More and more people are delaying marriage, or eschewing the walk down the aisle altogether, but according to a recent report sponsored by the National Marriage Project, they are not delaying childbirth at the same rate. This trend has resulted in a large percentage of children today, nearly half according to the latest Census Bureau numbers, being born out of wedlock.
The report notes that the effect of delayed marriage coupled with a rise in unmarried parenthood includes an increased risk of poverty and instability for the children involved. Giving your kids a more stable and predictable home life, and lowering their chances of growing up in poverty are two very good perks of being married to their father and raising them together as a family. But there are many others.
He loves them like I do
I’m a mom. I love my kids more than the whole universe. I’d lay down my life for them in a heartbeat. Who else in the world loves them like I do? Their daddy, that’s who. It’s good to be raising my children with the only other person in the world who I know, without a doubt, loves them as much as I do and would do anything to protect them from harm.
I know him intimately
Sadly, it’s the men in children’s lives who too often do cause them harm. Every time I read about a child killed or horrifically abused by their mother’s boyfriend, I wonder how well she knew him before she let him around her kids.
Sure, parents sometimes hurt or even kill their own biological children, but chances are, if you wait until after you’ve dated and eventually married the man you love before you have kids, you’ll spot most of the red flags that indicate he could be abusive.
We decide who influences our kids
Raising our kids together means that my husband and I decide, together, who gets to be a part of their lives. If we weren’t married, either one of us could introduce objectionable people into our children’s lives. It would be very difficult to control who has access to the kids and what sort of influence they might have.
If something happens to me, they have him
A while back, a local family was in a horrible car wreck. The mom was killed, and her husband and her little girl both ended up in the hospital. When the little girl was released from the hospital, she went home with her father, the mother’s ex. Her mother’s husband had no rights to custody of the little girl and no matter how much he might have loved her, too, he was essentially cut out of her life.
When I’m faced with the thought of this sort of tragedy, it comforts me to know that if something horrible happened to me, my kids would still have their dad, no questions asked, with as little disruption in their life as possible.
We’re setting an example for their future
Raising a family together is hard work. It’s tough getting through the early years or parenthood, the sleepless nights, the mountains of bills, the heated negotiations over everything from in-laws to parenting strategies, etc. But one of the greatest perks of working through hard times together is being able to show our kids that “for better, for worse” really means that you don’t give up on family without an extremely good reason.
Love deserves our whole-hearted best efforts, especially when the going gets rough, and kids deserve the most stable and loving home we can give them. And with our love and support, I hope they’ll pass these values forward to our grandchildren someday.
More by Tavia:
Divorce Can Jeopardize a Parent’s Right to Homeschool Their Kids
To Stay-at-home Moms, Our Husbands Are Unsung Heroes
Time spent with dad is important to kids