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Kids without Marriage

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Lately, my husband and I have been trying to have a baby, so I've been going to a pregnancy website more often to get prepared for if it ever happens. While browsing the forums over there, I am absolutely flabbergasted at how many people are actively trying to have kids- without being married!!!

And I don't mean "we don't believe we need a religion or government to tell us we're commited, and we are commited to each other". I mean "I'm getting ready to ovulate, hope my boyfriend will propose soon!" or worse "I'm getting ready to ovulate, hope my boyfriend and I stay together long enough!"

I know I have very strong and biased opinions about this. Basically, it comes down to, if you are not ALREADY commited to each other in a public way- I don't care if it's religious, government, or just between you two and friends and family-you should NOT be TRYING to bring kids in to the world. In fact, you should try to prevent it until you are settled!!

So I'm here, making my very first thread in IMO in order to ask for your guys' help! As I said, I recognize that I am strongly biased in this, so I would love to hear all your opinions on this type of thing. If you agree with me, I'd love to hear why you feel that way! As for me, I think it's terrible if you bring a kid in to this world with a huge (and without a public commitment, it is huge, even if you're in denial) chance that you two will split and just leave the poor innocent kid in the middle of a messy situation. If you disagree with me, and think it's fine "as long as the kid is cared for", I really want to hear your reasons! Hearing your reasons will help me have a more open mind about this, and lessen my chance of saying something to get myself in trouble over there!
post #2 of 27
My personal issue with those comments you related would not be so much about them being married as it would to the fact that they don't seem to be old enough or certainly mature enough to even be thinking about having a child. Those comments you noted sound more like what a 15 year old would say so, in cases like those I would say a definite NO to having children.

As for children without marriage, I personally don't have a problem with it as long as both parents are committed to each other and the child.
post #3 of 27
I am completely with you on this matter...kids should be after a commitment ( yes some will say this can happen without paper and ceremony_
post #4 of 27
People have all sorts of reasons for having children (or wanting children), and unfortunately, I don't think a lot of them are the right ones.

This is a tough one for me. I am definitely not in the "you must be married before having children" camp. Personally, I don't think it matters a whit. My parents were not married when I was born, and I was a healthy, well-adjusted child who grew into a healthy, well-adjusted adult. What matters is the quality of the parenting (and I realize how lucky I am that I had great parents), and I don't think you have to be married to provide quality parenting.

On that note, I also don't think that you have to be committed to another person to be a quality parent.

However, I also don't think that jumping from relationship to relationship and having unsafe sex is the mark of a healthy person who is ready to be a healthy parent. Saying, "I hope my boyfriend sticks around," or "I hope I get a proposal" sounds fishy to me... like someone is hoping that a pregnancy will secure a commitment of some sort. Which it won't, and which is a really crummy reason to make a baby.

That being said, I think if someone is making a conscious decision to be a single parent, and they have the means, the desire, the resources, and the intent... there is no reason why they can't be a good one. Are two good parents better than one? Sure! The more people who can love a child and be a positive role model for a child, the better! But one great parent is better than two lousy ones. One great parent is at least equal to, if not better than, one great parent and one lousy one.

So it's a tough issue. I'm not necessarily opposed to parenthood without a committed relationship... I am opposed to parenthood for the wrong reasons, and I'm opposed to parenting.

Does that make sense?
post #5 of 27
I agree that they sound immature which is NOT a good basis for having a child! I think if you are actually PLANNING it, you either need to be in a healthy, committed relationship, or you need to understand the struggles of being a single parent, be willing to accept the sacrifices, have a good support network who understands the important of you having a child, and the maturity to deal with the ups and downs.

I think there's so many young people out there who maybe didn't get what they needed as a child, and feel as if having a child themselves will fix everything, or it will make their boyfriend love them more. They don't see the committment that's required, or understand how much it will change their lives.

Unfortunately, they would never listen to anybody else.
post #6 of 27
I think it is ideal for a child to have 2 healthy happy parents in life. In gives them the balance of two different people to learn from. I say people because gay people have children as couples too so it is not just man and woman.
Marriage would be the golden ideal but if that can't happen then I hope the two people are balanced and healthy enough to both be involved and loving.
If that can't happen then one great parent can be good too if they know how to create a loving circle around them.

But the people on that website sound like irresponsible immature fools. They want an object not a child. They plunge these children in these toxic lifestyles therefore creating a cycle. I think something is not right with those folks.
post #7 of 27
hmmmm

i always was going to wiat till i got married before i had a child but now i think well why should i spend 10grand on a wedding so i can have a little bit of paper to say im married just to stay politically correct about having a child

yes i am engaged have been for over a year nearly 2, been with my partner for 4 years nearly 5 and we are now discussing the idea of having a child, we do not have any plans of getting married anytime soon, infact if anything i would want my child / children to be part of my 'big' day

i dont agree that you have to be married to have a child, all my friends that have children have been with there partners for years and have kids and aren't married
post #8 of 27
I dont think you need to be married to have a kid. Rob and I are never having any, so that never would have been a problem for us. But my friend is 29 with two kids and not married (she HAD been engaged to both fathers at one point in time). Her kids are 10 and 4, very happy, well behaved, well adjusted kids. It probably helps that she still has a civil relationship with both dads and they are not hostile towards each other.

The people on that board sound like those teens in CT or wherever it was who made a pact to have kids. Too immature to have them. They probably want the kids for the wrong reasons (ie: to keep a relationship together; to have something to "love them", etc.)

I think maturity more than marriage/engaged commitment is most important.
post #9 of 27
does not shock me, They been teaching for how long that the male is not needed for the family.

i once lived in the poor part of town, more then once, i would hear some young girl say, "I can't wait to have baby and get on the walfare" many saw it as a paycheck, or thought it was something to love them.
post #10 of 27
I would personally not have a child outside of marriage. But then again I am never having children. It's just a personal belief I have.

However, I don't care who get's knocked up when or how or with who if they are married or not. As long as you can feed and cloth the thing, then more power to you.
post #11 of 27
Well I am not married and I am pregnant. I was on the pill and still got knocked up I am pro-choice, but personaly would never be able to get an abortion. Eric asked me to marry him and I said no. Personally I do not believe in getting married just because you are prego. Eric and I love each other, but I am just not ready to take that step. If marrige is forever why does it need to be rushed? (and I really don't want to be fat in my wedding dress).

I get alot of dirty looks from people when they see my belly and no wedding ring. This one lady ask me if my hubby was excited and I told her that I was not married, but yes the father is excited. She gave me the dirtyest look and just walked away from me!!!

Eric and I are also mature enough and are able be responsible for are actions. Those girls on that site sound like they are unstable and very immature! It is like baby season right now though. There is like 20 poeple from my graduation calss that are having or had kids. I have 2 close friends who are also prego and due just a few weeks after me!
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your responses! I knew you guys would all have very good input.

A lot of you bring up a very good point that as long as the parent- preferably both, but at least one- is mature and responsible, the baby can be just as happy and healthy. It is good for me to hear these things! Though I don't think I'm ready yet to change my mind about two commited parents being best, I definitely understand better about one!

Emy4cats, congratulations! If you don't mind my asking, when are you due? Also, I want to say that your case isn't the type that shocks me. It's one thing for it to "just happen" (wish that would happen to me!), what shocked me was how many are actually trying for a baby.

One last thing from me- I definitely want to say that the ladies on the other site are mostly really, really good mature people. I think I came off sounding a little harsher than I meant to! It's only a few people and times that I read comments like that. Over all it's a really good group of people.

Oh, and by all means, please continue to give input if there is more out there!
post #13 of 27
I do agree with a lot of your points - not just from a moral/family basis but also from a religious one too.

I think its VERY wrong to bring a child into the world to "fix" a relationship/marriage. A child should be wanted by BOTH the mother and the father.

Its soooo sad that women and men are willing to jump in bed but never think of the consequences if she gets pregnant. I hate the tv shows where the woman is trying to figure out the father of the child and is all sad one min and screaming at him in the next saying he's "no good, etc." - well he was good enough when you slept with him wasn't he?

The children suffer in the end. The parents don't think about the consequences, they don't care if they stay together or not, the kids grow up without a mother and a father and a strong family unit. The ideal family is mother/father/child because a child needs the influence of both parents/sexes to grow up healthy.

Too many breakdowns in the family are resulting in kids having much more problems now then in the past. Seems that "anything goes" and no one really cares about what its doing to the kids and the next generation. We are on a very slippery slope and very few see or care.
post #14 of 27
At one time, I entertained the idea of having a child on my own. I got divorced when I was 30, and I've never really found anyone that interested me enough to get into a relationship with. Somehow, the time never seemed to be the "right" time, and I kept putting it off. I'll be 50 in a couple of months, so I guess it's out of the question now.
post #15 of 27
I honestly think it's better for a child to be raised by a single parent from the get-go than to be raised in a couple that got married because one member really really wanted a child and decided that they needed to be married and stay married in order to have a child. In the latter case, it seems too likely to me that the child will be poisoned by growing up in an unhappy home. A happy, capable single parent is a better than a tumultuous, painful family.

On the other hand, a women trying to trick a man into getting her pregnant just because she wants a child isn't fair to the father.

I agree with everyone else that what matters is the parent(s) resources and personal drive to raise a child well.
post #16 of 27
IMO - A child is an overwhelming and huge responsibility. I think some people have the wrong mentality about raising a child, they think it will different than it really is going to be as it is hard to imagine being a parent for some until you are really there. Or maybe they just don't think long term, they don't think about all the little things? Or maybe they aren't thinking at all? So many different situations, too many, to speak for everyone. I believe it DOES take a team. I believe the kids benefit from a committed relationship that is solid and good, that being a mom and a dad, or at the very least two loving caring individuals who are there for the child and in stable relationship. Kids do love stability.

In today's American society, with the US being so huge and people moving all the time for college/jobs/and everything else, many families live apart, kids juggle a lot of social relationships, many have two different families they identify with, or even more, or they don't identify with their family at all and feel isolated and left behind. As one of my clients recently said, they could sneak out and go wherever they wanted whenever they wanted, their parents were more concerned with keeping tabs on each other than on their own child. Too busy fighting with each other to care about their child's needs.

Most parents in the US can't always count on grandpa and grandpa, sister, aunt, uncle and all of that to help them and to be an influence in the kids life on a daily basis, sometimes they can't even count on the other person they made that baby with to be either. Being a parents is a hard enough job in a stable committed relationship. I would never have a child without having stability, in life and in my relationship with their dad. I want my children to have the best start, and I think that is part of it. But then again, there are some really awesome single parents out there and the kids are well adjusted (and many are better off than if that parent had stayed with the other parent). And I admire them. And then some that are not doing a good job and are just in over their head and the kid suffers. Regardless, I wouldn't have a child without a loving, stable, and committed relationship that is me personally. My husband and I have been married for years without children. We do want children but are not ready and don't take the responsibility lightly. We know our lives will change the instant baby is on their way and we want to be as ready as we can be
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelongsToEvie View Post
Lately, my husband and I have been trying to have a baby, so I've been going to a pregnancy website more often to get prepared for if it ever happens. While browsing the forums over there, I am absolutely flabbergasted at how many people are actively trying to have kids- without being married!!!
Are you a little jealous that some of them are having no problem getting pregnant, yet you have to actually try? And that you're going through what seems the most responsible route (not arguing that), doing everything right? It seems your first post is a little emotionally charged. Though, understand, I'm not judging you for that if you are/were. You're human, you have emotions, and you really want to be a mother.

Try not to let them force you into making snap judgments about others, though. Someone you think is wrong or immature for their choices may just be coming off wrong online, and who knows - in real life that person could be the type that would bend over backwards to help another person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emy4cats View Post
I get alot of dirty looks from people when they see my belly and no wedding ring. This one lady ask me if my hubby was excited and I told her that I was not married, but yes the father is excited. She gave me the dirtyest look and just walked away from me!!!
I bet that hurts a bit, doesn't it? Just remember she doesn't know you and you sure as heck didn't ask for her opinion on the matter.
Good for you for not letting this rush your decision, either. You should be sure that the relationship is truly there before tying yourself to a person and chancing that it may not work.


And now days, since when does marriage mean people will stay together? or even that they should. I know there's more than a few of us who can point out that even though our parents were married it didn't mean they should have had children. It's just a title, aside from some legal status, it means nothing ultimately about a person's character.


As I said in the lounge. I hate it when people force their morals and values (among other things) on others. It's something that is personal to you. If you can't accept that others are different, and have their own lives to live, you may find you end up pushing people away.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emy4cats View Post
Well I am not married and I am pregnant. I am pro-choice, but personaly would never be able to get an abortion. !
I am so glad you are going to have your baby!
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
strange_wings, I always enjoy your posts, you always have some good insight!

As for me being jealous, no, I don't think that's the case. For one, we have only been off "protection" for just over a month now, so there's not a lot of frustration there. And for two, most of the people who posts things like that have been trying a lot longer. Though I am the first to admit that I am quite jealous of those girls that sign on there to say "I sure hope this doesn't mean I'm pregnant!", and then end up being pregnant and don't want the baby. That doesn't seem fair to those that really want to and can't.

But back on topic!

You are certainly right that I was emotionally charged in that post. But only for the reasons I stated- it really does bother me that these people are, from the impression I get, at least, trying to bring a child in to what seems like an unstable situation. I admit I was a bit more emotional than seems justifiable, but that is exactly why I came on here- to hear the other side and balance out my emotions a bit and get some more insight from the "other side".

I'm definitely trying not to judge any one, which again is a lot of the reason why I came on here to ask all your opinions and why I don't say anything over on those forums. And why I also added in my second post that really, they seem like very good people! Except for a few posts that completely caught me off guard.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
At one time, I entertained the idea of having a child on my own. I got divorced when I was 30, and I've never really found anyone that interested me enough to get into a relationship with. Somehow, the time never seemed to be the "right" time, and I kept putting it off. I'll be 50 in a couple of months, so I guess it's out of the question now.
same here. i'd've considered adoption, but i would've been a single parent - very difficult [& expensive] to do. i also considered artificial insemination - not seriously enough to check out expenses before my body made the decision for me [i went thru early menopause @ 40]. i'm also 50 now, so i feel that it's really too late to begin a family as a single parent now. even if i didn't, i'd have to adopt, since i'm no longer fertile.
post #21 of 27
As long as in the end the child made is care for I don't care if the couple is married or not. My first child I got pregnant when I was on depo. His dad left me and I ended up placing him with my mother for him to be raised by her. This was at her and my step dad's request.

My second son was conceived and born before me and my husband were together for even a year. He was planned.

Same with my third son. We were not married and we actively were trying to conceive. About a month after his birth we had a small wedding ceremony.

Our last son was conceived during our marriage.

WE have now been together 10 years this coming April. We have been married 7 years this Dec.
post #22 of 27
You know, I about my pants when one of my co-workers looked at me - at 21 years old - and said flabbergasted "You mean you don't have kids?!"

I'm 21, why would that mandate I have kids?!

IMO, it has become far too acceptable to have 1....2.....3 kids when you aren't married. None have the same father (if there isn't more than one possibility for the father). I worked with a gal who was 21, had 2 kids already (from 2 guys), was dating a third....and now she's pregnant with his kids (twins - and she's 80% certain he's the father). Oh & she's no longer dating the guy - he moved out, took a bunch of her & the kids stuff with him & she hasn't heard from him since.

I think that there are many people out there who aren't married that successfully raise children. But there are also many people out there who are popping out kids to get extra $$ from "the system", or who have the kid to make the boyfriend stay!
post #23 of 27
I believe you should be in a committed relationship before kids. If you choose to be a single parent, you should be aware of all the sacrifices you will have to make, and not expect special treatment. Nothing irritates me more then have someone tell me "I am a single parent" and then expect you to feel sorry for them and let them get their way because they were irresponsible. I know that things happen, spouse dies, or something other than a irresponsible boyfriend leaves, then I am all for lending a helping hand until they get on their feet, but just to get welfare or have something to love is wrong.
I have been with the same man for 23 years, and we we decided not to have a family, so we never got legally married. If I had become pregnant before I got my tubes tied, it would have been a different story.
Maybe I am just old fashioned, but I think kids deserve 2 loving parents. They don't ask to be here, and it is both parents responsibility to give them a decent raising.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
You know, I about my pants when one of my co-workers looked at me - at 21 years old - and said flabbergasted "You mean you don't have kids?!"

I'm 21, why would that mandate I have kids?!

IMO, it has become far too acceptable to have 1....2.....3 kids when you aren't married. None have the same father (if there isn't more than one possibility for the father). I worked with a gal who was 21, had 2 kids already (from 2 guys), was dating a third....and now she's pregnant with his kids (twins - and she's 80% certain he's the father). Oh & she's no longer dating the guy - he moved out, took a bunch of her & the kids stuff with him & she hasn't heard from him since.

I think that there are many people out there who aren't married that successfully raise children. But there are also many people out there who are popping out kids to get extra $$ from "the system", or who have the kid to make the boyfriend stay!

I agree. You see alot more women out there with more then one child from more then one man. My cousion's mother (my uncle devorced her) Has 5 kids from 4 men. The oldest (my cousin) is 31 and the youngest is 10. She pop'ed out kids to get money from the gov. Now she muches off of her kids. She has never worked a day in her life, but she complains about how hard her life is with raising all these kids blah blah blah.
Eric and I had an unexpected pregnancy and are both willing to do everything we can to creat a stable enviorment for are child. I knew he was a keeper, because when I first got prego we had not been offically "together" very long. We have been friends for cloes to 3 years now, but as a couple were fairly new. I offered him to go home to Cali and work things out on my own, because I understood him being scared. When i offered him his chance out he looked at me and said "there is no way I am letting you walk out that door carrying my child. We BOTH play a part in this and I am not going to let you do this alone." We both understand the huge sacrifice and that it will not be easy. We also know that we love each other and are willing to work through the good and the bad.
I think the problem today is that:
1 poeple see abortion as a form of birth contorll.
2 Parents!!!!! Too many parents are not talking to their kids about the subject and expect the school to teach them, BUT too many schools have gotten sued by parents who don't want to expose there chirlden to what I like to call REAL LIFE and have to walk a thin line when talking about birth contorl and other things along this line.
3 The goverment! STOP GIVING MONEY TO POEPLE WHO ARE USEING YOU AS A PAYCHECK!!!!!
4 The meida!! How many young moms do you see in all those TV shows? The kids in "high school" look 25!! Being a young single mother is like the popular thing to do these days apperently! I know you can't balme it all on TV, but I have alreadly listed parents I can think of at least FIVE shows on basic cable (thats all I get) that have Young (18-25) single mom's in it. I know 5 does not seam like alot, but I get a total of 13 chanels, so its alot to me

I hope that I do not sound like a hypocrite. I am not saying that I am just better then all the other young single mom's out there. What i am trying to say is that I actually have an understanding of what I am getting myself into and am dirtimed to do things as right as possible. Unlike these girls out there who are wanting to have kids to "make him stay arround" or to get more welfare money.

I used to take care of this girl who's mother is a single mom. She made more money thenboth my parents do put together!! She was never married. Actually she went to a sperm bank and had her daughter that way! She is a great mom and will do anything for her daughter! It all comes down to WHO the parent is. Some can make it work, some can't.
post #25 of 27
I think so long as the person(people) who will be responsible for raising the child truly wants the baby and is prepared emotionally, financially, and educationally, then they should do it. Otherwise, they should either hop on that train real fast to get where they need to be 9 months from now, or find someone who is willing to (adopt).

There is no reason a single mother (or father) who has a good job, is emotionally ready, and has educated herself on how to raise a child will be any less of a parent, just like there is no guarantee that a married couple will be ready/willing/able parents.

True-- it's easier with two than one parent, all else being equal.
post #26 of 27
I believe every child born deserves a daddy and a mother who are married to each other, no exceptions.
post #27 of 27
I agree that it is better for a child to have a mom and dad however I would rather be born without a father figure then not born at all.
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