I recently came across an article detailing a study that said married men and single women are the happiest. In fact, longterm, women do better than men living alone and have better social lives than unmarried men. I don’t think any of us women are surprised by this.
I’m more surprised that women answered this so honestly.
We’re married. We’re raising our families! We've done the damn thing. WTH! We're supposed to be happy.
Don’t get it twisted. Other studies claim that single women were dissatisfied while married women claimed to be the happiest. I suspect that this answer changes every time there’s a full moon. But overall, who of us has the most peace of mind, the most pleasure & the most contentment?
I can't give that glory to any particular group. But I can tell you that the dream we’ve been sold as women - to get a career, get married, have kids, and be selfless - is not what leads to lasting bliss.
It’s funny because men tend to believe that they’re doing a woman a huge favor when they finally put a ring on it.
In many ways, becoming a mom and wife is like getting a prized promotion into the most lovely, incredible, fulfilling, yet most chaotic and underappreciated job you’ve ever had.
And there are no employee handbooks.
I’m not saying marriage and family aren’t worth it. Dear reader, I can proudly say, at 35, I've been married for ten years, and have two children. 85% of the time, it’s the shit. But what you discover, as you keep growing is that even with a family, you’re still vulnerable to pain and loneliness.
In our current day and age, women carry so much on their shoulders. Most of us are still working, and trying to find that balance between career, kids, being healthy, and not entirely neglecting our husbands. So much so that we dismiss ourselves without realizing it. I have a whole chapter in my book about this. About eliminating the bullshit idea of selflessness. It’s difficult to be someone else's everything when you haven't been there for yourself.
Now, despite some stigmas, as women, we know that stay at home moms work their asses off too. The fact is, we all are feeling it.
Society and previous generations make so much of getting married and having kids, that it’s shocking when you realize that it’s not the promised land.
There can often be an enormous amount of guilt and shame that comes with that realization. After all, your family is supposed to be your everything. It’s supposed to be all you need. Isn’t it?
This is not to cast stones in the direction of marriage. I don’t know how I would navigate the current digital dating environment. I want no parts of it. The thing is, my hubby is my best friend. He’s learned to accept my writer/introvert/I-don’t-want-to-talk tendencies. He gives me my space. And if we’re together, I’ve learned to accept that he’s going to be talking. Another thing I needed; he now puts in more time with our kids. But it hasn’t always been like this. In the past, our work/home life felt extremely unbalanced. There have been times when I’ve felt overwhelmed, invisible and unappreciated. I’ve had periods where I’ve pretended to be content, but in reality, I was drained, angry and depressed.
Just like all of life, marriage is part ecstasy and part pain in the ass.
My point isn’t that marriage is terrible. Nor is being single a piece of cake. Every role has its blessings and its burdens. My point is that as women, we need to stop selling our daughters this pie in the sky white picket fence dream. We need to stop pressuring women who may not want to have kids. We need to let our girls know that they have value, regardless of whether or not they become wives or have children. That being a parent and a wife is a significant, life-changing responsibility. That it’s probably one of the most beautiful things you could experience and you never regret it. But it’s a choice, not a requirement.
As a single woman, if you watch an episode of reality TV, between the WAGS and Basketball Wives, you’d think that the only thing women are good for is searching for a husband to provide some meaning in their lives.
These shows entertain me, but I resent the message they send. You’re infamous and someone special, not based on anything you’ve achieved, but who your husband is. It gives women the impression that they need to be someone’s wife to accomplish some hard-to-get status.
Hell, the fact that Carrie still married Big kind of pissed me off. Yes, I know, "it wasn’t logic. It was love.” Okay. Fine. Love is a gift, and I’m not, for one minute, dismissing it. I’d be a liar if I did. It feels good to have someone to love and spend your life with; when it’s right, and you’re not settling because "wifey status" is what everyone expects of you. It's so satisfying when you have someone that respects, connects and communicates well with you. It's the absolute best when you know how to love yourself first.
The love you feel for your children is the purest love there is. But it’s hard to find your joy when you’ve neglected yourself and your own dreams and desires, repeatedly.
Plenty of single women may see being married with children as something to aspire to. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as you understand that marriage and motherhood is not a place of complacency. Know that lots of women in that position are pretending to be calm amid some inner or outer chaos. As a mother and wife, you're an advisor, lover, cook, consultant, maid, tutor and therapist. You become so many things to the people you love that it extracts layers and layers from you. The enchantment doesn't last, and your cup can run empty. You have to learn to love and take care of yourself if you want to replenish it.
All the good things you give in the world have to first come from inside.
I'm not anti-family. I'm an advocate of telling women the truth; that the most important relationship you’ll ever have is with you.
Hey you. I'm Cindi, wife, mom, writer and entrepreneur. I wrote this from the heart because I've been this person. Unhappy, overwhelmed, trying my damnedest to act like I was all good while trying to please everyone else. And I learned that you will not have anything left to give, if you don't show love to yourself.
You made promises to yourself, and every time you ignore them, you tell yourself that you're not worth it. Repeatedly doing this takes a toll on your self-esteem.
If you're ready to get back your happy and reclaim your dreams and identity, you are exactly who I wrote this book for. As you're reading, you'll begin to gain a new perspective, a sense of power, and clarity. This is a roadmap to becoming the person you know you're designed to be.
Lovely, Brave and Brilliant is on sale this holiday for just $10.99. Grab a copy for yourself and a friend, cause trust me, even though they don't always share it, they are going through these emotions too.
I can't tell you how many texts and emails I've received from ladies who've read the book, saying "Cindi, it feels like you're in my head!"