As a young man, the moment you graduate , finish your national service and land a stable job, the old folks in your family and community will start bothering you with the good old tune “ when are you marrying?”.
If you are close enough to your pastor, he could even offer to throw up some few candidates at you if you need help .
By the time you hit 30yrs you are likely to have given up your bachelor freedom and settled down, hopefully with the woman of your dreams
Six months down the line, your family and church folks will be giving you hints of their expectation : your wife should be bulking up with a new life in her womb.
If one year down the line you haven’t given birth, you will attract all kinds of unsolicited prayers and help .
Your mother and in-laws will start saying things like “I can’t wait to carry my grand children on my laps “ .Eii pressure!
Perhaps you are on some family planning scheme just to get some stuff sorted out but who cares! Let the children flow now!
By 32, all things being equal your first baby arrives and that is when the games begin!
If you don’t play the game in the arena of life well, you will be saddled with the never ending financial obligations to your kids, which compounds as they grow for the next 25 years before they finally find their feet.
Imagine you had three kids all spaced by two years interval.
It implies that by the time the last born is 25 yrs, you will be 61yrs.
Boom, with all your productive life gone, and still having to support them with your meager pension, without any savings and investments you could draw on, life will take its toll on you!
You may not have secured any building property because you dedicated all your life to the noble cause of raising your children.
With no building for you in the city,you may have to return to the village and settle there, where cost of living is very low.
You become very anxious, praying for your children to land any job at all, so that your burden will be eased .
Also at pension ,your medical bills will start fattening up, without the superior health insurance your employer offered during your working days.
You look up to the children who are barely finding their feet to come to your rescue.
If it takes them longer to land a good job, you will be far gone, before they can actually support you.
Have you wondered why life expectancy in Ghana is 63 years? Yes, 3 years after retirement!
So what should one do:
- The fact is that Children are expensive. You better brace yourself when you plan to make them.
- The erroneous mentality that God will take care of your children without your active involvement will come back to bite you hard.
- Don’t give birth to children with the notion that a relative, friend or church will support you financially. That is such a gross irresponsibility. Why would you leave the future of your kids at the mercy of others?
- Be determined to secure a manageable building property before your kids get to class one. That should be equal to 6-8 years of your working life. A two bedroom on a half plot should do the trick. When you start building early, trust me, you will finish early. Building has a way of cutting out all wastage in your life as you direct your resource towards it.Your landlord can never be your friend, especially if you have to cough up bulk rent advance every two years .The earlier you break ties with paying rent the better for your pocket.
- Remember that as kids grow, so does their expenses, it is likely to overtake your income at a point and you will have to resort to loans to put them through higher education. This will mess your finances up forever. The antidote is to open an educational policy or investment for each child as they are born and keep the discipline in contributions .By the time they are due for college, instead of being stressed,you will only smile on your way to the bank!
- For this to work, you need to work closely with your partner to ensure you are all on the same page regarding the necessary sacrifice you collectively have to make at the early years of your marriage for a better tomorrow for yourselves and beloved kids.
- Lastly build multiple sources of income as you journey through your career. Apply all the knowledge and skills you will acquire from your employers to developing some side hustle. It will make life very comfortable in the long run if done properly.
Finally know that you can enjoy your full life and pursue your dreams even with kids. You don’t have to give up your ambitions because of your kids, but it requires tact and effective strategy to have the best of both worlds.
Never be that parent who shouts at her kids saying “I could have been this or that if it weren’t you”
See you at the top
(c)Roland OFORI( Marketing Professional,Engineer and Author)
NB: if you find this piece useful, please share with others.