Stuff like this are why I like this page

Do you ever feel like you’re completely overwhelmed with things to do, yet you’re still not doing enough? Maybe you thought you’d be further ahead in life than you are right now, or maybe you have this list in the back of your head of things you *should* be doing.

No matter what, whatever you’re doing doesn’t quite seem to be enough. Seeing other people’s successes can trigger this feeling of inadequacy. Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself can also cause this feeling that nothing is ever quite good enough.

Do you worry that there's always more you could or should be doing in life? Here’s what to do when you have the fear of not doing enough.

Of course, there’s always room for improvement in our lives, but it feels like a never-ending rat race when you’re constantly chasing the next thing. It’s overwhelming to feel like you need to do everything.

When you start to feel like you’re not doing enough, it’s easy to overwhelm yourself even more. Feeling like you should or could be doing more only puts more stress on your already heavy shoulders.

In this post, I’m sharing how I’ve been dealing with this feeling of not doing enough. You’ll also find some practical tips to counter this fear if you’ve been feeling the same way.

What Causes the Fear of Not Doing Enough?


Do you worry that there's always more you could or should be doing in life? Here’s what to do when you have the fear of not doing enough.

Pressure

Though I’m doing plenty, there’s always more I think I could or should be doing because there’s pressure to always be busy. This pressure can manifest itself from internal expectations you set for yourself, as well as those from the outside world, like work, society, relationships, etc.

Family members and friends who have good intentions might say things like, “You should be doing this” or “I saw this person doing this, you should try it too.”

Maybe you feel like you’re not getting any recognition for what you’re doing at work, so you start to think you’re doing something wrong or simply not doing enough. That pressure only adds to the weight of your to-do list.

Something I’ve learned is that I often overwhelm myself more than anything else. A simple check-in helps when I feel overwhelmed. I ask myself, “Am I the one causing this extra stress?” If the answer is yes, I take ownership of the issue and try to take things off my to-do list. If it’s caused by someone else, I ask myself, “How can I set better boundaries with this person or communicate my needs better?”

Related Post: 5 Tips To Pause Hustle Mode And Slow Down


Comparison

Another reason for feeling inadequate is the comparison game. I often feel like I’m not doing enough because I compare myself to other people. In reality, whatever I see from other people is a highlight reel, a curated version that they want me to see. That’s not necessarily bad because creating (even if it’s sharing your mundane daily life) is an art. Making life seem more interesting is an art. 

But I realize that I don’t often find myself comparing my life to my close friends and family. I think that’s because I see their successes, but I also see their struggles. It reminds me that we all have highs and lows.

When I find myself in the comparison trap, I remember that I’m not seeing the full picture of someone’s life. Whatever they’re doing does not affect how well I’m doing. In reality, they’re probably comparing themselves to someone else too.

Related Post: 5 Tips For Dealing With Your Inner Critic


Whatever you’re doing is enough. There is nothing more you have to add to your to-do list. Focus less on what you ‘should’ be doing and focus more on what you ‘need’ to be doing. You already know what that is deep down.


Perfectionism

Not feeling good enough can also come from perfectionism, even from the most mundane of things. I posted a quote on Instagram the other day and as soon as I’d posted it, I felt like it wasn’t any good. It was literally just a quote on a social media platform. It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but I felt like there was something better I could have posted. Something more meaningful. Something more impactful. 

I have to remind myself that even the smallest thing can be meaningful. Having someone comment and say “I needed this reminder today” is enough. The simple act of me sharing something is enough. 

Sometimes I have to take a step back and remember that every little step is part of something bigger. Every little step we take contributes to our growth or our decline.

In the book, The Power of Focus, the authors talk about how everything in life is built on tiny little actions. Good friendships flourish from small efforts – sending a text, sharing a meme, or meeting up for coffee. Over time, these little things build a closer relationship. Other relationships dwindle because you stop texting, stop checking in, or get into an argument and don’t attempt to smooth it over.

Every little thing you’re doing is adding up to build something greater. This reminds me that the small things I’m doing- no matter how perfect or imperfect they are – actually are worthwhile. Whatever you’re doing is enough.

3 Tips For When You Feel Behind


Do you worry that there's always more you could or should be doing in life? Here’s what to do when you have the fear of not doing enough.

When you find yourself thinking “I’m not doing enough”, here are a few things that can help:

1. Stop making your to-do list so long. Do fewer things with intention.

When you’re working on a bunch of things at once, you might feel like you’re making progress, but divided attention makes it difficult to actually get ahead. Progress requires dedicated focus.

Stop overwhelming yourself and do fewer things extraordinarily well. If you’re thinking, ‘But there’s so much I could do…how do I know what to focus on?’ You know what you need to do deep down. You know what you could do, but what do you need to do? Ask yourself this question often.

There’s always something more that could be done, but it’s not always necessary. Focus on what’s necessary. Focus on what fits into the vision you have for your life, business, career, family, and health.

Related Post: Why You Need To Define Your Top Priorities In Life


2. Set realistic boundaries and expectations for yourself.

You cannot do everything. Be realistic with the amount of time and energy you have to dedicate to things. Whatever you’re doing is already enough.

If you feel like you’re behind, think of what you’ve already accomplished in the past year. Think of how you’ve changed and grown over the past five years.

Stop comparing your life to everyone else’s and set expectations you know that you can achieve, regardless of what other people think.

Related Post: 5 Ways To Say No & Stop Over-Committing Yourself


3. Track where your time goes.

If you often get to the end of the week and wonder whether you’ve accomplished anything, keep a log of what you do on a daily basis. I tracked my time for a week and saw that I was spending a lot of time on things that weren’t even important to me.

Evaluate your time and see where your efforts are going. You’re going to a) realize you’re doing more than you think and/or b) realize you’re spending your time in the wrong ways. If you think you’re spending it in the wrong ways, mindfully plan your schedule using time blocks based on your top priorities.

Related Post: How to Plan Your Daily Schedule For Success


Your Turn!

Think of one thing you’ve been putting consistent effort into lately. How does this add up to something bigger? If you feel like sharing, leave a comment with your answer below!

If you found this post helpful, bookmark or pin it for later so you can revisit it whenever you start to fear that you’re not doing enough.

The post Feel Like You’re Not Doing Enough? Read This. appeared first on The Blissful Mind.

posts like this are why everyone likes your page

WorkingHard

“Our greatest fear should not be failure but succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

Last year, pre-pandemic, I went to a three-day yoga retreat in Arizona. I’d never done such a thing before and was thinking of signing up for a longer one, so this seemed like a safe introduction.

The yoga itself was good. I enjoyed the classes and met a few nice people.

Among the group of one-hundred or so attendees, I noticed that several of them spent a lot of time working on their selfie game. Some even had a pro photographer in tow, who documented their poses, attempts at acro yoga, and bikini collections.

I got to talking with a few of the others while one extended photoshoot was taking place poolside. “Do you know who that is?” someone asked. “It’s so-and-so … they’re really famous.”

And they were famous, at least sort of. So-and-so had half a million followers on Instagram, where she posted photos of herself in swimsuits every day—and nothing else. That was it. For this, brands paid her real money to show up at their hotels and … post another photo of themselves.

Nice work if you can get it, maybe?

***

If it sounds like I’m critiquing the professional Instagram crowd, well, it’s an easy target. I’m not going to get caught up in taking hundreds of poolside photos in search of that one shot that will get maximum “engagement”—but I worry that I’m not immune from the greater problem.

The greater problem is working hard at the wrong things, getting good at something that doesn’t really matter.

The internet makes it extremely easy to devote yourself to the craft of useless work. There are entire industries and occupations that consist of nothing but useless work.

That’s why filtering can be a real challenge. I’m willing to work long and hard at something that matters, but I don’t want to spend my limited time and energy on everything else.

So that’s why I’m questioning everything these days. Beware the danger of working hard at something that has no real value!


P.S. The quote at the top has various attributions: I found it on GoodReads attributed to Francis Chan, but when Googling I saw numerous other usages going back to the 1800s, so I’m not sure who first came up with it.

I think anything about method is great

The Opportunity in Adversity

By Eckhart Tolle

Life unfolds between the polarities of order and chaos. It is important at this time to recognize these two fundamental opposites, without which the world could not even be. Another word for disorder is “adversity.” When it becomes more extreme, we might call it “chaos.”

We would prefer, of course, to have order in our lives, which means to have things going well. We would like relative harmony in our lives. Yet, that very often is marred by the eruption of some form of disorder. And, usually, we resent that—we get angry, or despondent, or sad.

Disorder comes in many, many forms, big and small. When disorder comes it usually creates a kind of havoc in our lives, accompanied by strong underlying beliefs. “There’s something very wrong, this should not be happening, maybe God is against me,” and so on. Again, we need to understand that disorder, or adversity, is inevitable and is an essential part of a higher order.

 From a higher perspective, a higher level, the existence of order and disorder, or order and chaos, is a necessary part of the evolution of life.

 Many people have found that they experience a deepening, or a deeper sense of self or beingness, immediately after and as a result of having endured a period of disorder or chaos. This is sometimes called “the dark night of the soul,” a term from medieval Christianity used to describe the mental breakdown that many mystics experienced prior to awakening spiritually. There was an eruption of disorder, of destruction. Then, out of that, a deeper realization arose.

 And although that can be very painful, the strange thing is, it’s precisely there that many humans experience a transcendence. A strange fact is that it almost never happens that people awaken spiritually while they’re in their comfort zone. Or that they become deeper as human beings, which would be a partial awakening. It almost never happens. The place where the evolutionary shift happens, or the evolutionary leap, is usually the experience of disorder in a person’s life.

And so your life then moves between order and disorder. You have both, and they’re both necessary. There’s no guarantee that when disorder erupts this will bring about an awakening or a deepening, but there’s always the possibility. It is an opportunity, but often, it is missed.

 So here we are at this time, and our mission is the same: to align with the present moment, with whatever is happening here and now. The upheaval that we’re experiencing at the present time probably will not be the last upheaval that’s going to come on a collective level. However, it is an opportunity—because although this is a time for upheavals, it is also a time for awakening. The two go together. Just as in an individual life, you need adversity to awaken. It’s an opportunity but not a guarantee. And so what looks tragic and unpleasant on a conventional level is actually perfectly fine and as it should be on a higher level; it would not be happening otherwise. It’s all part of the awakening of human beings and of planetary awakening.

To learn more about Eckhart’s teachings on Conscious Manifestation, click here.

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The post The Opportunity in Adversity appeared first on Eckhart Tolle | Official Site – Spiritual Teachings and Tools For Personal Growth and Happiness.

I always adore everything about method

By Leo Babauta

One of the most powerful switches I ever made when changing my entire life was switching up my identity.

And while I never did it overnight, I successfully did it in multiple areas:

  • I changed from a smoker to a non-smoker — and once I did, I stopped thinking of smoking as something to do when I was stressed.
  • I went from meat-eater to vegetarian (and later to vegan). It literally took meat off the menu for me, so that I didn’t even consider eating it.
  • I thought of myself as a marathoner. Later, as just someone who exercises regularly to stay fit and healthy. It meant that there was no question I was going to exercise, even if I fell out of it for a bit because of disruptions.
  • I became a meditator (and later Zen student). That means even if I stop meditating for a little bit, I’ll always come back to it.
  • I became a writer. Sure, before this change, I did write, but not daily (join my Create Daily Challenge in Sea Change if you want to change this one!).
  • I became a minimalist. Actually, before I decided to call myself that, there wasn’t really anyone else who called themselves “minimalists”. The purposeful change in identity allowed me to free myself of clutter and enjoy a life of less.

There are dozens of other examples: as a father, unschooling parent, early riser, reader, teacher, speaker, entrepreneur, someone who takes meticulous care of his finances … every time I’ve made a major (or minor) life change that stuck, I changed my identity.

It’s more powerful than most people realize, and it’s doable.

The Subtle Benefits of Changing Your Identity

While it takes a little work, if you can shift how you see yourself … you’ll likely notice some of these benefits that aren’t obvious to most people:

  • You’ll stop doing (some of) the behaviors that you used to do. Stop smoking, stop eating meat, stop playing video games, whatever someone with your identity wouldn’t do.
  • You’ll make the behaviors you want become a given. If you’re a writer, you write every day. No questions asked. If you’re an entrepreneur, you … entreprendre every day? You know what I mean.
  • Things that you have to debate yourself about … become not a question. This saves you a lot of mental energy. It becomes much less of a daily struggle.
  • You can change some long-standing beliefs about yourself. That you can’t do this, that you’re no good at this, that you aren’t someone who does this. If they’re not serving you, toss em!
  • You begin to get a mindset that you can change anything. That you’re not stuck in old ways, but someone who can grow and become new possibility.

There are more benefits, but I’m going to let you discover them on your own. By now, it’s probably best to get to the How.

How to Change Your Identity

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as flipping a switch and bam presto! You’re a new person. However, it’s eminently doable.

It can be done a million different ways, but here are some points I’ve found important:

  • Do it consciously. We can change our identity without doing it intentionally … but I’ve found that it works much better if you do it intentionally. Doing it accidentally is like blindly stumbling upon something amazing — I wouldn’t count on it, but if you wander around long enough, it’ll probably happen. Instead, make it an intention to consciously shift your identity in this area.
  • Think about who you want to be. Do you want to be a person who writes every morning? A person who only eats plant-based foods? Someone who buys very little? Write it down: “I am a morning meditator.”
  • Intentionally start doing the actions. Set up visual reminders, phone reminders, whatever you need to do … but start doing the things that you would do if you’re this new version of yourself. If you’re a runner, go run.
  • BE the new version of you. Doing the actions is one thing, but you might be doing it while thinking that this is so not you. Instead, do the actions as if you were already that person. See yourself as the runner, the early riser, the vegan. Feel it in your being. Stand as this person.
  • Reinforce it by appreciating yourself. Each day, have a minute where you look back and see what you did. And appreciate this about yourself. See that you’re already shifting. “Yeah, this is happening, good job me!” We tend to focus on the bumps in the road rather than the progress we’re making.
  • When you falter, think about what this new version of you would do. Notice I said “when you falter,” not “IF.” Even a Zen teacher misses a day of meditation sometimes. That’s a part of life. We don’t always do things “perfectly” … but a Zen teacher wouldn’t miss a day of meditation and then just give up. She’d just sit the next day. A runner will get back into it even after a week of disruption (maybe due to visitors, illness, travel, injury, etc.). Don’t think of the disruption as proof that you’re not a runner, but instead approach the disruption as if you are a runner.

Again, there are many other things you can do. As your new identity, you’ll think of them! The How actually works itself out once you start to Be the new identity.

A Caveat: Don’t Fix Your Identity & Become Rigid

It’s important to note that creating a new identity for yourself — seeing yourself in a new way — can also. have some pitfalls. A big one is that you might create a fixed, rigid view of yourself.

For example, if you create a new identity of yourself that you’re an early riser, that could come with the rigidity that you’ll never stay up late or sleep in a little. And if your family has a gathering that’s later in the evening, you might just pass — not because it will impact anything important, but because of a rigid view of yourself.

There are lots of other possible examples: if I always work hard, then I can’t take a rest; if I am an expert in my field, then I can’t ever admit I’m wrong.

We don’t want our view of ourselves to limit us always. Some limits are helpful, if they’re chosen consciously (i.e. a limit of no meat means I don’t harm animals). Other limits can be unhelpful, if they don’t let us do what would be beneficial in a situation.

So while shifting identity can be helpful, I encourage you to not be too rigid. Think of your identity as fluid, something you can shift as needed, consciously.

Next Steps

I encourage you to pick one area at a time. Don’t try to shift everything about yourself. Choose one, and apply the steps above.

I am compassionate about myself.

I write every day.

I am a loving parent.

What would you like to try on?

The post The Subtle Power of Changing Your Identity appeared first on zen habits.

Who else thinks self-improvement is cool ?

Stop Asking Couples When They Are Having Kids

“So, when are you having kids?” my aunt asked me straight in the face, soon after I got married. At that point, I had been married for a few months. I didn’t even know if I wanted kids, much less when I was having them.

Caught off guard, I said, “I have not decided if I want kids.” I would spend the next hour listening to stories of women who had difficulty conceiving for a variety of reasons, with the implicit message being that I was going to be like them and regret it if I didn’t hurry and work on churning out babies.

This would be my life for the next few years, where I received varying forms of “When are you having kids?”, followed by a routine, almost ritualistic pressurization to have kids.

Lest you think that it ends after having a child, it doesn’t — the people who previously tried to persuade you to have “just one kid” when you were indifferent to the idea, now tell you to have “just one more.” It seems like you just can’t win. 😒

The problem with asking, “When are you having kids?”

I can understand why people like to ask this question. Find a partner, settle down, get married, and have kids. This is the life path that we’ve been taught to follow since young. This is the path that we’ve been told is the way of life, which would bring us ultimate joy and happiness.

This is especially so in the Chinese culture, where having kids is seen as the ultimate goal in life. There are even sayings built around this notion, such as 生儿育女 (shēng ér yù nǚ), which means to birth sons and raise daughters, and 子孙满堂 (zǐ sūn mǎn táng), which means to be in a room filled with children and grandchildren.

Multi-Generation Chinese Family at the Park

A multi-generation family, often used to depict a vision of happiness in the Chinese culture

So after you get married, people automatically assume that you should have kids. “When are you having kids?” they ask, somehow expecting you to give them a straight answer.

The problem with this question is that it’s rude. It’s presumptuous. It’s also insensitive.

1) Happiness can come in different forms

Firstly, everyone has their path in life. Some people want kids, while some don’t want kids. Some people think that having kids is the greatest joy in life, while some see having kids as a burden to their carefree life. To presume that everyone should have kids, especially when the person has never said anything about wanting kids, is rude and disregards the person’s preferences and choice in life.

Take for example, Oprah Winfrey. She chose not to have children and has dedicated herself to her personal purpose of serving the world. Oprah hosted her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show which ran for 25 years, founded a leadership academy for girls and became a mother figure to the girls in attendance, and started her own television network. Through the years, she has inspired millions and become a champion for humans worldwide. As she says,

“When people were pressuring me to get married and have children, I knew I was not going to be a person that ever regretted not having them, because I feel like I am a mother to the world’s children. Love knows no boundaries. It doesn’t matter if a child came from your womb or if you found that person at age two, 10, or 20. If the love is real, the caring is pure and it comes from a good space, it works.” — Oprah[1]

There are other people who chose not to have kids as well.

  • Betty White, actress and comedian, chose not to have kids as she’s passionate about her career and focused on it.[2]
  • Chelsea Handler, talkshow host, doesn’t have kids as she doesn’t have the time to raise a child herself, and she doesn’t want her kids to be raised by a nanny.[3]
  • Ashley Judd, actress and politican activist, chose not to have kids as there are already so many orphaned kids in this world, and she feels that her resources can be better used to help those already here.[4]

And then there are others who chose not to have kids, such as Chelsea Handler, Cameron Diaz, Chow Yun Fat, Marisa Tomei, Renée Zellweger, and Rachael Ray. These people choose not to have kids for different reasons, such as because they’re pursuing paths deeply meaningful to them, they do not wish to be tied down with a child, or they just don’t feel a deep desire to have kids. Not having kids has not prevented them from being happy in life, and there’s no reason to assume why people must have kids in order to be happy.

2) You may well cause hurt and pain

Secondly, you never know what others are going through.

Some people may want kids, but maybe they are facing fertility struggles.

  • Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan went through three miscarriages before having their firstborn.[5]
  • The Obamas had a miscarriage before they had their daughters via IVF.[6]
  • Friends star Courteney Cox had a total of seven miscarriages before having her daughter, as she has a MTHFR gene mutation which raises the risk of miscarriage-causing blood clots.[7]

About 10% of women have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant,[8] while 13.5% of known pregnancies end in miscarriages, with the figure rising as the maternal age rises.[9]

For some people, the journey to conceive is fraught with deep pain, struggle, and losses as they experience miscarriages, undergo round after round of invasive fertility treatments, and wait in hope of the double blue lines on their pregnancy kit each month.

And then there are people who cannot have their own biological children due to issues with their reproductive system, which could have been there since birth.

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, and family

Barack and Michelle Obama had a miscarriage before they had their daughters via IVF

While you may be think that you’re being helpful or funny by asking people when they’re having kids, your question may well trigger hurt and pain. As Zuckerberg said,

“You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience.”[5]

3) Not everyone is in a position to have kids

Thirdly, having kids is simply not a reality for some people due to their circumstances in life.

Some people may lack the financial resources to have kids, a reality in a place like Singapore.

Some people may be facing problems with their marriage, in which case their priority should be to work on their marriage, not to have kids.

Some people may be so burdened with caring for their dependents that they are unable to consider kids, at least not at the moment.

And then there are people facing chronic health issues, issues that you don’t know and can’t see, which make pregnancy difficult due to the toll it would take on their body.

4) Some couples could still be thinking

And then there are people who are neutral to the idea of having kids, like myself when I just got married. These people need time to think it through, because having kids is a permanent, lifelong decision with serious consequences. There’s no reason to assume that having a kid should be an automatic decision, because you’re bringing a whole new life into this world. This is a decision that will change your life forever, as well as the life of the child you’re bringing into the world.

For those yet to have kids, they need the space to figure out what they want, not have people breathe down their neck day in and out about having kids.

My experience

For the initial years after I got married, I just wasn’t thinking about kids. Firstly, having a child is a lifelong decision, and I wanted to enjoy married life with just my husband first, before diving into a decision as serious as that. Secondly, both my husband and I were genuinely happy spending the rest of our lives with just each other — we didn’t feel the need to have kids at all, not in the way my culture obssesses about it. Thirdly, my husband was dealing with some personal problems, and I was fully focused on supporting him through these. These were issues that we needed to sort through before considering kids, if we were to want kids.

Yet I kept getting nudges to have kids, even though I never said anything about wanting them.

“So, when are you having kids?”

“[This relative’s] baby is so cute, isn’t it? Why don’t you hurry up and birth a baby?”

It was as if I was some vehicle, some production machine to have kids, where my own views in the matter didn’t matter. The most frustrating thing was that I kept getting this question, while my husband would never get it (as a man), not even when we were in the same room together.

It was as if my sole reason for existence as a woman was to have kids, and until I had them, I was regarded as unworthy or incomplete.

The decision to have kids

Yet the decision to have children is a personal one. It is also a complex one. It is a decision that will permanently change the lives of the couple in question.

It is not a decision that one should be pressurized into making because their mom wants to carry grandchildren or their aunt wants to play with kids. It’s a decision that a couple should make because they genuinely want to nurture another life.

Because when a child is born, the people bugging others to have kids aren’t the ones who will be caring for the baby 24/7, whose lives will be set back by years (even decades) as they care for a new life, or who will be responsible for every decision concerning the child for the next 18-21 years.

It will be the couple.

And the people who aren’t ready, who were pressured into having kids because they were told that it was the best thing to do, may have to deal with regret as they are stuck with a decision they cannot undo. Because there are people who regret having kids, and we need to be honest about that. These people regret, not because of the child’s fault, but because they were simply not ready to have kids, be it financially, emotionally, or mentally. Unfortunately, the children are the ones who eventually suffer, from living in dysfunctional households to dealing with issues of violenceabuse, and anger.

We need to recognize these realities, and not make parenthood seem like it’s some magical band-aid that solves a lack of purpose or life’s pressures. Things don’t magically get better because people have kids; existing problems usually worsen as having a child puts a big strain on a couple’s lives. Digging into people’s plans to have kids, and pressurizing them into one of the biggest life decisions they can ever make, will only stress them out and perhaps push some into depression. As this redditor shared,

“I have a friend who went through 6 years of miscarriages and fertility treatments before the doctors figured out the problem and she had her son. The nosy ladies at her work and her in-laws questioned her constantly. The depression from that made it harder for her to conceive.”

Stop asking couples when they’re having kids

So, if you tend to ask others when they’re having kids, it’s time to stop that. It’s rude, insensitive, and it disregards people’s privacy. It’s also none of your business.

The reality is that if people want kids, they will work on having kids. They don’t need you to prod them about it.

If they don’t have kids, it’s either because

  1. they really don’t want kids,
  2. they are not in a position to consider kids right now, or
  3. they want kids but they are facing some struggles.

For people in group (c), they aren’t going to share such deeply personal experience over some afternoon coffee chat, and certainly not by you asking, “When are you having kids?”

The best thing you can do is to give people their personal space. Understand that having kids is a personal decision, and people don’t have to share or explain anything. Respect that others have their right to privacy. Respect that people are individuals on their own path, and this path may not involve having kids. And this doesn’t make them incomplete or lesser in any way.

Instead of asking women or couples, “When are you having kids?”, talk to them like how you would a normal person. There’s no reason why conversations should suddenly revolve around childbearing after marriage; it’s not like a person’s identity changes to revolve around having kids. A person still has their own passion, goals, and dreams. Talk to them about what they’ve been doing. Understand their interests. Know them as a real person, not some random being here to fulfill society’s checklist.

If you’re really interested in someone’s plan to have children, you can simply ask, “Are you and your partner planning to have kids?” If they wish to share more, they will do so. If they give a generic answer, then take the hint and move on.

Ultimately, having kids or not doesn’t change a person’s self-worth. A woman is complete with or without kids. A marriage doesn’t need kids to be deemed complete. Having kids should be a conscious choice, not a result of external pressure. Don’t judge people by whether they have kids or not. Some people will have kids, and some people will not have kids. Some will have kids early, while some will have them later in life. All of these are different paths, and there’s nothing wrong about any of them.

For Me

For my husband and I, we eventually had a few discussions and decided to have a baby, and had our baby girl this year (2020). 😊 Yet other people’s comments and nudges to have children didn’t make me want to have children; it only annoyed me and made me want to avoid these people, because having a child is a personal decision between me and my husband, that has nothing to do with them. It was after we had the space to settle down and enjoy married life without kids, and took some time to actively pursue our goals and interests, that we finally felt ready to try for a kid last year.

In the meantime, I hope all of you are doing well. There are other things that I’m working on, other things that are happening that I look forward to sharing in time to come. Sending lots of love to you, and remember that whatever life challenge you’re facing, you have it in you to overcome it. I’ll talk to you guys soon! 🙂