Should moms get a postnup before having kids?
Have you ever heard of a postnup? It's like a prenup but instead of putting your marriage contingent upon superficial conditions, it is done after you are married and before you have children. Basically, you know how there are men out there who want women to sign a prenup to insure that she doesn't get fat? Well, now there are women out there who want men to sign a postnuptial agreement outlining what will be owed to the wife should she stay-at-home with the children and then they divorce. The prenup keeps men from getting screwed out of a hot wife while the postnup keeps the women from getting screwed out of living in the fashion that they were accustomed to and they both screw the couple out of trust.
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I'm opposed to the entire idea of prenuptial agreements, especially ones that are contingent on superficialities. I'd never divorce my husband if he got bald and he'd never divorce me for getting fat. We married each other because we loved one another not because we wanted a hot spouse. That, my friends, was a bonus. No one starts out wanting to spend their life looking at someone who is unattractive. I understand couples getting married and drawing up a contract that stipulates that they leave the marriage with what they came in with and split all wealth and property they acquire together during the marriage. That is smart. That is good business. Only marriage is not a business. It is an institution built on love, trust and mutual respect so in an ideal world, none of this should matter. Only, it does.
A postnup is a woman getting it in writing that once she gives up the highest earning years of her life to stay home and raise their children, if the marriage goes south, the husband is legally obligated to compensate her for wages lost. No one stays at home expecting to be homeless and jobless after it's all said and done.
When a wife stays home, it is an unwritten understanding that she is sacrificing her career for the greater good of the children and in doing so the partner who remains in the workforce is agreeing to take care of her for her sacrifice. In a perfect world, this is how it works. However, in the real world, women get screwed in this deal every single day.
Would I get a postnup? No, I wouldn't because I still believe that marriage is forever and that we married for love, not for money. We both decided that I would stay home to nourish our children's souls, to be there for them when they needed me. We both accepted these terms. I don't think love should be treated like a business contract and if procreation is contingent upon financial obligations then maybe the couple in question should never have gotten married in the first place.
Image via Tonya Little/Flickr