Friday, August 24, 2012

Having a Baby Before Walking Down the Aisle

First Comes Love, Then Comes the Baby in the Baby Carriage, THEN Comes Marriage. Wait what?! Yup, I said it right! haha. I went in for my usual 7 week Brazilian wax and had the usual mini chit chat with my usual esthetician. I was updating her on what's new in my life when our conversation turned into a typical scenario for me:

ME: "So yea, I'm so nervous for JAM to start 1st grade and Mahal is trying to convince me to let JAM ride the bus."

GIRL: "Wait, you're married to Mahal correct?"

ME: "Nope =)"

GIRL: "Engaged?"

ME: "No, we've been together coming on 7 years this year and we have a 6 year old together but not married =)"

When people meet my little family, they usually assume that Mahal and I are married since #1 we have a kid together and #2 we live together. Even in JAM's school. I volunteer at his school a lot and when they ask what the kids should call me I usually just say Ms. Ashley since my last name is kinda long and complicated to some people. However, when the staff address me they still call me MRS. {such and such} and when I correct them they always say, "Oh, I just assumed that since JAM's last name is {such and such} that *awkward pause*...sorry". It's not like I take offense to it haha, I'm just not married. Especially if Mahal and I are at JAM's school together they almost always address us as Mr. and Mrs. {such and such}, which I usually just deal with in return because it's easier (haha).
I honestly get more pressure from society to get married than from my own family. Usually once people find out that Mahal and I aren't married their next question almost always is "Why not?" or "So when do you plan on getting married?". Although I do plan to marry Mahal one day, and we talk about it every day, I don't feel the need to get married right away ESPECIALLY just because we have a child together. I can't exactly explain why I don't have any sense of urgency when it comes to marriage. It's not that I'm not ready or anything like that. Most of the time it's usually because I want to save up enough money to have the beautiful wedding that I dream of instead of just having a simple court ceremony like my parents did. Sometimes it's because I want to finish school first than get married. Honestly though, I don't see what the big deal is. 

I feel that wanting to have a kid with someone and making that choice to do so is a far bigger commitment than marriage. Some may disagree, but that's my personal opinion. I may not have a legal document showing our commitment to each other or I haven't stood in front of the alter to proclaim my love in front of the eyes of God, but I'm committed to my relationship. Like I said, Mahal and I have been together for about 7 years now, we've lived together 6 of those 7 years, and we raise our son together. Isn't that the life you live once you get married anyways? People say that being a married couple is different. I beg to differ, but at the same time, if that's the case why would I want to get married then? I'm perfectly content with my relationship so why would I get married to change that? Most couples I come across have been divorced longer than they've been married nowadays. Some may say I sound tainted or that's just the old school way of doing things, to get married and have kids. I love the idea of marriage! I actually look forward to doing so one day with Mahal, but at the same time I'm in no hurry.

It's ok if you disagree. If I had a daughter, of course it would be nice for her to do the first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage ordeal. However, if she didn't, I would be ok with that too. My only wish for my children is that they find someone who loves them for who they are, treat them with respect, and love and care for them as I would. I'm happy that I found someone like Mahal who has made that personal commitment to me and our son. To love and honor us. I have made the same commitment in return. Is it wrong that we don't feel the urgency to walk down the aisle and have that piece of paper to legally bind us?

Have you had a baby before walking down the aisle? What are you thoughts?