Lucy and Jack met later in life and prioritised having children over getting married. Now that they have twins, aged five months, they are looking to the future.
Some names have been changed to protect the identities of people mentioned in this article.
There is a traditional family view of two kids and a dog, but after I moved to London my sense of family came from my friendship group – they were my support network.
In the media, the traditional family view of married with kids is still prevalent, but times are changing, and the traditional family is changing, and I think you can see that. There are still some newspapers, though, that focus on that ‘traditional family’ and reinforce the idea that it is the norm.
I think that there are many forms the family can take, whether it’s single parents, unmarried couples or same sex couples – they’re all families, all support networks.
I think that there are many forms the family can take
A quarter of people with children aged four and under have a joint life insurance policy
It depends on your peer group, your generation and your own experience. The older generation, perhaps, are more likely to think that marriage is the only way. But people are less concerned with what others think, there’s less of the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality. I think people are becoming more open in their view of what a family unit can be.
There’s less of the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ mentality
Sometimes, people who are married, who maybe see marriage as their support structure, look on unmarried couples and think that they are lacking something, or perhaps want their own idea of marriage to be reinforced.
Of the people I work with, however, who are in the generation below me, many are getting married or buying a property in their 20s, which is an interesting swing back to how it was before my generation, where most got married in their 30s.