant with me and then she had two more after me. 🙂

  10. What a powerful post, thank you. I’m a 35-year old women who is unmarried and has no children. If you had asked me if my 20’s if this is what my mid-30’s would have looked like, I would have said NO way. But what I’ve learned is marriage and children don’t define me, I have two Masters Degrees and I am currently pursuing my passion in children’s mental health. I have two amazing nieces who light up my life and am blessed to have a family who loves me despite what “society” may think of my life situation. I hope you continue to empower Molly and your son on the way as well to live their own life and be who they want to be!

  11. Thanks so much for sharing this! I see so many women around me affected by these ideas and timelines. I feel like social media has only added to the pressure. Watching everyone’s lives on display. Comparing their timeline to your own. All we can do is lead by example. March to the beat of our own drum and reach our milestones on our own timing when we’re ready. Molly is so blessed to have a mom like you leading the way.

  12. This is amazing, Ali! Thank you so much for sharing your view point on this. I could not agree more. Society puts so much pressure on moms and women as a whole. It’s nice to be reminded that we can live our lives by our own design, and not by what society tells us is right. I shared this on my Facebook in hopes that all of the other ladies in my life can be inspired by your blog like I am ♡

  13. Ali,

Thanks so much for this post! I’ve also always lived life on my own terms, but definitely felt society’s pressure when it came to finding Mr. Right before it was “too late.” I didn’t listen to all the outside noise and just did my own thing, which for me meant following my dreams of being a journalist and a voice for the voiceless.

 Two years ago when I was past 30, I met a wonderful man and am still living my passion in every way— not according to anyone else’s vision for women. I am very glad you are encouraging Molly to forget about society’s artificial timelines and expectations and to just live her life… definitely great advice!

    ~ Jillian/Multimedia Journalist

  14. I felt a ton of that pressure to… To be married and start having babies and I thought I was so so ready. I didn’t meet my husband till I was 26 and we got married at 28 and had our first baby at 30 and it was all in perfect time. All of the years before I met my husband was not time wasted like I originally thought. I went to school and got two masters degrees and now I’m fortunate enough to be a mom and have an amazing part-time job that I wouldn’t have been able to have without a Masters degree. Women do face so much pressure but we’re also so strong. I hope I can teach my daughter to trust her God and to trust that the universe will bring the perfect experiences for her at the perfect time.

  15. Such a powerful post! I’ve always felt the pressure to do it all, but that always left me feeling unhappy. I just had a baby and have never felt so fulfilled just being her mom. I have to go back to work in a few weeks to a job that I don’t think isn’t worth being away from her. Unfortunately I have to go back but I will be owning what I want now and getting myself financially set up to be home with her as quickly as possible. I want to tell my younger self as well as teach my daughter that you are not selling yourself short if you don’t want the defined career path and that there is self worth in every path and you should own that proudly.

  16. I totally relate. I am 42 years old and single. True be told, we unfortunately have the disadvantage of our biological clock, which creates additional pressure. I am coming to terms to the fact that I will probably not become a mother. I am way behind according to general standards or timelines regarding love, marriage and motherhood, yet I have never been to eager or rushed things. But honestly, accepting the fact that if I ever find Mr. Right, it may be too late to become a mother and that hurts. But God has a plan for each of us, even though many times I question as to which is his plan for me. Thank you for writing such a heartfelt blog about this.

    1. Don’t worry so much Giselle. Im starting my 40s and decided to adopt a child to soon to give the child a blessed life. I have a Master’s degree from Harvard, a great career, happily married, travel the world with my husband and am content and happy. I dont need to bear a child to feel fulfilled in life.

  17. Can’t agree enough with this post Ali. I am 30 and have been with my boyfriend for over 10 years but the pressure to get married and have kids has been building and is, at times, quite suffocating. I am often made to feel embarrassed at the fact both things haven’t happened yet. It’s hard to stop myself from feeling that I am ‘behind’ where I should be in life and that this makes me not good enough somehow…

    I actively look for mothers like yourself who are having beautiful families after the age of 30 to reassure myself that everyone has their own path and perhaps I’m not as much of a failure as I sometimes feel… xx

  18. What an interesting post. I have definitely felt the “pressure” moreso in the aspect of having kids. I am 34 and unmarried, no kids. I desire to have both but not even seemingly close to meeting the right guy(or it feels that way) to get on that path. Then I read stuff about your chances to have kids declining in your 30s and I worry it won’t happen for me. I have also read info that says it still can happen so that’s encouraging but when so much seems to be against your timeline for stuff like that it is frustrating.

    However, I don’t regret the things I’ve done in life so far. In my 20s, for me, i enjoyed more time with friendships and trying to travel when I could. I suppose what’s meant to be usually ends up working out so I try to trust in that.

  19. It is amazing the “timelines” woman have. I am 31 and grew up in a somewhat conservative Christian church where everyone I went to church with got married at 21-23. I am the lone woman who has yet to “settle down”. I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I would have ended with my 21 year old boyfriend that would have been a disaster and I wouldn’t have met my perfect match. I’ve managed to see the world, during my years of exploration and continue to find new places and have new experiences. I thank my lucky stars I didn’t think I’d expire at 30

  20. It’s like this in the Indian community too. One of my closest friends was set to be married at 30, which she felt already behind on since her closest friends were already married (aka me and another girl).

    Her engagement was broken, unfortunately, and aside from a broken heart, she feels like she won’t be married because it’s “too late.” We’ve been trying really hard to encourage her that 30 is still very young and just the beginning, but the Indian culture of getting married young and having children relatively young AND her friends on that path already, makes her feel so alone.

    Point being – this “expiry date” sentiment is a very real feeling!

  21. This is just what I needed. My 30th Birthday is quickly approaching at the end of May, and this post perfectly explains the pressures that women face. I feel like social media plays a big part of the pressure. Seeing peers getting married and having kids often makes me feel like I am “Behind.” While I know In my heart this isn’t the truth, it’s hard to not let it creep into your head at times. Here’s to living life on our own terms!

  22. I love this post (although I love ALL your posts!) I was married at 22, almost 23. We had our first child at 24 and our second at 27. I heard lots of comments about being “too young” when we got married, not enough life experience, didn’t date or sleep around enough (seriously…). These people didn’t know me or my life and everything I had been through. My husband and I have been through more together than most, including my father passing away a month before our baby girl was born. You have to ignore the judgement but it so hard. Everyone has their own timeline. I finished my bachelors before I was married and now am thinking about my masters. Life is hard and it’s important to love others and not worry about how others live theirs.

  23. Thanks so much for posting this, Ali. As a 38 year old single woman in LA who still wants to get married and have kids, I have to constantly remind myself that I haven’t “missed the boat” and I can’t control when I’ll meet Mr. Right. While it’s not an option for everyone, I decided to freeze my eggs last summer after saving up for a year. My thought process being that at least I can still give myself the option to try and have kids if I never meet the guy. This plan seems to be becoming more popular in recent years and that gives me hope that more women are believing that this so-called “expiry date” is a bunch of nonsense. Xo

  24. As a single women who is about to be 31 this couldn’t have hit home more. I can’t help but always feel like people are judging me for my way of life. Just because I’m not married with children at my age that the girls who are are living a more fulfilled life. I can’t help but think sometimes it’s where you come from. I’m from Boston and the amount of people my age that are single is shocking so you would think finding a partner would be easy but in reality it’s the complete opposite. In the world of swiping left or right people love to have a buffet of options and fear settling down. I’d rather be single and happy then be settling for less than just to feel like Im where I should be in life.

    Side note: huge fan of your blog Ali!! Best of luck with baby #2

  25. I feel pressure to have kids “close together” or have them before a certain age (I’m 29) and have a 3 year old, we want more children but it hasn’t worked out yet and I recently went through a miscarriage in January – it’s hard to feel “behind” but your post made me feel better!

  26. I got married at 30 but didn’t have my first baby at 39! I definitely felt pressure to have kids sooner but babies show up when they are meant to! ❤️

  27. This is a great post! I’m almost 31 and am definitely feeling like I “failed” because I haven’t found the one and haven’t started a family yet when all my friends around me already have. I often look back and question, where did I go wrong. But you just have to keep trusting that everything happens for a reason & my time will come. It’s great to hear some positivity about this!

  28. Great Post!! Life is full of expectations for women. I am 32 and although married for 7 years, my husband and I have not had children yet. The comments and pressures from everyone in our life is so overwhelming sometimes. Sometimes it feels like when I do hopefully get to become a mom, it will be more of an expectation to others vs. the miraculous perfect miracle that we would celebrate at any time.
    Thanks Ali for a very enlightening blog today!

  29. Hi Ali
    Today’s blog was extremely well expressed & I agree with you. I believe everything in our lives (good or bad) happens (or doesn’t) for a reason.
    it’s the Lord’s will & He/she has our lives planned out.
    i try my best to live life everyday by following the 10 commandments.
    God Bless You & your Family

  30. This was a great read! I was married at 27 and 3 years later I am expecting my second child. My husband and I were together for 7 years and it was the right fit for us. A lot of my friends are single and I always tell them to enjoy it and they always say “easy for you to say, you’re married with a kid”. It breaks my heart. I truly feel that they should enjoy every moment, travel, meet people. Life is so short. If you’re happy, it doesn’t matter what you “have” or “don’t have”.

  31. I feel this DEEP in my soul. I will be 33 in August and my last serious relationship was almost 3 years ago. I constantly feel the pressure to be married and have children. Sometimes I think that it might not be in the cards for me and that makes me so sad but only because we, as women, are lead to believe that if you don’t get married or have children then what is your purpose in life? I choose to make my own happiness my purpose and if someone special comes along then that’s amazing. I feel so fortunate to have so many options that many women before us, never had. To think that I can put my fertility on “hold” by freezing my eggs, feels like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders. To think that I could further my career and possibly start my own company is unreal! I can choose the right time for me but right now finding my own happiness is my priority. #INeverExpire

  32. Wow. This really hit home. My husband and I were married 10 years ago at the age of 31. Now, after many rounds of ivf, we are finally pregnant with our first child. A little boy due in July. Even though we are both 41, we feel like life is just beginning. Thank you for sharing this. I needed it today. Xoxo

    1. Congrats Karen! I’m turning 39 next week and unfortunately just failed on my second IVF attempt. We will try again next month but the clock ticks so loudly in the background I can hardly stand it. I sincerely hope I will have success eventually, as you did. Best of luck with your pregnancy!

  33. This makes me so sad in myself. I have 2 young kids, and I’m a single mom at the age of 41. I gave up on ever finding love, since I haven’t had the real thing yet. I’m not attractive, and no one will ever love me I’m sure of it. I can’t bring myself to watch the video. Thank you for posting this. I live for my boys, as they complete me. I hope they always know I am behind them 100%.

  34. Thank you so much for this!! I love reading your blogs and watching your videos. It took me 33 years to find Mr Right. Now 35 and pregnant 🤰 with my first baby! It’s a boy 💙. 🤗😘

  35. Thank you for sharing this. I was engaged at 34 to someone I knew was not good for me, but because I was getting to old and was scared I’d never get married, I stayed with him longer then I should have, got pregnant, we broke up, had my oldest at 35. Met someone at church, dated on and off for a year, got pregnant again at 39 and my youngest at 40, he left me the minute I told him I was pregnant (I am not 41). I am now a proud single mom of 2 very happy, healthy beautiful girls. I love my life but there are days when I think I’d love to find the right one and almost get panicky again, but then I look around and knowing I am not the only one in similar circumstances, makes me feel a lot better. There is a lot of pressure to meet “the one”, but I think that some people are destined to remain single and that is ok. I want my girls to grow up knowing they can do anything they set their mind to and to not be defined by “what girls are supposed to do and be”!
    I hope this makes sense? So hard to put into words exactly what I’m feeling…..

  36. Thanks for sharing this. I can definitely relate. I just turned 30 earlier this year and it was a bit nerve wracking. I thought I was okay until it happened but some insecurities definitely surfaced. I came to the same realizations that my life is really just beginning and everything has happened in the timing it was supposed to. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    1. Happy 30th! My 30’s have been amazing. I feel like I know myself better than ever and I am the most content with ME

  37. Ali,
    Thank you so much for writing this. I’m 27, married and have one child who is 15 months. I’m perfectly happy with the timeline things have happened on. And I’m content with my life. However, I know I’m not ready to have another child right now. I’ve been trying to come up with justifications to tell people when they ask why we aren’t trying for our second yet. this video and post of yours helped me realize I don’t need any justifications. We’re hust not ready. And that’s perfect! For us! Thank you!!!

    1. Thanks for bringing this up. Because that’s a whole other pressure we face. When to have baby #2. Do it when YOU are ready!

      1. Exactly! Future baby #2 deserves a mama and daddy who are READY, not pressured into having another one. Thanks for helping me remember that.

  38. First of all, thank you for writing this post. Women never expire. Period. I think this also applies to other cultures as well. As a Latina, I was constantly pressured and told my time had passed to get married when I was 30 and single. I got married at 40 and had my first at 42 (conceived naturally). I wouldn’t have it any other way. It was God’s plan and it was right for me. That time I had by myself – I traveled and lived in other countries and found myself and who I wanted to be. My heart breaks for those who feel this pressure and believe it.
    It’s up to us to break the expiration date and show the world we are valuable no matter what age.

  39. My experience is kind of the opposite but I still feel the pressure. I got married when I was 21 and in the same year had my first baby. Six years later still married now with two kids. At 27 I feel like others around me feel bad for me like I’ve expired already because while others are traveling and working their way up in their career I’m at home with my babies. To make it harder we also live in LA where getting married late isn’t rare I feel because people are career focused.
    I have to remind myself that taking care of my babies is an important job and I still will have plenty of life left to have a career and flourish for myself! #INeverExpire

  40. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I just turned 32 and I don’t have any single friends (most got married pretty young) – this doesn’t bother me, but it always seems to bother other people. They can’t possibly understand how I can be single and happy. I have a great career, lots of friends, I own my own home and I am HAPPY! I just wish people could understand that there is no hard and fast definition of happiness and that there shouldn’t be a rush, timeline or pressure on anyone.

  41. Thank you for your post. I got married at 31 and I am so thankful that I didn’t rush into it with anyone else. My husband and I have the most amazing relationship and it’s because we took the time to become friends first. I am about to turn 33 in a couple months and we are not even trying to have a baby yet. I feel pressure from other, but now is just not the time. My husband is returning to school in the fall and we will be down to 1 income. I was actually feeling very anxious about postponing our family a couple more years. I felt like I’d be considered an “old mom”. This has been weighing on me a lot, but this post certainly helped me to keep things in perspective. I am healthy, happy, so I’m love and when the right time comes I’ll share that all with my children. Thanks for this inspirational post Ali! I do appreciate it!

  42. Ali,

    I LOVE at his post!! I’ll be 28 in August and the pressures you’re talking about are really starting to set in. I have to remind myself daily to not compare my life with everyone else’s and know that God has my plan laid out in the perfect timeline for ME! I’m single and some days I feel like I’ll never me Mr. Right… but this has also led me to going back to school for a second degree in nursing. This is something I never would have done if I was married with kids by 25. So thank you, again for this great reminder that we never expire and our timelines are perfect for each of us!


  43. It is intimating thinking about what is next after being “mom.” My six month is my world and whole life right now.

  44. I wouldn’t say you expire. You just have to be more careful. I fell down the stairs yesterday and in still 3 months away from turning 30. Also they say having kids after 35 is hard so maybe that’s why people believe it. I wouldn’t worry to much.

  45. This is amazing! Thank you for writing about this! I’m 26 and a good chunk of my friends are married and now having kids! I thought I would have been married by now, but I’m so glad I’m not yet! At my brother’s wedding this lady that I didn’t know walked up to me and said “don’t worry, you’ll get there one day”. I live my life on my own terms, moved to new cities by myself and am experiencing life in ways I now realize a lot of my friends won’t be able to. It seems like every year I get stronger and stronger and have greater experiences because I’m on my own. Whenever I find my man and have babies, whether that’s tomorrow or 10 years from now, I’m becoming more and more okay with it and enjoying every minute of it!

  46. Ali,
    So glad you’re bringing this topic to light as I’m 42 and in a place in life where I don’t have kids and the expiration date will expire on that…However it’s not too late for the unexpected, or impractical ways of making life happy. We all get it in our minds that we’re running out of time on life but we should feel the opposite. We should feel beautiful at any age and appreciate what life brings at all cycles of life. Thank you for always thinking outside the box with real life topics that all us women can relate to!!! 😊 Lisa

  47. Hi Ali,
    Beautifully written. I thought about sharing this with you a couple weeks ago after seeing your daughter Molly reading in one of your Instagram posts but I completely forgot until I was reading your post today. It is so encouraging to hear people talk about the need to shift our mindset from one that says our value is found in the things that we achieve or obtain (marriage, job, children, etc.) and I think it is so important that we not only tell younger girls this, but also set the example for them to see! I LOVE that you do this with the platform that you have. One of the ways I do this is by encouraging younger girls around me to dream things that are bigger then themselves. When we empower younger girls to empower and care for those around them (specifically other girls), this builds such incredible strength and confidence in their own lives. There are three sisters in Oklahoma who have done this by creating a non profit called Beads of Good ( that helps raise money for girls in Africa to attend school. They have also written a book called Girl Chronicals that talks about the power girls have to change the world and make it a better place. “Dream a dream that sets others free. Dream a dream the world’s waiting to see!” I would love to see young girls grow up knowing they have the power to change the world around them and to not be fed the lie that I believe our generation, and the generations before us, were fed that our worth and value is found in the things we achieve. I think Molly would love the book and I hope it encourages and empowers her, and other young girls, to grow up knowing they are valuable, strong and have the ability to change the world!

  48. Gosh this post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve just turned 31 and I’m the only girl “left” single in my group of Friends. I’m 100% proud of my life and all I’ve accomplish but it’s definitely a hard feeling getting older and feeling like you are “expiring” alone.

    Thank you for sharing this a speaking from the heart as it’s exactly what I needed to hear.

    All the best

  49. I honestly did need to read this as I feel this way but it is self inflicted. I am 25, turning 26 at the beginning of June, and my boyfriend is 27. This year, we are hitting 6 years of dating. I have been struggling to be happy for the past few years simply because I want to be engaged. It has honestly been very hurtful to watch people around only date for a few months or years and get married when it’s something I have wanted so badly for so long. Everything else about the relationship is perfect, but the desire to be engaged has just been completely overwhelming every part of my life. I’ve been trying to find ways to be content with where we are before he’s ready, but I’m finding it so hard to do.

  50. Thanks for posting this Ali! I am 29, was married at 25, and have an almost 22 month old little girl (only a couple weeks younger than molly!). I am content with all of that. Yet, as my 30th birthday approaches, I cant help to constantly be thinking ahead to another child. As previous poster stated, it’s so hard to field the comments from family and friends on when baby #2 is coming. Not to mention the societal pressures to have children etc by 30. For me, at this point, we are just enjoying our daughter and that is just fine with me. We have to remember that life will happen as it may and we need to live in the NOW as no moments are guaranteed. #iwillnotexpire.

  51. I’m 29 and getting married next year. I’ve been told on numerous occasions to give up on the idea of having kids because I’m too old and they will just come out “deformed” anyways. Those comments have been so hurtful and so offensive in so many ways.
    The mind set that things need to happen by a certain age is horrible. Women of many different ages give birth to healthy babies every single day. Also, being married doesn’t define you. Love the life that makes you happy…. life is too short!

    1. Oh my goodness what a terrible thing to say! Sending you hugs from afar. I hope all of the other comments here from women all over will reinforce things and show that there are a lot of women here that agree with you!

  52. Terrific post and replies! I’m almost 68. I married at almost 25, taught school, loved the freedom to play and be a couple for almost 9 years, went through infertility work-ups and an IVF and then adopted our oldest son a few months before I turned 34. We adopted our second son when I was 38. I remember feeling the stigma of being an “older” mother. Haha! I soon decided that that was an absolutely ridiculous concept. There are so many paths to take on this journey called life! I still run, ski, ride, garden, stay up too late, party, love life to the max! You women, most who say you are 23-42, have so much living to look forward to and I’m hoping you are excited for the possibilities and choices you have! Thank you, Ali! I KNOW you have empowered many women with this post!💕💕

  53. Beautifully said Ali! I just turned 30 in January. My husband and I got married young (24) and knew we wanted a family but he went through medical school first. Once we did start trying it didn’t happen. I crept up on 30 feeling a little panicked inside like “I thought this should happen by now.” Anyways we were seeing fertility and by literally a miracle we got pregnant (after 2 years) I’m 8.5 weeks! It’s all supposed
    To happen in our own time! Thank you for your realness!

  54. yes, pressures are definitely there. I did get married young at 24 and knew since i was a teenager that i didn’t want to have children. after getting married i was constantly asked “when are you going to have kids” and explaining to people that we chose to not have kids. kept getting “well, when you’ve been married longer, you’ll change your mind”. It wasn’t until i hit 40 that people stopped asking me because they now thought i was too old to have children. so much pressure people put on us- it’s really crazy.

  55. Hi Ali!!!
    First let me just say I just love you and your family! You bring me such joy! Second I hate to comment on this post “Expiry Date” because I really don’t want to give credence to it. I try to live my life to the fullest every day. Having said that a lot of my days are spent in hospitals in recent years. I’m not telling you that for sympathy because I don’t feel bad about it but more as a fact that “hey things can happen and you need to plan for them and for your kids.” I got married at 21 and had my daughter at 23 and worked my butt off for GE Capital and loved my job and had my son at 28 and by that time was Director of Operations. I was getting promoted to Regional Vice President by the age of 29 when I gave them my resignation to start my own business as a State Farm Insurance Agent, which was following in the family footsteps and thrilling my father but I was already showing signs of being sick. I just st didn’t know how to slow down. What Mom does? My dad had been in the Insurance industry my entire life so I had life insurance, a lot of it, and he had done that because my mother had been diagnosed with lupus when I was 4 and my brother was 3 and given 2 years to live and was uninsurable and prior to my daughter being born she lost her kidneys and 1 week after she was born had a kidney transplant. Anyhow, we were a family of blessings and not taking life for granted and hard workers and being prepared so I was no exception. But the time I was 34 I had a very successful State Farm Agency a beautiful 10 yr old daughter and 5yr old son and a divorce. My husband and I handled it very well for the most part. I cut my hours back to part time so I could be there as soon as the kids were out of school. We traveled a lot. Then a few years later I had a small stroke and heart attack. Several things started happening. My joints were bothering me. Rashes. Over the next several years my health would decline rapidly with no diagnosis. I went through several doctors before I finally found a good doctor that put the pieces together and diagnosed me with Lupus in 2012. I tell you this because I just closed my State Farm Office after 20 years at the end of this last year. I went out on Disability BECAUSE I could because I had disability insurance and I have life insurancce because my dad thought ahead and took it out when I was a kid and was insurable. I know that doesn’t sound nice to talk about or think about taking care of yourself and your family is important and the chances are you’re going to live a nice long life but you may not be able to work at some point or be insurable for life Insurance. It takes so little to make someone uninsurable but you want them to be able to protect their family so they don’t have to worry about it and can live each day to the fullest. I retired on Disability Retirement at 48 and am taking care of my health and planning a trip with my daughter to Tuscany this November. I’m not trying to tell you what to do or be an advertisement for Insurance. Lol. Oh my goodness this is long!! So sorry for the rant! I guess I’m just trying to saying be prepared and then enjoy every day to the best of your ability…if that’s a picnic in the living room or parasailing on a beach enjoy it!

    1. Wow, Lisa! Your story is incredible! My hat is off to you for your hard work, wise planning and amazing accomplishments! You so clearly embrace life and are living and enjoying each day! Happy travels this fall with your lucky daughter!

  56. I think every female has felt those pressures some time in their life. I was more career oriented & did not follow those pressures. Then I became a 4 time cancer survivor and could no longer have kids due to the cancer. I have never felt like I expired. I felt like my life took a different turn. Sadly some of the woman I was around during treatment & fighting cancer did feel that way. One thing I learned is you never know what life is going to throw at you. You are still the same person and become stronger because of the situations you go through. We don’t expire we just get better.

  57. Hi Ali!

    I love your blog and follow daily, mostly for fashion but it’s super nice to read this post about never expiring.

    I just turned 30 and I bawled my eyes out once the clock struck midnight.

    I am a successful, healthy, vibrant 30 year old with a career in New York City and yet none of that seems to matter since I’m single. A lot of the pressure comes from myself but it’s so true that “30” is the number. I wish it was easier to date and find quality men in NYC but it’s so so hard! (Even while looking cute on the daily thanks to your blog 🙂 ! )

    I hope that I can feel less “expiring” because of course as women, we fear never having the chance to be a mother or find “the one”.

    Thank you for reminding that our paths are all our own….

  58. Thank you for this!♥️ I’m turning 30 in August, no where near marriage or kids -which one day these are things I REALLY want. Just not today.
    Yesterday another girlfriend called to tell me she’s expecting. I’m the only childless one out of my group and some days I put this pressure on myself and wonder why these things haven’t happened yet for me. I have to remind myself daily everyone is on a different path, and when the time is right it will happen for me.
    Anyways thank you again for the reminder today and I’ve loved following your story! 🙂

  59. Hi Ali! That’s sad to hear about an expiration date? I do believe we all go through life and when’s it’s our time (marriage, kids) so be it! We have to be patient. So many pressures come nowadays and it’s sad to see people getting super down about it. They could use that energy and live their single life and travel and do things they want 🙂 Plus usually when you aren’t looking you meet your match ❤️ I hope I don’t expire 😉 My season of life now is no kids in home and travel here we come ✈️ 😍 Xx

  60. I have been fighting this my whole life. I grew up in Eastern Europe where basically everything I was thought was to prepare me for marriage. I was expected to get married as soon as possible so that my dad wouldn’t have to worry about me (both financially and control wise). Fortunately, in 2001 we moved to the US (opportunity presented itself and I convinced my dad that this was the only option for our survival). I am about to celebrate my 17 the year in the US, I have a Masters degree, a career I like, been married for 5 years and have a 6 month old. I am 35. People often tell me that I need to try quickly for baby #2 but I shut them up. They don’t know my body and quite frankly neither do I but I won’t let it control me. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to get married. I live by my own timelines and nobody else’s. This kind of thinking didn’t happen overnight. I remember having a strict plan at 25 of what was going to happen in the next 5-10 years but after a nasty break up I realized that my educating and career was the only thing I can control so I focused on that and everything else just fell into place. I am a mom now but I am still a career woman, a wife, a survivor, animal lover, and much much more.
    Thank you for using your platform for this. Sorry for a long comment.

  61. I love this post!! I definitely feel the pressure of oh your single at 31 quite heavy!! Most of my friends are either married with kids or have relationships of there own! I find I always get asked why it is I haven’t found my mr right! My last real relationship was 9 years ago! It be hard being single watching your many of your friends find there perfect mate..when your all alone! I love reading your blogs, Ali! You were one my favorites our of the bachelorette! Best of luck on your baby boy!!

  62. There are timeline expectations on everything! My husband and I started dating at 16 and married at 22. Was marriage on our minds at 21? No, in actuality we hadn’t even talked about marriage until he joined the air force. It is my belief that everything happens for a reason and getting married at 22 was our time. We had our first baby at 28 and our third just arrived this year on my 33rd Birthday! Within that story I am asked, “why get married so young?” “When are you going to start having kids?” “When will you have a second, third, and now a fourth?” Holy cow, it can be exhausting trying to plan out your life in order to have some of these answers. Time will tell if I want another, but for now we’re good with 3.
    At a younger age we are trying to grow up and have all these expectations of where we think we should be and as we get older we try to slow things down and enjoy the moment. I wish for everyone to live in the moment and continue to better themselves everyday instead of living for the “what should be”.

    Compare me to wine and not milk 😘

  63. I love this post! I’m on the opposite end. I’m a newlywed who just got married a couple of months after turning 23, and a lot of people view it as throwing away my 20’s. It was the right time for me and my husband, and now I get to spend my 20’s with my best friend! I love this message to your daughter, she’s lucky to have a supportive mama. Thanks for the uplifting post!!

  64. Thank you for posting this. I am 48yr old mother of 3yr old twin boys. I have faced this conversation in different forms too. “What’s it like to be an older mom?” “Wow I bet you were getting ready to wind down not ramp up?” (Yeh can you believe it?!). It too 5 yrs of fertility and loss to get my boys. I do t think anyone can didctate what phase of anyone’s life is worth more or less than the last. We are always reinventing and growing. Thank you again.

  65. I actually just started this conversation with my Mom and my Therapist. I’m 28 now and got married at 26. My husband and I are reaching our two-year anniversary and the majority of our friends have children. I am a teacher so working with small children is my career choice and I’m not so sure I’m ready yet to bring my own into the world. My husband just turned 30 in April and with only having 16 months left before I turn 30, the pressure is definitely real. While I don’t have any obvious pressure (both of our parents are very laid back and don’t pressure us) there are definitely societal pressures. My family has a history of fertility issues so that does weigh on my mind and I think it makes me more nervous and feel more pressured to start trying. There’s a definite fear of waiting too long to start trying and only to find out that I may have problems as well. A lot of people have made comments about my husband being too immature to have children (he is always the life of the party) but I see it as quite the opposite. We know we’re not ready yet and we talk about it a lot. We have made a joint decision to wait a little while longer. While most people see his humor and silly antics as a reason to not be mature enough, I see his/our decision to try to not conform to the social pressures as more mature than some of my friends that are having children because “we’ve been married for two years.” Definitely a struggle! Thanks for posting and making me feel like I’m not alone.

  66. Wow! Glad you shared this. I used to think the same thing. For some reason I had in my mind that I should be married and have at least one child or one on the way by 30. That plan clearly wasn’t meant to be for me. I’m 32 now and got married in September. I’ll be 33 in June and no kids on the way yet. Hopefully soon though! It’s sad that society makes us think we need to live by these time lines.

  67. Thank you so much for posting this Ali. I absolutely LOVE it. I’m 35 years old and definitely feel the pressure. I always get asked “are you maried” and “do you plan on having any kids” They don’t realize that question and comments like those can be very hurtful. I’m living my life in my terms with no timelines and enjoying every single minute of it. Thank you again ❤️

  68. I lived in Asia all my life and I only came to the United States 12 years ago.
    I got married at 37 but I only thought that I needed to settle down when I was 30 when my sister of two years older than me had gotten married.
    However, as the youngest of a big family, when I reached 28 years old, everyone in the family, relatives and friends have started asking me when was the big day- the clock was ticking! Really?
    Now, when I got married, I was pressued again to have a baby. It is almost like a chain reaction of accomplishing things. Get married, have a baby, then what is next?
    I would think my life is not defined whether you are married or have kids or have a wonderful career. I believe in God’s will, He is the one who directs my path.

  69. Ali, thank you so much for writing this! I’m 24 and already have people asking why I’m not married yet. Sometimes I find myself struggling with my own timeline, but at the same time school and beginning a career are my main focus for now. Sure if the person I’m suppose to be with came a long then I’d probably get married when the timing felt right. I think the reason this is something women struggle with is because yeah the “biological clock” can be a real thing but also we constantly seem to play the comparison game. I know I find myself on a daily bases comparing my life to people my age and how they’re a “step” a head of me in life. Why is it that society feels women who get married young and start family seem to be doing better in life then a single women.

  70. I got married at 28 and had my first baby in March, a month before turning 32. I got married and had my first kid at the same age my mom did (unintentionally) and it was the right time for my husband and I in so many different aspects. I do remember feeling the pressure you spoke of and really feared what would happen if I wasn’t married by the time I was 30! Thank you for posting this!

  71. I love this and it is so very true that we feel such pressure as women to have and do everything before our “time is up”. Although I got married in my early 20’s and had my 1st baby by 25 the pressure to have a second so soon after was a huge struggle… you want to have them close together so they can be friends and grow up close blah blah blah but no one stops to think that some people can’t snap their fingers and get pregnant. We finally were blessed 5.5 years after our first baby girl with another baby girl and I’m so happy with my timing because I feel like I get a lot of time to be with each child separately and the older one is so independent!! I just turned 30 in September and I feel like we are staring life now! People need to chill on time lines and just worry about being happy at any stage you are in your life!

  72. I really enjoyed reading your post 😊 thanks so much for taking your time to write it. My “babies” are 2, I’m 32, and I’m thinking I’d like to try for one more kiddo. I try to remind myself I’ve gotta do feels right for me and MY family, but admittedly it is easy to look around and say “no, maybe I shouldn’t” only because at—omg a whopping 34 😱😉–I’d be “old” to have a baby according to some. Your post was very encouraging. I’ve been following you for a while and really appreciate your transparency and your very apparent love for others. You’re a gem! 💕

  73. This just makes me so sad. I just turned 30 and recently got married. My husband and I have decided not to have any children for our own reasons, and just spoil our nieces and nephews. I didn’t meet my husband until I was 27 and up until then I constantly got asked if I was married or had kids. Yet in my early 20’s I just didn’t see myself becoming a mom and was okay with never getting married. When dating a lot of relationships ended because I didn’t want kids, so when I met my husband I was surprised. I feel like society expects women to marry and have children. I on a regular bases get asked if or when will I have kids and when I tell them I won’t have kids, they respond as If I did something terrible. I want women to know they are still worthy if their single or not a mom!

  74. I Have for the first time read your blog because I saw your post on Instagram and it made me think. Being an Asian women myself I have to say that unfortunately many people in the Asian culture do believe that if you are not married by 30 no one will want you. But the saddest thing about it is that it’s most mother’s that put these ideals out there to there daughters neices etc. I am 28yrs old and single but loving it as I am discovery myself, myself confidence and my abilities. So if or when I do meet that someone I know that no matter what I can make on my own. I have to stay I am lucky as I have a very open minded family who believe that things happen for people when there meant to and not when it’s forced. X

  75. Ali,

    This came at the perfect moment for me to read 🙂 I live in Boston (Mass love to you) and I have been single for about 2 years now. I recently purchased my first home by myself, at 28, and the whole getting closer to 30 and being single has really gotten to me lately. Growing up, I always expected to be with the person I was meant to be with by now, if not married and hopefully having kids. I love the messages you shared in this post and it’s such a reminder that things happen when they are supposed to, not when you are necessarily planning for it.

    Thanks 🙂

  76. Children don’t want to feel like their grandparents are at their graduation or class trips etc. I personally don’t think anyone should have kids over 30-35.

    1. The sad truth is, most parents are “too busy” to even attend a class trip these days. As a teacher, I can confidently say that children want nothing more than a loving parent on their class trips, at their graduation and at all other milestones, regardless of their age. I think it’s ignorant to believe that people should procreate only within such minimal timelines. You’re not taking into consideration ones finances, health, career, emotional stability. personal goals or relationship status and I personally believe that any one of those factors are far more important when deciding to have a child than our age.

  77. Hi Ali…enjoy your last month of pregnancy…what a joy for you to be in a great time in life. I am 67yo. I met my husband at 42 and married at 44 (me the first time) and he the second (he was a widower). I have been blessed beyond to marry the perfect man for me. He had 4 children when we met and I now have 4 amazing stepchildren and their spouses and 11 grandchildren. I am beyond lucky. In my 20’s and 30’s I dated the wrong men, not good men, etc. Through lots of self discovery and therapy I met my husband when I was in a good place. He taught me how to be married. He truly is one of a kind. He has always called me a “Parent Aide” (lol). I know there are so many single women in their 30’s wanting to find the right guy and have a baby. I say just work on yourself, do what you love and you will find the right man for you. Every woman is on their own path and not one path is right or wrong. Wishing you baby blessings and joy with your family. xo Cynthia

  78. Thank you for posting this and bringing attention to this issue. I’m 32, single, and Asian, and honestly quite happy being single for the time being! I’m not against marriage or kids, but I haven’t found the right person and I’m happy enough with my life that I am in no rush.

    My mother sadly passed away 1.5 months ago. Instead of expressing their condolences and comforting me during her funeral service, each of her friends had to make at least one remark about how it’s so sad that I’m not married yet! I tried to have a level of understanding since I know those were words that my mother had expressed to them. However, it’s so upsetting to me that instead of comforting me, they basically told me how much of a disappointment that I was to my mother because I didn’t get married or have kids before she passed away. Of course, I’m already so sad that she won’t be there for any of those things, but they were so insensitive and their cultural beliefs outweighed their tact. I’m honestly so disgusted!

    I’m so glad you posted this because I hope people understand how hurtful these comments and expectations can be.

    1. I am so sorry that their personal opinions took away from your grieving experience. You deserve to do life on your own timeline and without knowing you, I’m sure that your mother would be proud no matter what path you take, so long as you’re happy & healthy. Best of luck.

  79. Im 25 and everyone around me is married or has a baby. Small town living is stressful. But im just not ready yet. I just got hired on as a full time preschool teacher. I feel like im just starting out. I want to see the world before I settle down. People sometimes don’t realize that. #idontexpire

  80. Wow! It is so ironic that you blogged about this topic today. I am 28 and currently traveling around SE Asia. I chose to quit my job and travel for a few months for various reasons all stemming from the fact that I got myself out of an unhealthy 10 year relationship.

    I have always felt that the pressures of following a “timeline” were becuase I lived in the South (NorthCarolina) becuase I don’t remember feeling any pressures when I was in grad school in D.C. THEN, just the other day, a taxi driver taking me to the airport said to me, a complete stranger, “you are traveling alone? You should be traveling with your husband.” I told him I was not married and he said, “oh.. you don’t have much time. Once you are 30 you are no longer wanted.” I could not believe what I just heard. I’m not going to lie, for a few days it replayed in my head and I may have cried a few tears in the shower one afternoon. I know that the best is yet to come for me and I am so thankful to have found wonderful women, like you, to follow to inspire me and remind me #ineverexpire.

    Thank You!

  81. Ali,
    thanks for sharing your love and inspiration! I definitely feel that pressure, esp being a first-generation Pakistani-American. Your message is SO important for all women to be reminded of, and to share!!! I put the predetermined, society pressures on myself after college too, not knowing why or that looking back so many other things have happened and the ideas I had just were not my path, and that is a-ok! Being that I am now 28, and experiencing life as it is for me, I can’t imagine it any other way and I am so grateful! I only pray for this continued growth, gratitude and sense of purpose! Even if it isn’t clear what my exact direction is, I remind myself that I am enough, I am loved and I am accepted and there are always great things ahead to look forward to because our light always shines! #Ineverexpire

  82. I’ve never commented on a blog post before but I felt I had to because of how this resonates with me. Thank you so much for posting this. I am 31 and single. While I was born and raised in the states, my family is from India, so they have that same mindset. And, the fact that I am now 31 and still single is scary for them. I hear it from everyone I see (family, family friends, etc) and pressure is so real – when are you getting married? Don’t you want kids? You’re not getting any younger. It’s even harder now that family friends who are 5-6 years younger than me are getting engaged and married.

    Thank you so much for posting this! I agree, I don’t have an expiration date and whether I marry now or in 15 years, I’ll be living my best life. I just wish those around me saw that too.

  83. Sadly I don’t think this is just an Asian thing, around the world women are made to feel that 30 is the cutoff time to at least be in a relationship/in a position to have children.

    As others have said there’s certainly an aspect of biology to this – our reproductive organs didn’t get the memo that lifespans have increased over the decades. Of course there are medical options to help with this but these are far from accessible for average families and do come at a high cost aside from just the price tag (physical, emotional). Lots can be done on this from improving access to these types of interventions as well as addressing the incredible hurdles families who want to adopt face!

  84. Thanks for sharing
    I don’t understand why age is so important, I got married at the tender age of 39….I certainly don’t feel expired I love we’re I am in my life, I have a fantastic career and an amazing husband, we do not have children but that was a choice I made in my late 20s we travel….we spend our year between Canada 🇨🇦 and Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 and enjoy life, after all it is way to short not to stop and smell the roses…. I will be turning 48 in January and I feel better then I did in my 20s and 30s… me life is about experience and adventure and living your life the way you want it to be……I think time teaches us, and sometimes we have to walk from one failure to another until we learn our lesson….I never thought I would want to get married but it took meeting the right person and I am very thankful and proud to be a wife even though I waited until 39….and I am definitely not expired yet…and I do not plan on slowing down any time soon…..thank you this was enlightening and empowering

  85. Ali,
    Thank you for writing this! I have been thinking a lot about this too because I am 30 and still single. I want to be married and I want a family and it is hard because I see people I went to school with (and younger than me!) who are having kids and I feel like I haven’t achieved what I was supposed to achieve yet, per society’s standards. I’m not willing to settle for just anyone and do believe that someone is out there, I just haven’t met him yet! Thank you for being real in your blogs and on Instagram!

  86. I was just watching this yesterday. I was actually thinking about writing a blog post about it myself because it hits so close to home. I’m 31, I don’t have any kids and am single. The fact that as a woman you can “expire” blows my mind. My grandparents are full Chinese and they often “judge” me for not having children, or a husband yet. A get a lot of people asking me constantly why don’t you have a husband or kids. Your 31! Truthfully I’m waiting for my Prince Charming haha. But I’m not going to settle down for “someone” just to do what society says! I love your blog and how real you are! Thanks for posting this love! <3

  87. I LOVE this post. I’m recently out of a super toxic relationship that I know was right to end, but honestly have found myself questioning my decision to walk away because being 25 and having to “start over” in finding a partner is scary! Thank you for the reminder that there is no timeline… it’s easy to forget!

  88. I feel like there is so much pressure partly to do everything by 30 because of maybe what the doctors say about the risks to having children at a late age. My husband thinks this way. I would not care if my child had any disabilities. I love them with all my heart. Would life be hard, yes but that is a part of life. Without difficulties we not be able to grow into strong people.

  89. Ali,

    This blog post could not have come at a better time. I am a first generation product of South Asian immigrant parents and am currently 30 years old. I have been constantly fighting this “expiry date” with all of my family since I’ve been 21, but it has definitely ramped up this year, up to as recent as 2 days ago! I am trying to educate them that I choose happiness over everything and we are living in 2018, and there are a lot more options, but alas it is not enough for them.

    I get comments like “I wish you met someone in university” or “Oh, you’re 30? Well you NEED to be married by 32” or “Your options for good people get more limited the older you get.”
    And these are from every single one of my older family members including my parents, you know the ones that are supposed to love and respect my decisions no matter what? . I then question them and ask “well, what will happen to me if I don’t get married by then, will I die or something!?” I get no answer or a “don’t think that way BUT you should get married by now, how about this guy?” Shows me a picture of a random stranger. It’s a catch 22!

    I absolutely want to be married and have kids, no doubts about that, but I want to make sure it’s the right decision for me and want to find the right person (note: not perfect) if and when that does happen. Is that too much to ask?

    I truly believe there is a plan for everything.

    I will say that I have my days where I do doubt myself and think I have “failed” in my life especially when you are constantly hearing these “expiry date” references, but I take comfort in knowing that there are success stories and words of positivity out there and I am not the “abnormal” one.

    While it is predominately in asian cultures, I truly appreciate you Ali for bringing this topic to the forefront and for supporting the #ineverexpire movement.

  90. Hi Ali! I love this blog! I’m the same age as you and have felt the pressure of being married and having kids in my 20’s. But now at 33, I’m still not married or have kids. It’s hard to realize this because when you are growing up, you dream of getting married and having kids. I love that you say everyone has their own timeline and I need to remember this. Almost all of my friends are married and have kids, so I feel like the odd ball out. In the meantime, I’m following my dream and doing travel nursing- which I’m loving! I keep telling myself, my time will come and I’m a huge believer in if it’s meant to be, it will be! Thank you for sharing this topic and glad to see I’m not alone! 💜

  91. Great discussion and conversation. I grew up in the day and age where you got married right out of school and had kids right away. And yes, you were an ‘old maid’ if you weren’t married by 30. So, I got married for the first time at age 19 and had kids fairly quickly. The ‘having kids’ part worked great for me, had my first at 22 and my last at 29, and I have no regrets AT ALL but I did get divorced and then remarried many years later. I think it’s great that women don’t have to rush it these days. But I will say that I have many friends whose kids have waited till late 30s to have children and then find it doesn’t happen easily, and infertility help is expensive and sometimes takes years. That’s the only thing I see….if you want several children, and you start at mid to late 30s, it does seem you may be pushing your luck. So while there is no ‘expiration’, per se, let’s face it. If you are 37 and trying to conceive for the first time, you may run into difficulties. And that’s just the basic biology of our bodies!

  92. I don’t ever read or post on any blogs. This is my first. Ali- I follow you on Instagram and listen to your husband-Kevin every morning.

    I will tell you I got married 23 years ago and had our daughter at 40!!!! No timeline for me!!!!

  93. Wow so many amazing comments I think you’ve hit a nerve. We are all so uniquely created and we as women should never feel that we’ve expired. I am a 61 year old woman and had my first child at 24 and my last at 44. I have lived through so many changes and challenges and through each season I’ve found new resilience I love being a mother and wife and have stayed very active and feel the best I’ve felt since my teen years. I’ve been blessed with four grandchildren and still have a mother who is 88 and very much alive!!! I thank you for approaching this important topic Alfie. I’ve loved you ever since your first apprearancecon the bachelor. Your an amazing woman and you have a heart of Gold. You are touching lives in such a positive way Keep at it girly. The best is yet to come

  94. I feel like you posted this at a perfect time. Yesterday a client said to me “I just don’t understand how you aren’t in a serious relationship yet.” And I know she meant it with good intentions but it did sting. I’m 28, I’m an entrepreneur with two small businesses, and for me that’s my commitment right now – and I’m totally happy with it! It always boggles me when people practically shame or “pity” when your timeline doesn’t reflect their ideas of what is suppose to be. Thank you for posting this. I needed a little reminder❤️

  95. Interestingly, I expirenced similar feelings from society and their timeframe just in a different way. I got married at 18 and had a baby at 21. I can’t tell you how many times people would say ,even family, she is rushing life and she will end up divorced. I have now been happily married for 3 years and love the path I chose for my life. It wasn’t the society norm so most didn’t accept it. #societynormisoverrated💪🏼👊🏼😏 who is this “society person” anyway lol 🤷🏼‍♀️

  96. Wow if 30 is the experation, I’m in major trouble. I was very sick from the ages of 26-37 years of age. I had a rare heredity disease. I spent most of those years in a hospital on my death bed. Until I met a guardian angel. That turned out to be the doctor that saved my life. I had a liver transplant 5 years ago. So at the ripe old age of 41, I’ve just started to begin my life. I met the love of my life & we’re getting married in 5 months. I live everyday on my terms to the fullest. This has been the best 5 years of my life.

  97. Hi, Ali. I’m Indonesian and I turn 30 this October, still single and unmarried. As October gets closer I’ve been feeling more and more stressed out because of the societal pressure exactly like what I saw on the video. Long ago I set a target that I will have been with someone by the age of 30 and the failure to do so somehow haunts me. My parents are never pushy or anything, but I’m just worried that I may not be able to have a baby naturally (when I’m really ready to have one). I still want to do alot of things in life as a single lady. Your writing here somehow sets aside my fear and puts me at ease with myself. It gives me the courage to face other people who question my single status because it’s true women never expire; we mature like wine. And I think the message here is clear, how far we go in life and what we become is only as far as our minds allow us to be. If we think big, we become big, and vice versa. So everything starts from within. Thank you so much.

  98. Ali, this is the first blog of yours I’ve read & I’m glad I have! Tomorrow I will turn 37 & like many other women in Australia, I’m unmarried & without children. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be similar to Bridget Jones! I’d planned marriage by 26 & 2 kidlets by 30. Ah a total fantasy in the end. Today I’m majorly in the minority when it comes to being unattached & without dependents amongst my school friends. They assure me to enjoy my freedom while I have it & emphasise how expensive having a family is. Catch 22.
    Whenever I visit the doctor, I receive ‘that talk’ about my ageing eggs and that I’d better hurry up if I want to have a family, this only increases stress & anxiety, not good.
    Instead I’d like to consider myself lucky to have travelled and lived around the world & to be grateful for my good health. I have not closed the door on children & if this ever happens, how blessed I’d be!

  99. Thank you for this blog Ali. My 74 year old mother and I were just talking about this. We didn’t use the word expire, but did talk about the pressures of society. We agreed to continue to reinvent ourselves over and over. My daughter, Emma, will also be encouraged to reinvent and always reach out for the next chapter of her life. #noexpirationdate !!!!!!!💞

  100. Thank you so much for sharing this! This is exactly what I needed to hear. I just got out of a 10 year relationship that just wasn’t working and now have to start over at 30. I don’t have kids, have yet to be married and was so close to settling just because society says I shouldn’t be single at my age. Even though I’m happy and free and super excited for what the future holds, a small part of me still thinks I’m not as fresh as someone younger than me. Hearing your words of wisdom really helped!

  101. I got married at 32 as well (just before I turned 33) and had my first baby at 36. For some reason I thought in my head that I couldn’t get pregnant, but I did on the very first try. So now I’ve got an 18 month old and I’m facing that question of whether or not to have another baby. I feel like there is pressure to give my child a brother or sister and not be an only child. I swear the societal pressures never stop.

  102. Obviously this post struck a chord with a lot of ladies, myself included! I am swiftly approaching 30 (Sept) and feel that outside pressure for sure. I always thought I’d meet my future husband in college, get married right after and then have a few kids a few years into being married. Well, that didn’t happen, ha! I know I want to be a mommy someday, but I am happy where my life is at right now and I am really enjoying the freedom I have. I just took a leave from work and traveled around Europe for 2 months with my bf, because we could, and it was incredible!!! There’s no way I would’ve been able to do that if my life had been “how I thought it would be” at this age.
    It can be hard to reconcile the expectations from society, our families, and ourselves with the reality of where we are at in our lives and what makes us happy and fulfilled. Thanks for starting the conversation about this, Ali!

  103. this is great ali! thanks for sharing. this is basically how i live my life. i don’t ever feel like i’m on a timeline with those milestones EXCEPT for when i think of having kids. i’ll be 36 in a couple weeks and while i am no where near ready financially to have children, i feel the biological pressure. which sucks. i know there are options to have children into our 40s but i have friends and family struggling with infertility at this very age i am right now. i’m not sure i’ll have kids and its truly because i don’t know if i’ll be able to afford it. and if i can’t afford it now, i sure can’t afford fertility treatment down the road. so that part sucks. i also believe that our lives unfold how they are meant to. so what happens is what was meant to be. which is why i’m not living on a timeline and think NO ONE should. <3

  104. Thank you Ali for posting this. I have a 23 year old daughter and she is so concerned that she doesn’t have a boyfriend. I keep telling her it will happen when the time is right and she needs to use this time to finish school, have fun and be the best person she can be.

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