The success of everything in life(parenting inclusive) entails preparation. Hence, the popular saying, "if you fail to prepare, you will prepare to fail". We should know that, parenting may be a stratum of marriage but marriage and parenting do not exist on same frequency. In other words, one can have a successful marriage without being a successful parent and vice versa. Parenting goes beyond the wife and the husband - they are only part of it. We cannot satisfactorily cover the subject matter of parenting without bringing children into the picture. In fact, without children, there is no parenting.
Permit me to state here that, childbearing should NOT follow immediately within the first year of marriage. The only way you can choose to start having children immediately in your marriage is when you have what it takes to function well as a responsible parent. Time for marriage should be different from the time of child birthing. Before you start having children in your Union, you should ask yourself this one question - " Am I READY to lead the destiny of a child as ordained by God to the destined destination? " You may not have known this but know it now that, every parent is a caretaker chosen by God to make the plans He(God) has in stock for the child come to fulfilment.
Take note of the following things about parenting before you make the decision of having children in your marriage:
1. Financial availability.
Among other things, a parent cannot function well in the life of his/her child without being financially available for the child. Feeding, hospital bills, educational expenses, clothing etc cannot happen in the life of a child without money. Do you have what it financially takes to provide those things for your child timely as at when needed? Parenting coexists with responsibilities. Your financial role is something you should perform to a large extent by yourself without relying and depending on your parents, siblings, friends and well wishers before execution. If you are not ready financially, you should not be in a hurry to start birthing kids in your marriage.
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2. Emotional availability.
Aside financial availability, a parent is also expected to be emotionally available for his/her child at all times. As funny as this may sound, some children do not know what it means to love and be loved because they never received it from their parents. Such ignorance can even affect them later in their relationships. Some parents feel that once they have provided all the material and financial needs of their children, all their works in the life of their children is fully done. No, that is not true. You should also be there to take care of the emotional needs of your child. Give him/her listening ears whenever he/she wants to share his/her emotional desires with you. There are children out there who feel rejected, abandoned, uncared for even without them having any financial and material lack. You can't be too busy with work and businesses for your child not to be emotionally available for them because it will affect them in the long run.
3. Moral availability.
A child who has all the financial and material attention of the parents will soon become a nuisance to the society he/she belongs without sound moral training and guidance from the father and or mother. The upbringing of a child is incomplete without being morally grounded. They should not just exist for existing sake but they should be guided with the principles of good and bad, wrong and right. Once they have been inoculated with those principles, they will play a role in the upholding of the moral fibre of their respective environments.
4. Making of sacrifices and compromises.
Parenting entails making of costly sacrifices and compromises for the well being and comfort of your child even when it is not convenient for you. Are you ready for that? Will you be able to put your children's safety, happiness etc first before yours? Will you be able to leave your comfort zone to attend to the needs of your child? Will you be able to sacrifice your thirst, hunger, health for that of your child? If you are not, it means you are not ready to be a parent, because that is what it essentially takes to be a parent.
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