The first year of marriage can be hard enough; adding a baby to the mix makes it all the more weighty and difficult. Perhaps the greatest danger to a baby arrives is that the newlyweds focus all of their love and attention on the baby, where, of course, it should be.
But, this often leaves the new marriage to wither. Gone is the tender affection for the spouse. Redirected are the supportive words. A marriage with a few years’ foundation can better weather this phase because the partners, ideally, will be able to see it as just that a phase. But newlyweds may be more apt to think: This is marriage? Being ignored? Being ordered around the house. Never sleeping? No more sex? Ever? Some might say the important thing in deciding to have a baby with someone isn’t whether there’s a ring on you finger and a certificate at the town hall, but how you feel about and get along with each other.
Well, I could name 20 gay couples I know who are successfully raising kids together without saying; “I do” in the classic sense. That said, since having a baby, wonderful as it is, is one of the most monumental and stressful things to happen to a marriage or relationship, ideally you’d want to save it until after you’ve at least decided whether you want to be in a long-term couple with the baby’s father – and preferably until after you’ve given that an actual try. Or at least until you’ve figured out how you’ll manage financially and emotionally should the relationship end (and preferably until after you’ve given that an actual try or, if you don’t want to, how you’ll manage financially, physically and emotionally to raise the child with someone else or without help from any steady, solid partner.
The thought of intentionally bringing a child into the world before you’re married is asking for trouble. Couples who bypass the honeymoon period and go straight to diapers, bottles and non-stop infant care taking rob themselves of the essential time needed early in marriage to be alone, really get to know each other and build a foundation that will last a lifetime.
Babies are the best gift life has to offer, but trust me o this one, they are incredibly demanding and require nothing short of selfless nurturing. “There’s a reason sex-ed classes teach kids, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes —- with the baby carriage.” It may be old-fashioned, but it’s still the best arrangement.