Thursday, July 24, 2008

The darndest things

So I had a good time with a friend last night who was over my house, putting up our feet sharing a couple drinks while the kids ran around the yard and played, and we were sharing some of those “gotta write this down” questions and expressions our kids have shared with us over the years. As we were sharing the classic quips, she shared a keeper that her daughter asked her. Of course, I don’t have a daughter, and it’s questions like this that I’m glad I don’t (although not to say a boy wouldn’t ask this). She asked, “Do you have to be married to have a baby?” Back in the day, I would have gotten 40 lashes from the nuns at my Catholic school for even pondering such a thing. I liked my friend’s response, though, which was appropriately diplomatic: “Well, yes you can. But it would more ideal if you were married.”

Interesting timing for that particular topic of conversation. Because in the next breath, I am passing on the good news that my closest friend in NJ just gave birth on Monday to her first child, and she is…unmarried. She has been dating the father for several years, and they plan to marry in the fall, but still, it has been an unexpected backward series of events. I honestly don’t care if she gets married or not, or if anybody who wants a child gets married, but I do think a child longs for the love from both parents however they get it. There are different things a mom gives to her children, and different things a dad gives to his children. If that can be done in unison, well, maybe there’s an argument for parents being together when they raise a child. I know that my friend’s response had nothing to do with the morality of marriage that some people love to argue, but more for the logistical reasons. A spouse’s 5 day long business trip can bring us married folks to the brink of insanity and makes us wonder, “How do single parents do it??” I lean on my husband for certain things, as he does me, and I admit, I have no idea how single parents do it. It has got to be the hardest job in the world.

"Hey Mama, I'm not a morning person either!"

3 Comments:

Blogger Mayberry said...

Congrats to your friend! One of my friend's sisters just had a baby at age 40. She's unmarried but lives with the dad and has for like 15 years. And of course the 1st thing the grandparents said was "when are you getting married?!?!"

Welcome back!!

4:04 PM

 
Blogger Heather said...

You know, I think there are hard and easy aspects of couples parenting together AND single parenting. Sometimes things go easier when you don't have another person sending a conflicting message. And you can set your own schedule for things without worrying about your partner's schedule. Things like that...

...however, the option of handing the child off to a partner when you're fried after a long and trying day...that might just trump all the easier aspects.

Congrats to your friend.

7:11 PM

 
Blogger Christina said...

My husband just got back from a 5 day trip, and I don't know how single parents ever do it. It was a long 5 days.

7:27 PM

 

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