Remember that childhood nursery rhyme that went like this: “_________ and _________ sitting in the tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage then comes ___________ with a baby carriage.”
Lately, I’ve noticed a trend among friends, peers, and acquaintances. It seems like the new thing is baby first and lifetime commitment later. Many people are completely disregarded the “rule” that was established in that old nursery rhyme. I mean even Sinatra sang about “Love & Marriage” and how it goes together like a horse and carriage. If Sinatra were still alive today the song would probably be changed to “Love & Children”.
Perhaps I’m just very old-fashioned and traditional but I’d like a man to make a commitment prior to attempting to impregnate me. Granted, some of my friends don’t want to get married anymore for various reasons. This also bothers me because when did marriage become such an impractical inconvenience? I thought the point of dating and entering a relationship was to find a person who you could see yourself marrying someday. Not on the condition that they have your child first. I guess this topic most bothers me because I was in a long-term relationship with a guy that I thought was leading to marriage. He always talked about getting me pregnant and not using protection. His words only spurred to me set a reminder for my birth control and stock up on condoms. He never asked me to marry him and the talks of marriage were brief and consisted of “one day”. Is marriage really that bad? This guy made it seem like it was a death sentence. But reflecting back, I can see that he was and is a man who never wanted to marry me or anybody for that matter.
Strangely enough he’s not the only guy I’ve ever met to bring up kids first before anything else. There was a guy I wasn’t even sure I like yet who kept asking if I wanted to have children. Do men have a biological clock too or something? Do they figure: “Well I don’t really want to be tied down to one woman forever, but I have to spread my DNA so maybe she’ll say yes to a baby.” Are there men who really think like that?
It all comes down to morals, ethics, and values. What are your morals, ethics, and values? What may be sensible or right for you isn’t sensible or right for me. In the end it’s all about life and how it’s going to play out. A very close friend of mine recently announced that she’s pregnant. This really surprised me because I always assumed she would be married before she had children. She comes from a family with pretty high morals and ethics about marriage before children. A lot of this has to do with her grandfather being a pastor. She has two younger sisters who married first and then had children. So imagine my surprise when I find out, through the friendship grapevine, that she’s pregnant. I’m happy for my friend but am concerned because while she loves the guy she’s with he hasn’t had the decency to marry her. This will be her first child, but not his. I’m just afraid that my friend fell in love with a “serial procreator”.
I understand that life is complicated. I’m not writing this to put down or belittle the choices or circumstances that anyone I know has found themselves in. I just know that for myself, I need a little more than let’s make a baby and have that be our lifetime commitment.