My partner and I recently had our first baby (after a very unexpected pregnancy). I have always been a very chilled-out girl, not fussed about marriage and he has always called me ‘the wifey’ to family and friends. [But] now we have the baby I have become obsessed with being a unit and for us all to have the same surname, not just being called the wifey.
I said he needs to marry me before we start trying for baby number two and he said I need to be patient as the house comes first, but he wants us to have baby number two in the next two years! How long is patient enough? Wifey
There’s something very irksome about carrying and birthing someone’s baby (a long, uncomfortable business if you ask me) and then popping your partner’s surname on the birth certificate. Um, you’re a FAMILY now. Sure, lots of women choose to keep their name these days after marriage and kids, but there are many, like you, who want to start a life with a partner and child as a unit, with everyone sharing the same surname, thanks very much.
It’s so easy to be chilled and relaxed about marriage until you start shopping for cots and strollers – and, speaking from a little experience here, it can feel weird and wonky not being married to the father of your child if, deep down, that’s important to you. I’m guessing people assume you’re married anyway, which makes things even more strained. Like, strangers calling him your hubby, while you smile politely and let them assume you are married, because it’s easier.
Here’s what sucks about your situation. You’ve got all the wedded stuff (mortgage, kid, shared life) but none of the whipped cream and cherry on top. You’ve missed out on the lovely business of getting your friends and family gathered to witness your love and commitment, the rings, the honeymoon, the speeches and toasts. That stuff counts. And so does having your partner declare his devotion, love and respect for you as the mother of his child and partner in life. Sure, a house is great, but honestly, I don’t blame you for not wanting to extend your little family with baby #2 without feeling more secure and having your bloke make things official between you.
I’m not sure what your next step is, but perhaps saying it plainly will help get it through his head. Like this: ‘Sweetie, I’d love to have another baby with you, and of course I want to sort out the house too, but what’s important to me and what I would like to come first is our marriage’. Perhaps stress that you don’t need to spend a fortune on the ring or the ceremony. Then get yourself some really good contraception and wait it out. Or you could be bolder still and take the proposal out of his hands by popping the question yourself. Hey, it is 2011 after all. Oh, and the next time he calls you ‘wifey’, correct him. He needs to know that if he likes it then he has to put a ring on it.
Love, reality chick