As humans, the decision to have children is an important life choice – to have or not, if yes, how, and why. Therefore, we should approach it logically, considering its impact and our readiness. Especially, in these times, where the cost of living and education is a luxury subject, it is advisable to consider our capacity and readiness to do a good job as a parent. Also, it is important to be equipped with some preparatory arsenals as we ride through the uncertainties of everyday living
The role models of MBA’20
I see the parents in my class and I can’t help but applaud them all the way:
Mrs. Abimbola, I don’t know how you do it but you’re simply amazing, my Shero.
Mr. Adim, You’re the real Stateman.
Edwina, I think you’re a vampire (lol) always looking so fresh and unpredictable yet, you carry big guns effortlessly, you have earned my respect.
To every guardian and sponsor here. Well done.
Personally, choosing to be a parent was one of the most important decisions of my life. In agreement with my husband, our secondary mission in marriage was to procreate and nurture with purpose. Ultimately, as an adult, however, you choose to deliver on this natural call is personal and life-changing.
If you are in the thinking or planning stage for your first, or, next child, or maybe you’re simply interested in the bruhaha of parenting, then you are in the right room, please sit down, relax, grab your popcorn, and let’s discuss.
If you had the opportunity to discuss with your partner or all parties directly involved in the upbringing and high level of responsibility required in child care, then kudos to you. I’m certain that in your own style, the pitching and planning process covered a few or most of the points I will be sharing today, so please, fill me in on how you delivered the message – your sales pitch (as the man or woman) and the journey to the Procreation WonderLand.
However, if it happened unplanned, hey! Don’t be scared, stay calm. Breathe. Be rest assured, you can do this – after all, you already are. It is a daily walk – step by step. Planning is a continuous activity that can happen at any time – before or even now so, start now, if you can. Also, please, remember to share your story in the comment section below, we will love to hear about your beautiful journey.
For my neutral audience, there is no direct or typical way in which any of these discussions can occur or pan out therefore, no couple has the same strategy. But, today we will discuss a few things to consider before embarking on your parenting adventure.
What to consider while thinking of having a baby
The decision to have children is a big one that is not something to be made lightly. So, when my husband and I were discussing the idea of having children, amongst other elements, we focused on two main factors: time and money.
Some people say wait a few months or years after the wedding to have fun, get to know each other, understand the living together situation, and plan your lives together; some other couples decide to hit it immediately. For us, we had a fair dating period, so we decided to start a family immediately into the marriage maze.
Also, in our culture, for the sake of comfort and peace, waiting is not a common practice as some family members or unsolicited nosey neighbors start to womb-watch the newly wedded couple just a few months or a year into the marriage but hey, feel no pressure. Relax, do the needful and enjoy your union for as long as agreed, workable and convenient for you and your partner.
Eventually, when they arrive, be intentional to spend time with them. Curate interesting bonding activities and be available to fulfill your commitments.
What is Parenting?
Parenting is the process of taking care of a child until he or she is considered an adult. This typically means the minimum of going through pregnancy, birthing the child(ren) or adopting, and raising the child until their independent years and even beyond.
Whew! you would agree it takes a lot of time. It is important to discuss your lives (as individuals then as parents) at different phases; your personal and joint plans (career, social, academic, etc.); and the preferred strategies of parenting. So please, consider discussing everything you can about time-sharing and management. It will be useful in the future.
Additionally, I consider it vital to avoid:
- Define responsibilities (gone are the days of traditional parenting = mothers only)and
- Set precedence for any unknown or unspoken expectations.
This is an important aspect. Not because I am an Igbo girl (as often accused lol) but because it matters. It really does. Let’s put it to a test:
When last did you purchase baby diapers or any baby item? How much was it? How did you pay for these items?
Do you see how money is important? In my next post, I hope to share a simple FAQ to help us further.
If you are a parent/ guardian, I am sure you know it accounts for a major debit balance in your account. Considerably, some lifestyle changes and sacrifices from pre-pregnancy till birth, support, and beyond are accompanied by receipts as well. This doesn’t even include the big-ticket stuff, like college. Hence, it is important to talk about the cash and plan adequately or for the time being.
Dear Aunties or Uncles, you will agree with me that you feel the burden of these decisions too. Sometimes, from the parents (leaving their wards to attend to work, health or romantic dinner hmmm) or from the children. Just imagine, that moment an innocent trip to a nearby store for bread became a spending trip for your cute niece(s) or nephew(s). After all, based on the trending Instagram challenge – they think say na the money wey you no get, you want to dey spend.
Finally, focusing on the big question most people ask;
Is it worth the stress?
Just take a look at the picture above...awww
Absolutely! Children are a blessing and personally, they are by far the most precious investments. If in doubt, take a good look at your awesome self, see how beautiful you are? Yes! you’re your parent’s investment – ‘Do you think you came cheap? No!’ From the choice of birthplace to meal type, clothing, schools, allowances aka pocket money (you know what I mean), financial and other welfare supports. No matter the demand, difficulties, or abundance, it took a village and more to get you here and even further, so yes, it is absolutely, worth it and expensive, hence, the need to be ready for each stage in your own capacity.
As much as it is a lifetime responsibility, it is also a blessing. Essentially, they feel a gap, and apart from the constant butterfly feeling, they give more meaning to life. For instance, during the covid19 lockdown, I didn’t feel the emotional gap or loneliness infact, I was constantly baby busy and lost in baby love (even with the diaper souvenirs) and most times when in doubt or lost, they charge focus as a motivational source of perseverance.
Just like most decisions, having children has its pros and cons, however, I think for me the pros outweigh the cons (based on the ABP weighting standard, lol).
In summary, remember to identify your most critical decision factor for parenthood and let that guide your process and strategies to decision making.
I hope this helps you decide on the discussion model and preparation strategy. Until next time. Stay happy and safe.
It’s TGIF. Enjoy your weekend.
Article by Ezinne Okuku