While it may not be considered “traditional” to have a child before your wedding day, it appears to be a growing trend. In fact, a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proves that as of 2014, more than 40% of American women were giving birth sans wedding ring.
Sure, that statistic really only applies to the US, but it certainly indicates that the traditional approach to starting a family is becoming more flexible with time. After all, a woman’s motherly instincts kick in whenever they need to, and a wedding ring doesn’t change that.
Women’s Health Magazine recently had a chance to sit down with a handful of mommies who gave birth before their wedding days. Check out what these moms had to say about their experience in having a baby before the bouquet:
“We are having baby number two and [we’re] still not married. The discussion didn’t start getting real until this baby. It turns out doing the status quo has never been our path, though. The only thing we know for sure is that one day we will get married, but probably not how or why people around us think we should. We’ve missed invitations for weddings by not being married, we have different conversations with our daughter about love and marriage, [and] we constantly have to speak out about why we are choosing this route. Fundamentally, our family is as stable and happy as the one down the block, and for us, it’s because of our decision to grow our family without a wedding first. On the list of importance, a bigger house and family trips are more important than a wedding. So ‘someday’ is the best option for us.”
Check out the rest of these mommies’ stories by clicking next to read on!
“After I found out I was pregnant with my partner (who I’d only been seeing for a few short months), I was in no hurry to marry him. We had enough on our plate. If we decided to get married once we had settled into our new responsibilities, than so be it, but it just wasn’t our top priority. We ended up getting married in a low-key ceremony when our daughter was 9 months old and we’ve been married for almost six years. And in retrospect, it was nice to have the time to find out who we were as parents without the pressure of marriage. The decision to get married was on our own terms, and I got to see who my partner was before I married him.”
“My pregnancy wasn’t planned! We had discussed marriage and thought that we were going to follow a more traditional route. But when we found out that I was pregnant, not being married became a non-issue in the grand scheme of things. Our son has both of our last names. Some people asked why we weren’t married and I told them that I didn’t want him to marry me just because we had a child together. I think that it’s more acceptable to be unmarried with children now than it was maybe 15/20 years ago.”
“My husband had a 7-month-old baby when we met. It was difficult in the sense that our dating period felt pretty short—we became a family pretty early on and had to deal with big issues like money and co-parenting a lot sooner than we would have otherwise. It definitely influenced our decision to get married sooner (or at all) for legal reasons and to provide stability for our daughter. Our life together was an unexpected turn of events for both of us, but we have found most people in our lives to be very supportive and understanding of our unique situation.”
“I made the choice to keep the child I conceived from a short relationship, despite the fact that I had no interest in continuing a romantic relationship with the dude who got me pregnant. I did my pregnancy and birth with a lot of support from family and friends. It was hard, but I knew it was going to be hard. My daughter sees her dad sometimes, but he’s mostly not in her life. I won’t keep her from him, but since she’s still so little, it’s pretty much just the two of us.”
This article was originally shared by Women’s Health Magazine
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