Should Moms Be Married?

Should Moms Be Married? Picture

I’m sure you’ve heard it all by now. From the infamous NYC ads to just about every episode of Teen Mom, the word is out:


Young, single moms are a mess.

A recent article by the Washington Post discussed the trend of more and more couples who are delaying marriage—with the consequence that more often than not, a baby carriage still arrives. Hey, you’ve seen Jurassic Park, right? Nature always finds a way.

In the United States, almost half of all pregnancies are to unmarried mothers. And although I managed to avoid the statistic by getting married just four months shy of my due date, I definitely fell squarely into the carriage before marriage camp. And I struggled a long time—in fact, I still struggle—with wondering if I was somehow “less” of a mother because of it.

Apparently The Los Angeles Times thinks unmarried moms are messing things up. “Regardless of what you think about the morality of this,” wrote one reporter, “There are data that suggest children born to unmarried parents are at several disadvantages compared with their peers with married parents.”

Ouch.

The gamut of negative effects from being born to – or being – an unmarried mother runs from everything from increased risk of poverty, low levels of education, to substance and drug abuse.

The odds seem to be stacked against single moms, especially young mothers.

But I’m sorry, I refuse to believe the statistics.

There is nothing about being a young or unmarried mother that somehow makes you “less” of a mother or a bad mother. I have been working as a young mom advocate since those first two blue lines appeared for me during college and I’ve interviewed countless mothers, both unmarried and married, for my book and my website series Your Lines.

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And do you know what they all have in common?

Each and every one of them is working incredibly hard to succeed in a society that doesn’t always value motherhood. Yes, the odds are stacked against single moms, because as a society, we don’t make it easy for working mothers and without partners to help out, it is a challenge.

But the moms?

The moms are inspiring, hard-working mothers who would do anything for their children. Instead of focusing on all the ways that single moms are failing or listing all the negative consequences of growing up in a single-parent household, how about we focus on ways to bridge the gap and support mothers?

So don’t tell me that being a young or unmarried mother makes you a bad mom.

Because I refuse to believe it.

Were you married when you became a mother? What are your thoughts on some of these articles mentioned above?

Image via Chaunie Brusie

What do you think?

Should Moms Be Married?

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

Tell us what you think!

11 comments

  1. Briana says:

    I graduated High School 2 months pregnant and didn’t find out until i was 3 1/2 months pregnant. I was 18 at the time. Now, I’m living with my mother-In Law and still not married. I think women should get married when they feel it’s right to get married. Not get married because they had a child. It is likely, but no mom should feel forced to marry a guy just because he is the father of your child. With my spouse and I, we both decided to get married when the time is right. It could be this year, or years after. The articles are by one sided people, who don’t really look at all the possibilities on being a mom. I think that it is okay to be a single mom, and then get married because it show the mother’s if the father will be willing to do what ever he can to provide for just the child or both of you. I was raised by a single mother. Nothing bad happened because she didn’t try hard or was a bad mother. She was a great mother for being single most of my life. Mother should choose on what they think is right for them and their child. This includes being single or not.

  2. mommymormor says:

    I got pregnant at 15 and I got married. I’m now going through a divorce at 19 and raising my two kids on my own. I did finish high school and I’m in college. I don’t think people should marry just because they are having a baby together because that person could turn out to not be who you thought they were. Motherhood is hard and it’s the young moms who can’t handle it that give us hard working moms a bad reputation.

  3. nichole says:

    the problem, i feel, isnt if the mother is married or not, but rather if the child has both parents in the picture. my sister in law isnt married, her daughter is 3.5 yers old. and her daughter is just as bright, happy, healthy, and "normal" as my daughter, who is 6 months older, and i was married when i concieved and had her. the reason i believe, one, just her mothers take on things, a mother is a good or bad mother, weather they have a partner or not, and she does the best she can by her child, but also, a huge part of it, is that her childs father is very much there. they live together, mostly. theyve sperated a few times sence my neice was born, but he always was very much in his daughters life. and her mother didnt have the whole, im the mom and the dad crap in her head when she wasnt living with her daughters father. she knew she wasnt a dad, and she made sure that her daughter got time with her daddy. many problems i see with unwed mothers, is one, social stigma, two, the mothers clame theyre both parents, when, you cant be. you can be the person who does everything for your child, (heck, im married, and im the person who does 90% of it all), but if your the mother, you can never be the father also. its just not possible. and three, the mothers perspective on it all. ive seen singel mothers who wont let themselfs be in the catagory of one of ‘those" singel moms, and they do everything they can, show their child how to be the best, and their child turns out just fine. ive also seen, and know personally unfortunetly, single moms who use it to their advantage with the whole woe is me im raising the kid alone, i need all the gov assistance i need, blah blah blah.

  4. The odds are stacked against single moms because children need a father. I hate it when women say "but I’m both", you can’t be both. Children need a father everyday not just on weekends. I think the trend of single parents is truly a tragedy. With all the options for family planning it could be avoided, now more than ever.

  5. kayla says:

    As a young, single mom I often worry about the stereotypes and try my hardest not to become a statistic. I constantly try to go above and beyond and fill both roles. Parenting is difficult enough as it is, we don’t need to have the added pressure and negativity from society saying that we alone aren’t good enough for our child. With more support and encouragement from other parents, single parents would have more confidence and be able to change the statistics and stereotypes.

  6. Chaunie says:

    Thank you for your comments on this; As a married mom, I will say that I appreciate what our two-parent unit can provide for our children. As a young mom’s advocate, however, I will say that more often than not, a father figure is not in the picture for young moms, so instead of focusing on the negative aspects of single motherhood, I hope we can work to create ways to support young, single moms–because ultimately, supporting any mother is supporting all parents and changing society for the better.

  7. eileen apple says:

    I was unmarried when I had my first child at 21. I was married and 44 when I had my second child. I guess this gives me unique perspective on this subject. I do not think that single parents are "Less" in any way. Plenty of "Married" parents are just as good or bad at parenting as "single" parents. I will admit that younger parents have for the most part less life experience, but then again that is not always the case. I guess when it comes down to it, single or married you dont need a license to be a parent so anyone can be good or bad and you will know if you did a good or bad job once your child is of age. Yes some turn out not so good even when brought up right, but as a parent you know if you did the best you could have for your child and that is what matters. Judging people if they are or are not "married" is basically condeming that child as well so shame on anyone who judges like.

  8. Olga71611 says:

    I believe that it is important to be married when having a child but sometimes things just dnt wrk out as well as thought by the parents when they are not meant to be together its jus not meant to be but what should be done is to friendly and communicating with the child’s father/ mother for the baby keep things at peace

  9. Morgan Hart says:

    The title of this article is deceptive. SHOULD moms be married? I believe yes. It takes a man and a woman to make a baby for a reason. And the statistice mentioned in the article have been proven by countless studies. As a parent, I know we can’t account for every little thing that may affect our children, but why wouldn’t you want to give your child the best chance possible by starting them off in a married home? And why choose to set yourself up to face greater challenges regarding poverty as a single parent? That being said, not all marriages are created equal, and being raised in a home with married parents who argue constantly or physically fight probably isn’t doing a kid any good either. Most importantly, by the time a woman is pregnant, married or not, the choice has been made, so I agree it’s our job to embrace moms and support them on their quest to raise their child to the best of their ability, regardless of whether they are married or single. I know some pretty awesome single moms who pour everything they have into their kids, and have some pretty great kids:)

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  11. I was a young single, unmarried mother with my first child. 17yrs later I have my second child on the way and I’m still unmarried but in a loving relationship with my child’s father.

    Being a ( young single) parent can be financially devastating for a person new to taking on the responsibility of sole care taker. As well as not having the education neither experience in obtaining a stable career to support yourself and can be emotionally draining on the new parent, female or male.

    On the other hand, Marriage in my opinion is not meant for everyone. I have meant married couples who are picture perfect raising children, as well as unmarried parents whom have raised healthy, happy, productive offspring.

    The key to this all is making sure one has a good support system, be it a neighbor, another single parent, or a community parent group. You can do it with loving support.

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