You Don't Owe Anyone an Explanation, So Stop Offering One
You don't owe anyone an explanation of why you do things the way you do them.
Facebook has turned into somewhat of a blog for me. I share a lot of things - including posts about budgeting, being childless by choice, and my plans for continuing my education and my career. These are all things I am extremely proud of. I'm proud of the decisions my husband and I have made thus far; we stick to a budget, and with both of us working, there is plenty of money left over every month for fun things. We enjoy our childless life and celebrate the fact that right now it is just us two, and our precious black kitty, Stormy.
I began noticing how some of my friends - especially those who are parents - comment things about their life. Only they're not just talking about themselves, they are justifying their actions and life choices to me; they explain how they chose to put their education on hold when they had children. Or how they chose to stay home because childcare is so expensive that it did not make sense to have both people working.
I noticed that when I would post about how much I love my job, someone would comment and say "I wish I had my own money, but we decided it was best that I stay home because..."
I post about how excited I am to graduate with my bachelor's degree, and someone comments and says "I put my education on hold because of my husband's career, but I truly do plan on going back eventually, it's just hard because..."
Sometimes you'll see a post on social media that triggers some kind of response in you. More often than not, that response can be negative towards ourselves. It's that nagging feeling you get in your gut, when your stomach drops and you think to yourself, "I wish I had that" or "I wish I could have that." It makes you think that where you are in this season of life is somehow inferior to the next person's.
So here's the truth bomb I want you to take away here; you don't owe anyone an explanation of why you do things the way you do them.
You don't owe anyone an explanation of why you have your finances set up the way you do, how things work in your marriage, your career choices (or lack thereof), how many kids you choose to have (or not have).
And let's take this one step further: just because someone shares something on Facebook or gives an opinion that "contradicts" whatever you're doing doesn't mean you have to justify yourself in the comments.
When someone shares how excited they are for graduation, you don't need to justify your decision not to go to college. When someone shares their pregnancy announcement, you don't have to divulge your fertility struggles or explain why you're choosing to wait to have kids. When someone talks about how much they love your job, you don't have to justify why you chose to me a stay at home parent.
You don't owe anyone an explanation.
So why do you feel obligated to give one, when no one is asking?
It's time to break out the journal and get real with yourself. It's time to think about why someone sharing about their pursuits triggers such a response in you.
For me, it is most often jealousy. For example, so many of my Facebook friends are in the process of buying a house. My husband and I have decided to wait to buy our first home. But I'll be damned if I don't feel a pang of jealous when they post pictures of their perfectly decorated Magnolia Home living room or their gorgeous outdoor deck.
It might be jealousy for you, too. Or it might be shame. Shame that you aren't where you feel like you should be. Regret of the choices that you've made. Maybe you're just generally unhappy with where you're at in life, or feeling insecure about the decisions you're currently making.
These are natural feelings, and it's not necessarily unhealthy to feel them from time to time. But it is a sign that it's time to get comfortable with loving yourself & your life.
It means you need to do some work on yourself, because the bottom line is that you don't owe anyone an explanation.
You do NOT owe anyone an explanation of anything you choose to do. It's your life. It's your finances. It's your family. You don't have to justify it to anyone.
So stop feeling obligated to.