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.