I am assuming that welcoming a Baby into your life is a consideration.
If you are not thinking of Babies and Marriage – Hey Young People: Now’s the Time to Get Married and Have Kids
Perhaps you are among the increasingly marriage-phobic, up and coming generation that desires children, but are satisfied with less than the full commitment of marriage.
Baby has some news for you: Babies do not care whether you are “ready” for marriage or not – in fact, they don’t care if you were ready for them.
Babies do not care about politics…about adult desires…adult angst…adult stupidity. They only want a mom and dad. Yes, folks, studies show they do better with two parents – one from each gender (1, 2). You may find studies that show it does not make any difference, but I will match your study with one of mine and up you one.
We all have a sliding scale of femaleness and maleness. To develop to full potential, we need to bounce those hardwired traits off two kinds of parents – a mom that is female and a dad that is male.
Furthermore, Baby wants the male and the female who made them to stay together. Forever. Not just until the first BIG disappointment comes along. Not just until each partner finds out the true shortcomings of the other. Not just until Baby finishes college.
Exception: Baby won’t care if you leave a person who beats you. Baby will congratulate you later.
Divorce is hard on babies at any age. In the absence of abuse, a majority of people are glad they stayed together even if they were at one time on the brink of divorce. Yes, it is reported in a study.
Marriage is civilized. It has moved civilization forward. It says, we are so committed to each other, we are making it a legal deal. This has provided babies with that extra security that civilized societies honor. As a bonus, parents can make it a religious covenant, which says that we are not only making our promise to society, but to God.
Marriage improves physical and mental health (3). Married parents produce children who end up better educated with higher incomes. Studies also have tried to separate out what makes children of married parents more successful in education and finance. Some findings suggest that the very qualities that make for a good marriage – commitment and patience – also make for good parenting. Greater time for nurturing seems to also be a factor in the case for married parents. And, the secrets of a long-term marital happiness hinge on two traits: compassion and kindness (4).
Compassion and kindness are appreciated by Babies, also.
But, you may say, life got messy and I got divorced. Or, I never got married. Or… Welcome to the less than ideal world that many of us inhabit. Just because your life does not meet the gold standard, does not mean that you don’t still have the gold standard to contend with. We do the best we can with the choices we have made and the cards that life deals us. We encourage others to do better than us. We support those who suffer misfortunes.
Then we seek to capitalize on our strengths – always.
That is the way to move forward. Espouse the truth. There is always another generation to teach. There are always people searching for true and good ways to live. So go out and shout it from the roof tops – get married. Be truly radical. Don’t get a tattoo – get a baby! Get several – always one more than you think you can afford. Rather than pierce your belly button – pierce your heart with love and commitment. Have a marvelous, messy, married and baby-filled life.
Don’t let babies down. Get married. Stay married.
 Mark Regnerus, “How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4 (July 2012), pp. 752-770; online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000610
 Loren Marks, “Same-sex parenting and children’s outcomes: A closer examination of the American Psychological Association’s brief on lesbian and gay parenting,” Social Science Research Vol 41, Issue 4 (July 2012), pp. 735-751; online at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0049089X12000580
. David Gallacher and John Gallacher. Are relationships good for you? BMJ, January 27, 2011
. Emily Esfahai Smith, “Masters of love.” The Atlantic. June 12, 2013. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/happily-ever-after/372573/?single_page=true