Children Before Marriage: How to Overcome Judgment and Make it Work

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Where do I begin? Google, of course! As I search for inspiration, because my own story is so complicated, I found almost nothing.

Society has trained us that marriage always comes first, and it should; however, it didn’t happen that way for us.

It is not one of those things that every girl dreams. In fact, it never crossed my mind. I was already 31 when I found myself in the situation: a grown woman, a career, and a new boyfriend.

I will always remember Thanksgiving Day, 2010. I had noticed that my temper became very short, and I was extremely moody for the past few days. For someone who goes through life with the glass always full, this is very unlike me. It wasn’t that time of the month, and I knew something wasn’t right. So, what did I do? I had Thanksgiving lunch with my best friend, of course!

Her great advice was to take a pregnancy test.

As I sat back in my chair in shock that she might be right, I went directly to the store and got a test after we said goodbye. I was pregnant, and here we are now 10 years later with two beautiful girls, happily married, and so very blessed. It wasn’t always that way.

Our marriage has its ups and downs like all marriages. Thankfully, our relationship grew stronger over the years, even with all of the opinions from others.

The judgment came from almost everyone in our lives.

Neighbors, family, friends, and co-workers thought we should be married first and had no problems telling us. He was ready, and I wasn’t. It all happened so fast. However, I was very excited to be a mother!

We bought a home together in June only two months before our baby was to join us.

Every single neighbor that came to meet us asked how long we had been married.

It must be a natural question after a new baby is born. It was an uncomfortable question to answer after we received the silent stare almost every time, then followed by the inevitable questions of when.

“When are you going to get married?”

We received random comments without discussing the topic. An older woman told me about how her granddaughter got married in the church, and maybe soon, they will consider children. I knew what her intention was. Our parents were worried about us, too. The many comments from others made me sad because I always thought I’d be married first. The situation with my then-boyfriend and I found ourselves in didn’t feel wrong. We were happy.

I have always been taught to trust my gut and to have confidence in my abilities. My then-boyfriend and I were very much in love. I knew, in my heart, he was THE ONE. When you know, you know, so I wasn’t in a rush even while struggling with the naysayers.

After a long labor, so many sleepless nights, a year of breastfeeding, a strong-willed child who did not ever stop, I was so thankful to be able to stay home with my baby girl. Her name is Nina. Her daddy worked very hard to support us and was so much help around the house. Just after Nina turned one, I got pregnant with our second baby girl, Cara.

Our relationship grew stronger even through it all.

We had crazy days, disagreements, and a lot of yelling if I am going to be completely honest; however, we continued to spend time together as a family. I had to go back to work, which helped with my confidence, and it gave me some much-needed adult time. We had the opportunity for a few date nights out, and we continued to build our relationship and respect each other. I finally felt ready to get married!

What I Have Learned.

  1. Always be true to yourself.
  2. Love yourself first.
  3. Have the courage to go your own way.
  4. What is good for someone else might not be good for you.
  5. If there is anything in this world to trust, it is your intuition and always go with it.
  6. Stay loyal.
  7. Be grateful.
  8. Be honest.
  9. Believe in Karma.

We decided on a destination wedding to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic with just the four of us and our parents. It was amazing! Nina had just turned three at the time and was so excited to be our flower girl. Cara was 16 months and she walked me down the aisle. Nina chose to stay with her daddy at the altar.

And, now looking back, we wouldn’t have it any other way!

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