As regular readers of my posts know, I have two different children from two different fathers and I have never tied the knot. I CHOOSE to live MY life as a non-wife. But what makes me so furious that I want to actually throw my laptop across the room are when readers have the nerve to call my children “illegitimate,” a word I haven’t ever uttered. Ever.
If anyone came up to me and said, “Your children are BASTARDS and illegitimate,” I would punch them in the face and gladly take the jail time.
My children are as legitimate as any other children. They are precious and the fact that I have never married is because I don’t want to get fucking married. Yes, I accepted two proposals. And time goes by, I just say, “That’s my husband.”
I’m also appalled that so many people still seem to think it’s the woman who pushes for marriage. Never ONCE have I said to either fiancé “SET THE DATE! SET THE DATE!” I have told both of the men who proposed to me that I really don’t want to get married, but I do want to be with them. (Yes, the first one didn’t work out, but hey, most partnerships don’t.)
In my mind, with both my children’s fathers, I felt and feel married. I AM NOT AGAINST MARRIAGE. For others. For me, well, I do think it’s archaic. That’s MY opinion. Most of my friends, but not all, are married and never ONCE has any one of my friends EVER used the term “bastard” or “Illegitimate” when it comes to my children.
My 94-year-old grandfather, when he was alive, didn’t seem to have a problem with me having a child without being married. Is the notion really that just because I’m not married, I don’t love and cherish my children?
A while ago, I met Kate Hudson. We talked babies and cravings (she craved sweets and I craved carbs and we had a really lovely time together.) She has two children with two different fathers and I don’t think she’s in ANY rush to go to the altar with the father of her second child. I wonder if those who think, or use, the word “illegitimate” actually leave their house.
The other day, my daughter told me that one of her friend’s parents recently got separated. “And guess what mommy? Her father is now gay and has a boyfriend,” she continued. My daughter told me this as if she was asking, “Can I go for a bike ride?” She was so blasé about it.
My daughter also had a friend come over two weeks ago. This 9-year-old girl told me her father was 72 years old. Of course I asked her if she had step-siblings.
“Yeah,” she responded. “My stepsisters are the same age as my mother.”
I then asked, “So it’s your dad’s second marriage?”
My daughter’s friend responded, “Actually, my mom is his third wife,” as if it was the most perfectly natural thing in the world.
Do I think this is bad for these children? Nope. I think it’s called the year 2013! There are gay fathers. There are lesbian mothers. There are people who marry three times. Women are having children on their own. Would you ever say to them that their children are “illegitimate?”
Even though I may not to be married, my daughter talks about marriage and how many children she will have. I listen and even help plan her future wedding (red cake, red dress). I think it’s fucking fabulous that a little girl can talk openly about her gay dad or a dad who has a wife who is the same age as her stepsisters.
It doesn’t bother me when people are appalled, for whatever reason, that I am not married. I DO care, however, that people seem to think it’s okay to call my children “illegitimate.”
My children are as happy as the child whose parents got divorced and the child with the gay father or the child whose dad has been married three times — and of course — as a child whose parents are married.
I realize I write about my life publicly and I am willing to take the heat. Hey, go after me! But Mama Bear comes out when innocent children are called “illegitimate.”
Because you know what’s even more archaic than expecting all women to get married before having babies? Using the word “illegitimate.”