Motherhood Without Marriage Should Be Applauded

single momIt's possible that none of our kids will take much heed to the childhood diddy that goes, "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Charlie pushing a baby carriage!" Especially since two-thirds of babies are now being born to women under the age of 30 and unmarried. This traditional set-up is going the way of the dodo, and even I -- a married mother to two -- can totally understand why.

While the conventional wisdom says this is not a great thing, and it's true many of these children wind up living in poverty, marriage just doesn't seem necessary anymore. Parents? Absolutely necessary. Marriage? Eh.

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Of course I had my first child in my 30s, and I'm college-educated, so I'm not exactly the demographic that causes some concern. I am, however, a very staunch believer in doing what works for you rather than what someone tells you to do. It's actually a good thing that women no longer believe they have to be tied to a man in order to take care of themselves or their children.

Believe me, I know being a single mother is incredibly difficult. My own mother was single for a period and we were struggling. But it's much worse to be raising children while trapped in a horrible relationship because you believe (or society believes) marriage is the only way. Your children will suffer much more from a violent, or depressive, household than from having only one happy parent, who also happens to be working her butt off to pay the bills.

Again, I'm not advocating every lady go have children regardless of her marital status. Raising kids is incredibly difficult, doubly so if you don't have a supportive spouse. I'm just saying a non-supportive spouse is worse than simply doing it on your own, and it's a positive thing that women don't feel pressured into getting married any longer.

I, myself, thought my husband and I would raise children together but didn't think marriage had to be part of the equation. Needless to say, when he proposed, I accepted. But the actual piece of paper was not a prerequisite for knowing we were going to be building a life together, with children.

There are many different ways to parent; married with opposite sex parents, two same sex parents (married or not depending on the legality in your state), single parenting, grand parenting, and just about everything else you can think of. A solid home is what's important, not the marital status of those who live inside.

Do you think parents should be married?

 

Image via Parker Michael Knight/Flickr

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