According to my original life plan I should be getting married next year


Over two years ago I wrote a blog post in which I did a Rachel from Friends – I counted back from the age I wanted to have kids to work out how old I needed to be when I met my boyfriend and got married.

Naturally, it freaked me out a bit and made me question my habit of forward planning everything.

I wanted to have a baby by 27.  In fact I very much still do. I WANT to be a young-ish mum, but if my calculations are to be believed, I should be getting engaged within the next year.

Errrr WHAT?!

When i’d originally written that post, my career hadn’t taken off and I had planned to grow a successful career, get married and have a baby in a very ambitious five years. I’m incredibly lucky that even one of those things has happened since – there aren’t many 24-year-olds lucky enough to say they’ve reached their career peak so early. But, despite this, I still feel as though time is against me.

Although i’m prepared to take a step back from my original plan, I can still feel an overwhelming pressure to get a bloody move on.

I don’t want to rush my relationship, I don’t want to ruin it, and yet the idea that this relationship might not work (even though i’m obvs reaaaaaaally happy right now) and I might have to start again on my quest to succeed in my life goals before I hit 30 is terrifying.

It feels as though we are truly the first generation to feel as incredibly torn between settling down and running the world as we do. Jump back to our mum’s generation and even then there wasn’t the same level of females in university, let alone the WOMEN CAN BE ANYTHING THEY WANT mantra we’re brought up with now.

But where will we draw the line? When will people, aside from Kirstie Allsop, say, you know what? Yes you can have the world and be anything you want, but you don’t have to squeeze your entire life into your twenties, you can save some for your thirtes, forties, fifties, hell we won’t retire til well into our sixties.

Step away from the aggressive life plan and just do what feels right for you. Even if that means backing away from your career to go make some babies…

And, if like me, you feel like the baby-making years are creeping forward at an alarming rate, it’s OK, your fertility will probably still be the same at 29 as 27.

(Note: Not really, it’ll have probs declined by about 2 per cent, but hey, what’s two per cent really?)


  • Yeah, I had a plan just like Yours, but then one day I realized that nothing and I mean NOTHING is under control.. Since then, I am the happiest I’ve ever been. Life without plan and rules is so much more fun! And surprisingly, somehow without even trying too much I’m making all my dreams come true! So I say, burn that plan and start living the unexpected! 🙂 Cheers!

    • hannahgale9

      I’m a control freak, but i’m getting there. I’m slowly edging away from all my written down lists, eek!

  • Joy

    Yes. This. Please, thank you. I’m nearly done with university, I have no idea what the next step should be or will be. Career wise it’s non-existent. Baby wanting is on my agenda in the category of I don’t want to be an older mum, but my boyfriend is of the “I’ll start thinking about it in ten years” persuasion (and that in itself is an existenital crisis just waiting to happen). Mostly I’m just trying to catch my breath after the best part of two decades spent in full time education and to think about what my version of success looks like without having a mark scheme to refer to. It’s a little nauseating.

    • hannahgale9

      I hear you, it’s so strange after universoty to not have anyone marking your success, it becomes up to you to make your own success. Because we’ve been in an academic environment for so long it seems natural that success should come from a career, but the older I get the more I realise it’s actually only a fraction of our success. Real success is definitely measured by stability and happiness.

  • well this list stressed me right out!!!!! i haven’t made one and don’t think i should… quick get me on a holiday or something!

  • Vicky

    Thank you Hannah for this post. It is relevant to me as I feel like I am a control freak too and when I was 18 I’ve made a life plan which I was so sure about that no one would ever stand in my way. Little did I know? At 24 I was already with both BA and MA degrees and found a great job. Also I wanted to get married before 25 and have at least one child however that didn’t really go according to plan. So I have made some adjustments and changed the cut off age to 30 instead. So by 26 I have progressed in my career and met the man of my dreams and at 28 I got on a property ladder! Wohoo! Everything seemed perfect and in line with the plan. However recently because I was coming close to 29 I have rushed my relationship and the guy just couldn’t handle me and checked out early so it throw me back to square one in terms of marriage/kids arrangements. So now I will be 29 January and God knows how fertile I am but I know for sure my plan has gone down the hill unless of course I am engaged within next few month and get married within 6 month and then get pregnant too which is very unlikely. So lesson learned; never EVER make any plans for your life, but go with a flow. What’s for you won’t pass you…when the time is right…

    P.S. I do admit it is hard to live with ‘Monica’ inside me. I suppose I just keep calm and carry on :).

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