Marriage v. Children

I’m back with another question.

Interestingly I was just having this conversation the other night with a friend and a reader asked me the exact same question in the comments section of my last post. This was the question posed to me:

Do you look forward to having a wife more? Or to having children? In your post, it came across like you thought more about what your relationship with your children would be like, as opposed to your wife. I see this with a lot of people my age, black people in particular.- blackgirlmd

As always before I let you know what I think I’m going to delve into this a bit further. Before I do I want to say that I don’t think there is a wrong or right answer. I do think that based on personal experiences and your outlook on life may affect how which one you would rather have.

@BrazenlyVirile I’d rather be a mom. I want to adopt one day. A man can usually find another wife but it’s harder for kids to find parents.- prettykeety

@BrazenlyVirile isn’t it the other way around? You’re stuck with your kids but you can divorce someone. – LikeaStar1032

@BrazenlyVirile but there us such a fulfillment in being a great parent and watching your product (child) grow and letting them loose lol – LuzForPRESIDENT

@BrazenlyVirile wife. I have nieces and nephews that I adore, they can be my play kids, lol – LaDiDa5

@BrazenlyVirile wife. Single parenting is not what’s hot. – travilly

These are a couple of the responses I received when I asked my followers.

Personally I would unequivocally be a husband over a father. Ideally I want both but if I had to choose I would be a husband. My logic is that there are ordered steps. You meet a woman, you fall in love, get married, have children and those children have children. Call it old fashioned but I don’t want to have children out of wedlock. The way I see it your children will eventually leave you and start their own families [as they should]. You raise your children but you eventually have to let them go to live their own lives.

Now marriage is [supposed to be] for life.

I’m getting married once. When I do I’m going to make it count. “….til death do us part” is going to be real round these parts. Obviously I’m not married now and I don’t know what the future may hold. Right now I can naively say that the only thing that could guarantee I would seek divorce is abuse. Whether it be physical, sexual or emotional.

So the argument of “I’d rather be a parent than a spouse because my kids won’t leave me” doesn’t really apply to me. Besides if you go into a marriage skeptical then your perception will become reality and you’re doomed from the start. I think one of my good friend put it best when she said:

Most people don’t have faith in relationships mostly due to poor examples and poor decisions. In our community we see more examples of stability through kids,ie “they will love us forever,they need us,wont leave,etc,etc,” – Corrin31

I love the Lord and I want a faith-based marriage so that also drives my belief in wanting a wife before a child:

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.- Genesis 2:24

So I’ll the same question here.

If you had to choose one which would you rather be. A husband/wife or a parent?

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35 thoughts on “Marriage v. Children

  1. MsJamie14

    Ideally I want both but if I had to choose I would be a husband. My logic is that there are ordered steps. You meet a woman, you fall in love, get married, have children and those children have children.

    This is exactly why I would chose being a wife over a mother as well. And your children DO leave you, that’s the point. They grow up and leave and if you choose wisely, you live out your golden years with the love of your life.

    It’s funny, I often say I don’t want kids. But really, I don’t want kids with just anyone. I literally can’t see myself having kids without having a husband first. Once I meet a man who has long term potential, I warm up to the idea of procreation once again. 😆

    Great post.

    Reply
  2. dc

    I’d rather be a wife. Mostly for the reasons you mentioned. No matter how close a relationship I could have with my potential kids, it’s not designed for companionship. Marriage is.

    Reply
  3. nianaturally

    Definitely a wife, for all of the reasons you mentioned. I want kids, at least 3, and I believe I will have them within the confines of a loving marriage. My parents had 5 children, none outside of the marriage. That’s what I want (except, a better marriage, much better), minus 2. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

    Good post!

    Reply
  4. TellylongLegs

    **sighs*** It’s always refreshing to hear men say they want to get married and NOT have kids out of wedlock. 

    I’m gonna have to be greedy and say I want both because I’m really looking forward to bringing life into the world just as much as I long for those moments where someone ask about me and the Mr.’s face lights up and his heart fills with glee because he chose me to be his wife.

    I’m not 100% sure that I can choose one over the other.

    Reply
    1. starita34

      I’m with you…this is a nearly impossible decision. I want children so badly. But what kind of mother would I be never having experienced the love and support of a husband/father to my children? (this isn’t a value judgement on those who are single parents, I just know my limitations and needs and I need a partner to raise children)

      But the game is the game, I have to choose one. And in the end, I have to reluctantly decide on the role of wife. That love and support and commitment is something that I absolutely do not want to go without in my life.

      Reply
  5. Bola

    Good post and I’ve had this discussion with my friends. It has been 50/50. Some saying they would still have children or adopt if they didnt get married. Haven’t asked my guy friends this question though. Interesting to know theyre answers

    I personally want to be a wife b/c I want the companionship and to spend a lifetime with my best friend. I’m excited/scared about marriage but want it more than children.
    Now even though I do want a child or 2, it really excites to me see what my husband and I can produce from our love (so mushy) For this reason I know I wouldnt have a child/adopt if I dont get married. Plus single parent homes are hard enough and not something I’m I grew up with my parents

    Reply
  6. nowsayitwithme

    “You raise your children but you eventually have to let them go to live their own lives.

    Now marriage is [supposed to be] for life. I’m getting married once. When I do I’m going to make it count. “….til death do us part” is going to be real round these parts”

    Like I twote, I’d want to be a wife first and for the exact reasons you made perfectly clear. I don’t want to see kids as temporary or permanent but marriage will be for life. Til DEATH do us part. I don’t believe in divorce. We’ll make this work.

    Now, I said something about Chronicles of the Unmarried or yadda yadda & you completely brushed it off. But this is post 3 (in a row) around the same topic. I’ll wait lol

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “Now, I said something about Chronicles of the Unmarried or yadda yadda & you completely brushed it off. But this is post 3 (in a row) around the same topic. I’ll wait lol”

      shhhh shhhh shhhh i was asked to do a post after my twitter question. i originally wasn’t.

      Reply
  7. gemmieboo

    we are >>here<< on this. thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. i rarely here men talk about these things.

    i believe in an order to things. so i definitely want to be a wife first (perhaps MORE than) and a mother second. for most of the same reasons you mentioned.

    BUT i'd be lying if i said that if i were 40 and still single i wouldnt consider adopting a child. i do want to be a mother, even if marriage isnt in the cards for me. idk, i guess i'll cross that bridge if i get there…

    Reply
  8. mbadjie

    I am a wife right now. And I have to say (as a anew reader) I agree completely with this post. My husband and I dated, married after three years and are now enjoying our lives together, building an even stronger foundation that will also support the needs of children in a few years. Children leave the home, as they should. When they do, the marriage still needs to consist of a man and woman who is “conciously” married. So, whether you want it or not, in the perfect order of things, you should want to be a husband/wife first.

    Reply
  9. ghettoprep36

    I’m honestly kinda split. I’m gonna cosign by saying, like most others, that I would like to be married before having kids anyway. Ideally, I find a wife, then have kids, then ship kids out and resume good times with the wife.

    If i had to choose exclusively between the two, I would choose to be a father tho. Not in the way that most of these other guys are “fathers”, but in a real hands on way. I’d like a chance to try to be the father to my kids that I didn’t have in my father (yes, he was “present”, but as an African man, he tended to be more hands off).

    To me, though, part of being a good father includes being a good husband, so ideally they can’t be separate. As a father, part of what you “teach” your kids comes from how they see you interact with your significant other. Boys learn how to treat women (and how women should treat them) based on how you and your wife treat each other, and girls learn the same. Without that example, or a good one, you end up with kids growing up skeptical of love and wanting to be parents without being “burdened” by a man/woman, even though you need those relationships in play to maximize effectiveness in your role as a parent.

    Reply
    1. starita34

      “To me, though, part of being a good father includes being a good husband, so ideally they can’t be separate. As a father, part of what you “teach” your kids comes from how they see you interact with your significant other.”

      Precisely!! Which is why I couldn’t choose motherhood over marriage either, even though I want to be a mother with every fiber of my being.

      Reply
  10. Jubilance

    I would be a wife. I absolutely want to get married, but as I get older, the prospect of being a parent becomes less & less attractive. Not that I don’t like kids – I love them, especially my beautiful nieces & nephew. But kids are WORK! And I’m not sure I’m cut out for it. So I’ll probably just be the cool Auntie who spoils her nieces & nephew & enjoy my life with my husband.

    Reply
  11. Me

    I’d much rather be a wife. To be honest, I wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t have children, either. I used to be the type that had to have that white-picket-fence life, but after being a guardian for a year and a half, I can honestly say I don’t have the patience. People say that’s only because the kid wasn’t biologically mine and that it’s different when it’s the fruit of you, and maybe they’re right. But I know one thing, I don’t plan on doing this alone. I can’t see myself not having a husband before the child.

    Reply
  12. Euphoric Ears

    Even though my answer is posted above, I’ll chime in again. I’d rather be a wife. Ideally, I’d like both…but if I had to choose…I’d rather have a man that I can enjoy the rest of my life with. I feel as though there are plenty of kids in this world who need love that aren’t receiving it. If I needed that connection with a child…I can mentor or spend time w/ my nieces and nephews.

    I’d rather have a successful marriage. Don’t see too many of those around now a days.

    Reply
  13. chunk

    “I’m getting married once. When I do I’m going to make it count. “….til death do us part” is going to be real round these parts. Obviously I’m not married now and I don’t know what the future may hold. Right now I can naively say that the only thing that could guarantee I would seek divorce is abuse. Whether it be physical, sexual or emotional.”

    Yep, sounds good.

    Except… a marriage is two (or more) people. So you can be 100% committed and refuse to divorce for anything other than abuse… but the reality is that she could always leave you. It’s really interesting how much we ignore that small but huge fact; the other person can leave and then, my friend, you will be divorced, like it or not, never thought it would happen to you or not. And we can say we’re going to choose someone who is as committed, but the reality is over a few decades, people change, and well, you just never know.

    I answered your question when you posed it on twitter, and I think I had a valid point- one can want to be a wife first, then a mother, but “what happens if you don’t find a mate, are you supposed to give up motherhood too?” is a valid question.

    I’ve been a wife, and I loved it. But I’ve never given birth and mothered my own child, so for me, at this point, “mama” is probably trumping “wife.”

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      “but the reality is that she could always leave you. It’s really interesting how much we ignore that small but huge fact; the other person can leave and then, my friend, you will be divorced, like it or not, never thought it would happen to you or not.”

      to respond to this statement that’s why i posted this

      “Right now I can naively say….”

      before my statement. key word on naively. i know i’m not married and my wife could very well want to leave me (although i think the chances of that are slim lol). i know i’m not a future teller but i can say what i would like to happen. *shrug*

      Reply
      1. chunk

        Touche. I guess I’m just pointing out that no one mentions this… like ever… we all think: “the chances of that are slim lol” so we kind of ignore the possibility. LOL.

  14. 48

    hmm interesting question; didn’t think I’d be able to choose, but I’m going to have to go with motherhood. I worked with children for close to 4yrs so I know a lot about the joy(all the headache and sleepless nights do not diminish this type of joy) and fulfillment that they bring. A cousin posted a picture of her newborn on fb yesterday and I damn here burst into tears – and I am not even the emotional sort. I can’t think of anything else that I feel so strongly about. Adoption has always been on my list of things to do, marriage or not.

    On the other hand, I’m a loner so marriage is a ‘want’…only willing to go it when I find someone(who’s spirit and soul and God approved) that I mesh with on absolutely every level.

    Reply
  15. thoughtsbynssmith

    Very nice read & I agree with you, there is no right or wrong answer but in my opinion there is a ‘best’ answer biblically provided as we all have an opinion and a choice on how to live and carry out our lives.

    With that stated, I agree with you wholeheartedly, a man findth his wife, they date, they fall in love, marry, enjoy one another and then reproduce.

    The idea of having to make a choice has never been one that I really thought about until recently. I have been presented with this question now 3 times in the last 30 days or so and now again in your post…which for me there is no choice but that of unconditional love. Personally, I choose to protect someone’s innocence, love them unconditionally as they fight to live in this cruel and unfair world, always reminding them they can press on….which can be done in either relationship presented…with my husband or with my children…but if needed to say one over the other…being a product of a single parent home, I want to do it the ‘best’ way…with a husband that loves me as I love him unconditionally, no matter what we are in it until death do us part. Never breaking the vow that we made before God and our families…I yarn for that despite the fact that I had a great, full, exciting, BLESSED upbringing but I always wonder what if…and I never want my children to wonder that as it is a question with no answer. I will leave this Earth never knowing something that seems to be the best experience ever for children, even those that may end in divorce, a high percentage always recall when my parents were together…it was great even if it was for just a little while and that I want my children to have forever, but if only for a little while…they deserve it!

    ~Nichole S. (_AmbitiousWoman)

    Reply
  16. LushLife

    I am probably in the minority of women who is indifferent when it comes to having children. I always felt that the man I marry would determine if I have children. I also have a hard time picturing myself as a mother. Not that I think I wouldn’t be good at it but children make me feel uncomfortable. Being that I am the youngest person in my family and I’m 25, I haven’t been around many children. I don’t have many fantasies about family life, marriage or my wedding which I guess makes me a little odd.

    If I were to choose marriage or children, I would definitely pick marriage. I am a people person and enjoy companionship, I don’t think I would get the same kind of enjoyment from someone I didn’t consider my peer/helpmate.

    Reply
    1. LushLife

      For some reason when I think about how old I am I always want to say 25. I’m not ashamed of my age, I am 27 pushing 28.

      Reply
  17. @RedsAnaTomi

    Sooo… this is a rather interesting topic for me, because I’ve always said that I REALLY want to be both a wife and a mother of 5 (a lot, I know). So to have to pick one is difficult for me.

    I think there’s something rather intriguing about the idea of being linked to ONE person for life with no biological basis for the relationship. There’s nothing binding a person to their spouse (other than the Law of God), and so its a testament to the ability of humans to relate to one another and see it through. I think it requires character and perseverance, and it would be so much more of a challenge to me. That, and for ME, I would prefer to have children borne of a marriage rooted in love and Christ.

    That being said, I fully believe that the sole purpose of my existence is because God has a plan for my grandchildren. I’d hope that I’d be given the opportunity to be BOTH a wife and a mother, but if I had to choose, I’d choose motherhood — every time.

    good post, T.

    Reply
  18. Lioness Rising

    I think being both a spouse and a parent are natural urges for most people which is why it is hard to make a choice and not many think of them as being separate. The first thing people think of after marriage is children to complete the idea of a family. I think either way I would be unhappy. Even if I knew we were not getting a divorce, many couples who are childless (not by choice) face marital problems as the both feel the missing hole in their hearts they thought a child would provide. On the other hand single-parenthood can leave you very unfulfilled.

    I will say I would choose to be a wife. Only because my duties as a mother can not be performed at their full potential without a father present. On the other hand I can perform all of my duties as a wife without a child (if I do no include bearing children as one of those duties).

    Reply
  19. blackgirlmd

    Oh wow! My comment inspired a post. For some reason I feel honored lol.

    To answer my own question, I think I would choose to be a wife. I’ve always seen myself as getting married one day. I only recently started to see myself as a parent. But whether I have my kids or not, when I get married, I’m definitely adopting. I looooooove children and I love loving them.

    Now If I were unable to get married for some reason, would I still adopt? I don’t know. I think I would make an awesome mom, but I think children need fathers. Parenting always goes so much better when its done as a team.

    Reply
  20. *J

    Wow! That’s a very interesting question. I’ve never even thought about it before to be completely honest. If I had to choose, I would want to be a husband before a father. Similar to what you said, it’s all about a process. To me, I must love GOD first, myself second and then everyone else. I would want to love my wife and then have us conceive a child that we could share our love with. That would be the ideal process for me.

    Reply
  21. Focused TiffT

    I think that to prefer to be a parent over being a spouse is to look at one’s past and to find that there are some emotional things that need to be healed in the individual’s life. I believe this especially if a person is worried about being left. If they feel like they are going to be left by a spouse, did this happen with their parents, did their parents split? Were both of the parents in the home? I believe that if you meet someone who has dealt with their past issues and has a real relationship with God where they do not want to break God’s heart so that they live their lives always repenting when they have hurt God to a point that they choose to live a holy lifestyle where they depend on Christ and learning how to depend on Him and crucifying the flesh then marriage will be what it is, a ministry. A representation of Christ and the church. Most people marry without knowing the biblical foundation and what their roles are to be. If you don’t understand that, plus you have baggage from childhood and past relationships then you have quite a few odds against your marital relationship and its success.

    Reply
  22. African Mami

    Well at the moment I have imaginary mommy fever. In my head, I already have a daughter, name picked out, but no visible partner/husband or otherwise! If I really had to choose, i would be a MOTHER first!

    Reply
  23. Pingback: 1 1/2 More Girlfriends « The Native Son

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