You Can’t Always Get What You Want

When I was a child, I despised the fact that my parents often said to me, “Veronica, don’t get your hopes up.”  They said this to me a lot, and it made me angry.  I felt that they didn’t want me to be happy, or didn’t want me to get whatever I was wishing so hard for.  But, now that I am a parent, I’m beginning to understand why they felt the need to say this phrase in particular.

As parents, they couldn’t bear to see me so disappointed when I wished so high for something that they couldn’t provide, was impractical or that I couldn’t achieve.  They loved me too much.  But, I never heeded the call.  I continued to live my life with my hopes up, and I created much disappointment to myself and created worry for my parents.

Growing up in New Jersey, USA, we were considered a low-income household back then.  But, I had large hopes and dreams.  The younger I was, these hopes were made up more of material items, and the older I became, they were more along the lines of opportunities or experiences.


Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post,, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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