Why I’m tired of the mentality that marriage = babies

Guest post by Katie
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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about when the right time will be for my husband and I to start trying to conceive. We’ve talked it out and have decided that it will be soon, but still not as soon as our loved ones are hoping for. We have decided that we don’t have to be in that perfectly ideal place financially and otherwise to have kids because, let’s be honest, I don’t know when or if we’ll get there. I don’t know if we’ll ever feel completely ready for such a gigantic shift in our lives and our priorities.

Thus far, life hasn’t gone for us how we’d expected, so I think letting go of some of the control of “when” feels freeing. Still, though: when it’s time, it has to feel right for us.

Right for us. Us, just the two. Spouse + Spouse. Potential parent + other potential parent. My friends do not get to decide when. My family does not get to decide when. ESPECIALLY those that are distant except when prying into our lives about such a personal thing.

It doesn’t feel right yet.

I’m not even going to get into the million reasons why it’s incredibly rude and insensitive to bother someone about when they’ll “finally” have kids. That’s not what this is about — that’s a rant for another time.

What I’ve been considering a lot lately, and what has been upsetting me, is that marriage seems to = babies according to common logic. I find myself not just frustrated as a woman that is simply not damn ready to have a baby yet, but also insulted for pretty much any family that has done things differently.

Why is it that as soon as my husband slipped that wedding band on my finger I suddenly became a baby making machine? Why is it that baby making is associated with marriage at all?

Sure, I’ll cut my own friends and family some slack because it’s known that I do want children someday. But what’s with all my Child-Free friends constantly having to deal with pressure to procreate even after they’ve made it clear that kids aren’t in the picture — ever? They should be able to enjoy their sparkly rings and champagne toasts without, “Okay, you’re married, NOW you’ll have kids, RIGHT?!”

Even more than my Child-free friends I think of my friends that have kids and aren’t married. Some of them will get married when they’re ready, some may never get married, some are single, some hadn’t even had the option of marriage until recently (in Washington) or still don’t — the point is THAT marriage had nothing to do with their beautiful children. I believe that each of those children were a result of sex — not marriage. Certainly a child conceived by other means was the result of a desire for that child. Surely love plays a part, but love exists without marriage.

Comments on Why I’m tired of the mentality that marriage = babies

  1. I actually had a winning feeling the other day. A lady I work with just had a daughter get married and asked me the other day whether we were planning to have kids soon. I mentally went “Here we go…” but, as I explained part of the reason we are waiting(hubby needed back surgery in March and, while he was recovering from that, he was laid off. He’s found a new job paying better than the old one, but we’re still in flux as I decide what to do about my job), she started nodding like I was talking sense. Apparently, her daughter is being hounded by her MIL to start procreating immediately, while she wants her daughter to wait and enjoy being married for a while first.

  2. Even though Mr. Shed and I have made it abundantly clear that we never want children, we still get hounded about it but now it’s mostly family members asking WHY we don’t want children. Then when we honestly answer by saying because we’re selfish and like the freedom to do what we want when we want to, never mind the fact we don’t really like kids, we get some REALLY judgmental looks. Luckily (I suppose), I have type 1 diabetes (among other health issues) and I can usually placate people by telling them we don’t want children because we don’t want to risk passing it on to them. I also once had a (female) coworker tell me that I HAD to have kids because IT’S MY JOB.

  3. This past weekend my husband and I had to go to an out-of-town family funeral. We though that since we’d be seeing family, we’d share with them that we had put in an offer on a house, and that it was accepted. We were always “bugged” about kids, but I can’t tell you how many times we were bugged about kids this weekend. The fact that the current owners have a room set up as a nursery only made it worse. Honestly, at one point I thought to myself “and this is why I don’t mind that we moved to a different city.” I just wanted to scream for everyone to fuck off.

    We were always bugged about the next step: when would we get engaged; when would we get married; when would we buy a house? And the SECOND we had checked off that next step, people were already hounding about the step afterwards. Like, couldn’t we just enjoy dating? Couldn’t we just enjoy marriage? Can’t we enjoy moving into our first home?

    I have a couple friends who plan on not getting married, and I can only imagine how bad it is for them.

    Thank you for sharing this. I was going to say that it was nice to hear that others went through this – but really, it isn’t.

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