As I have mentioned before on many of my posts, this society is so stuck on the All-American dream of being married by 25, having 2.5 kids, and a house with a white picket fence, which we all know is unrealistic.
With single mothers being so common in this day in age, compared to 30 or 40 years ago, people tend to question why the rate is so high and why people that are co-parents don't just get married. It's most questioned amongst women because they gossip to each other and always criticize a couple that might have multiple kids but no ring. Y'all know those conversations, "They have been together 10 years and have three kids, why don't they just go down the alter already!" or "Why would she proudly walk around with a big belly and didn't even experience a wedding at all!" People talk about it all the time, but what exactly is the root of the issue?
There are many answers to that question, they are not ready, or what's the point. What people need to understand with situations like this marriage and children are two different things. Both situations are things that you have to be ready for. Neither one should be rushed. I understand that when a couple has kids out of wedlock the kids might be called "bastards" but that is still no excuse to call them that because again they probably were ready to be parents but not ready to be married. There are people that don't believe in marriage at all, they just want to live their life either alone or with someone they are compatible to and there is nothing wrong with that.
Some people just want to be parents. They feel no need to get married either because they go by that saying "Why fix it if it's not broken," or they have been married in the past and don't want to waste their time going through it again. Most of the criticism comes from expectations and like I said it my post about expectations, you have to be reasonable about it. It's up to the couple on what they want out of their relationship. The only concern that some people might have is the fact that the kids will question the parents about their status. All a parent can really do simply explain what a relationship means to them whether they say "I'm just with someone I love" or "You don't need to get married to be a family." It's all in how you view your situation.
This marriage-kids stigma has been such a debatable topic for a long time because people don't understand why things can't be done the traditional way. So many people have been to seminars discussing this to resolve the controversy but at the end of the day, it's the individuals choice. Yes, it's nice to see a couple get married and then have children but remember that is not everyone's priority. Marriage is not for everyone, relationships are not for everyone, and kids are definitely not for everyone either. Just know your priorities.