Friday December 8 2017

If you’re not ready to start a family, do not get married


By Christine Nakalungi

Her mother-in-law showed up one weekend carrying a bag of herbs wrapped in old newspapers. She called her over to her room and closed the door. “My dear daughter, you should mix this powdered herb in hot water and drink it everyday. It will unblock whatever has been hindering you from conceiving,” she said with concern. A wave of shock hit Julie. “I do not have any problem, I am not ready to have children yet,” she answered.

“It has been four years, when will you be ready?” the old woman asked calmly trying to control her anger. Julie tried to explain but she did not seem to convince her. She lost her patience and stood up to leave, “mother, this is between my husband and I. We will have children whenever we are ready to.”

The mother-in-law did not take this well; the following weekend, she showed up with a girl who she said was ready to have children for her son if the wife was not. All this seemed like a nightmare to Julie, her husband seemed fed up too. “It has been four years and every time I bring up the topic, you have an excuse. I married you because I wanted a family. Tell me, will you bear me children?” he asked.

Julie felt cornered but even her tears did not save her. When her mother got involved in the argument, she also took her son-in-law’s side. Let us be honest, marriage is not about swapping your maiden name for his and neither is it about splashing the gold ring in the faces of those who thought you could not keep a man. Before you get excited about the fancy wedding, know exactly what you are signing up for. Some people just want the ring and not what comes with it. The cost of a marriage is more than an expensive gown and a convoy of cars; it is to take care of your spouse, have children and live happily ever after.

Other than the natural hindrances, if you tied the knot but deny your spouse the joy of having children; you are like a hired chef who instead of cooking food, spends time cleaning the house.
Modernity might have taken over our generation but culturally, children give more meaning to a marriage. Children are the fruits of your marriage.

I agree that with the financial constraints, couples have to decide when it is suitable for them to have children but if you have not won a lottery in the past four years of your marriage, you might as well not win it in the next 10.
Bearing in mind that it is not a guarantee to conceive when you want to; you might assume you are ready and nature dictates otherwise. So, if you do not feel ready to begin a family, it is better to delay your marriage plans too.