In an extension to my post from Wednesday on the strength of marriage in today’s world, I click on my local newspaper’s online website only to see this glaring headline:
“US Childlessnes is Up, but Racial Gaps Narrowing” …. so I click on it out of interest. The very first paragraph is posted below and quite frankly I’m a little, I don’t know, surprised. As the paper states “Nearly 1 in 5 American women beyond childbearing years never gave birth as fewer couples, particularly higher-educated whites, view having children as necessary to a good marriage.” Excuse me, but when did having a child ever indicate a good marriage? I can understand that general thoughts about marriage used to lead to a family and that the idea of a family used to require children. Whereas nowadays the concept of a “family” is a changing and dynamic term. However, just because my husband and I choose to have a child does not mean we are doing so for the good of our marriage.
I don’t know. The article just caused me to shake my head. (and here lately that isn’t a good thing, because I’ve been shaking it a lot and I’m pretty sure that is why I am so dang dizzy!) Yes Alex and I are wanting to have children. Yes we, personally, feel this will EXPAND our family. Not CREATE a family, because we are already a family. A family of two. (Well two plus two cats that are crazier than a dog after a ‘coon….ain’t we southern?) But that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the status of our marriage. Even when we do have a child, that will still have no bearing on the health and well being of our marriage. So to have done a study showing that fewer couples are choosing to have children as part of having a good marriage. I think they should have just taken the marriage aspect out of the entire argument. Then this would have made a very interesting study. But hey, that’s just me.
The irony of all of this is that lately as we have discussed having children I’ve talked to people who have had kids just last month and then as far back as 25 and 51 weeks ago (hey Mom and Dad!) to get a better handle on just what this will do to our marriage. Alex and I know changes will come even if we know we cannot understand them. To hear though that your marriage is basically caput for years after giving birth is um…well disheartening in the least. We do get that things will change, but why can’t the “couple” and the “family” both exist? This article and study just lent more to the fear side. We want kids, but not at the expense of our marriage. We just want our marriage to expand to allow for continued growth. (cue manic laughter from the people with children in the audience) Obviously we are being unrealistic in our hopes.