Remember the episode of Sex and the City when Carrie and Stanford attended a sip n’ see and Carrie’s Manolos were stollen?! To add insult to injury, the host – Carrie’s so-called “friend”Kyra – lent her a pair of dirty old sneakers (3 sizes too big!!!) to walk home, but flat out refused to replace Carrie’s shoes. “I’ll write you a check for $200” she tried to bargain before gaslighting Carrie into thinking that her shoes were a frivolous purchase, not a reminder of all her accomplishments.
To get her Manolos replaced, Carrie had to send Kyra an engagement announcement. She was engaged to marry herself and she was registered at Manolo Blahnik.
While the episode aired in 2003, the sentiment it shared is no less relevant.
Weddings and babies are not the only milestones worth celebrating and yet we still have few common rituals for honoring our other achievements.
Why are our milestone moments still almost exclusively built around weddings and pregnancies?
Why don’t milestones like starting a small business, managing anxiety, and even figuring out actual motherhood (not just becoming a mom) get more recognition and support?
Here’s what 9 of you said…
I was given so much stuff and attention for my baby but not when I got my degree or started a business… those were hella hard! I try to make it a point to celebrate those for others now
The amount of attention I get now [while pregnant] is a very weird feeling. While I already love this baby in my belly a whole lot, I know that this is not my whole life identity and that it doesn’t make me better than anyone else.
It really makes me wonder what people thought of me beforehand because of all of the messages I get now about my life being complete now and how I made the “right decision” 🤔🤷
So true, I am finally (nearly) over with anxiety disorder and It is such a victory! But it is not something worth a card or a party it seems 😪
I feel the same about not having children! Never my dream! Other people’s dream – not mine. Glad other women feel the same! ❤️
When I got divorced, there was no one there to support or celebrate me for deciding to choose myself. It felt so isolating. The same people who should’ve been there in my time of need are the same ones asking when I’ll date, get married AGAIN and “finally” have kids. Disregarding the fact that I could still be grieving or that my other accomplishments are worth celebrating since I am the most successful and mentally stable person in my entire family tree 🤦🏽♀️.
When I got divorced, my family was heartbroken and made it seem that I’d lost the most important part of myself, despite my repeated insistence that it was GOOD news for me. It made me feel completely unsupported.
And what’s even crazier is that you are celebrated so much in the moment- when you’re pregnant or a few weeks after giving birth, but the support is needed well beyond that. As a mom of 3 small kids, the kind words, understanding & support during these times of actually raising kids is where it matters.
Normalize a new set of milestones. I personally would love to celebrate the first week I successfully resist people pleasing, or replace self-critical thoughts with empowering ones. Marriage and parenting are no doubt difficult. But our successes in those endeavors depend on our ability to successfully show up for, take care of, and invest in ourselves. Especially as women—who are told from birth our job is to care for and put everyone else first—those personal, quiet wins should be celebrated.
Business showers are the greatest invention such sliced bread!! The more we do it the more it will be come the norm for female entrepreneurs. 🥳🥳🥳
If what we celebrate and support is an indication of what we see and value in one another, it’s time to end the narrative that the only things worth celebrating are baby bumps and diamond rings.
If we believe women are more than wives and mothers, let’s find ways to expand how we celebrate by championing milestones beyond pregnancies and engagements.
As you may know, my own experience of this inspired me to start a small greeting card company, Statement Cards. Whether it’s supporting your sister as she starts her own business, congratulating your bestie when she scores a raise or taking a moment to acknowledge yourself when you finish paying off your student loans, I created Statement Cards to help you celebrate – joyfully and unapologetically.
But greeting cards are just the start. There are so many more milestones worth celebrating and so many more ways to commemorate them, so please let me know what and how you’d like to celebrate in the comments – and let’s get these parties started!
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Image: Kevin Dodge/The Image Bank via GettyImages