Friday, April 13, 2012

Proud Member of the Unwed Mothers Club

The May 2012 issue of Glamour has an interesting article on divorce and how women today look at marriage and how their views can be affected by celebrities, friends and family they know who split after walking down the aisle. 

The article also mentions that 53 per cent of babies delivered by women under 30 are born out of wedlock (Source: Child Trends - 2009 data). If I lived in the United States, I would be a part of this statistic. To give you an idea of how this "trend" works, back in 1970, only 12 per cent of mothers under 30 were unwed at the time of their child's birth and in 1990 the number rose to 34 per cent.

I know quite a few other couples doing what Chris and I are - raising our baby with common law status instead of being married. On the Today show a few weeks back they also did a segment about this data, and mentioned that while their parents were not married, a larger percentage of babies born out of wedlock still had both of their parents living with them as a family unit.

I don't think Hannah cares whether or not her parents are married, at least not for now. (I won't ignore there have been reports that Brad and Angelina's army of school-age children have started to question why their dad and mom aren't married.) I'm pretty sure right now she's just happy to know there are two people who love her, feed her body and mind, and of course change her dirty diapers.

One need not look far to understand why the carriage comes before marriage more often than not these days. My parents are divorced. Many people in my extended family are divorced. And unfortunately, statistics have a few of my married friends becoming divorced in the near future too.

My thoughts about marriage have often differed depending on who I was dating at the time. I always thought that line "You'll just know" ridiculously unhelpful and quite frankly untrue. Not to get all mushy, but when I started to date Chris I DID know. It was just different. There was no drama. We fight, but there has always been this underlying honesty to our relationship. When one of us messes up, it's not to intentionally hurt the other person. It's because neither of us are perfect and we are going to make mistakes.

So when I found out I was pregnant I didn't care that there was no ring on my finger. I knew a few months in to dating Chris I wanted to marry him and start a family. I just didn't expect it would happen in this order. And I think I would be lying if I didn't mention a few of the older folks in my life wish it hadn't.

Hannah shares a last name with Chris, and it is my intention to make it my last name too some day. But I don't see a point in racing down the aisle. A piece of paper won't change the loving family we have already created for ourselves and our daughter. I already know that Chris is my husband and I am his wife - and eventually, the Government will know it too.

1 comment:

  1. Of course, hours after I publish this...guess which couple is in the news for getting engaged???


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