Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Let’s go way back in time. Journey with me through 15-plus years of dating, which was exhilarating in its ways, of course—but also often frustrating and filled with wrenching heartbreak and uncertainty and powerlessness. (And let’s call that the understatement of the century.)
Then let’s flash forward to 2008, when I got serious with the guy who would become my husband, and that deeply longing part of me was at very long last fulfilled in the most incredible way. Four years into marriage, I’m loving just about every minute of my hard-won relationship.
And now that we’re expecting two newborns, everything’s going to change—and that’s really scary.
In fact, the unknown changes to the awesome dynamic I share with my spouse are some of the things I fear most as I enter into motherhood. I have heard kids alternatively described as grenades upon marriage (gee, thanks, Internet, for that visual), and as wondrous ways to foster an even deeper bond between parents than they ever even thought possible.
I’m really hoping it’s the latter, obviously; actually, I’m counting on it. To that end, I plan to prioritize dating my husband, keeping the lines of communication open, and dividing labor fairly, as much as possible. Of course, I know we’ll be at the mercy of desperate fatigue and overwhelm—and we’ll be calling audibles left and right.
But what if we didn’t leave it to chance? In a recent Slate piece, writer Rebecca Onion proposed the idea of a pre-baby contract as a way to preserve her relationship with her husband if they decide to go ahead with kids. The idea is sort of like a pre-nup, except it explicitly spells out a division of labor mutually agreed upon as fair between partners in advance, so that there are no surprises on the other side—relationship-threatening surprises.
The author asks, “Wouldn’t a not-at-all legally binding document, outlining expectations and setting a course for periodic re-examination of the division of labor, alleviate my fears, and prevent aggravation, or fights, or divorce, in the future? I find that any number of life challenges are more palatable when drained of their emotional content through quantification.”
I couldn’t agree more. In all aspects of life, if I see a problem, or a potential problem, I like to tackle it head on, and in a practical way. I make a lot of lists, and call a lot of family meetings. And I relate to and appreciate, for instance, some of the specifics of Onion’s concerns and potential contract points. For instance, she may not be the primary family breadwinner as a writer, but that doesn’t mean her work is not meaningful and valuable and worthy of preservation when time is a commodity. (Hear, hear!)
Still, I can’t help but wonder how practical such a document could be—or how executable, when the name of the game might just be surviving new parenthood at its basest level.
I’d love to hear from you: Would you draw up a pre-baby contract with your partner?
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Photo courtesy of Sean Twomey/2Me Studios
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Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Here’s something you don’t see every day on a high-fashion runway: a pregnant strutter.
Yes, Karl Lagerfeld sent his model muse, Ashleigh Good, down the haute couture runway in a bridal gown that clearly showed her real-life pregnancy.
Not surprisingly, the Twitterverse immediately lit up with feedback:
The @chanel #couture show featured 2 buzzy catwalkers: @KendallJenner and a pregnant bride! http://t.co/EXQn1Uf3SB pic.twitter.com/xJKbgI6FNN
— Glamour Fashion (@glamour_fashion) July 8, 2014
Karl Lagerfeld and Ashleigh Good – Finale at Chanel Fall/Winter… #fashion #model pic.twitter.com/4Ih4M8co6n — fashionmodelsnap (@FModelSnap) July 8, 2014
Pregnant brides will be happy to know that @CHANEL is now creating maternity bridal wear: http://t.co/UHS0jgPiKd pic.twitter.com/NSf6w4LoQc — Fashionista.com (@Fashionista_com) July 8, 2014
Ashleigh Good 6mths pregnant walks down #Chanel #HauteCouture show with Karl in stunning gold/white #wedding gown. pic.twitter.com/cp7lTPJf6k
— Weddingberry (@weddingberry) July 8, 2014
Lagerfeld, who isn’t exactly known for embracing body types larger than the dimensions of a typical fashion model, held hands with Good as she strutted in a dazzling white gown with rich gold accents—a look that appeared fit for royalty.
The move is bold not just because a designer chose to employ a pregnant model for a high-profile runway walk. But it also makes a statement about the variety of now-ordinary ways, once considered nontraditional or even scandalous, that brides take their own walks down the aisle. (We recently covered a study of millennial parents that showed a whopping 64 percent of them have at least one baby outside of marriage.)
Looking for maternity clothes? Find great gear here!
Sure, such wedding a gown may fall well outside the range of accessibility for most pregnant brides. But it’s easy to picture on any number of celebrities in Hollywood, who frequently set examples of marriage with—or after—baby bump.
What do you think of Chanel’s pregnant bride example?
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Karl Lagerfeld photo courtesy of Shutterstock
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Friday, August 23rd, 2013
Jennifer Love Hewitt told People magazine that she’s delaying wedding plans until after she gives birth and loses the baby weight. Putting “carriage before marriage” seems to be a new trend, especially in Hollywood. Jessica Simpson and fiancé Eric Johnson still haven’t said “I do” and they now have two kids—Max, 15 months, and Ace, nearly 2 months old. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have been engaged for four years, now have 5-month-old daughter Lincoln, and still haven’t tied the knot. Kristin Cavallari wed Jay Cutler 10 months after baby Camden was born.
But celebrities aren’t the only ones who are choosing to have babies without a marriage certificate. As of 2012, more than half of the babies born to American women under 30 are born out of wedlock. Is marriage a thing of generations past?
Lots of couples —young and old—now think, Why do you need the piece of paper to have a commitment? And with marriage failure rates being so high anyway, many feel that living together and having a family only gets more complicated—and more expensive—if you get married and end up splitting.
I think it’s a very personal choice, and don’t think having kids without being married should be looked down upon like it once was (though I was admittedly married before getting pregnant myself). I was surprised to read that there do seem to be downsides to these new, modern families. According to the New York Times, “researchers have consistently found that children born outside of marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.”
So are married couples who have kids more committed to their families? Do the kids feel more secure and stable knowing that mom and dad are married? This reminds me of another celebrity pair: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who have been together over eight years and have always said that marriage wasn’t a priority for them. That is, until their kids started asking why they weren’t married, and encouraging them to wed. So it will be interesting to see If they ever do walk down that aisle, and it will be interesting for me to hear if you think you should be married before you bring kids into this world.
TELL US: Do you think it matters if family comes first—literally—before marriage?
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Angelina Jolie, baby, Baby Weight, birth, Brad Pitt, Illegitimate Child, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Simpson, Kristen Bell, Kristen Cavallari, Marriage, Pragnant, pregnancy, Pregnant and Single, Single Mothers | Categories: