Two things happened in the span of one week that, again, made me wonder about marriage. Or rather what has become the new norm in relationships and parenting. The first was meeting Baby Daddy #1 for brunch. He had taken our daughter to ballet class and I was meeting them after for greasy eggs. I walked in a little late and in the restaurant ran into a mother at my daughter’s school. “Congratulations!” she told me, about my pregnancy. My daughter, apparently, had told her entire class that she was going to have a new sibling and also the name we had chosen. “We were wondering who the man with your daughter was,” this mother then said. “That’s her father,” I told her. I said goodbye and made my way over to the table where my daughter and her father sat. “Well, you’re definitely pregnant,” my daughter’s father said when he saw me. “Do you think that mother thinks we’re completely weird?” I asked Baby Daddy #1. I mean, there I was meeting Baby Daddy #1 for breakfast, while pregnant and showing with Baby Daddy #2’s child in my belly.
But, really, I think THIS is the new norm. There are dozens of celebrities who are postponing weddings, or who have lengthy engagements, or some who don’t plan to marry at all after getting knocked up. The list includes Kate Hudson, engaged to her Baby Daddy, Kristin Cavallari from The Hills, pregnant with a Baby Daddy, and even Jessica Simpson has postponed her wedding to give birth first (And isn’t she the daughter of a preacher?).
The list also includes an old friend of mine who wrote me a congratulatory message through Facebook, while also announcing her own pregnancy to me. I was shocked to also read that her marriage (short-lived) had ended and that the father of her soon-to-be-baby was someone else. I wrote back congratulating her and added also, because I didn’t really know what to say about the ending of her marriage and the fact she was pregnant with another man’s child, “Baby Daddies are the best!” She wrote back agreeing, and wrote, “Having a child with your husband is so 2006!” I had to laugh. Having a child with your husband is so 2006! I would even say having a child with your husband is so 2003, which is when I had my daughter with my ex, and wasn’t married.
The interesting thing is, I’m not opposed to marriage at all. It’s just not been a priority for me. Having a child was definitely a priority and having this second child was definitely a priority. I have another friend at present who is trying to get pregnant with her boyfriend and it doesn’t seem like they have talked about marriage at all. This is because she is nearing the age of 40 and, quite bluntly, her priority SHOULD be getting pregnant.
Recently I interviewed a therapist for a magazine article who specializes in women who want to get impregnated by sperm donor. She told me she is amazed that so many women are STILL unaware of fertility rates and that so many women she meets wake up one day at age 40 and say, “I want a baby.” Now, I’m not suggesting that women go out and get knocked up (or become “up the duff” as my British friend told me) by any means possible. But it seems the new norm is figuring out who would make a good father as opposed to making a good husband.
I KNEW my Baby Daddy #2 would and will make an awesome father. First, he has two children already who he clearly adores and spends so much time with, he even makes me feel guilty. Second, he WANTED another child. Being a good father already and wanting to be a father again made him the perfect Baby Daddy. From that, I can tell he will also make a great husband. But I know so many people who realize shortly after they get married (Um, Kim Kardashian anyone?) that they have married bad husbands. And if you marry a bad husband, then why would you want them to be a father, especially the father of your child? Whereas if you have a baby with a great guy, chances are you’ll love him as a husband later, at some point, or just be happy that he’s a good father to your child.
I know, I know. Many women cannot, for religious reasons, personal beliefs, get over the fact that First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Baby in a Baby Carriage. Sorry to say that the new norm is First comes Love, Then Comes Baby, Then Comes Marriage, Maybe (which isn’t as catchy, I’ll admit.)
I will probably get married this time around. But I’ve fallen more in love with my Baby Daddy #2 BECAUSE of how I see him as a father — when he comes to appointments with me, races out to get my craving foods, and how he treats his children. To me the norm now IS meeting Baby Daddy #1 for lunch with Baby Daddy #2’s child in me. One can always wait for marriage. But you can’t always wait for pushing that baby carriage