My love story is everything, but a fairy tale. It goes a little something like this:
Once upon a time, a beautiful princess met a guy at work. She liked this guy and luckily, one day the princess got to work on a project with him. They fell in love and one day they went on vacation together, where the princess drank too much tequila and made choices as oasld time. About a month later, the princess found out she was going to be a mommy! So the princess and her newfound prince, bought a house, moved in together and soon became one, big happy family.
Sweet, right? Except when reading my love story, I realize that somehow in the chaos of becoming a parent and a homeowner, Shawn and I forgot to tie knot.
There was no shotgun wedding, or really even a discussion about it. When those two pink lines were staring back at us, marriage didn’t even cross our minds. Instead, we became hyper-focused on what we felt were more important things — having a place to bring baby home to, having money in savings, shopping for the best daycare possible and preparing for the biggest life change either of us had ever experienced.
Now, nearly 10 months into this parenting gig, Shawn and I are still unwed and cohabitating with no immediate plans for “I do’s” — and it’s working for us. We’ve joined the ranks of one of the largest growing parenting populations. According to ChildTrends, cohabiting, unmarried parents have tripled since the late 1990s, reaching nearly 3.1 million in 2014.
So why are we still unwed?
It’s not that we don’t want to be married. Trust me, we very much want to be married. We believe in the sanctity of marriage and as products of broken households, we are more determined than ever that this be a one and done deal. Unfortunately, marriage, right now, just seems like one more thing we HAVE to do. We’ve checked everything else off our list —purchased a car, purchased a house, paid off our debt and settled into our new roles as Mom and Dad, but we want marriage to be something that just happens, not another checked item.
Life has been so crazy and it’s all happened incredibly fast. In less than the two years we’ve been together, we’ve moved twice and welcomed a son into our lives. Tying the knot now would serve no other purpose than a tax break, a name change and family health insurance. I want it to mean more.
So, yes my love story was everything, but a fairy tale. But it’s not over. The chapter of the princess’ marriage hasn’t been written yet. And when it’s written, it will be the most beautiful, love-filled marriage there ever was.
My prince will be on bended knee, shiny ring in hand with blessings from my family. We will wed knowing that not only have we accomplished what some thought would be the impossible, but we did it on our terms. Our son will know we wed because we wanted to. He will know we chose marriage because we truly love, trust and respect each other, not because we HAD to do it or so the math would add up. Our families will know that this is real, through sickness and in health, richer and poorer, unplanned pregnancy or not.
But for now, I will wait to write that chapter, because I don’t need to be his Mrs. to know Shawn is my forever.