IT was once said that when a couple agrees on everything, they are not married. Can you agree on the number of kids you are to have and stick to it come rain or shine? Yes and no. You are bent on a certain number but dear husband wants more. What is a w
IT was once said that when a couple agrees on everything, they are not married. Can you agree on the number of kids you are to have and stick to it come rain or shine? Yes and no. You are bent on a certain number but dear husband wants more. What is a woman to do?
Grace Kiyonga, 70, a mother of six and a grandmother says at the time she got married, a man never discussed the number of children he wanted with his wife. Most men were polygamous.
â€œThe wives competed among themselves to out do one another, especially when it came to having boys,â€ she recalls. Todayâ€™s woman has come a long way from the one in Kiyongaâ€™s day. She has a say in the number of children she wants to have.
Ideally, a couple should discuss how many children they would like to have before they settle down, Paul Nyende, a counselling psychologist, says. However, life is dynamic. What if he wanted two and then changed his mind along the way? There is always safety in numbers, some argue. Why have few and fail to insure oneâ€™s future? What if they die? What about the issue of an heir? These are some of the reasons that could cause one to have a change of heart.
Take Lydiaâ€™s situation for instance. She and her husband had planned to have two children- a girl and a boy. She assumed nature would align itself to their plans.
Lydia also had plans of pursuing further studies after having her second child. But she has two girls and her husband wants at least two boys. She is caught between putting her foot down and giving in. She fears he might get them from somewhere else.
Nyende advises women in Lydiaâ€™s situation to find out the reasons why their husbands want more children.
â€œIn most cases, couples rarely discuss the number of children they can afford to have. It is when they start having them that the discussions come in. Instead of brushing aside his desire to have more children as unrealistic, talk to him about it. A couple in love will always come to a compromise,â€ Nyende adds.
Counselling can come in handy for such a couple. Sometimes, the desire for more children is not clearly thought out, the counsellor argues. When financial and health implications are discussed and understood, it is unlikely that the man demanding for more offspring will still be bent on the idea.
Having a big-sized family would weigh emotionally on the parents. Pastor David Kiganda believes that prayer can align a coupleâ€™s perspective on what size of family they should have.
In cases when the man wants more children than his wife is willing to give him, the pastor asks the couple to pray so that whatever decision is made is welcomed by both parties.
â€œIt is not easy but I believe that prayer answers all things,â€ Kiganda adds. Charles Kiggundu, a consultant gynecologist at Mulago Hospital, says the packaging of the message on family size should be re-addressed.
â€œWhen men understand the health risks several pregnancies cause their wives, they will be reluctant to have many children,â€ he explains.
Nyende warns that failure to strike a compromise can cause conflict. Now you donâ€™t want your man chasing another skirt to have the child you would not give him.
Tips on how to strike a balance
Find out why he wants more kids and try to understand his point of view.
Make sure that he understands your misgivings.
Pray about reaching a compromise.
Make sure you communicate amicably.
Try to find a common ground.
Discuss the number of kids you want to have instead of waiting to cross the bridge when you get there.
When he wants more children