I see lots of people on twitter talking about how their families pressure them. About dating, getting married, having kids, finding jobs, visiting, finding better jobs – it sounds exhausting. I’m sure it is.
I’ve been making it a point lately to appreciate how amazing my family is. I know I’ve taken them for granted at times because they’ve always been so great, but then I hear about how other people have nightmare family situations and that serves as a great reminder.
Mom never pressured me about grades. I graduated high school with a perfect GPA, but I always knew that she wouldn’t be upset or even disappointed if I didn’t do as well in a class. The pressure was all mine.
My family has never insinuated that I was less of a person or less important because I didn’t have a boyfriend, and when I started dating Ernie they just loved him and weren’t concerned about our timeline. They’re excited for our wedding and want us to have ginger babies, but they know it’s our life and our timeline.
I’m never even pressured by Ernie. You’d think that having a jobless (for AGES after graduation) fiancee would be stressful, but not for him. He’s so laid back and chill and ridiculously proud of me and cheering me on no matter what, which is a little disconcerting sometimes because it’s the opposite of what I’m telling myself.
Since I didn’t have the pressure many people do, I decided to put it on myself. I always felt like I needed to be better and do more. We should have gotten engaged faster, and married faster. Most of my friends are married, some of them have children. Despite having a law degree and still only being 25, I’ve had to fight feelings of being behind. It hasn’t helped that since 5th grade, my close friends have been years older. Graduating high school and college very young compounded the issue. Even church friends were always several years and milestones ahead. I even had to request a different lifegroup at my last church because only 3 of us didn’t have kids, and I was the only one out of those 3 that wasn’t married!
I want to have kids and be done having children sooner rather than later. I want to chase after toddlers while I have more energy and I don’t want to be changing diapers at 40. Ernie and I have discussed the kind of timeline that we would prefer for starting a family, and felt pretty comfortable with it. Suddenly, last week, I just got so overwhelmed and thought, will I be ready? It’s not super soon, but it felt that way.
That’s me, worrying about something you’d need a telescope to see.
At that moment, I felt God saying, “Well, if you want to wait, you can. Who’s the one that came up with the plan anyway?”
Oh, yeah, I did.
Sometimes I just need permission and a reminder to take the pressure off of myself. It was a huge eye opener, and it feels kind of stupid to write about because at this very second, the subject matter is such a nonissue. I totally get that. Yet in the way that always happens, Jesus managed to use something that was freaking me out to teach me a bigger lesson in a loving way.
I want to take steps to live in a less pressured way. I’m not quite sure how to go about that yet. So if you see me freaking out over something ridiculous, remind me that I’m the only one creating the stress.