Jan 24, 2017

Having a Life

Overheard from two women who each have two children around the same ages.

Lady 1: I am older already, in my thirties, and I got married later.

Lady 2: I got married at 19. Right after high school.  I'm 24.

Lady 1: So you haven't had a life.

Lady 2: Basically ...

Lady 1 meant that Lady 2 went directly from her obligations at school to her obligations as a wife and mother, without having years to "do her own thing," which usually includes studying a profession, work, some travel.

I understand that, but it still sounded awful.  Maybe I should have piped up and asked, "Why do you think being a wife and mother isn't a life?" and seen where that went.  She may have said, I did not have any time for myself.  I might have responded, why then did you choose to meet someone and get married when you did? I don't know what she would have said.  I might have had the opportunity to say, if you want to study a field, you still can.  If you want to work, that is still possible (and I think she was working in the store I was in). So what do you think you missed out on that you cannot do now? She might say, a sense of freedom, being able to come and go and explore my interests. I might then say, there are hundreds, thousands of frum single girls who do just that.  Many get married along the way. Too many do not.  What do you think is more important than raising Yiddishe children?

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