The other day H and I were talking about something related to marriage and kids. I have a 24-year-old brother and H has a 24-year-old sister. We were just casually mentioning how both our siblings are still single and do not have a proper career yet although both have finished school, so they are nowhere near settling down and stuff. And H mentioned how my parents are not too worried about my brother not getting married any time soon, but his mum is more worried for his sister because she’s had no luck finding a partner so far.
I kinda understand how it’s typical for parents to worry more for their daughters than their sons for not getting married soon, because a woman’s fertility has an expiry date while men can reproduce 24/7 till they are old. H also mentioned that the companionship of a spouse in a marriage is very sacred and should be cherished, and women probably need this kind of companionship more than men.
The thing is, if I ever have kids in the future, I hope to not have this unequal worry between my sons and daughters. Parents will always worry for their children and their future. But at the very least, I don’t think we should let our worries or pressure make them feel pathetic, especially for daughters or women in general.
A 30-year-old single woman should not be made to feel like she is a loser, or unwanted, or like an underachiever in life just because she hasn’t found the right man yet. Especially not from her parents. Yes, people always say that marriage completes half of your deen. But does that mean that single people are only 50% Muslim? Heck no. What I understand from this quote is that marriage opens the doors to many many many more forms of ibadah that one can only do when you are married. Like serving your spouse, bearing children and contributing to the Muslim population etc. But single people have more opportunity and resources to serve their parents longer, can do community service and so many other forms of charity work that married people with families may not have the time for.
The same concept applies to how a married woman with no children should not feel like she is less of a woman just because she does not have a baby yet, or cannot have one. The value of one’s self-worth does not lie in something beyond his/her control, just because He has not given you the right partner or a child yet. Yes, a woman has a very high rank in hierarchy when she becomes a mother but it takes pains to get there. It is unfair to expect every single woman in the world to reach that position. That special rank for a mother in Jannah is a reward for all her sacrifices, not a standard benchmark for you to feel pathetic over if you don’t achieve it.
It’s about time for society to stop shoving their “societal standards” into our faces and make us feel kesian or less of a human being when we don’t meet their expectations. I think we should all just empower each other and lift everyone up. It’s better to remain single than with the wrong person. It’s better to be sincere in waiting and get rewarded for our patience rather than feeling sorry for ourselves or feeling bitter while looking at other people’s happiness. Perhaps it’s also better to not have a child and accept His challenges of being a childless man or woman because y’know, He never burdens you with anything that you cannot bear.