Being single and getting married are practically polar opposites, but each has its own pros and cons. Starting a family has taught me a great deal about life particularly about being a mother and a wife. It has also led me to reflect about my life before, as a single woman ready to take on the world.
Time turned to gold when I got married
Time is probably one of the first and biggest aspects in life that changes when you shift from being single to married. When I was single, I had all the time in the world to myself. I had the time to study, to hone new skills, and to socialize. I had time for leisure and self-development. When I became a wife, I realized the value of time.
Time became a luxury. I prioritize the needs of my child and my husband. I see to it that I spend quality time with my family. It may be hard to find time alone, especially when juggling a hectic career, caring for the kids, and doing house chores; but the time spent with family is always a time well-spent.
Marriage made my life richer
Life as a single woman gave me the freedom to spend everything I earn the way I want to spend it. I usually spent my earnings and bonuses on pampering myself. I did not have to wait for seasonal sales or discounts because I can buy the latest make-up or clothes with my money. I did not think so much of my future. These spending habits only changed when I got married.
As a mom, I have to put the material needs of my family above my own. I have to think twice before buying anything—I was forced to budget. I rarely have my nails done in a salon now. In fact, I learned to do my nails at home. I had to think of ways to save in order to prepare for my family’s future. When I got married, I was not materially wealthier, but my life was richer. Life is more meaningful when you share what you own, including yourself, to the people you love.
My career changed its course
I was a driven, busy career woman focused on attaining success when I was single. At work, I did not settle for anything less than excellent. I had specific and non-negotiable career plus financial goals. I had a prestigious job working as PR professional and was intent on climbing the corporate ladder sooner than my peers. But my non-negotiable plans became flexible when I got married.
I was forced to give up my frenzied career so I can treat my infertility issues. Having a baby became more important to me than the fame and money associated with a successful career. My career now consists of being a wife, a mom, and an entrepreneur who pursues her passions, neither for fame nor money, but for sheer joy and fulfilment.
Defining your own happiness
Whether you’re single or married, your happiness depends on how you define it. For me, I define happiness as having the daily opportunity to be a supportive partner to my husband and a guiding hand to my own child. I remember a quote I once read from a book about Chris McCandless, someone who traveled alone in search of his own fulfilment. He carefully carved on a piece of wood the words “happiness is only real when shared”.
My advice for single ladies? Do not wait for marriage to find your happiness. Define your own happiness beginning today. Love yourself more. Work towards becoming a better you, so that when you come across your true calling—whether it’s singlehood or marriage—you will be able to find your purpose and share the best of you.