First comes love, Then comes marriage, Then comes the baby in a baby carriage.
It may have once been fun to jump rope to the rhyme, but these days, it’s far, far from the truth. 40 percent of children today are born to single mothers. Some births are accidental — happily or sadly welcomed. Others are planned by women discouraged about finding a solid and loving partner.
What used to be understood as the order of things isn’t so orderly anymore. Baby may come first, not last, in the rhyme.
Single mothers with children rarely give up the dream of finding love and making a life with someone. Sometimes everything just falls beautifully into place. The mom meets a new love who embraces both the parent and child and all three go on to live happily ever after.
But most of the time, life isn’t so smooth. Sometimes the child seems to be an obstacle to finding a mate. One male after another says some version of, “Well, I love you but your kids are in the way of our relationship.” What happens then?
If you’re a single mother who has fallen in love, make sure you know what your sweetheart is prepared to do about becoming part of a family before you start dreaming of tying the knot. If your true love says he never wanted kids, doesn’t now, can’t stand kids, sees kids as a drain on money, time, and fun, or doesn’t want anything to do with your child’s other parent (if that parent is in the picture) or the grandparents from your ex, go very slow and see if he means it.
It’s just true. Sometimes people are so in the habit of saying something that they haven’t thought for a long time about whether they really mean it. Sometimes, a man who never thought about having kids in his youth is open to rethinking his position as an older adult. It’s worth asking.
But if he can’t think about changing his mind and folding children into his life in a genuine, loving way, he probably won’t. Marrying a man who is anti-children has huge implications for your relationship with your children and your relationship with him.