MODERN CHILDCARE NEEDS

Andy Shelley and babyAndy Shelley says his time on parental leave was “eye-opening.” Following the release of a poll which suggested 27% of mothers did not enjoy their maternity leave as much as they thought they would, parents have been sharing their experience of parental leave – both good and bad. Some people got in touch after following BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Emma Barnett’s open and honest account of her time away from work looking after her baby son, a time which she described as being “bloody hard and at times, lonely.” So what’s it like to be the one who stays at home and looks after the baby? Three parents share their very different experiences. The good, the bad and unexpected child care needs. ‘I thought my partner was just off work.’ Andy Shelley’s girlfriend gave birth to their daughter in March and the couple decided to take shared parental leavePrior to making choice, Andy’s partner had been looking after their daughter while he worked 12-hour days. “It was difficult because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough,” he says. Thirty-year-old Andy took over full-time care for two months in July, but admits he was not aware just how much work was involved in staying home and looking after his daughter. “Initially I thought parental leave would be a nice break from work but it wasn’t easy. “Some days she would be upset and I just didn’t know what to do. Your entire day revolves around feeds. It becomes a full-time job in itself. “I would be happy when my partner came home from work as it meant I could have a break.” The Stoke-On-Trent resident says his experience of parental leave was important as he realised how much his girlfriend had been doing when he thought she was “just off work.” “It made me appreciate everything she had done and ultimately cemented my relationship with my daughter. “It’s a shame more fathers don’t take parental leave as it really opens your eyes and you realise what your partner deals with.”‘I made sure I kept busy’Sandrine Charpentier and her two daughtersSandrine Charpentier said “clear vision” for her maternity leave and made sure its “wonderful experience.” Sandrine Charpentier, from Hayes in Kent, says her maternity leave with both of her daughters, now aged six and nine, was a “really positive experience.” Despite not knowing many people where she lived, Sandrine made sure she wasn’t isolated by booking a different activity every day. “We would do baby swimming, yoga, singing and play groups. It motivated me to get dressed and get out of the house. “The whole time I was really tired but I thought that was just part of the job. “It was great to meet people, be social and talk about our experiences. I was really happy during that time and it was great for my daughters.” As much as she enjoyed her maternity leave, the mum-of-two admits it was nice to return to work. “Being at work was like a holiday because I was free to do what I wanted. I didn’t have somebody glued to me all the time. “It was good to do something different, to meet people and not talk about nappies and babies all the time.” ‘It’s difficult to be accepted as a stay-at-home dad’Child playingPeople were shocked when Craig Smith said he was going to be a stay-at-home father Craig Smith, 42 in Staffordshire became stay-at-home dad to daughter, Matilda, in January when she was eight months old. His wife has a high-level job so they decided that it would be best for him to give up work and focus on their daughter’s early years. “I was very up for the challenge as I’ve always wanted children, but I didn’t really think about what was involved in being a full-time dad. “Sometimes it’s hard because all Matilda wants is her mum.” Craig says his experience made him realise there is not enough support for stay-at-home dads. “I tried to integrate with local playgroups, but the mums can be quite cliquey and it’s very difficult for a dad to be accepted. “A lot of mum-and-baby groups say fathers are welcome but in reality it’s not like that – the mums can be quite cold.” Craig is planning on going back to work part-time when Matilda starts nursery, but says he feels anxious at the prospect of returning to normality. “It feels like my brain has been conditioned to sing to Peppa Pig or nursery rhymes. The thought of carrying out serious and responsible tasks within a role kind of scares me.

Good, bad, unexpected childcare needs

More on this story

  • Why maternity leave can be harder and lonelier than you imagine
    29 November 2018
  • Video New survey of mums on maternity finds more than a quarter struggle.
    29 November 2018
  • Shared parental leave take-up may be as low as 2%
    12 February 2018
  • How the UK’s new rules on parental leave work
    5 April 2015

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  • Shared Parental Leave and Pay – GOV.UK

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COOKING, WASHING, TAMES

Man holding babyCooking, washing clothes, cleaning and childcare, tames men who once thought it was only the women’s job. Like most men, Jean Pierre 32 lives in Mwulire in Eastern Province in Rwanda and leaves domestic chores to his wife. Impatient, angry, demands perfection due to lack of awareness that a woman’s job is 24/7 so never ends day or night. He becomes aggressive if his wife did not meet the standards of his expectations so beats her. A grassroots intervention program trying to reduce domestic violence in Rwanda teaches men how to do household chores, and a recent study suggested it has a positive effect on communities. So Muhoza Jean Pierre used to beat his wife because he saw her as someone he married just to have children and and look after them. “I was following example of my father. My father did not do anything at home,” he said. “If ever I came home and found something not done yet I insult her. “I called her lazy, told her she was useless so must go back to her parent’s house.” But something changed after he learnt to cook and clean. It was all part of a grassroots intervention programme in Mwulire village in Eastern Province, Rwanda encouraging men’s domestic roles, including childcare. Jean Pierre says the project called, ‘Bandebereho’ or role model in Kinyarwanda helps tamed and transformed his behaviour. He took part in classes covering everything from cooking and cleaning and discuss how to challenge men’s traditional gender roles. “They asked, if a man can sweep the house, and we would say ‘he can’,” he said. “And then they would ask us: ‘Who among you does that?’ And there was no one.”Man cooking next to his wife

Real men shouldn’t cook

Facilitators from ‘Bandebereho’ taught Jean Pierre how to do tasks previously he believed his wife should do. He also added: “We would go home and try to put this into practice. “Then we would go back to training with witnesses who would testify they had observed some changes in us. “I know how to cook. I do laundry for the kids. I know how to peel plantains, I know how to pound dry cassava and sift the flour.” Jean Pierre and his wife have been married for 10 years and never helped her before. And making changes was not easy as Jean Pierre’s friends discouraged him from doing household tasks, telling him: ‘No real man should cook.’ “My family and friends said my wife bewitched me by giving me some magic drugs. They said no genuine man should carry a bundle of firewood in the street because that is for henpecked men,” he said. But Jean Pierre continued when he saw benefits to his family. He says his children feel closer to him and his wife now runs a banana business that has allowed them to improve their home. “The way my wife treats me now is different from the way she used to treat me,” he said. “She used to treat me badly because I was mistreating her too, but now we discuss and agree on things to do. “I set her free, now she is working and I am working too; whereas before I was convinced she had to stay home and be available whenever I would need her.” Fear and little freedom affected Jean Pierre’s wife Musabyimana Delphine who says she used to have little freedom and lived in fear. She said: “Sometimes I felt like a mere worker, and I would remember a worker has a salary. “I never thought a woman can ever have her own money, because I never even had time to think about any activity that generate money. “Now I have enough freedom in house, I go out and work for money like others. Start training young boys now so when they grow up they will help their wife and help look after the children. When both work, it’s a burden on the woman to care for the family or children alone.man washing a plateThe ‘Bandebereho’ project taught Jean Pierre to do tasks previously believed his wife should do. Delphine leaves at 5am to sell plantains at a market, while Jean Pierre stays at home and takes care of their four young children. “I come home relaxed and find food ready,” she said. The project’s curriculum originally developed in Latin America by global fatherhood campaign MenCare believes true equality will only be reached when men take on 50% of world’s childcare and domestic work. The research looks into changing men’s attitudes towards family care and traditional domestic. It was soon realised the good impact on men. A study looking at couples taking part in the project found two years after taking childcare lessons in Rwanda men were less likely to use violence against their female partners than those who did not attend the classes. But the study suggested one in three women whose partners took part in the programme still reported experiencing intimate partner violence. National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, released a data in 2015, around 52% of men in the country were violent towards partners. Rwanda Men’s Resource Centre, which delivered the programme in the country, wants ‘Bandebereho’ to be widely adopted by communities and country’s government. Fidele Rutayisire the chairman of centre, said: “We still have negative social norms, negative masculinity perception cultural barriers as main factors of high violence against women in Rwanda. “Traditionally men don’t take care of children here but men control sex, resources, decision-making. “When men are actively involved in the home they realise sacrifices of women in childcare so their attitude on gender changes positively, they understand the value of gender equality.” Delphine and Jean Pierre said the program benefited their family and the whole community. “We are now on honeymoon, 10 years after our wedding,” said Jean Pierre. If there is conflict or security issue in our neighbourhood our opinion is respected because they see we don’t have problem in our household. Men appreciate and help their wives and not demand they do all the housework or take care of the family, business, Church alone without support of husbands. A happy wife is a happy life and the Bible says love your wife as Christ loved His bride Church and gave His life for you. Timothy says a husband must first look after his family and own household before serving the Church. Don’t neglect your wife and the children in the NAME OF GOD leisurely talking to single women while your wife and children at home suffer. Remember your wife is that same beautiful single woman you married and used her body to give birth to your children. And don’t abandon her for fresh young woman to give birth later to become abandoned as wife. This causes baby mama problems because men want to eat their cake and have it. So wants exclusive attention of wife at the expense of the children some are jealous of. Forget their parents took great care of them as done to children. Grow up and be father to the children to mature a responsible man not manchild depending on wife as mother. For even the Son of Man Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many says Mark 10:45.

  • 27 November 2018
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MARRIED 45 GAVE BIRTH 47

God’s Time is the best to fulfil the plans and purpose for your life to Glorify God as Gifty Anti’s testimony shows. This is the Lords doing and it is marvellous in our eyes. Wait on GOD ALMIGHTY and do not lean on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge God, HE WILL BRING TO PASS IN JESUS NAME. This powerful message is to encourage all people to Seek God’s Face especially for marriage. Do not marry because you feel it’s too late so rush into relationship to destroy you in the end. So many fear they may not get married after a certain age, convince themselves so share the husband of another woman. They miss their own husband due to impatience so regretted later and wished they waited for God. Delay is not denial so better to build up good character and reputation to wait as a virtuous woman. The same goes for men marrying the children too young with undeveloped body to bear a weight of children or be a matured wife. GLORY to God for matured women that are fully grown and to handle marriage better. Those miserable and lonely who think marriage solves all problems must love themselves first to bring good vibes into the marriage. Spend quality time to enjoy the single years dedicated to God and busy minding your own business. It is true marriage is beautiful, wonderful and fulfilling because God created the first marriage in Garden of Eden. God said, it is not good to be alone so made Eve out of Adam’s rib to join one flesh.

Marriage ordained by God so important to organise marriage as God planned and intends. Adam and Eve are created as fully grown adults with all available resources before their marriage was created by God. Time of singlenesss is time preparation towards marriage because such precious times cannot be regained after marriage. The single person is married to God in Christ so devoted to things of God Bible says. A popular saying is that marriage is like a woollen blanket itches when covered by it and cold without it. Those inside it are desperate to get out while those outside can’t wait to get in. Marriage is so great and wonderful because two better than one strengthening each other when the going gets tough. A real life marriage is not just like a fantasy drama of actors pretending to be couples on TV reciting written scripts and paid. Do not base a choice of a life partner on TV drama or Mills and Boons romantic fantasy novel although it contains elements of truth of real life. Marriage that endures lifetime is deeper than TV drama marriage takes the Grace, Mercy and Favour of God to endure the challenges and adversity of life together as a couple. And marriage is NOT HAPPILY EVER AFTER always as novels say it is practical real life matters of building family, relationship with the in-laws, humility, respect for people in the families, Honour, respect and never just the two couples involved. Be ready to become part of bigger family looking after interests of others not just yourself as God planned. Couples celebrate their wedding interact with family to support them in time of need. And never isolate yourselves to be in love to burn bridges because after the dust settles you need all those people to help the marriage to thrive. Isolated marriages are too close for comfort puts too much stress on each other to ruin marriage. A single person is WHOLE PERSON made in the IMAGE OF GOD. So stop thinking you are incomplete without marriage if not married yet or chooses not to marry marriage is not a competition of friends. Do not rush into marriage because you feel left behind by agemates. A real life journey is personal and individual, seek the face of God before marriage. 

Polyandry marriage of women married to more than one husband is common in India, Nigeria, China, Mountain tribes of Asia where there are more women than men. Similar words are polygyny, bigamy and deuterogamy. The Bible says 7 women will take hold of one man and say we are self-sufficient, so have everything already, we just want to be called by your name “Mrs.” Solomon and 700 wives and his 300 concubines, feminists now demand equal rights of polyandry to be like men. God allowed Abraham, Jacob, David among others to have many wives. Though God said, one man join one wife as ONE FLESH people are greedy so want more. After all God and Jesus are too HOLY without sexual needs, without a wife, so how on earth are they going to understand human needs of the flesh? The signs of end time debauchery and lasciviousness like the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah Jesus has warned about will happen be before His coming again. Hope you are all well by the Grace of God. Pray with intense fasting intercession to break family covenant of spiritual marriage you are dedicated to fighting real life spouse. Secrets are not shared by parents so seek deliverance in Jesus Name for a breakthrough. Don’t consult psychics, necromancers, fortune tellers, native doctor herbalist, witch doctor for marriage because you will be initiated to satan and demons will marry you to prevent real life marriage. It may seem they gave you husband or wife but it is loaded with evil because satan does not give anything free without taking back a life of family members to kill, destroy or make them suffer in life. So may not realise your connection to idol shrine is the cause of all family sickness, poverty, and premature deaths. Ancestors sought ‘protection’ from: evil witchcraft, wars, land disputes, chieftaincy by sacrificing the family to shrines. Such generational covenants are known or unknown to family members suffering today. The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY is the source of life and giver of marriage so follow the plan if God for your life. Do not listen to those who ruined their life embarrassed by your virtuous life to deceive you to ruin your life. They may call you “an old maid” left on the shelf but GOD’S TIME is the BEST in Jesus Name. All laughing and mocking you now will see the Glory of God in your life and your testimony in Jesus Name. Others decide to do their own deceived by those who want their life destroyed to spur on to disgrace them. Beware and stand on the word of God for inspiration, hope, assurance in Christ and trust God in Spirit and Truth to beautify your life in His Own Time for you. You will enjoy your marriage because you are  faithful to God so HE WILL Make A WAY for you where there is no way in Jesus Name. The Bible in Exodus 21:10, says a man can marry an infinite amount of women without limits to how many to marry. And in 2 Samuel 5:13; 1 Chronicles 3:1-9, and in 14:3, King David had six wives and his numerous concubines. Also in 1 Kings 11:3, King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Again in 2 Chronicles 11:21, King Solomon’s son Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines. And in Deuteronomy 21:15 A man with two wives loves one but not the other and both bear sons favours one more. The laws of each land dictate the number of spouse according to that culture.  

IMG_20180915_131117If you have Spiritual Father and Mother in Christ go and talk to them privately about your desire to get married. Study Biblical marriage to read good books on marriage from God to help understand marriage better. Ensure you are able to provide marital needs like rent, food, work to have money to pay the bills, to first take care of yourself before you go to add children’s needs into a marriage for more responsibility. Love alone is not enough because love does not pay bills or provide food just because you declare or flaunt how madly you are in love on social media. Be happy first in yourself, see marriage as bonus adding value to your life rather than depending on person to fulfil your life. Impossible to demand spouse totally fulfil all areas of your life needs because you love and married them. You demand they be God who is ONLY ONE Provider that way. Its misunderstanding to destroy marriage because of your assumption a partner will meets all your needs but you do not tell them what your need is. You insist they read your mind to do all you want from them without TALKING to them or doing good to them in return. Marriage is not a ONE WAY culdesac no return of favour done to you. Negotiate with family through the good servant of God with your family in partnership for a spouse. Even if church helps you find spouse include family or if family finds you spouse include the church if a born again believer. You need them along the journey of married life for sure honour family and stay in church in marriage ordained by God. Families give account to God on judgement day so remember God will deal with you as you deal with spouse and fam vily. Check your heart for motives of marriage to be sure you love, show kindness, peace, joy, so loyal, forgives, self-control, laughter help each other, family after honeymoon is over reality sets in. Marriage not for the fainthearted so treat it with respect, honesty, trust be transparent for your own good to help save to preserve your married life in peace. Continue to pray intensely as you did when seeking that life partner to defeat and conquer the onslaught of forces that contend with the marriage. Do not relax and think nobody fights over conquered fortress to settle down so ignore spouse. This is beginning of married life of challenges in relationship. With God all things are possible so be alert watch out pray, seek deliverance in Mighty Name of Jesus!!!

HAPPIER IN BIGGER HOUSE?

isbUK is said experiencing a dire shortage of living space, but does having more room necessarily make people more content? It is common to hear concerns about pokey new-builds and sky-high rents forcing people into ever smaller homes. But the reality is that living spaces in England and Wales are larger than ever, with the average home increasing from 88 to 90 square metres between 2004 and 2016. Instead, the issue is distribution of space is more unequal. The owner occupiers has lots of space compared with young renters sharing a home with several others. In 2017, about 28% of UK households contained one person, up from 17% in 1971. But the proportion of families and individuals sharing private rented housing has almost tripled since 1992 to 6.6%, according toresearch by the Resolution Foundation think tank. So, does more space always mean happier occupants, or is there a cut-off point?Housing in numbers datapic

Status and neighbours

A London-based colleague recently told me about her aunt coming to visit her from Hong Kong. Upon seeing her shoe-box bedroom, she was filled not with pity, but with envy. The aunt had grown up seven people to one room, and thought this living arrangement the height of luxury. This illustrates how the level of space that we expect or aspire to can depend on what we are used to. Even after people move to a bigger house, it may not take long for them to start to feel like they don’t have enough. Surveying almost 1,000 people who chose to upsize their home, my research found that housing satisfaction initially increased after a move by 1.2 points on a seven-point scale. But within three years, this rise had diminished by about 30% as people’s space expectations increased.Chart showing housing satisfaction rises before a house move before diminishing

You might think that people with very big houses would be more satisfied with their property. Found increase beyond four rooms per person resulted in no uplift in housing satisfaction at all. This category is likely to include some older people who would like a smaller space but are reluctant to leave the family home. Even for the average household, more space may not necessarily lead to more happiness. Our space expectations are conditioned by where lived before, but by neighbours. Because house size is status symbol feels worse off if other people get larger houses. A recent US study found increase in size of largest 10% of superstar houses had significant negative effect on their neighbours, Woman prepares food with her daughterThose people who moved into a bigger home, previous surveys have suggested people would be prepared to have less living space overall if it meant less than others. Rising cost of ‘normal’ is not to say everyone is consciously competing with their neighbours over who has the biggest house. Most concern of a house size may stem from underlying desire to fit in to do things considered “normal.”  This could be having dinner around the family table or watching TV on the sofa which requires what is considered to be a “normal” level of living space. If home sizes increase then so does the amount of space we feel like we need just to keep up. If all have space for home gym having friends round for a workout could well become as normal as having them round for dinner.Couple looking at big houseCounting the costs as a nation, do not seem to be getting any happier with our housing, even though living space and housing conditions have improved for many people. The US-based study draws similar conclusions. It suggests people living in a detached house, satisfaction stayed the same since the 1980s as the amount of space per person has grown by about 40%, to more than 900 square feet. People moving into bigger homes comes with costs. Spending more on housing means people incurring more mortgage debt, working longer hours, or commuting longer distance, building more homes has significant irreversible environmental costs. An overwhelming case is to provide genuinely affordable housing for those suffering in cramped, unaffordable living conditions. Beyond this increase is if average living spaces improve wellbeing society is debated. This analysis piece was commissioned by the BBC from an expert working for an outside organisation. Dr Chris Foye is knowledge exchange associate with the University of Glasgow, UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence. His role is building relationships between housing researchers, policymakers, practitioners and residents. 

ARE YOU AN ONLY CHILD?

Last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked me the question Daddy and I have been half expecting. With a slight ripple across your brow and your blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister?’

Are you an only child and did you know why you became one literally? Perhaps it is a health or a financial circumstance beyond parent’s control or unfortunate situation of loss of parent making it not possible to have siblings. The parents of an only son have written a letter to him explaining their choice and decision to him alone. The letter stated that mother found out ‘last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked a question Daddy and was half expecting. With slight ripple across your brow and your blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister?’ I kissed the top of your head, squeezed you closer and momentarily panicked about how on earth to answer. At four years and four months, you are clearly starting to notice many of friends at nursery talk of siblings or babies. And thankfully this time, you gave me a reprieve turning your attention straight to dinosaur story read to you.’ Last night, as we snuggled up to read your bedtime story, you asked me the question Daddy and I half expected. With a slight ripple across your brow and blue eyes wide, you said: ‘Mummy, why don’t I have a brother or sister? But I know one day the ‘why’ will become more persistent. Daddy and I are far from alone in deciding to stop at one child. Apparently by 7years, half of all families in this country will only have one offspring. Not that it stops me from feeling occasional pang of guilt. I know there will be many positives to decision like our undivided attention for starters so you never know a prickly adjustment period when a new baby arrives. How about sibling rough and tumble you’ll miss out on? A constant companionship for better or worse? I cannot pretend it hasn’t been a real dilemma. Yes, there have been moments when my resolve wobbled particularly as you get closer to starting school so baby no more. Who doesn’t get broody when they see a tiny newborn enfolded in a mother’s arms. But deep down, I know we’ve made the most responsible choice. I just hope, as you grow older, you agree. The truth is Daddy and I would loved another child but quite simply are too old. We liked the idea of two or maybe more, Daddy even hoped for twins! We imagined you all together and nobody ever short of a playmate, bundling you all into the bath after a day at the beach or the park. Sometimes I do wonder if we left it too late to start our little family. After all, we’ve been together for 19 years. Will you wonder what we were doing all that time? know many positives to our decision of undivided attention, helps you thrive. But I turned 44 last year, a day you and Daddy helped me devour the birthday cake I’d made. ‘That’s REALLY old!’ you exclaimed. In terms of having another baby, you were right. More women are have babies well into 40s and beyond but risks proven to be grater for mum and baby not least Down’s Syndrome or other birth defects. I wonder if we left it too late to start family. After all, we’ve been together for 19 years so wondering what we were doing all this time? We met through mutual friends in our mid-20s, drawn together by similarities: we’re both driven, determined, sociable and aspire to wring the most from life. But like many of our generation, chose naively it turned out to let time slip by. Distracted by careers, Daddy as a chartered surveyor and board director, and me as a journalist, we saved like mad for our future, bought property, played hard and enjoyed exciting holidays all over the world. Sometimes I do wonder if we left it too late to start our little family. For 19 years prepared in advance for your arrival. Family and friends badgered us about settling down but we felt buying a home together was the greatest commitment. I know there will be many positives to our decision — all that undivided attention, for starters, and you’ll never know that prickly adjustment period when a new baby arrives There were the more important things paying off a mortgage, for example than a wedding to spend money on. As for having a family, conscious of getting older, of course, honestly didn’t think leaving it to late 30s was a problem. After all, many friends in a similar situation. And in February 2011 of 12 years together, finally married at a beautiful country house in North Yorkshire. By then we were financially secure, happy, had bought a spacious barn conversion and wanted nothing more than to have a little family. But three months after our wedding, early one cool, grey May morning, my own beautiful, adoring mummy your granny died. She’d had cancer for four agonising years, and in the end the doctors and nurses couldn’t do anything more to save her. If I had just one wish in life it was that Granny had lived to meet you. She would have been besotted by your mischievousness, love of being silly and making people smile traits you share with her. Losing her made me all the more desperate to become a mum. I wanted to love and nurture another little person the way she’d always loved my brother and me. I longed to watch her warmth, wisdom and trademark cheerfulness live on in her grandchild. Grief stricken, I barely ate or slept for months.Grief stricken, I barely ate or slept for months. I ran for miles at a time as a coping mechanism and lost a lot of weight despite being slim anyway 

I ran for miles at a time as a coping mechanism and lost a lot of weight despite being slim anyway. Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when, after almost two years of trying to have a baby, doctors confirmed that the shock of losing Granny had caused my body to shut down. I was almost 40 by so we referred for IVF. That’s when something magical happened against all the odds. In late January 2013, I went to fertility clinic in outskirt of Nottingham for some initial scans before starting a treatment. After minutes, sonographer took off her glasses, wiped a tear from her eye and said: ‘You’re not going to believe this you are already pregnant!’ I was around five weeks, but there you were on the sonographer’s screen, a microscopic dot. I cried, and couldn’t wait to tell Daddy. We were elated you arrived in September that year by a planned Caesarean section. I adored you in an instant with your cute little face and love of a cuddle. When I delve into my handbag for a lipstick and instead pull out a toy car or a dirty twig from the park that you’ve put there, it makes me smile 

But I admit I struggled emotionally for a long time. Within a space of under two and a half years went through the two significant events in a woman’s life losing my mum and having a baby of my own. Not having Granny around at that time was heart-wrenching. During the three days that you and I were in hospital, I longed for my mum to walk in, beaming and saying: ‘Aren’t you a clever girl? He’s absolutely gorgeous!’ When Gramps came alone to meet you for the first time, he hadn’t seemed more solitary since Granny’s death. In the months that followed, I’d take you for seven-mile walks in pram along the canal paths and country trails close to our home and tears would roll down my cheeks as I daydreamed about Mum walking by my side. When I delve into my handbag for a lipstick and instead pull out a toy car or a dirty twig from the park that you’ve put there, it makes me smile  What I’d give to have just one photograph of her cuddled up cheek-to-cheek with you. Daddy was wonderfully sensitive and supportive. But at times I felt very alone, as many women do after having a baby. The impossible sadness was juxtaposed by the unrivalled joy you brought to Daddy and me.I know that watching you with a little brother or sister would be a delight. But another baby now? I was 40 by the time I had you. We quickly decided it was more important to enjoy you, rather than focus on trying for another simply because the clock was ticking 

You make us laugh uncontrollably often every day with your funny little ways and your constant chatter and wonder at the world around us. I was 40 by the time I had you. You’re as affectionate and loving as you are boisterous and wilful, destined to be strong-willed given our own personalities! And even when you’re throwing a tantrum we wouldn’t want it any other way. I know watching you with a little brother or sister would be a delight. But another baby now? I was 40 by the time I had you. We quickly decided it was more important to enjoy you, rather than focus on trying for another simply because the clock was ticking. After all, there are so many couples who’d give anything to have just one child. And who’s to say it would have happened a second time, given how long it took us to have you? Plus, at what point do you draw a line under the disappointment of trying and failing? Besides, we’d found being a family of three suits all of us. I am still able to do a job I love while you’re at nursery three days a week. More importantly, Daddy and I are able to focus our attention on you rather than feeling torn between more than one child. Your energy knows no bounds and I have to run you like a dog every day to expend it. I’m not sure I could cope with another little one fizzing with such effervescence. You have always loved your sleep, too: And imagine if you had a sibling who wailed all night for months. That said, I can’t deny the occasional well of sadness: the ‘what ifs’ and fear you’ll miss out on the fun of having a sibling. If I had just one wish in life it would be that Granny had lived to meet you. She would have been besotted by your mischievousness, love of being silly and making people smile — traits you share with her Since I’ve always been so close to my own little brother your uncle Robbie, 42, who loves to tickle and dangle you upside down. Daddy and I have often looked wistfully at our friends with four kids: they’re never without a ready-made playmate. On the other hand, we know siblings who fought terribly as children and barely speak as adults. We know lots of gloriously happy, and well grounded, sociable, selfless children including your brilliant cousin, Saffron, who’s five years older than you. It was adorable watching you playing together on the beach and in the pool on a recent family holiday in Spain. How I chuckled listening to the two of you animatedly discussing favourite or not vegetables in back of car. Nobody ever questioned our decision although there are friends who still tell us: ‘Go on, have another!’ Some people assume things of an only child that they are spoilt because they don’t learn to share. Or they miss out on so much. But Daddy and I will ensure you never feel isolated or become spoilt. Bracing ourselves to hosting lots of play dates sleepovers. We’ll do everything to encourage you to continue to be sociable caring confident little boy you already are. What I’ve realised more than anything is there is actuala much shorter answer to your question. Quite simply, Daddy and I feel enormously fortunate to have one healthy, happy, hilarious little boy who fills our lives with magic every day. We have never been left wanting more.

 

EXPRESS MARRIAGE TRENDS

Sophy on her wedding day in traditional attireWith Valentine day approaching people are looking for love and romance for a form relationships. So couples celebrate established meaningful, love fulfilling a family bond. Others also ready to settle down prepare and advertise for love in new ways using social media, Facebook post and was married six days later. The marriage took place quite quickly than the normal traditional longer process of a family searching and taking years for the marriage to be finalised. CHIDIMMA AMEDU, did exactly that advertising for love and marriage on Facebook. He found a beautiful wife who said, ‘he is the most handsome man I’ve ever met and I liked him instantly.” Those who use Facebook come across pretty strange posts in their time. But this time however the random friends requests, being added to groups you did not ask to join, and tags allows “friends” to marry. Others clog up timeline with posts or photos you don’t necessarily want. But a Nigerian man took it to a whole new level posted unusual advert. Chidimma Amedu put up a post on 30 December, asking women interested in being his wife to reply, he told the BBC.Chidimma Amedu on his wedding day

The proposal

“Am of age to and I am ready to say I do and am wasting no time. “Send in your applications – the most qualified will be married on January 6, 2018. Application closes 12 midnight 31/12/2017 he posted. He followed up with subsequent posts. ‘Am serious about this oh and don’t say you did not see it on time Good luck.’ He received a couple of responses, but one from Sophy Ijeoma is someone special who caught his attention. She wrote in her reply “Am interested, just DM me… lols,” her post read. At first, she thought it was a joke and she simply replied to keep thread flowing. A direct message from him to her inbox, followed by a Facebook call, would change her life’s trajectory. Chidimma placed the advert initially as a joke but became optimistic when Sophy said she was interested. So two days after their first conversation, he travelled some 500km (300 miles) from his home in the northern city of Abuja, to Enugu in the east where she lived. She had been waiting for him outside a retail store and in true fairy-tale style, “it was love at first sight”, she recalled. “He is the most handsome man I’ve ever met and I liked him instantly.”The couple on their wedding day in Igbo attire

After 2 hours of awkward conversation, he asked her to go to meet an uncle who incidentally is also resident in Enugu. So he asked what was going through her mind at the time, she said she thought it was all a bit of a joke but was excited about it and thought Chidimma was also quite an interesting character. “We got to the uncle’s house and he said: ‘Uncle, meet the woman I want to marry.'” Like Chidimma his family don’t seem to hang about when it comes to getting things done because uncle gave his approval. The couple are friends on Facebook for over a year but never spoken to each other before the advert. Getting family backing for your choice of spouse is an essential part of Igbo culture. Whereas picking your future wife from dozens of respondents to a Facebook marriage advert and marrying her in six days is decidedly not. At this point in their day-old relationship, it was beginning to dawn on Sophy that this fellow was not playing, but how do you commit to marrying someone you only just me. She would not comment on whether they had even shared as much as a kiss at that point, but maintained she was captivated by how focused, determined her new fiancé was. “When I saw him for the first time, I definitely found him attractive, but what I didn’t know was how serious he was about marrying me. “It was after we met the uncle and his wife, I realised that this could actually happen and I wanted it.”A family member felicitate with the couple

The engagement

It was now her turn to worry about how she was going to get the approval of her family to marry a guy she had just met on Facebook. But they had momentum going for them. Having met and fallen in love at first sight, or first message, if you like, and getting Chidimma’s uncle’s approval, couple decided to complete the cycle by visiting Sophy’s family the same day. Approval from the family is essential in Igbo tradition and Sophy recounted how she relayed information to her mother. Her dad passed away, and her mum said she did not have a final word in terms of giving approval for her to be married, so up to Sophy’s elder brother to give his blessings. It appears the odds firmly in their favour as Sophy’s brother gave his blessings too. So after a few questions from her brother it became official. Chidimma and Sophy were engaged to be married in six days.The happy couple cutting their cake

On the rebound?

Last year Chidimma was engaged to another woman and the wedding was scheduled for December, but then that relationship fell apart in March leaving him dejected. As December approached, the disappointment of not being able to fulfil his dream of getting married made him put up the post, he said. In wedding it was a blend of old and new “I had the desire to get married, had date in mind, but no bride, decided to place an advert as a joke, but I was open and up for it.”  Asked whether she knew about earlier engagement and her thoughts on how this seemingly rushed marriage might be seen as a rebound, Sophy dismissed any suggestions that her relationship was not well thought through. “I don’t care about that when you see what you want, you go for it.” They are friends on Facebook for more than a year, but had never met or spoken to each other until the advert. Am interested just DM me… lols” was all it took for the union to be formed. Sophy admitted her friends were sceptical about the whole thing, while some are still in disbelief, but as she said: “When you see the one, you will know he is the one.” And they got married on 6 January in a traditional Igbo ceremony, and posted photos of wedding day on Facebook of course to the amusement of the social media community. Chidimma put up a post saying people may have thought he had been joking but clearly wasn’t. And as expected there was mixed reactions, but mainly a lot of support for the couple. They hope to have a church wedding in April and honeymoon somewhere nice.

MEN DON’T WANT KIDS?

Men don’t want to repeat mistakes

The biggest reason I don't want to be a father is because I don't want to be a failure as a dad to the child the same way my dad was to me

Lots of patience some men don’t have

I tell everyone I don't want to be a dad because I can't afford it. Truth is, I've been a surrogate father before, and I had really bad anger issues. I'm afraid that I'd be an abusive father.

Some men have different life plans.

I feel like all the girls my age who are into me, already have kids. I feel bad but I can't date someone with a child because I don't want to be a father figure. It's just not for me.
WAS ADOPTED SO FELT UNWANTED 
I never want kids because I'm  adopted and I know how hard it is to feel unwanted. I wouldn't make a good father.ABANDONED SO NOT WANT KIDS
I don't want to be a father because I think I'll end up hating it and abandoning my kids.

Apples not fall far away from trees.

My partner doesn't understand I never want kids because I never want to end up turning out like my father.

NOT REALLY A FAN OF CHILDREN

I'm glad I'm gay because i hate children. i really hate children and i don't want to be a dad.

MAY RAISE KIDS AS WAS RAISED

I'm thinking about getting a vasectomy when I'm older because I don't want to be a dad and wouldn't want to raise kids like the way my father did to me
AFRAID MIGHT HURT CHILDREN 
The reason I don't want to be a father is because I'm afraid I'll hurt my child.

You don’t want to take this chance.

I secretly don't want to be a father because I'm scared I will be a horrible one.

Kids aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.

I never want kids..  Because to be honest, I don't even like kids.

Not everyone wants to be like parents

I tell people I never want kids because I don't like them. Truth is I am afraid a part of my father will come out and I will be cursed to be a terrible dad.

Has Real fears so avoids children.

I never want to be a father because mine was a complete failure, like his father, and probably his father.

 A Person’s Individuality is important

I never want kids because I don't want my whole identity to become "daddy." Among other reasons of course.

LIKES HAVING TIME TO HIMSELF

I'm a 25 year old man and I never want kids because I love having time to myself.

Some couples do not want kids

I never want kids because I've basically raised my siblings and I'm over it

Raising children lot of responsibility.

I tell people I never want kids because I hate them. The truth is that I don't want to be responsible for ruining their childhood. I couldn't live with myself knowing I screwed up

Health issues are a serious thing.

I never want kids, because I don't want to pass down my mental illness

Child pain lifelong commitment gain

I never want kids because they hold you back. As a dad you have to watch family movies, eat up at your money, don't let you travel and that's only the beginning...

Some couples do not want kids which is fair if they can afford to pay others to care for them in old age. However, deliberately refusing to bear children due to inconvenience they cause then get support from those who sacrificed to have children is interesting. This is a lifelong commitment. The real reasons men these days do not want kids are given as to why they do no want kids and others want children. Everyone has own reasons so men are opening up about why they do not want children. Not every man has a paternal instinct and desire to start a family as some men show. So not holding back in the honest confessions about why they don’t want kids in life.

Comments:-

It is good to talk to the men again in the future to reassess their current mindset. Talk to other men to discuss if they had such feelings or any regrets later in old age when it was too late. Do their real fears merit not enjoying being a parent? How about needing loved ones to look after them when older? Do they know people who live without children and managed to be alright in life? Certain decisions made precortex may not be always reversible years later.
Haven Alexander Kincaid
Not everyone NEEDS to have children to be fulfilled. Children are not the sole purpose for existing, thanks.
Like · Reply · Mark as spam · 5 · Dec 12, 2017 5:15pm
Haven Alexander Kincaid
Plus if you’re only having kids to have someone to “look after you” when you’re old, you’re having kids for the wrong damn reason.
Like · Reply · Mark as spam · 5 · Dec 12, 2017 5:16pm
Menno van Oosten
Haven Alexander Kincaid Actually, from a biological standpoint, it is. All animals except humans die as soon as they reach the age where they cannot reproduce anymore.
Like · Reply · Mark as spam · Dec 14, 2017 6:37am

There’s a lot of patience involved that some men don’t have.

2

I tell everyone I don't want to be a dad because I can't afford it. Truth is, I've been a surrogate father before, and I had really bad anger issues. I'm afraid that I'd be an abusive father.

Some men have different life plans.

3

I feel like all the girls my age who are into me, already have kids. I feel bad but I can't date someone with a child because I don't want to be a father figure. It's just not for me.

He’s experienced pain.

4

I never want kids because I'm  adopted and I know how hard it is to feel unwanted. I wouldn't make a good father.

Whoah.

5

I don't want to be a father because I think I'll end up hating it and abandoning my kids.

This apple wants to fall far away from the tree.

6

My partner doesn't understand I never want kids because I never want to end up turning out like my father.

Fatherhood isn