Hi people, I started sharing my pregnancy experience last week by opening up to you about my fears pre-conception and even my worries about my baby in utero. Today, I want to focus on the actual pregnancy itself and touch on the decision to birth our son in a foreign land and how S and I were on opposite ends of the spectrum on that. I discovered we were having a baby boy and I immediately started praying for him specifically.
I prayed about his health- I asked God to make him free of disease, whether genetic, congenital, acquired howsoever. I prayed about his character- I asked that his behaviour will be shaped by God himself, that he will be a man of character, that he will take on all of S and I’s good sides and none of our failures. I prayed that academically, he will outshine S and I (trust me, that’s a great prayer as his dad is a brainy, me too :p). I prayed that in school, he will not join gangs or cults. I prayed that he will remain a virgin till he marries (I don’t think S said ‘Amen’ to that!!!). I prayed that he won’t marry a destiny destroying woman. I prayed that his wife would submit and love him genuinely in the way God ordained it and that he will also submit to her and love her genuinely as Christ loved the Church (yes, the Bible advocates couples’ submission one to another. See Ephesians 5:21). I prayed that he will birth godly and healthy children. I prayed that, I have known his beginning, I will never know his end and that he and his children and his sibling and his/her children will bury S and I at a ripe old age. I prayed that he will fulfil destiny, make heaven and lead many to God.
As part of the desire to give our son the best, I suggested to S that we birth him in the United States and this was immediately met with strong resistance. “That is the colo/kolo-mentality that is not making Nigeria move ahead. If we put hands together to develop this country, there will be no need to birth abroad, study abroad, go for medical treatment abroad. I was birthed and bred in Nigeria and frankly I don’t think any Nigerian-American is better than I am or has more opportunities. Why should we gather our money to dash foreign hospitals who treat you like crap?” It went on and on and on.
I decided to quit harping on the issue and leave it to God. I told God, “I desire for this boy to have things I didn’t have. I want him to have open doors and whichever door he decides to go through is up to him through Your leading. HOWEVER, if it is not your will, let S remain adamant. If it is your will, let him change his mind WITHOUT any further pressure from me”. It turned out it was God’s will. 😀 The whole planning and execution was taken over by God Himself and all went smoothly.
To be continued… *** Today, and related to the above, I want to discuss how to handle opposition especially when you are certain that you are on the right path and your opinion is superior. Always remember: -You are probably wrong and your opinion is probably inferior; -You can’t achieve much through argument. At its best, your now ‘opponent’ brings forward strong points aimed at beating yours. At its worst, there’s a total shut down and you may be tempted to falsely believe you have won. In fact, then, you are the loser; -Let it go by thinking of what will happen if you don’t have your way. In my case, my baby would have been born in St Ives or Premier? Ehn ehn? Where was I born and how has holding a single nationality held me back? Where was my father born? Who is the American in my life that I’m looking up to as the beacon of light and exemplification of opportunities?
I began to prepare myself mentally for a resolute ‘no’ from S and I became fine with the decision. This helped me not to be so desperate in my attitude which would have irritated S and probably made him insist; and -Pray to God to take control. He knows the right way and be ready even where God’s answer is NO! A lot of couples fight their way through decision-making and end up losing sight of what is truly important.
Birthing abroad is not worth my marriage. Sending your child to a fancy 350,000 per month day care is not worth your marriage where your spouse disagrees. Not/having a honeymoon in the fanciest resort is not worth your marriage. Keeping up with the Joneses is sooo not worth your marriage. Interestingly, the art of joint decision-making starts on a large scale when a couple begins to plan their marriage/wedding.
Decisions around where to live, how many people to invite to the event, whether to have a photo booth, whether to engage an expensive decor company or use your fiancé’s aunty who does ‘decorations’ and all she has in her resume is decorating the church pulpit with a few drapes and balloons. The list is endless. You need to know what is very important to you and let others go.
Even with those “very important” things, your presentation is key. Being confrontational never works. Even where the other party budges, it is usually with bitterness and probably resentment and they feel bullied and helpless and hate that! This point is also apt in other areas of life where teamwork is at play be it deciding on a presentation in a team at work, deciding when to keep quiet in a presentation/client meeting and letting your colleague speak for the team, or even planning a baby/bridal shower for a dear friend. I have seen people literally bulldoze their way through decision-making in groups set up to plan showers.
Even if you are the mom to be or bride’s twin sister and best friend since fertilisation of the egg, you should not treat these tasks as though you are a commandant handling your subjects. When you notice people just keeping quiet and only you are doing the talking, then there is a problem and you have lost people who either are too fed up based on their previous experiences with similar dictatresses or just love their friend too much to be the one protesting because sure enough, you will report ‘difficult’ people to the bride/mom to be.
I have seen people being charged as much as 10/20k for showers with elaborate themes and ideas for a bride who is financially challenged and would have her sensibilities offended at such ‘wastage’. You need to know who you are planning stuff for and not forget it is not for you and be reasonable in all you do. I digress. This :
I know that in every team, there MUST be a leader who when it comes down to it, their views PREVAIL. In marriage, it is the man (yes, throw banana peels at me). But always allow for differing opinions and invite them. They can either make you see the folly in your choice, improve on your views or reinforce your decision as being the right one. But never make it look like a dissenter is an enemy or a party pooper. If after attempts to be inclusive there is still no consensus, then and then only may you hit the gavel on the sound block.
So people, what are your thoughts on teamwork and decision making therein?
Should husbands’ views prevail? When he says no, do you go ahead against his will or sulk?
As a husband, would you put your foot down or allow views you don’t agree with fly?
As a team leader, do you believe in letting everyone have a say or does this lead to confusion?
Let’s muse! Temiville.xoxo