By Morak Babajide-Alabi
Today I am yielding this column for an excerpt from the book, Sex, Relationship & Marriage: Things Your Mother Didn’t Tell You. This unputdownable book is authored by Ade Ebimomi, the CEO of FDIB Limited.
Ade, a friend of over three decades, is a very brilliant and successful investment broker and Consulting Economist with specialities in Development Economics and Foreign Direct Investment. A straight-talking individual and a compulsive writer, Ade does not limit himself in any way. I have read a lot of his writings – from politics to economics – and I am always amazed at the clarity of his thoughts and ideas.
Below is a cut from Chapter 13 of the book, titled – Do Not Be In A Hurry, Guys. Ade asks a few questions on why society puts too much pressure on newly wedded couples to have children. Enjoy the excerpt –
One of the felicitations friends and family kept sending my way after my daughter’s wedding was, “Congrats! You will soon become a grandpa”.
While this message is obviously a beautiful and well-intentioned one, I’ve had to ask a few of these friends why they think I would actually want to be a grandfather right after my daughter’s marriage.
Kids are great – and coming from me, that’s really an understatement – and their arrival is seen as completing the family, as well as it is incontrovertible evidence that the newly-married couple is fertile.
But kids that come even before the ink dries on the marriage certificate? I have my strong reservations about that.
And I had a long discussion with my daughter and her husband about this a few days after their wedding.
What is wrong in a newly-married couple – especially one where both spouses are still relatively young – spending the next one or two years just enjoying themselves exclusively?
No kids for that one or two years, that is.
What is wrong in spending the next one or two years solidifying their love and friendship, building bonds and creating memories that would last a lifetime?
What is wrong if they spend the next one or two years going to work, coming back and generally being each other’s companion, to the exclusion of all others?
Why should a young, newly married couple rush into becoming parents?
Yes, that’s what the society wants and that’s what the society expects, but who cares?
Has the ‘society’ ever bothered to pause and look at the drawbacks of early parenthood for a newly married couple?
Child-bearing and child-nurturing are two of the hardest endeavours in life, and most stressful.
They bring so much demand on the couple’s time, finances and physical wellbeing that often times, extreme and debilitating stress (and sometimes, illness) becomes inevitable.
Apart from the ever-present danger of post-partum depression on the young mother’s side, and the obligatory demands on the finances of the young father, childbirth and child-nurturing leave a young couple feeling like the other party is responsible for the state they are in and are not doing enough to help the other out.
Friction, resentment and subconscious regrets usually follow.
A young woman who, barely 10 months ago, was in total control of her time and her resources wake up and go to bed whenever she wants, pursues her business or professional hustles without let or hindrance, to now have to wake up at odd hours, hardly even sleeping herself, and rather than the constant snuggles of the strong, warm body of her husband, cradles an infant, an adorable infant nonetheless, one who tugs at the strings of her heart as she tugs at her sore nipples.
A young man who, barely 10 months prior, enjoyed the weekend watching the English Premier League, his beautiful babe on his lap, a bottle of beer in his left hand and the TV remote in his right.
Today, as his young wife spends practically every waking hour tending a baby whose three preoccupations in life for that period are sleeping at odd hours, crying and getting fed, the young man feels left out and side-tracked.
Of course, his attempt at fatherly role at that early period is most often rebuffed by the mother-in-law who has come for omugwo.
Naturally, a mother’s caring instinct is to her offspring first (ever seen a brooding hen fight off a threatening hawk?) before her husband. That is the way Mother Nature got it made.
Men are, therefore, left to hold the extremely short end of a stick that came in already short to start with. They are wont to feel estranged and abandoned – even when they barely notice or willing to admit it.
Subconsciously, they would start wishing for the good old days when it was just him and his babe, getting all the attention and rolling in the hay whenever the body needed it.
Sadly, some of these new husbands, in a selfish bid to connect with their strafing bachelor days, reopen lines of communication with an ex-girlfriend or two, and end up rekindling an affair with her. And putting his new marriage in danger.
Where the ex has been a once-loving and ever-caring lady, chances are that she may dig her fangs so deep into the new husband that extricating himself and finding his way back to his baby-nursing young wife becomes an onerous task.
And this circle is hardly ever interrupted or stopped before irreparable damage occurs.
For, while the man (and the wife) is still trying to get to grips with not having his wife to himself during the day, and barely able to recognize his present sleeping (or lack of it) arrangement, the second child pops in.
And then the third.
And possibly the fourth.
Sadly, also, many men never truly recover from this fall.
Many have been known to just coast along with the wife at home, keeping up appearances of a perfect husband, while the heart and mind are really with the girl outside – one whose total, unfettered and unshared attention he gets.
And people tend to underestimate the importance of regular, uninterrupted sexual encounters in a fresh marriage.
For a guy who has perhaps kept himself celibate for years during dating – either deliberately or forced on him by the fiance – you better know it now that that guy, by the time his marriage rolls around, already has a quiver full of arrows, arrows that he has serious plans to shoot the way of his sexy and delectable wife, one night after the other.
Then, because society expects the wife to carry a protruding stomach a few months into her new marriage, Mister Lover Boy would only have shot only one or two of the arrows in his quiver, and Aunty New One would start spewing sputum and vomiting all over the place.
I ask, what does the society expect our strafing the young man to do with the remaining arrows – a young man literally bursting at the seams with all the stocked-up 2-year semen in his scrotal sac?
C’mon, let’s get real!
This guy wakes up in the middle of the night to enjoy his God-given and society-sanctioned better half, and what does he see? A poor woman exhausted from carrying a protruding stomach around all day, characteristically deeply snoring!
Even a hard-pressed, sex-starved man would just take pity on her; cover her up while bottling his sexual needs.
It gets worse when the baby finally arrives.
Get a copy of Sex, Relationship & Marriage: Things Your Mother Didn’t Tell You, by Ade Ebimomi to read this and many more practical stories. Available on Amazon.
As published in the column Diaspora Matters, Sunday Vanguard, April 28, 2019.