Definition: Contrary to established moral principals. Question: Who determines what these are?

I attended a 'mom get together' with some of the moms from my daughters play group. I was kind of excited to get to know other women with kids since the majority of my friends are still single and living the party life which I was a part of not so long ago. Anyway, I'm sitting there with all the other moms, we're all around the same age, one mom says to me, "so what does your husband do for a living." First a little history, most of the time people refer to my 'significant other' as my 'husband'. Most of the time, I let it pass without correcting them. It seems to be easier than explaining that he in fact isn't my husband, we're not married, we live in sin. But on this particular day I decide to tell the truth, I correct the mom and say, "he's not my husband, but, he's a mechanical engineer." Knock me over with a stick...you should have seen the look of shock on her face. She didn't quite know what to say...but she managed the words, "oh, you are not married, well that must have been really hard for you." What the f*ck? That must have been really hard for me? What, having a baby, yes that was hard...just the same as it's hard for anyone...come on, it's like pushing a watermelon through a straw. Sorry for the graphics, but really, why must it have been hard for me...because I'm not married? I didn't know what to say, so I just sort of ignored her comment. After that moment, I could tell that she actually started treating me differently, like I had some sort of disease. I tried to not let it bother me, I'm usually pretty good at ignoring people's stupid comments but I've actually been thinking about it the rest of the weekend. It got me thinking about who determines what 'moral standards' our society should live by. It's really a strange world because now that I'm a single mom (although I'm not really single, I am living with the 'daddy') people actually consider me more 'immoral' then before when I was living alone, playing the field, partying, and basically acting like an adolescent. I mean it's not like I was seventeen, knocked up without a job, without a place to go. I'm in my mid-thirties, I'm college educated, I have a successful career, I'm self sufficient, I have a nice place to live and I have nice things. No I didn't plan to have a child out of wedlock but it happened. Instead of throwing a fit about the things I had to give up, the partying lifestyle, the cool loft in the hip neighborhood, I decided to act like a grownup and accept what was. Would I like to be married, yes. Would I have rather had a child when I was married, probably. Do I think that not being married makes me less of a great mom, HELL NO. If anything I think my daughter will grow up knowing that a woman does not need a man to define her. She does not need a label to make her feel like she's acceptable to society. Will being married make things easier, maybe. But, being successful in everything you are is much more important than walking down the aisle.

I'm pissed when I think about how small minded people are. One would think that in a big city, people would be different, but they aren't. It's almost like half of the population still live back in the days where a woman just wasn't complete until she had a man. And here I thought we'd come so far, apparently not.


  1. special k said...
    I am in the same situation, I have 2 children and I have lived with my boyfriend/common law husband for 6 years. My oldest daughter started pre-school this year, and compared to the "other moms" I am sooo different. I am 24, still young by most standards, i have my nose and eyebrow pierced and tattoos (strategically hidden) and so on. And when I go to school functions, I notice that I dont fit in with the super mom mold. Never have they said anything to me, or looked at me funny, yet. I always expect it though. I wonder sometimes though when I am signing her homework with my last name, when she is going to start questioning why my last name is different than hers... but I agree with what you say, Its important to teach our daughters that they dont have to be defined by a man. We might get married one day, we might not, and sure lifes great fairy-tale is to meet prince charming, have a grand wedding, and be married for a while, THEN have kids, but reality slaps you in the face and tells us otherwise. I, myself, did everything ass-backwards. (oh and about Tommy Lee...I am going to go see Motley Crue in 2 weeks, and he is THE only reason why I am going!!!)
    Networkchic said...
    Prince Charming? Isn't funny how we are taught that fairy tale so young...but why? Did any woman we know really find theirs? Not my mom or any other mom I know.
    WDKY said...
    Aside from the question of how important marriage is as an institution these days, what business is it of anyone else but you and your man? It's certainly got nothing to do with moral values, and judging by the state of a lot of marriages I see around me (and mine in my past life) it's no guarantee of security for children either.

    You're right. We should have moved on by now.
    marybishop said...
    Great post!...who are these people who enjoy judging others so much? I don't get it. I was never a member of the club that knew all the answers to the world.

    I find the older I get the less I care to be around the "normal" folk who have done everything the "right" way.
    Networkchic said...
    Isn't it funny how the older you get, the definition of 'normal' changes? God help me if I ever become normal.
    snaps79 said...
    As long as the dad lives in the same house, loves you and your child, and provides for you, why do you need to be married? A marriage isn't necessarily that sacred of a commitment anymore.
    k said...
    Translation for "It must have been hard for you" :

    It must have been hard for you to be such a successful woman, have a great career, be self sufficient and be able to make such a wise decision to have a baby. It must have been difficult to know that you are making a decision that's right for you and not follow the societal "norms" for marriage, etc... and be successful...

    I would've countered with "It must be hard for you to realize that if you ever want out of your relationship that you're going to lose everything since you're married."

    Stupid people! Last time I checked, the definition of "FAMILY" didn't include a requirement of Marriage. As long as all those elements that you need (love, security and shelter) are there, why mess with it?!

    I too am in my mid-thirties & wonder if I'll ever get married... I do intend to have kids someday, but the marriage part... why can't that just be skipped?!
    k o w said...
    I could make a comment blaming it all on the christian right but that would way be too easy.
    Networkchic said...
    k...you are so right. My parents were divorced but I never once thought I had less than other kids simply because my parents were not married. If anything I had more...my mom was the strongest woman I know. I'd say if you want a baby, then have one. The man is not a requirement these days. It's nice to have one but only because it's wonderful to share the experience, not because you need that legal contract to make it all ok.
    NewYorkMoments said...
    AMEN Sister!!! I won't even get on my soapbox, but I totally agree with you.

    Very recently, my small-town Midwestern mother said (because my sister was living with her boyfriend) that, and I quote, "The woman always loses out in that situation." What kind of 18th century bullsh*t is THAT? I actually hung up on her because I didn't want to throw a string of profanities her way.

    OK...I'll stop now before my rant continues.
    Plantation said...
    I happen to agree wtih you. I can picture you getting treated differently when you announced that. People are small-minded. What a shame...
    unforgiving b*tch said...
    My family tried to push me into a marriage that was destined for doom because we were "living together" *gasp.* So glad I found out things about the ex before the wedding and it didn't happen. Marriage is overrated.
    Justdroppingby... said...
    >>Marriage is overrated.
    Um, not in THIS conversation is it overrated.

    It's just a thought, I don't have any answers...I'm not married either.

    "A woman doesn't need a man!"
    "A man doesn't need a woman!"

    ...but I think needing each other is nice, sometimes.

    Even though there are some bad marraiges, bad scenes. The idea (i promise to stick with you through thin and thin) is nice.

    (And i have seen it done.) To say there's no purpose in getting married...seems like too much. It can be a beautiful thing (marraige that is, sometimes that is!)

    I love seeing those grey heads that stick with each other over something like 40 years...something cool about that.

    Isn't there?

    (However, i understand that one would feel defensive if an acquaintance tried to commiserate that you must feel sad not to be married, when SHE is married. It makes one feel pitied...ugh. But it doesn't mean we have to flush the entire institition down the toilet as worthless.)

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