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Why I think @ymummyreally is full of crap & a cute nappy I bought

 |  Links, Personal, WTF

I found myself on a blog entry today that sent my blood pressure sky high (I’m getting old, I can’t help it). It’s @MumsnetBloggers fault. Anyway, the entry in question (“Congratulations Fearne Cotton! Now how soon before someone mentions the ‘M’ word?“) written by ‘yummy mummy’ Louise, questions the modern practice of having babies out of wedlock.

Apparently one can only be committed enough to raise children if you’re married; you can only find the ‘incentive’ to work through troubles with a ring on your finger and a marriage certificate. I might be paraphrasing slightly.

I don’t know where to begin listing the ways this bugs me. For starters, what business of Louise is Fearne — or anyone else’s — relationship status? What about those who choose to conceive by donor? Gay couples? Are the requirements of marriage vital there too?

After over 10 years with Karl, 2 cars, a mortgage and numerous pets, what difference would a dress and a piece of paper have made to our decision to bring 2 children into this world? How could a ceremony provide me more inspiration to work on my relationship than my beautiful, clever babies?

Louise insists that just because this setup works for me, doesn’t mean it’ll work for everyone:

I say that going by the divorce rates in this country, neither does bloody marriage.

– – –

In completely unrelated news, how adorable is this nappy I bought from Fill Your Pants? (product shot – pic not mine)

I am in love with this nappy. They are not completely bomb-proof, so I wouldn’t use it for a long journey or overnight etc, but they fit incredibly snug and are super soft inside. I don’t know how I’m going to justify splurging on the other prints but I’m sure I’ll find a way!

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

14 comments so far

  1. Mel (MilkChic Breastfeeding Fashion) said:

    I commented on very similar lines. The commitment makes the marriage, not the other way round. When people split up (married or unmarried), you often hear about how they tried to stay together “for the children”, as my partner did with his ex. I have never heard anyone say they stayed together “because they had a wedding”. Incidentally, we are probably one of the worst kind of couples – we fell pregnant (accidentally, after I tried for years with my ex) after only a few months. Our relationahip had to step up to the mark quickly because there were three children’s welfare invested in our relationship. We have a strong, stable relationship and no plans to get married – we’d rather spend that money on our kids. The unmarried couples who split up are the same ones who would have got divorced if they’d married – it just costs them less.

  2. Mummetime said:

    My brother is getting divorced after 8 years together and only 16 months of marriage it really isn’t a magic piece of paper I am married but find a mortgage and children the biggest commitment. We were able to get married as we didn’t have children but if we had children first the commitment would still be there but I would have found it selfish to spend that sort of money on a wedding when you have children to spend the money on.
    Each to their own we are living in a modern world where marriage no longer means the father passing care of the woman to the husband I have met plenty of commited couples, un married, including gay and lesbians who make fantastic parents. Nothing changed in my relationship from getting married except I have more legal rights but since having children that applies as well.
    I love to see my friends get married as it is a chance to celebrate their commitment and they can be selfish but that is because we are happy for them with or without the ceremony.
    Today it is very naive to have such dated views on marriage children should not be the glue that holds a marriage together but in many cases a worthless piece of paper is not going to make much difference if it is not working.

  3. Matt said:

    Being married had no impact on my desire to have kids. It would have happened either way – but I do feel more secure because of our marriage – by that I mean my wife and I made a commitment through it to each other and the kids are part of that commitment.

    Our marriage was our celebration of us. Indulgent? Yes. Wrong because we had a child we could have spent that money on? No. Our relationship and happiness is key to our kids happiness.

    Let me be clear, I do not think being married makes one bit of difference to how strong people’s relationships are, and that just because they are married that relationship will last longer, or that it comes into play with kids at all.

    I’m just pointing out that we got married and it was a vital point in our relationship developing. So in our case, unlike what was said above it was not selfish because we ‘could have spent the money on the kids.’

    Just my 2p

  4. Sam said:

    Totally agree with you, Jem. I do not understand why people still have this ridiculous obsession with marriage. I feel likea lot of people are not very honest with themselves about why they want to get/be married. I see so many couples who do it for the wedding without realistic consideration of what marriage is like (ie, the same as not being married but now you can say you are married). There is also the huge social pressure, that whole ‘supposed to’factor.

  5. Cozza said:

    “I say that going by the divorce rates in this country, neither does bloody marriage.”

    Exactly! Why is marriage put on such a pedestal? Especially when a one night Vegas stand can get married, but a same sex couple of years can’t.

  6. Mumblies said:

    Personally I do not see why anyone ‘has’ to be married. From someone who has had the full Church wedding, complete with guard of honour while both myself and my husband were serving in the Armed Forces, A Register Office with reception at home and finally a civil partnership.

    The first fiasco was a nightmare, with me counting the days until I could get back to Britain and start divorce proceedings. The 2nd was not the same. I was never abused or felt the desire to ‘get out’ but realised that it was not for me…and took steps to dissolve the marriage. The 3rd was, in most instances the biggest doomed to failure – I met my partner on the internet, thanks goes to Jem for shoving me in the right direction and now here I am some 12 yrs since we first met and 6 years since our civil partnership which was initially to ensure that should I die before my partner that she would not be forced out of our home which is a housing association property and their rules meant that she had no claim to the home that she could well have lived in for 20 odd years or so.

    I am very happy to say that despite doing the socially accepted methods twice this last relationship is by far the one I am more committed to, feel comfortable in and finally feel that I somehow ‘belong’

    I know we tease Jem and Karl saying that he should ‘Do the decent thing’ etc etc but in all reality it doesn’t make any difference to me. If they are happy that really is all that needs to be. Stuff society and their ideals… this is the 21st Century and things are different now.

    Oh and I love that nappy too, so pretty compared to the square terry ones I used all those years ago.

  7. Jennifer said:

    I’m glad you blogged about this. I don’t believe that marriage adds any ‘incentive’ to stay in a relationship if somebody is unhappy. In all the conversations I’ve had with my Dad about my parents’ divorce he has never said, “I tried to make it work because we were married,” but he does say “I tried to make it work for you and your brother.”

    The feeling of commitment that she describes is the result of having a lengthy relationship with somebody, compounded by creating children together; it’s not the result of being in a legally defined relationship which requires legal procedures to dissolve.

    Couples in married or unmarried relationships are breaking up all the time; the difficulty of the impending break-up or divorce does not alter one’s commitment to a relationship.

    I got engaged to my partner a year after moving in with him because I felt like it was the ‘natural next step’. Pfft. We looked at how much a wedding would cost and set out a budget for it… But we kept finding better things to spend our money on. Like rent or things for our pets… or video games. I realised that it wasn’t a high priority for me when it actually came down to doing it. I first realised that I didn’t want the wedding part (I don’t need to celebrate my relationship with anybody but my partner). I thought about how valuable a marriage certificate would really be and how it would change my current situation. It’s hardly going to improve my commitment; I’m *already* committed: I moved miles away from my family to live somewhere affordable with my partner *because* I felt committed. To break up would be life-changing because we’ve been together for so long, but is it the difficulty of breaking up that makes us feel committed? Of course not; it’s everything else.

    I wonder how many people get married simply because that is what they always expected in their projected life-plan as a child. How many do it because it is “the natural next step in the relationship”? When somebody walks down the aisle while pregnant, are they getting married because they’re committed to each other or because society keeps telling them that they “should” be married before having children?

    I take no issue with people who get married because they want to make the legal commitment; I just don’t think it’s a necessary part of a committed relationship. If you both want a wedding to celebrate your relationship, that’s great! I sincerely hope you had/have a lovely day. It’s just not for me. If you want to wear rings.. Well, rings are much cheaper when they aren’t called “wedding bands”, that’s for sure, but if you can afford the jewellery and you want to attach a ceremony to those rings, that’s great too. Just please, please don’t disrespect unmarried couples by questioning their commitment to their relationship; we all have our own opinions and marriage is obviously something which we have placed quite a different value on. It doesn’t make anybody more or less committed to their relationship.

  8. Stephanie said:

    You and Karl are married in all ways except in name. Being married is a state of mind; the ceremony is an optional part that just makes it official.

    To me, as long as a child has a committed and loving family that gives all necessary attention, the child will be fine. Doesn’t matter if it’s a single mother, a traditional married couple (I place you and Karl in this category even if you aren’t officially in it), or a gay couple. However, it is a LOT tougher to raise a child as a single mother.

  9. Mummy Em said:

    Oh my gosh, what century is this woman living in?!

    My partner and I had been together two months when I fell pregnant. Bubba is now almost one year old, we’re living in the house we built together and we have a wonderful, very committed relationship and are contemplating a second baby.

    I might add that I am divorced and my first marriage doesn’t even deserve the word marriage and lasted six months.

    The bit of paper has nothing to do with it, in my experience. I’ve never been happier :-)

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