We will be getting married in five months’ time. We are excited and cannot wait to start this new journey. However one thing is bothering me. My fiancé would like me to conceive soon after the wedding. He feels there is no reason we should waste time waiting for a year or so before I get pregnant. I am not comfortable with this decision. I am in my early 20s and he is in his mid-20s. I feel we have some time. From what I have seen from friends and family, children come with financial, emotional and physical demands and one needs to be prepared for them or they can end up really stressed. I have also started a fruits business which is doing fairly okay. I however want to put enough time and resources on it for some time so it can grow. I fear that getting pregnant and having a child so soon will hamper my business. I just want us both to be ready before taking that big step. However my fiancée is determined that we should get a child early. No talking or persuasion from myself, the counsellor or leaders in the church can’t get him to change his mind. What should I do?
Both you and your husband-to-be have important and legitimate concerns as far when it is the right time to have children in a marriage. Children are usually seen as a joy, a gift from God and as the people who will carry on our legacy. Many people therefore look forward to having children. It looks like your fiancé wants to start a family soon enough and is excited about the thought. You on the other hand are being critical and although you want to have a family too, you want to plan well for it. From what you say, your fiancé’s mind seems made up. Therefore trying to get someone else to talk to him might not help; in fact, it may annoy him the more.
What you can do is first try and understand where he is coming from and why he wants children so soon after the wedding. You can do this by beginning a fun and pleasant conversation about the babies you intend to have. Ask him questions such as what he looks forward to the most when you get children; if he would prefer a particular sex to be the first born; how many he would like you both to have; and so on. Keep the conversation light. Do not ask any heavy questions at this point.
This will set a calm and good tone for the next conversation. At another opportune time, bring up the conversation again, keeping it calm but introducing questions that will help you understand his need to start a family so soon. Questions like: “Would you like us to have a honeymoon baby or would you want us to conceive a month or two after the wedding?” “If we were able to time well, is there a particular month you would like the baby to be born in?” These questions can then transition into why he wants a baby so soon. Examples might include: “So and so had their children a year before they celebrated a year’s anniversary which was quite fast! Would you want us to have children that soon as well?” If he answers yes, or close to that, then you can ask why he would prefer it that way. He might give detailed answers or he might give close-ended ones, such as “Just”. Either way, find a means to probe gently. It is likely that he has deep seated reasons he might not even know about.
Perhaps all his siblings have children and he wants to prove himself and not be the odd man out. Perhaps everyone in his family has had children early and he is expected to keep this trend. Maybe there are fears he has about not being able to father children and he wants to find this out quickly. There could be myriad of reasons. So you need to try and find out why and be understanding (and not judgmental) while at it. Once you discover his reasons, talk about it at length. See how to be understanding and at the same time supportive. Thereafter, see if you can get him to compromise. You would like to spend a year before conceiving. He would like you to conceive immediately after the wedding. Can you therefore strike a compromise and agree to conceive six or seven months after the wedding? Think of different compromises you can come up with so that you are both taking each other needs and wants into consideration.
Should he refuse to budge however, then consider that your plans are going to have to change. Set your mind towards planning for an early baby. You have five to six months within which to do this. Let husband-to-be know of what shall be needed for this including financial readiness, selection of a hospital where you shall have your ante-natal checks, mental and emotional preparedness, search for a maid, and perhaps a bigger space to live in, especially if you had planned to move into his one-room bachelor house. This might get him rethinking but even if it does not, at least you will have prepared yourself for an early baby. Better to prepare and be as ready as you can, rather than not and find yourself pregnant and unprepared, or find yourself having arguments and big disagreements over the issue so early in your marriage.
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