Why Don’t More Women Get Married Before Having Kids?
I know it’s #WetWednesdays and I’ve left you on a cliffhanger for two weeks but I took a much-needed vacation out of the country that got extended two extra days due to Hurricane Irene. #ImOkay Three flights and 24-hours later I just got back in to town/country yesterday and have serious jetlag and work in the morning so hopefully y’all can understand if I need a minute to get back on the blogging track.
WORDS BY TAIIA
After Beyoncé’s now famous “Love on Top” VMA performance on Sunday night—where she closed the set by dropping the mic and lovingly rubbed her pregnant belly—Twitter went slightly cray-cray. It was to be expected, no? BeyJay stans had waited for that moment.
Jay-Z supported his lady wife as she made career moves and he waited for that moment. But it’s what happened after that made-for-MTV moment that grabbed my attention. Let’s refer to it as: The Tweet Heard ’Round the World:
Beyoncé dated, got married and THEN got pregnant…Ladies take notes about the order.
I’m not sure who authored this tweet nor does that even matter at this point. But the retweeting and the responses were hard to ignore. Twitter comments ranged from (and I’m paraphrasing): “Let the church say amen” to “f*ck the order” to “damn, I guess every n*gga gone tweet this” to “word, get it right b*ches.”
Single moms (read: BABY MAMAS) were being attacked.
Women’s choices were given a collective *side eye.*
Men’s smash and dash behavior was ignored—as usual—as if women can impregnate themselves. (Not all men are like this. Trust, I know. I have a father, husband, brother, cousins and friends. And yes, I have eyes. I see my heroes in 3D.)
And there were a whole lotta assumptions made about “the right” way to do things.
Full Disclosure (Pt. 1):
- I’ve been married 14 years. One kid. Conceived in wedlock.
- I was raised by a single mom, who got married, divorced and became a single mom (all over again).
- I believe a two-parent household is still the trendiest accessory on the market, BUT…well, more on that later.
For all those wagging judgmental fingers at single moms and pretending that men don’t have a significant role in “the order” or the “right way,” just realize that relationships are complex. There isn’t a cookie cutter solution to relationships, babies and marriages. This is why some couples head for the altar, while others lead to the delivery room.
What’s lacking here is a blueprint, a plan, a clue.
Wait. Back up, how about we kick this thing off with something oh, so sexy…like a conversation? How about we discuss if the relationship is headed toward marriage (or simply a carriage) BEFORE the purple plus sign on the EPT pregnancy test reads positive?
“The right” way to create a family structure is debatable under review in 2011, especially when:
- Some men (and women) think marriage is for White people.
- Some couples remove marriage from their list of options because they swear it doesn’t work.
- Some of us have attended more baby showers than weddings and this has become the new normal.
- Some of us forgot to raise our boys to be more than just baby makers.
- Some of us would like to be mothers and don’t want to/need to/aren’t interested in/or are just tired of waiting years for our men to ask those four big-little words: Will. You. Marry. Me? to cure our maternal Jones.
1. I love, love. Not the stuff of romantic comedies. I’m talking about the let’s-build-n-grow-together type of love with the person who’s good TO YOU and good FOR YOU. #thelovemovement
2. I don’t romanticize marriage. Sometimes it doesn’t work. BUT sometimes, it does. Building a life with someone requires the following… (this is the short list):
- Good old-fashioned GUTS.
3. I believe a two-parent household is still the trendiest accessory on the market, BUT I know that wonderful human beings are raised by single moms. I RESPECT and SALUTE them.
If we’re really interested in following Beyoncé and Jay’s path, I’m going to need a second Tweet Heard ’Round The World, something to the tune of:
Many women prefer to date, marry and THEN have babies. Fellas, y’all take notes about the order.
Do you feel that people should ideally have children only in a marriage? What if it’s a committed relationship? How often do you consider whether or not the people you choose to sleep with are parent material? Do you have more respect for women that wait until marriage to have kids? Does it even matter if the marriage ends in divorce? Do you feel that “baby mamas” are always under attack? Why do the “baby daddies” tend to get off the hook? Is there a difference between a baby mama and a single mother? Are two-parent households more important than a marriage? Do you attend more baby showers than weddings? Are you excited about Beyoncé’s pregnancy or could you care less?
Speak your piece…