From a young age, girls are fed this mythology that their lives should go a certain way. You finish school. You meet a boy (because hello, heteronormative patriarchy). You fall in love. He asks for your hand in marriage. You plan the big wedding and get married. You go on a honeymoon. You start popping out babies. However, once you’ve lived long enough, you find out that’s all nonsense. At least, for most of us. That’s why I refuse to apologize for getting married after getting pregnant.
My husband and I had a whirlwind courtship. We met, fell head-over-heels in love, and within just a few months I was pregnant. The pregnancy wasn’t planned, but we decided to start a family anyhow. We were both young professionals and figured why not? About two months into my pregnancy, though, my then-boyfriend took me to the beach just outside his apartment, got down on one knee, and proposed. I said yes, and we had a quick elopement with the promise that someday we’ll have the bigger wedding reception with family and friends. And while some folks might roll their eyes or make assumptions, I don’t care because I live my life on my terms and mine alone. If you’re in a similar boat, maybe this list will resonate for you.
Because I Was In Love
I’m pretty sure most people get married because they’re in love. And in effect, we were in love. So I should avoid getting married and being happily in love just because I also happen to be pregnant?
Because My Partner Asked
OK, if my boyfriend or girlfriend at the time had simply asked to marry me, but I didn’t feel like it, I would’ve said no. However, I was so deep in love that it seemed silly to say no. It’s like someone bringing you the most delicious cake ever on your birthday, and refusing to accept it just for the hell of it.
Because You Don’t Have To Do Things In Any Particular Order
I hate the idea that if you get married after getting pregnant or having kids, you’re somehow doing life wrong. Life is not this perfectly linear thing. Some people have kids, then go to college. Some people buy a house, then sell it to rent for the rest of their lives. Some people never have kids and never get married and never buy a house. Who freaking cares?
Because “Shotgun Weddings” Are Antiquated Ideas Of The Patriarchy
My father never once mentioned anything to me or my then-boyfriend about us getting married after we announced the pregnancy. Despite the fact that my parents are pretty “old school” traditional, they surprisingly didn’t judge. So no, that wasn’t the reason we got married.
Because I Wanted My Significant Other To Have The Legal Rights Of A Spouse
On a more practical level, we both really liked the idea of being bound to one another by law. While I understand it’s not for everyone, we knew that it would make certain things a bit easier (like paperwork). Especially with so many doctors and hospital visits coming up, I knew I wanted him to be my husband and legal next-of-kin. Also, I’m lazy and it’s easier to explain (just kidding, but actually).
Because I Wanted To Simplify Our Legal Rights As Parents To Our Future Child(ren)
Did I mention we had pretty practical reasons for getting married? Yes, while I knew we could make it known that my then-boyfriend could establish that he was the father of our child, we knew it would just be easier if he were my spouse. Plus, we eventually all decided to share a name, so that worked out for us. But again, this was a personal decision and folks should always do what’s best for them and their family.
Because We Wanted To Solidify Our Partnership
I truly believe that not every couple needs a piece of legal documentation to prove their relationship is somehow valid. I was in a long-term relationship prior to my marriage and, for all intents and purposes, it was nearly exactly the same. That said, perhaps because everything was happening so fast and we were still just getting to know one another, getting married somehow helped us cement our relationship.
Because It Was A Fun Way To Celebrate Our Relationship
Getting married is fun! Or, at least, it should be. Maybe it’s because we eloped, but we bought our clothes the same day, drove to the local city hall, and were giddy as hell while we waited for that crucial moment in both our lives. It wasn’t anything over-the-top or overtly stressful, but we had a nice time. Then we ate tacos (yes, I’m serious).
Because It’s No One’s Business
At the end of the day, your relationship is your business alone. No one should be commenting on whether you’re getting married or not, getting divorced or not, having kids or not. Screw the busy bodies.