HAVING KIDS BEFORE MARRIAGE

“My kids made me a better person…”

MARRIAGE

is a lifetime commitment between two people as partners in a personal relationship and makes it legally public, official and permanent. From here, you can now start to build your own family and to have children.

But most couples prefer to live together before getting married to see how committed their partners are to them. And living together before marriage is one of the most sensitive topics to discuss because of our culture and beliefs etc.

At this present generation, it is now common that many children are born outside marriage. And I, myself is an example of it. I got pregnant at the age of 21 with my college sweetheart who’s a year younger than me. When our parents learned that my boyfriend and I are having a baby, they decided to get us married. Honestly, I was shocked knowing that I am carrying a tiny human inside my body and I know that marrying my longtime boyfriend is one of the best decisions I could have made. But, I refused. I am scared as these changes are all new to me. We’re still young and it’s only been a year after we graduated from college and haven’t explored the true world yet. I am scared of so many ‘What If’s’ at the back of my mind.

  1. What if along our journey he found another girl and cheated on me?
  2. What if he realized that he doesn’t want to settle down yet as he wants to explore more all by himself and suddenly leave us without saying a word?

For me, getting married just because I got pregnant is a red flag. Of course I highly believe in the sanctity of marriage, but only if two people are already committed and well prepared to raise a famil. Also, I want to give them an advice not to engage into a pre-marital sex. I’m also a product of this. My parents live together first, blessed with seven children, just finally got married after 25 long years and still living together happily up to this moment. I knew back then that we can still provide the same environment and set good examples for our child the same way as married parents do.

So, I decided to take a risk and made a choice not to marry him and live together first to see if things will work out perfectly for both of us. Under many circumstances, and trials that we have been through I can say that we ended up getting too comfortable of living together with our first born, our daughter and it feels like we already are married! That led us to plan for another baby and then after five long years poop! I gave birth to our new bundle of joy.Our baby boy was born on January 27,2018 at 5:56am.

From that moment on I knew that I am complete and ready to take the next phase of my life. That is to marry my significant other. We got engaged last May 2018 and now planning to fulfill our dream wedding.

From my experiences inside this set up, I’ve met so many people who have the same situation as mine. I have learned so many things from them which I thought is an important thing to discuss with especially if there’s a child involved.

Here’s the list of Pros and Cons of having a child before marriage.

Pros:

  1. You and your partner are able to discover new things from each other with your baby around. Once we started moving in together, both my partner and I have discovered unfamiliar attitudes toward each other and later on worked with some issues about it.
  2. Can plan the wedding after giving birth. It’s a great thing to plan your wedding together with your little one as he/she is now part of every decision you and your partner have to make.
  3. Assurance that he/she is the one you really want to spend the rest of your life with. Months or even a year after iving together under one roof, you will now be able to figure out if you are determined to continue the life you currently have as a family and emotionally stable to level it up to the next stage.
  4. Understanding how precious the privilege of marrying your significant other is. By this time you appreciate your partner even more and realize as you want to call him/her legally as your husband/wife. It will surely benefit not only the two of you, but your children as well. It can also boost their self-esteem.

Cons:

  1. Your baby will be born out of wedlock. My eldest child, my daughter who is now turning seven keep on asking why me and her dad is not yet married. She even compares us to her classmate’s parents. This is one of the toughest questions I have ever heard from her that I couldn’t utter any word to answer. I have this concern in my heart that later on when it’s her turn to start her own family, she would also resort into this kind of decision.
  2. Some people will brand you as a disgraced woman. Many of my neighbors talked behind my back as easy to get and a low-grade woman. But I didn’t mind them. As long as I and my partner understand each other, having each other’s back, surrounded with our supportive family and friend. Most importantly having God as the center of our relationship, well, yeah I wouldn’t mind it at all. We can pull this through together.
  3. Not able to experience honeymoon or the feeling of a newlywed. Most of women have their own dream wedding and we did plan to have a beautiful one until our baby arrives.
  4. You will not be included as a legal beneficiary of your partner. In my case, it would be really a great help especially the health benefits of the company where my partner is currently employed if only we are married. Especially, I have some health conditions and the company has something wonderful to offer. But, still blessed as our kids are filed as his beneficiaries.
  5. Delaying the plan of getting married will keep on delaying. Due to some circumstances, the plans for our wedding somehow remain a plan. Our eldest was already sent to school and we have to pay for her tuition fees, school service and other school necessities. And we are having a hard time on budgeting our money as he is the only one who works for our family as I sacrificed my promising career when we are blessed with our second baby. I have to give up my job to focus with my kids as we don’t want other people to look after them. From then on I became a SAHM (Stay at home mom). With my partner’s salary alone it is really hard to spend some savings for our wedding as we need to do the budgeting wisely from paying our bills, monthly amortization, foods, etc. We keep on reminding ourselves that our wedding can wait.

Marriage is not a race. We can always wait for the right time and in God’s will. Still, marriage is one of the most precious gifts you can give to your significant other. It binds you together in unity and serves as instrument in receiving more blessings from above.

 Either you decided to get married before having kids or living together first doesn’t guarantee that you will have that “happily-ever-after”. Life is not a fairy tale and having a family is one of the most bountiful things you can get yet attached to it is a big responsibility. Marriage is one big factor you and your partner must consider. The decision is yours. Take your full responsibility of it and live the life you and your family in the future deserve. Love and take good care of each other. Understanding each other even when you don’t understand her/him at all is what makes it more meaningful and beautiful. How about you? What are your insights about this topic? You can share it and the floor is now yours.

1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

By: LanaJane Lobitos

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