Please be mindful…
Just because a lady’s life veers from what many would categorize as typical or traditional, it doesn’t mean that A., it is wrong, and B., that is was even something she had a choice in.
When a female isn’t the sort to offer to babysit children, or cuddle babies, or volunteer in the children’s hallway at church- it doesn’t mean she hates or dislikes kids.
She probably adores her niece/nephew. Her friend’s children are adorable. That just isn’t where her life is… and honestly, it may never be.
Please, that doesn’t mean its fodder for offhanded jokes or remarks.
Sometimes you read articles or hear people going on about how selfish single people are. Disposable incomes and piles of time. (both completely untrue in many cases. I work full-time, always have, work HARD, and still, in my thirties, money stresses me out… and time flies.)
A lot of times people equate singleness with a choice.
I suppose, to an extent, it is?
There were several guys over the years who expressed interest… and have been married for years now. (obviously, not to me.)
But I have never once felt a desire to settle for anything less than a true connection and friendship. I have never thought, “well, I’m getting old, and this guy has all his man parts, we could probably make babies and I wouldn’t have to be alone.”
So, I suppose in that way, I have chosen to be single.
But just because a female is single and doesn’t desperately want to be a mom… it doesn’t mean she’s any less of a woman. Or that there is something wrong with her. It doesn’t even mean that she doesn’t want to be a mom.
If you are a mom full-time- my hat is off to you. I know that is some hard sh*t. Day in and day out, no vacay, sick days, no “I’m just staying in bed and watching Netflix today and eating crackers.” Its a selfless, dedicated life and the thought of it honestly scares me. I am not sure I have what it takes to have a child grow INSIDE me, BIRTH it, and then nurture it for 18+ years.
But just because it’s alien to me doesn’t mean I dislike kids. (and people making jokes about me "not being a kid person" is kind of mean.)
Just because I’m single and independent and identify as a feminist doesn’t mean I hate men, don’t believe in marriage or look down on mothers.
It means I think women and men are equals and should be treated as such.
It means I think we’re leaders and artists and creatives and intelligent and educated and smart and loving and strong and a million other things… and I get angry when people make jokes degrading the female sex.
I get sad and uncomfortable when the church doesn’t encourage and support women in leadership. When we’re expected to work in the kids hallways and volunteer for events involving food, but not allowed to teach in the main services or lead a home group or any of the "pastoral" positions.
Instead of feeling uncomfortable or even judged by the single ladies in your life (because, females, lets admit it, we feel the weight of judgment from other females at every turn) … invite one out for coffee. Maybe sans kiddos. Not because she dislikes them, but because her life has lonely moments and maybe she would really enjoy someone seeking her out on occasion. (bonus, you can have a break too and enjoy a caffeinated drink!) Have her over for dinner with your whole family and send food home with her. Ask her why she identifies as a feminist. Dig into each other’s lives- especially if her being single and not having kids is something you don’t understand, ASK her about it. What has brought her to this point in life and how her heart feels about it.
And please, if you don’t have any single lady friends, find one. Befriend one. Make an effort. We need you! I need my married friends. The ones who are moms, the ones who aren’t. The ones who have been married for years and the ones who have less time under their belt. I need their perspective and stories. I need their families and spouses… because they are, for all intensive purposes, MY family.
Everyone is living a different story… there is a lot of support out there for married people and parents. Its well noted that relationships are hard and parenting is difficult.
Its just as hard to tackle life on your own, and quite frankly, there’s not near the same amount of support for singles.
So… I don’t know. Maybe hug a single lady friend today. And every day. Go on that coffee date with her, send her a text letting her know that you’re thinking of her… because sometimes, she feels like she could go days without talking to another person outside of work and no one would notice.