I’m not sure about you guys, but now that I’m on the other side of marriage and motherhood, I feel like some of the comparisons between the two don’t make a lot of sense. Yes, they (usually) both count as major milestones for adults; they both involve another person; they can both involve the acquisition of furniture and household goods and, yes, they can be pretty expensive life choices. Still, I have realized as both a wife and a mother, that getting married and having babies are nothing alike. Like, not even a little bit. Nope. Absolutely not.
In my humbled opinion and personal experience, there are more differences than similarities. For example, my partner and I were together for over five years before we tied the knot, so not much changed beyond my name and the jewelry we decided to wear on our ring fingers. We had already been living together and were committed to one another, so besides a box we checked annually when doing our taxes, things remained the same. But when we had a baby? Yeah, It felt like our entire household was turned upside down, shaken like a snow globe, and then drop-kicked. (I mean, totally in a good way because babies are nothing if not fantastic miracles, right?) But still, in my experience, it was, um, slightly jarring. And by “slightly,” I mean “intensely.”
For me, these two potentially life-changing events were very different. That doesn't mean that one is inherently better than the other or that they both don't require sacrifice and adjustment and compromise. It just means that, well, they're not entirely similar. Here are just a few reasons why:
Marriage Is Only Messy If You Do The Cake Smoosh
I suppose it could be (and probably will be, at some point in time), emotionally messy, but for today's conversation, I'm talking mostly about food products and anything that involves someone else's digestion.
To Begin Your Marriage, You Wear Your Finest Clothes. With A Baby, You Most Definitely Don’t.
Unless hospital gowns count as luxury garments. In my book, they most definitely do not, although they sure are comfortable.
You’ve Never Met Your Baby Until The Day They Arrive. Marriage Is (Usually) Not That Way.
Sure, you've potentially seen pictures, heard their heartbeat and felt them kicking, but unless they send you emojis from inside the womb, can you ever really know your baby before you meet them?
You Will Never Look Better Than The Day Marriage Starts. After Delivering Your Baby? Not So Much.
Exception: you get to be a seat filler at an awards show.
In Theory, Marriage Is An Equal Partnership. Parenting Is, Um, Not.
I'm still waiting for the day my son makes me lunch and dinner, cuts it up into manageable pieces for me and washes my plate. I'm definitely waiting for the day he does my laundry and buys me toys that I don't need but just inexplicably want. That will be the day, my friends. That will be the day.
Marriage Makes You Dance. Having A Baby Makes You Want To Lay Down And Sleep.
I mean, I was doing a happy dance when my son slept more than three hours at a time, but I'm not sure that actually counts.
Hopefully, It’s Rare For Your Partner To Spit Up On You
And by rare, I mean, "Never ever happens to you ever because that sounds like the absolute worst." (But hey, if you're into it, you'll get no judgement from me. You do you, buddy.)
Marriage Doesn’t Make You Late For Everything, Especially During The First Two Years
I'm not trying to say I wasn't late for lots of things in my early years of marriage. I was, but that was because I was in my twenties and life was a wonderful mess of almost too much freedom, not because I was a newlywed.
Marriage Doesn’t Require You To Carry Around A Bag Of Diapers, Goldfish Crackers, And Spare Clothes
Seriously, don't forget the spare clothes when you take your child into the world. Even if you only ever need them one time in your life as a mom, you will be so glad to have them.
Marriage Doesn’t Turn Every Room In Your House Into A Jungle Gym
Although now that I think of it, maybe it should.
You're Legally Required To Plan Ahead For Marriage
When it comes to acquiring a marriage license, my state has a three-day waiting period. Can you imagine if such a thing were required every time we decided to procreate?
You Typically Invite Everyone You Know To Watch You Start Your Marriage
A marriage requires witnesses, right? Thankfully, no one witnessed my son's conception, or his birth, but my husband (and the medical folks that helped me bring my kid into the world). Although, shout out to those who share in their birth experience, especially those who allow videographers to film it and turn it into a birthing video. You are the true heroes.