It's a big number. As a rule I haven't really cared much about the numbers, but 35 is a big one and it has me reflecting a lot. I wasn't even 30 when I started this blog and started talking about milestones. In those years I've struggled with losing friends, disappointing family, fighting against my body when it wanted a baby and my brain didn't.
When I started this journey my friends, who were a couple years older than me, were starting their families. Although I was just starting a relationship with the man who I've now called mine for 10 years, I had made my choice, though they all insisted that, in time, when I met the right man, I would change my mind. I was the only one making this choice, and for reasons I still don't understand many of them had problems with that. They interpreted my choice as a rejection of them, of their children, and very quickly there was no room for me in their lives. Aside from commenting on each others' Facebook posts now and again, none of them, including my best friends at the time, are a part of my life anymore.
Thankfully, much of that is now behind me.
This time, I do have support. I have many childfree friends, and my
parents support us even if my in-laws don't understand. The parents who
DO remain in my life are amazing, and their kids give us plenty of
moments to experience the good stuff we're missing out on. My life is
full of love and support.
For years it was easy. None of my new circle of friends, even those who were older, had kids. That's changed in the last year, not that it was unexpected. Friends who had declared themselves childfree are panicking as they now face infertility at 38, 39, while others the same age and younger are all becoming new moms. This stirred up some baby rabies, but my conflict was all internal this time, without the harsh pressure and ridicule of 10 years ago.
My friendship groups are shifting again, but this time I can say with confidence it is simply us growing apart rather than the hostility I felt when it was all about "this childfree hate group I called myself a part of." I'm at peace with that.
Age has brought me confidence that I do know what I want from life, and I don't want to be a mom. I'm working at my dream job, spending tons of time with friends, excelling in grad school and traveling constantly. My husband and I have a rich social life, we travel constantly and we dote on our cats like crazy. We enjoy our disposable income and our freedom. Age has taught me that while there are moments we wonder whether we're missing out, we know we'd be asking the same questions if we chose the other path. I don't need to make excuses for the choice like I felt I had to before. I'm 35, and life is good. Life is really damn good.