If your boyfriend wants a baby before marriage, it’s time for you to dive down deep and answer some questions as truthfully as possible.
Taking the leap into parenthood should not be taken lightly. Let’s break down the title a bit to get started.
When you say “my boyfriend,” what exactly do you mean? What stage of the relationship are you in?
Boyfriend encompasses such a wide spectrum; it’s important to take a closer look. Raising a child together involves more than going on dates and getting “social media serious” with relationship status. It’s a lifelong commitment to the other person, even more, permanent than marriage.
Boyfriend also doesn’t signify a fiancé, so you aren’t quite to the permanent relationship stage yet.
Let me be very clear. There is nothing wrong with that. Your relationship should have time to develop naturally so that you can be steadfast in your love and desires.
Also, people have children out of wedlock every day. However, if you aren’t yet living together, or you are awaiting his proposal, you might want to take a step back and consider this status. What is keeping you from moving forward?
Wants A Baby
As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. A child is a two “yes”, one “no” decision.
This means that both people in the relationship have to be fully on board. You have his yes, but what about yours?
Deep down, you have an answer that only you know. Truthfully, neither one is incorrect. Having children is a very personal decision and will drastically change the course of your life. If this is something you want, then consider why you’re looking for advice.
Is this a future desire? Would you like to be married first? Would you like to wait a few years? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you need to sit your boyfriend down and let him know. Don’t get me wrong, a child isn’t a bargaining chip for marriage (more on that later), but if you have certain life path expectations and desires, that’s okay.
We each follow the beat of our own drum, and it’s crucial not to rush into anything, especially having children.
Have you asked him why he wants a child? His answer can have a heavy hand in how you feel about the situation. If this is something he’s casually mentioned, it’s time to sit down with him and figure out the root of this desire and how you feel about his reasoning.
This is the crucial part of the statement. It implies that marriage is on the horizon, at least in your mind, but have you discussed it with him? Are there plans in the works that have been put off due to circumstances beyond your control?
Marriage is important for many different reasons, but it’s not the be-all-end-all for everyone. However, it does signify a commitment that many people wish to have.
It also lends a certain assurance when it comes to finances and ownership. Without legal marriage, you don’t get the same legal assurances. If something goes wrong, that tiny slip of paper does a lot within the legal system.
Without it, you’re going to need additional paperwork outlining both parties’ wishes, including a parenting contract.
That said, I have a rule, and as the child of divorced parents and a divorcee myself, I tell anyone that will listen: do not get married for the children. The only reason you should get married is that you’ve found the person you love and want to be with for the rest of your life.
There’s an outdated school of thought that says we should have a ring on our finger if there’s a baby in our belly. This has resulted in many hasty marriages that crashed and burned later on because they were for the wrong reasons.
Do not stay together for the children, either. They cannot be and should not be your motivating factor. A marriage is between two people, not a family. Staying together for the children is a sure-fire way to create the kind of home environment you want to avoid.
In that same vein, you must explore your expectations. If you are thinking of having a child so that marriage becomes a sure thing, that’s not a valid reason. It can cause major feelings of resentment in both parties.
Yes, I mean you, too. You’ll never forget the reason you got married, and while that may not matter to you right now, it will down the road. Similarly, if he isn’t ready for marriage, demanding one in exchange for a child will cause resentment on his end. Please keep this in mind.
Do You Have a Plan?
Many people decide to have children and don’t think beyond that first week of getting the baby home. This applies to married and unmarried couples alike. If your boyfriend wants a baby before marriage, you need to come in with a plan that will work.
Having a child doesn’t actually have anything to do with marriage, as it’s an entirely different type of commitment. Let’s discuss a few of the things you need to consider before telling him yes.
Who brings home the income?
If you’re on the path of having a career, understand that there’s a reason many moms struggle to balance their careers and parenthood.
Aside from the six to eight weeks of bonding and recovery when your child is born, there are days where one of you will have to call out of work if your child is sick, and many men (and society as a whole) assume it will be the mother.
There are also school clubs and afterschool activities you will need to be present for and in-school activities you may wish to attend. All of this adds up to time off work, which can put a significant damper on your career.
Is your living situation conducive to raising a child?
Whether you live together or apart, it’s essential to consider whether or not your house is prepared for a child.
If you live with a family member, understand that a child will upheave everyone in the household, and unless you own the home, you need to have a serious discussion with the other people in residence.
If you live separately, you need to consider where your child will reside.
Who is responsible for childcare?
Whether you plan to be a SAHM (stay-at-home mom), or work full time, you need to discuss this with your partner. Even stay-at-home mothers need a break now and then, and it will put a lot of emotional strain on your relationship if you don’t discuss these things ahead of time.
You might expect one thing, but your partner isn’t telepathic. It’s much better to speak aloud about these issues, so you aren’t caught unaware by assumed expectations.
Are you ready?
This is a broad question, but it’s important. When you think about your life a year from now, do you picture long sleepless nights and soiled clothing? That’s the reality of having a child, at least in the first year.
It’s hard, and if you don’t have the best relationship to start with, it can break down the communication channels you’ve carefully cultivated over the years. Even the best of relationships suffer during the infant stage.
What if things aren’t perfect?
Let’s be honest for a moment. Having a child is a beautiful experience, but you honestly have no idea what you’re going to get. Not all children are born neuro-typical, and many suffer from debilitating health conditions.
It’s a sad fact of life, but hoping for the best won’t change it. You have to be prepared to take care of your child, even when it gets all-consuming.
Constant doctor appointments and ceaseless worry are par for the course for many parents. If your child has special needs, are you both prepared to give your all?
The above list barely scratches the surface, but the bottom line is that communication is key.
Please speak with your close friends and family members that have children, and ask them what they’ve struggled with concerning the roles of each parent. They’ll be able to tell you what they wish they had discussed beforehand.
Having a plan and knowing the things that come with having a child is overall important.
Final Thoughts – my boyfriend wants a baby before marriage
As I previously mentioned, having a child is a very personal decision. If your boyfriend wants a baby before marriage, you have the final decision.
However, if you have any reservations, discuss them with your partner until you feel sure of your decision. It’s okay to say no. There should be zero pressure on you to have a child.
That said, if he’s rather pushy about it, take a step back and reassess. It’s your life, too.