Turning 30 for me, was a chance to reassess my life. I was fortunate that I had achieved many things by that milestone birthday (married, house, job, children), but I think its taken me another ten years to truly appreciate my achievements.
At a recent night out, I was with a group of mothers that I didn't know particularly well. We started talking about life generally and it struck me how lots of them had taken a different path to me, but still ended up in ultimately the same place.
One woman told me she had married after having two of her children and another one was widowed suddenly, left with a young child to raise alone. Another in the group was with a long time partner and engaged, but had no immediate plans to get married. One member of the group told me she was married but wouldn't lose her surname and take his as she thought it was subservient! I just thought it was the done thing! I am quite traditional in a lot of my views. But as I am getting older, I am realising that times are changing and we have to change with it too.
The old notions of not living together before you are married or not starting a family before you have a ring on your finger are totally unrealistic in 2017. Why should women feel societal pressure to put precious childbearing years on hold? Especially as for many, these are often the prime years to conceive.
Who are we to judge others that might not be in the same situation as ourselves? I think it's time to take a step back, reassess what we have and appreciate that there is always another way as well. One size does not fit all.
If you are married, think of all those that may love to be married too, but genuinely can't afford to have the wedding that they dream of. Some may not even feel the need to get married or have found that special someone yet.
If you are in a home, even one with a negative equity mortgage - at least you have a house. Many are still waiting for the economic crisis to turn so they can move out of the rented apartment into a family home of their own. Not all are even this lucky as there are currently thousands of children homeless.
If you have permanent employment, rejoice in the fact that you have this security. Many are living on low wage, zero contract hour jobs and many more are struggling to find employment or unable to work through ill health.
I say let live and let live, Don't judge others without understanding their own circumstances. Your way is not the only way. Do you agree?