Everyone who has ever wanted children has dreamed of the white picket fence. You know, married to the love of your life, watching your children play, Fido running after them, and essentially having your shit together. While this certainly can be accomplished, we all know that things don’t always go exactly as we plan them to.
A lot of younger couples feel pressure to get married if they are expecting a baby. They feel judged for having a baby out of wedlock. Or they feel like they screwed up what they wanted for themselves. And I get that. BUT- and it’s a big but- you do not have to get married to the person you have a baby with.
It is so easy to lay down and make a baby. (Let’s face it… making a baby is the last thing you’re thinking about in that moment, if at all.) It is much harder to take responsibility and raise a baby into a functioning adult. There are a lot of things you need to find out about a person before marrying them, like:
- Are they respectful? How do they treat others?
- How do they handle arguments and their anger?
- How do they handle your anger?
- What are their personal goals? How do they plan to accomplish them?
- What are their opinions on discipline, education, etc? Do they match up with yours?
- Do your good times together outweigh the bad?
And those don’t even scratch the surface. The person you got pregnant with may not be the right person to spend the rest of your life with and that’s perfectly okay. You have to ask yourself what is worse; having a baby unmarried or marrying the wrong person and creating an unhealthy, unhappy atmosphere for your child and yourselves?
Yes, I am writing this from a married woman’s perspective. I’ve only been married for coming up on 4 years but most days it feels like we just got married. I think that makes this advice all the more valuable. Getting married young is one of the best things… if you are both mature enough to realize what it means. Marriage is more than a piece of paper, appearance/bragging rights or possession. It’s more than what you see on TV or social media. It is about love, respect, dedication, loyalty, sacrifice, effort. You have to give just as much as you receive. It sounds easy, but marriage is hard work and even harder if you are not a team.
So please, don’t make such an important decision without really thinking it through… twice.