When you're a kid, you likely imagine your future family consisting of the spouse and 2.5 kids that society has conditioned us to expect and seek out. But as we all know, it doesn’t usually turn out that way and in many cases, that’s all for the best. There are some of us who end up with a planned pregnancy, fitting into a grand scheme that we have created and mapped out for ourselves.
And then, there are just as many of us who get surprised with a sudden pregnancy, making it an exciting time also a sometimes confusing and tumultuous time. The situation, whichever it may be, is typically unique to each case and brings with it the question of staying with your baby's father and "sticking it out" or not. Maybe your relationship just started and this surprise is one you'd expected to find maybe a few years down the line.
Or, it could be the result of just one night together, with a hefty combination of too many shots and not enough condoms. And maybe you've been in a healthy relationship for years and this pregnancy is still an unplanned surprise to you both. Whatever the case, you're now bound together in one way or another. Whether or not you decide to stick it out and be together for the sake of your baby is totally up to you. And weighing the pros and cons of sticking it out is no easy feat.
We don't expect you to leave this life decision up to an article you read online - and really, please don't! - but we are firm We don't expect you to leave this life decision up to an article you read online - and really, please don't! - but we are firm believers in looking at your parental options from all sides, and the best way to start is to weigh the pros and cons of sticking it out with your baby's father.
10 Pro - Staying Together Creates A Family Unit
On the one hand, raising a new baby with a partner on hand could make things monumentally easier. Then again, having a kid together does not necessarily equal a happily ever after. Still though, there is something to be said for the overwhelming feeling of fate when such a pregnancy occurs. One of the most common reasons for sticking it out with a partner is to have that family unit for your baby.
As anyone from a broken home can attest to, the whole two Christmases and multiple birthday parties thing doesn't always make up for the lack of a two-parent household. While this reason alone isn’t always the most solid reason to stick together, it is one that leaves many expectant parents conflicted as they try to decide which option is best for their impending baby.
So they decide to stick it out for the sake of their baby growing up in a family that is together, rather than two separate households, however much better that may be for you and the baby's father.
9 Con - Looks Can Be Deceiving
Sure, you can stay together for the sake of being a family unit, but that doesn't mean that you will feel like the loving, close-knit family in your imagination. We aren't saying that it isn’t possible to stay together and make it work, but there is more to a family than simply being together and appearing as such.
Sticking it out so that your baby has two parents at home at all times could still entail that your baby grows up without feeling like he or she does. There are plenty of families that appear as if they're descendants of the Brady Bunch, but even Stepford parents have their faults, and seeing an appearance of a perfect little family is much different than the family actually being functional and healthy.
8 Pro - It Could Mean Having An Extra Set Of Hands
Parenting on your own has its perks, sure, but having someone at your side also brings something extra. With that other set of hands and energy, you've got someone to tap you out, so to speak, or to take over when you're exhausted or feeling sick. While there is no such thing as an off day when it comes to parenting, there is something scary close to it when you've got another parent at your side.
There is a reason why single parents work so unbelievably hard to raise their children, and it has a lot to do with going at it alone and always being "on" as only they can. Another person at your side to handle a poop explosion or to just let you leave the room and get away from that wailing baby could be the difference between pure insanity and a moment of precious peace.
7 Con - Having Two Parents Doesn’t Always Equal Shared Responsibilities
It might sound like a dream to have someone at your side to take some of the parental responsibilities off your hands. Or even to take some of the burden of household chores away from you. But just because they're there, it doesn’t mean that they're totally present in their parental duties.
In fact, you could be staying together for your baby, but ultimately still feel like a single parent, thanks to your partner's inability to share in any of the important responsibilities. Sure, it's easy to play with little ones and immerse in yourself in the fun stuff, but not all parents are super into the responsibility aspect of parenthood.
6 Pro - Sticking It Out Means Giving It A Real Chance
If you don't try to stick it out, then you'll always wonder "what if," right? By staying together for the baby and really giving your relationship a chance, you're in turn giving yourselves a real chance to be parents together. You're already likely to be bound to them for pretty much forever, sharing a child and all, so why not give it a real go?
At the very least, you can always say that you tried, as opposed to never having attempted to make it work at all. There is always the off chance that it doesn’t work out romantically, but sticking it out means at least trying to see where it can go.
5 Con - It Could Also Mean Wasting Time
On the flip side, sticking it out could also mean a big waste of time. Time that could have been spent working on yourself and devoting yourself to your baby. Time that could have been spent meeting someone who is worth your time and effort.
Yes, it is important to be able to say that you tied and to be open to such a thing as staying together for your baby, but not if that is a clear lost cause from the beginning. There has to be at least a little of something real between the two of you before you try to make it work for the sake of your baby. If there isn't, then you're left with time wasted and a confused little one.
4 Pro - No More Looks Of Disapproval As A Single Parent
While it's true that we're in a much more modern age than say, 40 years ago, when single mothers would often be looked up with pity or disapproval, as if single parenting was all their idea, today there are still those sort of ignorant strangers around.
Although they won't likely come right out and say their negative feelings regarding your status as a single mom, you can't help but notice the looks they give you. With your baby's father by your side, you can do away with that sort of reaction when you do something as simple as grocery shopping.
3 Con - Not Getting The Necessary Fulfillment Of A Meaningful Relationship
You might be appearing as a put together family with two parents in love, but if you're sticking it out for the sole purpose of your shared baby, then there is a good chance that you're missing out on a meaningful relationship with a spouse that not only you can benefit from, but that your kid will benefit from witnessing as he or she grows up.
And not only that, but there’s a certain amount of fulfillment that you need from the spousal relationship you're a part of. And you won't be getting that if you're sticking it out with your baby's father in order to simply not appear as a single parent out in public.
2 Pro - You'll Be Beating Loneliness
While parenting is a wild, exciting adventure that allows you to form an amazing and special relationship with your little one, your baby can't really fill in for all of the necessary relationships in your life. Namely, the romantic one.
If you decide to stick it out with your baby's father, then at the end of a long day of diapers and bottles, you'll be able to relax with someone by your side, as opposed to alone in a quiet home. You may not be the best match, in the case of this being one of those sudden surprise pregnancies, but if the choice is between loneliness or toughing it out with your baby's father, you're likely to choose to stick it out together.
1 Con - You Might Be Settling For The Wrong Reasons
Actually, you probably will be settling for this person for all of the wrong reasons if you should choose to stick it out for the simple reason of beating the alternative of loneliness. And loneliness isn’t something that has to necessarily be battled with romantic relationships. Now may be the time to cultivate your more important friendships and focus on your relationship with yourself, as your new baby grows and develops.
No one likes to feel lonely or like they aren't wanted by someone else, but you also don't want to feel like the person who is in a relationship with you is only there because they feel like they have to be.
Staying with your baby's father can be the best thing you've ever done, or it can turn out to be a huge mistake. Every relationship is different and every instance is totally unique on its own. Unfortunately, there’s no one right answer for you to go to in order to figure out what works best for you.
Only you know what you want in life
And you may even find that while your baby's father isn't the right man for you now, somewhere down the line the two of you will be at the same place, and ready to embark on something romantically.
The important thing is that he's there for the baby regardless of whether or not he's there for you and vice versa. Granted, it isn’t an easy thing to be raising a baby together when you aren’t, in fact, together, but even still, raising a baby together is a lot better for all of you than one of you skipping out.