Several months ago one of my homegirl's email me asking my opinion on a subject that is very prevelent in the Black community, being a baby mama. Her exact question was, "What do you think of planning to have a baby without marriage?".
Ummph . . . I thought about her question for a while, bearing in mind that being a Baby Mama is not the worst thing in the world and stuff happens beyond our control. Also, abortion is not an option many women consider an ethical choice. So here was my response to her:
I feel like you are playing catch with a double ended sword. For me, as you know, I always think about the financial ramifications of my decisions before I do things. If my actions will impinge negatively on my finances then its a hell no. As in the case of having a baby without the benefits of being married this is a big NO for me because I don't have access to his money (i.e. Social Security,Medical Insurance, or tax incentives, etc.) without that marriage license. Also having sex with someone you don't see as a possible husband is a gamble. Condoms break, and casual sex is dangerous. Thinking of your man as your future husband versus being your future baby father is a twisted mentality.
It's too easy to be a Baby Mama. You want to be a WIFE. PERIOD. Child support is shaky at best and I just would not want my child to be brought into a situation where I can't guarantee a family unit. Sure people get divorced and such, but with a divorce comes alimony and child support. BTW if you are ever in a situation where you have to choose between the two always choose more child support over alimony because the person receiving the alimony has to pay tax on that money, child support you don't. Anyway...bottom line children need the stability that a marriage provides. It’s not enough to say "we in this together" when we both know that at any given time homeboy or homegirl can bounce real easy. It's harder to do if you have that marriage license. It’s almost like a contract that says I am guaranteed some of your shit if you decide to flake out.
Go to the court house, have the baby, then have a big wedding when you lose the baby weight or whenever.
2nd Question: Do you think it's that serious/necessary to get married?
What are the benefits married people enjoy?
Live longer. Have better physical and emotional health. Are happier. Earn more. Enjoy better sex live. Save more so they have fewer money worries.
Five new themes in marriage-related research
~Even though marriage has lost ground in the minority communities in recent years, marriage has not lost its value in these communities.
~An emerging line of research indicates that marriage benefits poor Americans, and Americans from disadvantaged backgrounds, even though these Americans are now less likely to get and stay married.
~Marriage seems to be particularly important in civilizing men, turning their attention away from dangerous, antisocial, or self-centered activities and towards the needs of a family.
~Beyond its well-known contributions to adult health, marriage influences the biological functioning of adults and children in ways that can have important social consequences.
~The relationship quality of intimate partners is related to both their marital status and, for married adults, to the degree to which these partners are committed to marriage.
BOTTOM LINE: No woman should aspire to be anything like the Laura Govan's of the world (i.e., 4 kids, no husband, living in a one bedroom apartment). Shit at least Shaunie was married when Shaq evicted her ass. She had some recourse.
Check out my blog post on You Are Not Ready To Get Married If.