In her recent cover story for the The Atlantic , All the Single Ladies , Kate Bolick argues that since traditional marriage is on its way out, we ought to embrace new ideas about marriage and family. Rachel Motte reminds us that there is an alternative approach:
Though I was deep in the throes of childbirth, I couldnt help smiling at the nurses shocked face. Shed noticed my wedding ring. Youre married? She paused, and I watched her count backward on her fingers. This baby wasnt conceived until after we were married I gasped, as another contraction took hold. The look on her face made me laugh out loud, despite the pain. You waited? She was shocked. I deliver babies every day and I never see married couples in here!
I suppose her reaction shouldnt have surprised me. I gave birth in a prosperous neighborhood, at a well-respected for-profit hospital. Even so, my story, which a generation ago would have been commonplace, now defies modern conventions across all economic levels. Women with lives like mine will only become more unusual as cultural attitudes toward marriage and parenthood continue to shiftand if The Atlantics November cover story is any indication, thats bad news for all of us.
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