I spent most of my thirties in a frenzy fretting about finding a man, settling down, and having babies, thinking it was what my parents wanted. Many of my friends felt the same.
Yes, some people meet the right person and get a house, get engaged, get married, have a couple of kids, and that’s great and brings them a lot of happiness.
But when you don’t fit into that mould, people can't seem to comprehend why.
I remember wanting the world to swallow me up, and my poor mum too, when one of her friends asked, "When are you going to give your mum some grandchildren?" In the middle of Marks and Spencer!
But if you’re not so lucky in love or you just don’t want kids, it’s not as simple as that, and the pressure you feel to conform to what everyone else seems to be doing can be really distressing.
Sure, my parents would love to have little kids in their lives, but that doesn't mean I have to go force my dating life into an unhappy settlement to meet that hope. Besides, nieces and nephews, godchildren, and friend's children can bring the same joy and energy to a family. After all, family comes in lots of different forms, as Melanie Notkin's Otherhood explains, and if having your own children isn’t the right path for you, that’s OK.