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Dear wives, here’s the risks you face when letting hubby decide family size

By Winnie Mabel February 17th, 2024 3 min read

During the dating period as the relationship began taking the right turn towards a serious commitment with marriage in mind, a couple- giddy with love and great hopes for the future- begin planning and mapping out what their lives will look like.

Get married, probably spend the first two years enjoying each other’s company in marriage, work and save to buy or build a house, travel, but assets- or liabilities such as vehicles- and finally, have babies. Of course this is after all the sensitive and sticky conversations couples have to see if they are compatible in marriage such as handling finances, religion, careers and family planning.

So, kids. The joy of many couples sometimes rests in having babies. Small humans to love unconditionally and receive the love back, have carbon copies of themselves running around to continue on with their legacy long after they close their eyes with finality and “leaving a mark” that you once existed on this earth.

And the baby conversations begin. Is the timing right? How many children should they have? How should they space the children’s age gap? Are they financially capable of handling everything that comes with pregnancy and raising a child? Are they on the same page about parenting styles? Do they have the proverbial village to help them raise the baby if they would need help? Are they emotionally ready and stable to bring a baby into their lives? Are they healthy enough to have a baby? Are they medically compatible?

It takes a lot of reflection, discussion and negotiation to decide to have a baby.

But here is where some couples go wrong.

When one spouse gets to decide how many children they will have in the marriage. And quite often, it tends to be the wives letting the husband decide on how many kids they will have.

Some wives- for the sake of peace and harmony- will let their husband decide how many kids they will have. He may end up deciding on four kids when all she wanted was two. And because of traditional gender roles where women are often expected to defer important decision making to the man of the house, she will not dispute him.

Other wives allow their husbands to make this decision because he is the breadwinner and she is not empowered to counter his decisions while family planning despite it being her body being expected to do the heavy lifting. Alternatively, some wives simply allow their husbands to plan the family because they trust their men’s judgement and that they have the family’s best interests at heart.

But not everything is cast in stone. Sometimes, marriages end and the family is greatly impact.

Woe unto you, wifey, if you allowed your husband to plan the family- deciding that six children was a good number because “he grew up in a large family, loved it and his parents raised them with no hardship so it would be the same with him.”

Here’s the risk you face. Unless he is one of those unicorn men who have no qualms being hands on parents and not living up to gender stereotypes where men work to provide and women exist to nurture their babies, you will be left as the primary parent of those six children.

You will take care of your children 27/7/365 while he is off living his life, probably thinking of how to start over in another relationship down the line. You will be left taking care of children who need a tag team to manage them. The other risk? Its worse if he leaves the marriage and his money follows him out the door.

You are then turned into a begging single mother of six who has to scrape by to make ends meet to feed 7 if not 8 mouths. And he won’t care as much as you do because not all men are wired to be emotionally intelligent or nurtures.

From the get go, you should have kept it at the back of your mind to give birth to a number of children you would comfortably take care of in the absence of your partner. Letting him seduce you into have six kids while all you desired was two now leaves you in a position of living day to day as opposed to how you lived well in marriage with the next day financially secured for you.

Have children you can comfortably raise without suffering exhaustion and mental frustrations. Take charge of these conversations while having a silent plan b at the back of your mind.

Because as you struggle with your six kids, he will probably be cradling a new baby comfortably with his new woman.

Don’t let this be you…

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