>> Thursday, March 23, 2017
A Guiding Life
We were looking at 3 year and 6 month objectives at Rangers.
Rangers are girls and young women aged between 14-26. Our oldest at the minute though are 18.
The objectives were mainly as expected: get good grades, go to Uni, get a well paid job, visit different countries, get a nice car, ride in a hot air balloon, jump out of a plane.
But I had a nagging thought at the back of my mind, then it was raised by one of our youngest:
"I want to find love and have 3 children" she proudly announced.
"In the next 3 years" screeched the room. Even the other leader raised concerns about the thought of having this as an objective at so young an age.
I agree that 3 children by the age of 17 is not an ideal, but judging by her blushes and follow up comments, she meant that her life goal was to fall in love and be a mum to a family.
Why should there be disappointment expressed at this?
Do we now require every girl to go to university or be considered a failure?
Must they get a high income job or be a disappointment?
Must they travel the world or suffer our sadness for their lack of experience?
When did falling in love, creating a family and bringing up the next generation become a second rate option? Why should they not desire that and want to do it whilst they are young?
I am all for encouraging our young women to be the best they can be and achieve their dreams and when those dreams include being a wife and mother then I applaud the bravery of those girls to stand up and say so.
I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't encourage every young adult to get a good education and to be financially able to support themselves before starting a family, being financially stable is of course necessary but I'm not wanting to cloud this water. I'm simply talking about dreams and aspirations.
I watch the young mums taking their littlies up to the primary school, I see them with tots in push chairs at the chemist and in the supermarket. Loving, capable parents with a wonderful manner with their children (mostly! but fraught mums come in all ages, shapes and sizes). Have they ruined their lives by becoming parents so young or are they participating in one of the most rewarding challenges that life offers a woman?
It is a bold challenge taking on responsibility early. I had a huge mortgage when I was 18, I was married at 21. I enjoyed building my home, learning many things along the way.
There is more than one path in life. Whether they choose to explore the Amazon, become a beauty queen, a brain surgeon or a mum (or all) let's support them to be who they want to be.
There is no shame in wanting to become a home maker, learning to raise children, cook, wash, clean, sew, garden, decorate, negotiate, time manage, budget, plan, laugh, cry and love.
It's our innate reason for being here, we may have the opportunities to do more, but it's ok to be happy in the family way.
I write all this and truly believe it, but my final nagging Jiminy Cricket is that higher education and higher age are synonymous with success in marriage. But I wonder if this is because the older we get the more mentally mature we are and those that have been through higher education are for obvious reasons going to be older when they start to get married.
Perhaps the younger families just need appropriate guidance, our children learn what they live. Teach them well.