Why do some believe being married will automatically make being a mom easier? In actuality, it might be harder. Instead of just having to deal with your actual dependents you might have a grown child that you made vows to that depends on you just as much as the children and frankly cannot make it without you. Ideally, of course, one would want their partner to equally take on responsibilities with parenting and managing the household but that is far from reality for many families. Please don’t play yourself ladies! Securing the ring does not necessarily mean you have secured an active or reliable parent. There are so many married women I know who are constantly complaining because their spouse leaves all the child rearing and responsibilities to the wife. Now I can understand being a single parent as the majority of the responsibility does usually fall on the custodial parent unless of course there is a joint custody agreement. Unfortunate as it is, this is usually expected. On the contrary, however, it is expected that the wife/mother is the main caretaker even when she is married to a partner who is fully capable of sharing the responsibility of raising the children.
Being a married single mother is a burden I can do without. Marriage benefits just don’t outweigh taking care of the kids by myself with an in-house partner for me. Now if you are thinking about marrying and bringing kids into the picture at some point and don’t want to be blind sighted when the little ones enter your world here are a few ways to gauge whether your mate will be an active parent or just leave it up to you.
Find out how was your spouse raised. Was a your spouse raised in a two parent household? Was your spouse’s father an active father? And just because your spouse may have come from a single parent household does not mean he won’t be an active parent. Some men who saw their mother’s bare the burden of raising kids alone vowed to never do the same to their children.
How does your spouse interact with his kids from a previous relationship? Now this won’t apply for all but this is a great way to get an inside look of what your future may bring. Does your mate have joint custody of his kids? Does he call and check on them when they are away? Does he make his kids a priority or second thought? When the kids are with him is he spending quality time with them and really taking on equal responsibility? Or is he rely on his children’s mother to be most involved?
Just ask. Simply ask your mate, “How do you view family dynamics?” Now this question as simple and easy as it may seem should be explored in depth. Yes, it can be casually brought up during pillow talk or while discussing your future together. However, we all know people will tell you what you want to hear. So don’t just take the first answer for the final “say so”. Continue to bring it up the question–hypothetically get your partner’s thoughts on a “mutual friend’s situation”. Last but not least make sure this is brought up during couple’s therapy /pre-marital therapy to ensure you both are on the same page.
All in all, just do your homework and due diligence before saying, “I do.” Understanding how your partner views parental roles and responsibilities is just as important as knowing about your their financial profile before locking into a union of marriage.