You Can Have It All - If You Want It
By Sandhya, age 27, South Carolina
When I married my high school sweetheart at the age of 19, I heard every single sarcastic, caustic comment out there. A random guy at a car dealership, when he heard that I was getting married, said, "Oh, so I guess you'll be coming back next year for a minivan." At 19, I was too humiliated to say anything - although I did think of many a witty repartee once I was home.
Women everywhere are putting off marriage and family until they are in their thirties or forties. It has become the norm to see professional moms with infants, whereas in the past, 27 was considered an 'advanced maternal age' by the medical community. But just because you choose to get married young, or to be a young mom, it doesn't follow that you're a baby-making machine without more than two brain cells to your name.
I was so sick and tired of the comments that doomed me to a life of staying home and cooking for my husband that I decided I'd fight against this stigma, this image that was following me around. I finished college with a major in Psychology and a GPA of 3.8. I work as a crisis line counselor in my spare time, and am working on my second novel. In August, I'm going to be involved in psychological research as preparation for a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. Oh, and did I mention I have two children, ages 1 and 2?
When people hear that I have children and have been married for 8 years, they often assume that all I do is stay at home and change diapers. I make it a point that they know there is much more to me than that. It's sad that we espouse equality for women, and yet fail to acknowledge that getting married young and having children young is also a woman's prerogative.
Confidence in our choices is something that we, as the female of the species, have to constantly strive for. Women have been questioned, doubted, and belittled for centuries. Isn't it time we changed the way people think and the way people judge us?
I'm 27 now, and more confident in the path I have taken than ever. I am completely satisfied with my life; my husband is my best friend, and my children bring us so much joy. I have a full and rewarding career ahead of me. It is possible to have it all - that is, if you want it.