A Mamas Uncut community member recently learned she might be pregnant, and her mother is pushing her to get married in order to secure better medical benefits.
Over on the Mamas Uncut Facebook page, our robust community of moms is always having a conversation about topics that matter. We like to highlight those conversations from time to time. Important mom questions. Thoughtful mom answers. Let’s hear from the community!
A member of our community asks:
I need some advice. Lately, I’ve been feeling sick and my period is three days late. I took an at-home pregnancy test, and there’s a faint line. The only person who knows that I could possibly be pregnant is my mother. My boyfriend is in the army, and I don’t want to tell him until I’m completely sure. Well, my mother has been nagging me about needing to get married so that I can get military benefits because they’re better than civilian benefits. Any advice on what to do? I don’t want to rush to get married just because I might be pregnant.– Mamas Uncut Community Member
What a complicated situation! A surprise pregnancy, a partner in the military (who doesn’t yet know anything), and a pushy mom to boot! Let’s break down some of the great advice offered by the Mamas Uncut Facebook community.
Don’t Rush Into a Marriage You Don’t Want
“Sounds like you just answered your own question. Pregnancy is NEVER a reason to get married! And who’s to say your boyfriend even wants to get married? I’m not saying he doesn’t, btw. I’m just saying. Your mom needs to quit, and you don’t need to get married if you’re not ready!”
“Some people suggested my boyfriend and I get married because I am pregnant, but I feel it’s an intimate experience that needs to happen when it happens, not forced or rushed based off of other peoples perspectives.”
“Pregnancy is the reason I got married, and I do not regret it whatsoever. It’s different for every couple. Do what you feel is best based on you and your boyfriend’s relationship, not your mother’s opinions.”
It’s a Decision to Make With Your Boyfriend
“Wait a few more days and take another test. Then talk to your boyfriend about it. Don’t mention the marriage part, just see what he says. He might want to in order to give you and his child benefits. Not only healthcare but the benefit of living together as a family.”
“Take another test and make a doctor’s appointment. Mom needs to not tell you what to do. Marriage is a huge commitment and not a decision to be taken lightly, and it’s your life, not hers. Once you find out for sure, Medicaid if you need help. And talk to your boyfriend about what you guys plan to do. Your mom has no say in any of this, no matter how close or not you may be.”
“My fiancé would tell you in a hurry from his previous experience that military benefits are not a reason to get married. They made it 4 whole months… There has to be more of a foundation than that. If y’all have been together for a while, marriage is something you’ve discussed, and it feels like it would be the natural course, then I’d say discuss that option with your boyfriend. Otherwise, don’t force it and create even more issues for yourself in the future. And kids certainly don’t make anything any easier.”
“Wait until 12 weeks, confirm you are pregnant and things are safe. Tell the boyfriend and decide together.”
Other Ways to Get Better Benefits
“You can always get on Medicaid while pregnant. That’s what I did. All my doctor visits were free and all my medication was free. I wouldn’t rush to get married just for benefits when you can just do that. Get married and make it special for when he asks you. Faint line means pregnant! Good luck!”
“Military benefits may be free, but speaking from experience, it’s not the most enjoyable route for your pregnancy or birth. You will not have a steady doctor that you feel comfortable with, you will most likely see someone different every time. You will have medical students in there prodding around and you won’t have a say. (They had a medical student do my vaginal exam, she didn’t insert the speculum at the right angle and jacked it open because she couldn’t see my cervix, only for the doctor to be like, “Oh no! You have to angle it this way!” It was awkward and uncomfortable. And when you deliver, you also won’t get to decide who delivers you. Could be a midwife, could be a resident, possibly one of the doctors you’ve met. Now, if you don’t have any medical coverage obviously this is better than nothing, but if you have the option I would recommend using anything but Tricare and having your prenatal care off base. This is only my experience and only at one base, but I imagine that it’s probably pretty universal.”
So much excellent advice to take in! We agree that getting married is a personal decision you need to make together with your boyfriend. Getting married simply because your mom is pressuring you to doesn’t seem like the best idea, long-term. The medical benefits issue is certainly something to consider, but it is far from the only factor. What will make you happiest? What does your partner want? Talk with him, and you can make a plan together.
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Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.
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