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Why Young Moms Aren't Getting Married

Why Young Moms Aren't Getting Married

Why Young Moms Aren't Getting Married

Like many moms who are unmarried, Denise E. questions the "big race" to march down the aisle. She and her boyfriend decided to have kids together without getting married, and she believes that having a child, or even a baby on the way "should not affect the decision about marriage."

As conversations on Circle of Moms reveal, Denise's view of marriage and parenthood is no longer in the minority. Here, she and other Circle of Moms members share the reasons they’re living with the fathers of their children rather than marrying them.

1. We're Committed Even Without a License

Kimbeley is among many unmarried moms who feel that every child needs and deserves a happy, loving and supportive upbringing, but that over time, actions speak louder than a title or written declaration. In other words, raising kids right doesn't necessarily require married parents: “I have a baby, he was planned, his dad and I own a house together, and we're not married,” she offers. “I think a good solid relationship based on love and understanding is the most important thing, not a relationship forced together ‘for the good of the kids.'"

She and her boyfriend are among the many couples who are choosing to become parents together but not get married because they simply don’t believe that a legal agreement promises stability or happiness. Stephanie C. is another, and she explains it from what she feels is the child's perspective: "Honestly in my opinion, I don’t think it really matters to the child if you are married or not. . . If it’s a happy and loving home your child will thrive and live a great life."

 

2. Marriage Isn't What It Used to Be

Times have changed, says a Circle of Moms member named Maria. "It is just ‘the older generation’ that believes you should get married," she says. Yes, our grandmas might insist that marriage is the only way to have children, but Maria is just one of many who believe that the institution doesn’t seem as significant anymore. As Chantel R. explains, “I don't think being married makes you any more committed than two people who live together for years without that piece of paper."

And Emma B. feels that today's economic realities are stalling many young people's launches into stable adult lives without squelching their desire to become parents: “In an ideal world we would all be married to wonderful men, be financially stable, etc. before we have our planned pregnancy. But how often does that happen? Forcing a relationship that isn’t functioning is teaching your kids the wrong message about relationships.”

3. One or Both of Us Isn't Ready for Marriage

Many young moms (and dads) are also resolved that unplanned pregnancies should not translate into an automatic walk down the aisle with the wrong person. “I have a friend who got married when he was 20 because he knocked up his girlfriend,” says Kate C. “He was so terrified of his mother that he caved when she demanded the two get married. It's been about 5-6 years and they are getting divorced, have three children together, and have been cheating on each other for years. I think getting married because you're pregnant is not a good idea. I think you should get married because you found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.”

Finally, although people commonly assume it's the father who's not ready for the committment of marriage, Denise, whose daughter is now four, says she's the one who simply isn't ready. While her boyfriend has wanted to get married for some time, Denise feels she won't be ready until she has a career: "Everything we have is technically his. It’s so important to me to have a career. I pretty much feel incomplete and I want to better myself before I take that next step.”

Image Source: Design with Chon via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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Join The Conversation
TaylorRose35991 TaylorRose35991 3 years
i got married because, all of us having the same last name was significant to me for one, and also, for tax reasons and to be legally recognized as a team the way we are all the time. he's a part of me and i'm a part of him, in our hearts and on paper
RochelleCollingsworth RochelleCollingsworth 3 years
Because it was stated, I will start by saying that there are many evidences that prove the Bible is full of accurate historical accounts. Many scientific discoveries have proven things written in the Bible as well. I know many people really don't want to ever believe anything based on faith, but these same people were created by God with a need to believe in Him. Faith is believing something without seeing it or being able to completely prove it. It is a simple thing really, but hard for many to do. I believe part of that is many people don't want to believe they need to live under a Creator's authority But, if you look at the world around you and really try to make sense of it, the only real explanation is a Creator. And this Creator has given us the Bible, written by men, but inspired by God, our Creator. It is a handbook of how to live this life we are given to navigate. And like it or not, there are issues that have right and wrong answers. God set up marriage to happen first - before sex and certainly before children. When we get that out of order there are consequences to face. Sure, married couples have struggles and many times make mistakes as parents. But, you know what, that is because we're human and we are going to make mistakes. As for getting married because you're pregnant - I agree. It's a bad idea. The problem started when the order got messed up. Sex shouldn't have happened before marriage. Two people need to commit to be in the relationship for the long hall, and before God, and then within that relationship have children. If you are choosing to have a child and you say you are not yet ready for marriage - there is a real problem in understanding your adulthood. Bottom line - the truth is God ordained marriage first and then children were born. Whether you like it or not, it is the truth.
JeanineKreider JeanineKreider 3 years
Many of the posts are from moms who don't know how to explain to their kids why they only have one parent. I think most kids like to have a mom and a dad, and they like to be like other kids. They don't think I'm different; I'm cool. If they are in a one-parent family who can support and raise them, more power to them. But deliberately planning to have a family if you can't do it without help isn't ideal.
RitaBrhel95842 RitaBrhel95842 3 years
It seems that people who don't want to get married have had past trauma related to divorce and such.
RitaBrhel95842 RitaBrhel95842 3 years
Marriage is way more than a piece of paper. It's a commitment that you'll be there no matter what, just like w/ your kid. Living together without marriage is like having a kid and thinking you can just drop her/him off at the adoption agency if things get too hard. What better way to model love, respect, commitment, etc. to your child than to do that w/ your child's father.
CoMMember13629391468839 CoMMember13629391468839 3 years
I read the article and also several comments. I agree that no one should get married just because of a pregnancy. More times than not the couple ends up in divorce. However, if you feel you are ready to have children with someone, and as a result that person will be in your life and your child's life for the rest of the time he or she is alive, then it should be a none decision to get married. In today's society everyone is looking for the easiest way to get out of things, and that includes marriage. It is much easier to leave someone if you are never married than to get married and actually try to make it work. Quite frankly, if you don't want to get married you should be having kids. Some people actually believe the children don't care as long as they are in a happy, loving home. I can tell you from first hand experience that couldn't be further from the truth. One day that child will ask why their parents didn't get married if they loved each other and planned to spend the rest of their lives together. My husband and I have been married for over 18 years. We have had just about every road block you can imagine from my husband being an Army recruiter, to have our only child dianosed with severe autism by age 3, to then having our only child passaway in 2008. There is more we have been through but just one of those things can break up a marriage quicker than anything else let alone all three. My point is don't use not getting married as a cop out. That's the easy way of saying that you are afraid to make the real commitment of marriage. Marriage is not easy. It takes a lot of work to where both communication and trust are key factors. Love doesn't make a marriage work but it's important to have. I am so grateful that I have been married to the love of my life for over 18 years because I could not have imagined doing it without him. However, if we had never gotten married, there would have been those times, like the death of our daughter that we would have ended up going our separate ways. It is because of our marriage that we make it work. If forces the issue of not giving up becuase to us divorce is not even an option on the table.
FiorellaBarnes FiorellaBarnes 3 years
If you are ready to have a child with someone...then you are ready to marry them. Having a child is PERMANENT....so that person will ALWAYS be in your life. It doesn't make sense for you to have children but then decide you don't need to marry them... why? The reason why some married couples are unhappy is because they don't realize what marriage means in the first place. They get married because they feel they are in love, but there's no foundation for that love. As Christians, my husband and I knew exactly what we were doing when we got married. We were saved after the birth of our child (who was born OUT of wedlock). I lived with my parents, he lived with his. After getting saved and saving up enough money we got married and started life together...our son was 3! We are happy now, and we knew exactly what we got ourselves into. Divorce is only for abusive relationships and infidelity ..and in those cases..that person doesn't love you anyway if that's whats happening. Otherwise, you stick it out through the tough times! You work together to make the relationship work..even if it means going through counseling. If you want to be with a person for the rest of your lives, why not marry them? Marriage does work, if you do it right and for the right reasons..and if you constantly work at it....but thats okay..if you are willing to make it work for the person you love.
JessFossing JessFossing 3 years
Is the writer kidding?Someone tell me she is kidding!! It's called find GOD, discover yourself, then commit to a relationship, then get married (only if you can actually commit), then and only then man and women are to become one and procreate. The world is becoming more and more dark because of people who actually believe what this author has stated. Seriously!! Makes me sick!! Anyone who actually follows God's teachings knows better than to believe this junk!!
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