That’s how the old song goes, but do we really still expect new brides to immediately become mothers? I wrote last month about whether or not parents should be married. Now we’re looking at the other side of the question: do people expect married folks to have kids? It depends who you are, apparently.
If you’re the new Duchess of Cambridge, a.k.a. Kate Middleton, the pressure is on to produce an heir. The whole world will be watching to see how quickly Kate can get knocked up, and whether or not she’ll be producing little princes to inherit the crown someday.
You could argue that it’s reasonable to expect Kate to start popping out babies, since inheritance is what royalty is all about. But it raises an interesting question: does marriage still have to mean motherhood for the rest of us?
Obviously there are plenty of married women who don’t have kids. Some are child-free by choice, some are struggling to conceive, others just aren’t ready yet. There’s really no question about whether or not married women should have kids: clearly that’s a personal choice each couple makes for their own reasons.
What I’m wondering is if married women don’t get the royal treatment from friends and relatives eager to see a baby appear. I was pregnant when I got married, so I never gave anyone a chance to pressure me into popping out a kid now that I was married. I’d beaten them to it.
If the succession of a monarchy isn’t resting on your willingness and ability to produce an heir, do people still pressure you to make babies? Or have we moved past the days when marriage equals babies?