I went for drinks with a co-worker a few weeks back. Totally against my new personal rules. I decided when I started this job 6 months ago that I wasn’t going to make any new personal friends. Which simply means I see you at work, I go home.
But I’m also a sucker for free drinks so I agreed to go.
My problem with going out with co-workers is that I have no filter. With my friends it’s okay to talk about this wart on my finger but with my co-worker? That’s a recipe for front page, lunch room gossip.
She took it easy on me for the first 20 minutes but at some point, the conversation shifted to our five year plans for life. “Do you live with your boyfriend?”
“Not yet, we’re planning on moving together as soon as his lease is up.”
She shook her head in understanding. “Does he have any kids?”
“Nope. Wouldn’t care if he did, but luckily he doesn’t,” I smiled.
“Do you both want kids?”
“Yeah, I do. I’d actually like to start once planning for one once we move together.”
There was an audible gasp at the table. “So you just want to get knocked up huh?” She laughed but I knew she meant it.
I felt the judgement, but it didn’t offend me. I’d figured from the cross she had on her neck and the one that hung in her cubical that she was some sort of a Jesus-Freak. I laughed, “yeah, i guess so!”
“Well what about marriage?”
“Eventually, but there are no guarantees in marriage.”
“Yeah but you will know that he is committed with that ring on your finger.”
“Will you?” I retorted. Again, not offended. I expected this when I’d said it. “A marriage doesn’t mean he won’t leave you. A marriage doesn’t mean you’re happy”
“So you aren’t ready for marriage? But you’d be ready to birth a human being!?”
“Yes! Marriage is a business merger. I’m not quite ready for that.” It wasn’t her business (although neither was this current conversation) but I didn’t have the heart to tell her was that the way my student loans were set up, my broke ass literally couldn’t afford to get married. More on that later.
“….a child needs both parents in the home.”
“I just said we were moving together, and again, marriage doesn’t mean he will stay. A child doesn’t mean he will leave!”
This went on back and forth for a while and it wasn’t until the next day that I had time to reflect on the conversation and how it made me feel.
Financially, I’m not ready. But you’re ready for a baby? Bish Whet?
I know, It’s ass backwards thinking; but not really. The truth is, I gots a plenty of student loan debt. Student loan debt that would be made more difficult given I change my last name. My partner and I have talked about this for a while, and the truth is, my student loan debts would cost me more per month with his added income. My current payments are tied to my income under the income-based repayment plan. So you do the math, more income means higher payments. I won’t let my loans hold me back forever, but for now it’s a damn good reason to put off marriage for awhile.
I Don’t Need a Ring to be Committed
I’m perfectly happy, now! I’ve been with my partner for 4 years, and while we fully plan to marry in time, right now our relationship is just great. Of course we go through our ups and downs, but I’ve never felt the need to pressure him into marriage (nor has he pressured me). What I enjoy most about this moment is being able to choose the life we want to live. We do what we want and I take pride in the fact that we’re able to choose our choice. Choosing to have a baby before marriage is our choice. There’s something really powerful to me, very mature, for me to be able to make a choice about my life and say to hell what everyone else has to say about it. I can plan to have my baby. Choose to have the love and support our families and enjoy bringing life into this world with the man I love.
So, why do you care what others think?
I don’t. It just makes for a good discussion. So what do you think? Would you choose baby over marriage?