Watching the news today, I saw a story covering a recent compilation of data from the office of national statistics indicating several interesting, and in my opinion worrying facts about people’s lifestyles.
The one I focused on in particular was the rise in the number of children born into families with unmarried parents. I have always been aware that the number is on the rise, but when I realised today that it is well over 40% of all children born in Britain, it was a surprise and a shock to me. This figure seems to go hand in hand with the number of people single between the ages of 25 and 45 being on the rise too.
What this seems to indicate to me, is people are increasingly focusing on careers over family, and there is also a growing lack of commitment for people in relationships. The question I ask is this; if you are deciding you are committed enough to a relationship to bring up a child in a stable environment as a couple, why are you not committed enough to get married? After all married couples still get more legal benefits than non-married couples, which can only be of assistance when brining up a child. This is only the start. What about the impression you make on your child? Do you want your child to end up getting married some day, or do you want them to do as you are doing? Most parents have some dreamy mental image of their year old daughter one day growing up and walking down the isle, it’s almost an instinct. The number of hypocrites is worrying though; do as I say don’t do as I do. Well, in my humble opinion (and it is a humble opinion, I admit I’m not the authority on the matter) its not good enough!
It is at this point that people will start flaming me for dragging down single parents, but this isn’t my gripe at all.
Although these figures take single parents into account, its the ones that are still together and doing well I have issues with! Single parents have many reasons for their situation, sadly many are to do with a lack of commitment and relationship breakdown (I won’t discuss my views on having children in an unstable relationship, it would take all day), but if you are in a loving, family orientated relationship, and you want children, for christs sake get married.
Marriage is still romantic, valued and respected by society, and something most people who play the dating game secretly aspire to at somepoint in the future. Less we forget; we owe a lot to our upbringings, and you don’t need to look very far to find statistics to show that children born to married parents have a better chance in life as a whole. Also why not reward yourself and your partner? You’ve taken all that time, or had a lot of luck in finding that special someone for you; you had girlfriends / boyfriends at high school, surely the person you are with now and having a child with is worth more to you than that?