Olive thinks that we should separate childbearing from marriage entirely because part of the reason why so many people get pressured into marriage when they aren’t ready is so they don’t “run out of time” to have kids. D.A. Wolf agrees, but with one caveat that came when her life was turned upside down by two kids despite her plans.
This is a comment by Olive and D.A. Wolf on the post “A Perfect Age for Marriage?“
I think women should separate childbearing from marriage, especially if they took the time to get educated and build a career. There’s no need to find a husband to do that, just a willing man. If that fails, there are sperm banks too.
What’s important is that under no circumstance should a woman put pressure on a man to procreate. I’m still a die-hard romantic in this regard, and I feel that a man should be doubly more willing to have children than to get married. I couldn’t care less if a man wanted to marry me or not, but I certainly want to hear that he’s chosen me to be the mother of his children.
D. A. Wolf responded:
I agree with Olive on this one, but with caveats.
Separating out childbearing from marriage is what an intelligent woman will do — I believe — certainly a woman who is considering becoming a “choice mom” rather than one making the terrible decision of whether or not to continue an unplanned pregnancy.
I was, at one time, a single 32-year old woman wondering exactly that. At the time, I made a decent living, but there was no man in the picture. I knew I had a few more “good years” ahead, and frankly, I wasn’t particularly interested in marriage – unlike most of my friends. Motherhood, to me, was also something I hadn’t set my sites on in the way most women do.
Still, at that age, I felt compelled to consider my options, and concluded that raising a child alone — with all the unknowns and no family support system — (note, I say raising a child, not giving birth to one) — that was a 20-year undertaking I couldn’t imagine, and I wanted any child I had to know two parents if possible, and not one.
It’s ironic that just a few years later I was in fact raising two children on my own … Precisely what I hadn’t wanted …
And having lived through the experience of slugging out parenting day in and day out, while trying to pay the bills and raise decent young men in a chaotic world, I will return to that caveat I mention to Olive.
Pregnancy, babies, even toddlers are one thing. Raising a child? It really does take that village, and in my opinion, as many good, strong role models as possible to do it right. Theoretically, there is stability and greater likelihood of that in marriage. But that’s theoretically—or—looking at the glass half full, that’s the case for 50 to 60% of the population (making some assumptions).
Separating children from marriage? Sure, we do it, and perhaps we must.
Forcing women to feel inferior if they do not marry (or remarry)? It pushes some into marriages that are disastrous, with lifelong consequences.
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