Married withOUT Children

I have been scouring the internet looking for books to compile my quarter-life reading list. There have been some common themes that seem expected – Pride & Prejudice, Feminine Mystique, Eat, Pray, Love. Some common themes that were surprising to me, but make perfect sense – The Alchemist, Garden of Eden, The Great Gatsby. Most of the books seem to be stories of independent women or the journey of finding yourself. I’m not really looking to ‘find myself’ as I feel fairly well ‘found’, but learning more about me is never a bad thing. I also appreciate any independent woman story. As long as they don’t encourage me to burn my bras (I’m busty, I need my bra) or try to convince me that men are evil.

Reading WomanWhat I also discovered, however, is that all of these lists I found on-line – every single one – had at least one book relating to being single. Like, It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken or Girls in White Dresses or Seductive Delusions. Not that these aren’t all viable books for some women in their twenties, they are. They just aren’t good books for me. To contrast all the single books, there were a few books about married women. Such as, The Awakening and The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Both tragic portrayals of a sad married life. Not exactly encouraging for a young, still relatively newly married woman.

So, I started to wonder. And I started to search. Where were all the married women in their 20s? Where was my representation? Here is what I found when I searched ‘married women in their 20s’:

Maybe you’ve noticed the common theme. Women who get married in their 20s were rash and are now doomed to fail. Apparently. According to a web search, which probably pretty accurately depicts society’s views on the subject. Or, at least, the way the media has decided society should view the subject.Wedding Day

I don’t begrudge them their viewpoint. A few years ago I could have written articles about why young marriages are rarely ever successful. I touted that same mantra. Being married at twenty-five with an almost 29 year old husband, I’m not sure if I fit the stereotype per se, but I was married in my twenties and, alas, it seems society is rooting for divorce court.

What I have surmised is that the vast majority of female twenty-somethings are dealing with being single and successful or married with children. Those seem to be the two camps. And the married with children camp isn’t seeking a book list to edify themselves as they don’t have time. But I exist. I am here, so I must be part of some camp. Or are married without children twenty-somethings destined to wander aimlessly through the wilderness until they conform to one camp or the other?

I’m okay with wandering. I’m good at it. I spent my young(er) adulthood jet-setting around the world fairly aimlessly. As luck would have it, along the way I found myself and my – now – husband. I promise you I wasn’t looking for either. We just kind of ran into each other. And yet, it still doesn’t seem fair that I don’t have a place to call my own. And I really like for things to be fair.

Being that I have no desire to conform by leaving my spouse or getting knocked up (people keep telling me I can’t call it this when people are married, but I disagree), and considering that the idea of creating a new camp seems beyond tedious, I have decided that my list will just be for women. Young(ish) women or perhaps young at heart. That are at least old enough to rent a car at regular rates, but not so old of spirit to be afraid of change and new experiences. For those women, you shall have your list.


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