I am officially 33 years old and while the dreaded question of having children slowed for a few years, I guess it is time for a resurgence. Since getting engaged and married eight years ago, I have felt like I have been swimming upstream by not following the societal norm of getting pregnant…and wow are my legs tired. According to my OBGYN, I have a few more years until the questions stop-though I can’t imagine the judgement will die along with the questions.

I have said time and time again, that I truly believe some women were put on this earth to be a mom-like mine! They knew in their heart or hearts that being a mom was part of their purpose on this earth. I on the other hand I have never really felt that… which is odd, because I’m very fond of kids and they tend to like me at any age.
So how do you deal with all the expectations others (the world!) put on you? I suggest we all start with these four aspects for a healthy life in general.

1. Acknowledging that societal norms exist. There are tons of them that smack people around every day! Let’s all be open to what they are, how we can change them and show kindness to those swimming upstream. Remember, they can range from how quickly you should finish college to what bathroom you should use.
2. Be open and talk with others. In my case; talking with women who have kids, want kids or are in the same boat has been a vital survival skill for me. At the end of the day most women get it and can support each other. High fives are always welcome.
3. Nurture your self-esteem. If you take nothing else away from this, it should be this one thing. And if you need help come see me at Healing Tree! (shameless plug, I know)
4. Remember no one is perfect. This is a subpart to number three, but one that is ridiculously important to remember. Just because you get a sneer from someone that is swimming downstream, doesn’t make you any less or them any more of a person.

Stand tall. Be proud. “Just keep swimming.”