Congratulations. Like Tim Robbins in the The Shawshank Redemption, you tunneled through the mud, slithered through the pipes, escaped the prison, and made it through the hell of your wedding planning. You’ve done it. You’re in the clear. Gone are the vendor meetings, invoices, tux fittings, and clashes with the in-laws.
Now let’s think back to Shawshank. At the end of the movie, Robbins didn’t return to prison, locking himself up in solitary confinement. Instead, he journeyed to an exotic beach, built a sailboat, and had a heterosexual (we think) bro-mance with Morgan Freeman.
Follow his lead. Don’t go back to prison. Don’t shackle yourself inside the one jail that’s even more hardcore than wedding planning: baby planning.
Take your freedom for a spin. Enjoy being newlyweds. Enjoy the parade of sex. Enjoy traveling, going out, saving up for a house, and soaking in marriage with your new wife. Contrary to our usual jokes, we’ll admit…it’s not necessarily terrible. In fact it’s sort of great.
In short, think twice about becoming parents. One day you’ll be a great dad. Just not yet.
Don’t turn your honeymoon into a Daddy Debacle. Keep the following in mind:
Daddy Debacle: You think that “I now pronounce you man and wife” means “I now pronounce you done with condoms”
Let’s speak frankly: condoms suck. One of the true joys of marriage is this irrefutable equation:
Lifetime of monogamy = Lifetime of no STDs = No condoms = Better sex.
For couples still using rubbers, it’s tempting to see the wedding as a turning point, as God’s permission to ditch the jimmie hats. Fine, but just make sure that you’re taking other precautions.
If that precaution is the Pill, this needs to be thought about before the honeymoon, as, unlike your sperm or Draino, it doesn’t start working right away.
Daddy Debacle: You think that children will “jump start” the marriage
We’re about to say something hard. Please don’t be offended. Ready?
You might not be ready to have kids.
Yes, you’re married, but children can strain a young, fragile marriage.
Marriage is forever, but parenting is really forever. Before you start making babies, you need to be on ground that’s rock solid. You need stability and a 100% comfort-level. Being newlyweds is wonderful and intoxicating, but it’s not necessarily the best foundation for children. Be married for a while.
Daddy Debacle: Restlessness
Let’s think back to the big picture. You just “checked off” the biggest item of your life. You got married.
Like a mountain climber who just conquered Everest, you could be wondering…what’s next? And the only “next goal” you see is a baby.
But marriage isn’t a goal or trophy or new BMW; it’s a way of life. So live it.
Daddy Debacle: You can’t find birth control in the Brazilian forest or on the beach at midnight
There’s only one surefire way to avoid getting your wife pregnant: abstinence. Never have sex unless you’re ready to have a baby.
Kidding. Remember, on your honeymoon, you’ll be having more sex than Don Draper in a room full of secretaries. Plan accordingly.
It’s easy to forget that we live in a first-world country. Here in the US, you’re always within five minutes of a gas station or a Baldwin brother: there should be no shortage of condoms. That might not be the case in your Brazilian getaway. If you’re using love gloves as your birth control, think about how many you’ll need. Then double it. Make sure to bring those banana burkas everywhere you go during the honeymoon.
Daddy Debacle: Travel screws up the pill-clock
If you’re taking a red-eye to Italy for your honeymoon, the flight can trick your body’s clock. Is it Monday or Tuesday, the 20th or 21st? Especially after the stress of your wedding, this jetlag can flummox the timing of your wife’s pills.
Careful. As you already know, bringing up the Pill is sensitive, delicate territory. Tread lightly. The secret, of course, is tone. If you say, “Woman, have you taken your pill today?” you come off as an overbearing schmuck. We won’t presume to tell you how to talk to your wife, but employ your savviest tact.
Daddy Debacle: You’re pissed-drunk and sloppy
Look. This isn’t a Public Service Announcement. Of course you’ll drink on your honeymoon. Most of this site is actively encouraging you to drink on your honeymoon. But in the height of your drunken debauchery, try and remember that you’re packing a volcano of spooge between your legs, a couple hundred million potential babies to spoil your newlywed buzz.
Your best bet is to discuss the need for safe sex before you start drinking and screwing; that way you maximize your odds that one of you, at least, is being responsible. Is this sexy? Of course not. As a general maxim, there’s nothing less sexy than talking about sex. But you know what else isn’t sexy? Baby snot and diaper bags.
Once you return from your honeymoon, it’s time for one last awful chore: Thank You Notes.