Pressures of Turning 30

In less than a month I turn 30. It feels almost fake saying it out loud, because of how quickly my twenties flew by. Entering my twenties I felt a lot of pressure to figure things all out. It felt like a decade of self discovery – Where do I want to work? Who do I want to be within the real-world? Who do I want to pick to be my partner?

As hard as I tried not to be on a timeline, the clock continued to tick. I passed the “age my mom had me at” and felt like I was behind. Or I would see a friend get engaged and wonder how old I would be when it would happen to me. It’s funny though, things seemed to happen at the timeline I invented for myself – I was married at 26, had a baby by 29 and suddenly I felt like maybe I was doing things “the right way” or the way society says that we should be doing them.

But the truth is, the pressures never ceased to exist, they just shifted with age. Now I feel pressure to “have the second baby” or to “Move to a bigger place” or to “Keep looking young.”

 

“Don’t you want them to be close in age?” people always ask.

“Don’t you want a house with a backyard, an apartment is small for a family!” people say.

 

There’s SO many things we think we’re supposed to be doing to fit the norm. We think that these things will make us happy, but the truth is the only thing that makes me happy is doing things my own special way, on my own timeline. I’m curious to hear if any of you have been having the same thoughts? SK-II released a study that showed women don’t talk about these issues and you can read more by searching #ChangeDestiny #SKii #inpartnershipwithskii – Here’s some stats that jumped out at me from it:

  • Both Men and Women think Women are in their prime in their 20’s and men in their 30’s across respondents
  • Men’s prime age is defined as “when they have achieved a good career” (54%) while women “when they are most physically attractive” (59%) across respondents.
  • 40% of women surveyed feel unhappy about getting older vs. only 32% of men feeling unhappy about getting older.
  • Among single men and women, 45% of women feel pressured to get married as compared to only 28% of men
  • Among the countries surveyed, single women in China and Korea feel the most pressure to get married—as high as 60% of single women in China and 52% of single women in Korea feel pressure to get married.

This survey was conducted online by Procter & Gamble in May 2017 among 4280 women and 3261 men ages 18 years of age and older in the following countries Japan (n=1006), Korea (n=1010), China (n=1006), Hong Kong (n= 301), Taiwan (n= 303), Thailand (n= 302), Malaysia (n=309), Indonesia (n= 304), United States (n= 1000) , United Kingdom (n= 1000) and Australia (n=1000).

How do you handle the pressure from others, and what steps do you take to stay true to yourself?

*Thanks to SK-II for sponsoring this post.

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5 comments so far.
  • I’m 27 and coming up on the age my mom had me. My parents got married at 26 and I am in no way close to getting married, let alone having a baby. For me, my 20s have been about self-discovery and finding what truly brings me joy in life. I wouldn’t have it any other way! And I’m actually looking forward to my 30s (haha!) because I know I will be content with the life I am currently building for myself.

    Those stats are very interesting. Almost sad, especially since when women think they’re in their prime when they are “most physically attractive.” I’ve also gone a little against the norm, so I think as long as I’m in the present moment and loving life, I’m in my prime 🙂

    http://www.insearchofsheila.com

    • Hi Sheila,

      I found the stats sad also 🙁 But they are spot on to how most of my friends feel (and probably myself as well, sadly). It’s crazy how much society effects us if we let it. I love your philosophy about being happy in the moment, I’ve really been trying to live that way lately too! <3

  • Okay- 1) Your son is not even a year old. People are pressuring you to be pregnant again already? (I can say as a teacher that age gap of being so close in age is actually pretty rare. More common is 3 or 4 years apart.)

    2)…. I was a bit down about turning thirty too. I could have married younger or focussed on different things than what I did. But you know, what I thought about was, what did I do with that time. Getting married younger met likely not being with the person I am with now, or getting those experiences I had. So, instead I think it makes sense to focus on what has made you feel the most …yourself. What helped you grow. I feel ready for being a mother now (my son is only a few months younger than Hudson). Things are never perfect, but you have to find what makes you happy.

  • I am definitely feeling this too! I’m almost 26 and people have been asking for quite some time when I was going to get a boyfriend, that I’d be too old to have a kid… the pressure is still there, as you say it, even though I fight it every day and try not to pay attention to it.

  • In the same boat. Turned 30 just days before having my first child. I always feel like I’m trying to “catch up”.