kids

The biggest problem with last night's episode of Married at First Sight.

Other than both marrying complete strangers in front of a camera crew, the Married at First Sight couples of Sunday night’s episode had one major similarity: Both consisted of single parents.

What differed greatly, however, was how the issue of children from previous marriages was portrayed.

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Lauren was concerned that her having a son would be a deal breaker for her new husband. Source: Channel 9.

For 33-year-old Lauren, telling her new husband that she has a son named Dylan was a big concern for her, and something producers focused heavily on.

"I haven't dropped the D-bomb yet," Lauren told the cameras with a look of worry on her face. "I don't know if he's got kids; I haven't gone down that track yet. I hope that he's accepting and understands my circumstance of having a son."

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John and Debbie. Source: Channel 9.
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Over at 53-year old John's wedding, however, the fact that he has not one, but two children, barely registered as a tension point in the day's events.

When asked about his family by his new wife, 53-year-old Debbie, John simply said, "yeah, I've got two girls."

AND THAT WAS IT.

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John doesn't think being a single dad is a big deal. Source: Channel 9.

No freakout, no concerns about whether a woman would want to take on a man with two kids and an ex-wife, no worried confessions to the cameras about what this could mean for the success or failure of their experimental relationship, just "yeah, I've got two girls." End of discussion.

Yes, John talked about his daughters and how important they are to him at numerous points throughout the episode, but at no point did he worry that their very existence would deem him unlovable or undesirable.

Listen to the Mamamia team decontruct the latest episode of Married at First Sight on The Recap. Post continues... 

Socially, the woman-with-child trope is so familiar to us all.

"It's a lot to take on."

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"She does come with some baggage." "It's not an easy thing for a man to take on."

"It's so amazing, the way he's taken it all in his stride."

When will television stop portraying that women with children should be thankful for whoever they can get and start portraying the reality that single mums aren't burdens? That children aren't baggage, and that opening your heart to love another person isn't a lot to take on if you are, in fact, in love?

As the episode wore on, Lauren continued to tell the cameras that she hoped her new husband, 38-year-old Andrew would be "understanding."

And incredibly, when she did eventually share the news, no one died. Andrew's head didn't explode. He didn't run from the scene and demand to know why producers hadn't found him a virginal princess.

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Lauren and Andrew. Source: Channel 9.

Instead, he said, "She [Lauren] mentioned that she had a son Dylan that's 11-years-old. That's not an alarm bell."

Lauren later told cameras, "He acted in a real calm, collected manner. He got it."

As the child of a single mum, it seems so painfully obvious to me that single mums are worthy of just as much love as any childless women. Hell, it's obvious to most people.

But why that's not reflected back to us on a show said to be based on reality, I'm really not sure.

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