Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Letter to My Single Friends at Valentine's Day

So, over the past few weeks I've been thinking a lot about marriage, family, settling down, and all the things that supposedly come with "growing up". I've been reading just about every article and post that pops up on the topic. Its been great. I've enjoyed them. A few have reminded me why I love my husband or why its awesome to have kids. Then I got to thinking, what is it like for my dear single friends who don't live in this world.

I know its true that I too once lived a single life. I slept, ate, and woke whenever I decided. I went out and didn't ask anyone's permission and I didn't have to carry a diaper bag. However, its been easy to forget those days ever existed. This leads me to why I decided to write this letter.

Single Friends,

 I know its hard to wait for someone special. I know your parents want you to "settle down" and have a few grand-babies for them. I know you feel like it will never happen. Cheer up, I have a gift for you! I will give you a very personal, intimate view of what its like to be married and an even more open view of what its like to be a parent.

Its hard! Marriage is hard. It takes hours of work, often with little to no return. You have no privacy, no space, and you have to consult someone else on everything. Yes, its nice to have someone to talk to, but that also means you have to listen. Sometimes you will have to sit there for an hour and listen to someone talk about video games or reasons why today is a bad hair day. You will have double the stress, double the bills, and half the sleeping room. Please don't get me wrong, I love my husband but there were perks to the single life. I beg you to take advantage of them now while you can. And, if the case should be that you never get married, I hope you can see the blessings in it.

The other thing I can say about that is, flirt. Make someone else feel beautiful, special, and worth while. In fact, make many people feel that way. You have the rare opportunity of being able to freely share compliments without risk. I'm not saying go get involved with tons of people, I'm just saying that there is so much fun in the chase. Once your married, your caught and that season of your life is over.

Secondly, parenting is the hardest, lowest paying job you will ever have. Please believe me when I say that I have not slept a whole night or eaten a whole meal in peace for over three years. You wont believe me now, but you don't realize how good you have it on a nightly basis. While I'm here. Sleep. Sleep! Sleep while you can, you will miss it someday.

Children will force you to take a deep look at yourself. You will see depths of fear, anger, and love you have never experienced. The freedoms you have now will be gone and you will have the greatest responsibility you could ever imagine on your shoulders. You will have little help, many questions, and probably more ruined clothes than you think. You will have regular conversations about puke, poop, and all sorts of unpleasant things.

My friends, please don't let me dampen your desire for a spouse and family. I don't say all this to ruin or crush your hopes and dreams. In fact, I hope that if you want those things that you get your Prince Charming or Cinderella. I hope they treat you like gold and realize that they are so very lucky. Look at all you gave up to be with them. I also hope you take a few minutes every day after your married to realize they too gave up a lot for you. You are worth it! So, just because someone is not in your life right now, doesn't mean its a bad thing. Sometimes the very best things take the longest to achieve.

This Valentine's day, I have a few suggestions to make the day less depressing. (Because, frankly, I know it will be.)

One, be another lonely someone's secret valentine. Don't sign it, don't admit to it, just do it. It might be just enough to change someone's whole point of view this year.

Second, grab a friend and go out on Valentine's day anyway. I'm not talking one of the "romantic" hot spots, but to something! Don't stay in and sulk. If you can't go out, do something at home. Just don't sit there on your couch, eating ice-cream and pouting. Your better than that! You are a grown-up. You have a life and friends and so many people who love you.

Third, remember the people who love you. Send your mother a valentine. Call up your best friend, whatever it takes. Put your life in perspective.

Fourth, if you don't make a point to go out or have some kind of fun shindig at home... offer to babysit for one of your friends who is already left the single life. If they have kids, they don't have many chances to be with that special someone anymore. Just place this thought in your mind, someday you will wish that someone does the same thing for you!

As a happily married woman with two kids, I am telling you now that it is OK to be single! Its perfectly fine not to be "settled down" yet. It's not bad that you don't have kids. Stop beating yourself up! You are a beautiful/handsome person and being single doesn't change that.

Beyond that, for every day you envy me there are days I'm so jealous of you! Go, for now is but a season and who knows what the future holds!

Much love,

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