I got married when I was 23 and had a daughter – a surprise – a year later. My husband and I are now both 27 with a 3-year-old daughter.
I love my husband and daughter, but sometimes I get depressed when I see how free my single and childless friends are. I have not traveled much and wish I had had the opportunity to travel more before becoming a mother. I am also a poet and would love to go to grad school for creative writing and maybe some writer’s conferences. I would love to take art classes and theology classes for fun. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or money for these activities right now. And the more children we have, the harder it will be for us to travel, take classes, etc.
My husband I met when we were 18-year-old college freshman. We felt that God was calling us to marry relatively young – when we got married, we had been dating for almost 5 years. It’s not like we rushed into anything. The baby was a surprise, though – we weren’t planning on having her quite so soon. Having a child really limits what you can do, even more so than marriage does.
I guess part of me wishes I had met my husband a little later in life, so that I could have had more fun as a single person. I feel like I wouldn’t feel this way if I had had the opportunity to travel, go to grad school, etc. before marriage and motherhood. I am literally the least traveled person I know. Even my husband has traveled more than I have – he went on vacation to Europe with his family during the summer while we were in college.
I think part of my discontent has to do with the fact that I live in the DC area, the capitol of spoiled over-privileged overachievers. Absolutely everyone I know has a college degree, and half have master’s degrees. Everyone is well-traveled. I try to tell myself that overall I’ve had quite a privileged life – after all, I have a college degree, and I had a great experience at college. There are many people my age who never graduated from college or even high school, or who are fighting and dying in Iraq, etc. I won’t blame any of you if you ask me if I want some cheese with my whine.
Also, I know that *someday *I’ll get to travel, go back to school, etc. I’ll just have to wait, possibly until my kids are grown. My parents had never been overseas until they were in their 40s. Now they’re empty-nesters and they go somewhere exotic every year. A lot of people go back to school later in life.
I guess all I can do is try to be patient. I’m just wondering if anyone can relate to these feelings. I feel like I want to fast-forward my life, past the pregnancy/infant/toddler years and into the years when our kids are grown and we have the financial freedom to do these things that we’ve been wanting to do. I have a hard time staying in the moment and enjoying the here and now. It seems like so many Catholic wives and mothers who married and had children at a young age are perfectly content and have no desires or goals beyond motherhood. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but I just can’t relate to that. I’m so restless. Anyone feel the same way? How do you get rid of these feelings and find contentment?