Is It Important to Get Married Before Having a Baby?
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?