Saturday, August 25, 2007

From Connecticut

I am in Connecticut, always interested in people's stories about marriage. Last night I met 2 sisters, in their early twenties. C, 26. got married in November and is pregnant expecting their first child around Christmas. Her sister K is engaged to her high school sweetheart at 24, reading through the bridal tips and wedding planning guides, especially on ways to save money on the wedding. Their confidence in their ability to find the right mate, and be better at relationship than their parents (divorced) seems common among the twenty somethings. As is the positive view of marriage, commitment, family.

At twenty, and even thirty getting married to me felt like all my life options would close up, rather than opening up. Yet there is a grounding component to having children, as your priorities and focus become very clear and focused, like what is good for your children, their life, their needs, schooling etc. .

Anyway, my Connecticut host is getting ready to take us on a tour of this area, so I'll sign off.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Single Mothering

I interviewed Laney (51) and Krista (44), while I was in Newfoundland as their point of view on marriage and relationship interested me. I hadn't yet talked to women who had decided they did not want to be wives, but did want to be mothers.

Newfoundland has a traditional, strong family culture. As a single woman, to "buck the system" in the 1980's like Laney did, and choose motherhood but not marriage had its' tough times, lack of support, former friends giving her wide berth, and family not understanding her choice. And Laney is a nurturing, caretaking person, and very committed to her responsibilities. I figured that would be the very type who'd be good at marriage. Yet she said, what she'd viewed of marriage as a young child (the youngest girl in a family of 10 kids) growing up was that the women did all the cleaning, food production, chores etc. and looking after everyone with the men in her community expecting it. It felt endless and thankless. Laney saw it as work with no freedom. At 11 she decided she wouldn't marry and said this aloud. Her mother was outraged.

After hearing more of Laney's story and Krista's(soon to be podcast on I marvelled at the choice they made. Both these women were pioneers of sorts. As hard as being a single mother can be, they realized they would rather be single mothers, than married mothers. And they chose their primary focus to be with their child, rather than a spouse.

For me the story I am looking at is that of why get married. These 2 women chose not to, although Krista said she isn't opposed to getting married. It just hasn't happened yet. Laney has a loving man in her life, but thinks for her, separate addresses will always work best.