“Anything for the boys?!”
“Have you become a Lagos policeman or FRSC officer now?” I asked.
“If you don’t have anything to give me, just say so”, he replied with a hint of irritation.
I was slightly taken aback by his tone but decided to let it go. Oh Seyi, how you’ve grown, I thought.
“How are your cousin and her family?” I asked.
“Ha! It’s even good you asked me”, he replied in excitement.
My mind raced for a few seconds, wondering what the good news could be. I became slightly alarmed as a thought hit me, surely, it can’t be!
“She just had a baby and the naming ceremony is in three days”, he continued.
“Wow!” I said.
Again?! A fourth child?! I wondered, truly wowed and somewhat stupefied. I did guess it was a baby but I really hoped I was wrong.
“Congratulations!” I think I managed to sound cheerful enough.
A fourth child in 2018 and in this economy?! Have they gone mad? I couldn’t help wondering.
“May the Lord bless them with resources to nurture the child into a well-rounded member of the society”, I prayed.
Their three kids have not eaten enough yet they have added another kid to their family. Hey God, help us your children oh! I continued praying in my mind.
“Thanks mehn. I’ll send you the details on WhatsApp now. Take care”, he hung up before I could reply.
“Alright, take care”, I muttered into the phone still, my words slightly slurred, I still could not believe Alex’s cousin had gone on to have yet another child.
Don’t get me wrong, I love babies, I think they are amazing. However, I am of the school of thought that parents should not birth more children than they can cater for. In fact, these couple are barely coping with caring for three children, now they have brought in a fourth one into their world.
This is not the 60s 0r 80s when people gave birth without a care for family planning or future projections on how to give their children the best life. Then, the economy was good or fair, there were good jobs, businesses thrived better, life was generally easier. Even the poorest of families could still have somewhat decent meals and clothes.
Now, the economy is at the worst I have ever experienced, known or heard of. Couples are making projections for their lives and future, and with that are carefully deciding the size of family they are willing to have. I believed that in this current economic dispensation, no one in their right mind will have kids they are not prepared to cater for.
I know every family, no matter how they start off, are ideally upwardly mobile and yes, financial statuses can change. Still, if a family’s current financial state is low and they are already struggling to cater for three children, is it then advisable that they have a fourth?
Let’s not forget that as the children grow, their needs grow, and with it also grows the needs of the parents. So even if the financial state of the couples improve, all that money still goes into more clothes for the kids, better schools, extra lessons, good food, occasional treats and holidays, etc. It’s like a never ending spray of bills month in, month out.
The most ironic and painful part of this whole scenario is, it is those on the lowest throng of the social class ladder who are most guilty of this endless child-breeding crime. Even the lower-middle class man knows to be more careful with family planning.
Its high time parents focus more on the quality of life that they are able to offer each child, than to selfishly get engulfed in the desire to have numerous children they do not have the financial capacity to cater for.