What is your parenting plan? Are you parenting like Nigeria? No I am not crazy I am asking a very genuine question….how does one parent like Nigeria? Spend when There is a windfall and make no preparations for the future…let me explain. You know we made a crapload of money as a nation over a certain period of time but instead it was spent lavishly and we actually stole from ourselves. After having children I have come to realise that it actually takes a lot caring for children from a financial standpoint and many people are at best ill prepared. We often make decent money as young adults and assume that the cycle will continue in terms of salary increments etc. Well life is about the hills and valleys which happen cyclically, but how many of us even think about saving for our unborn children?
In the past I have argued with people who said they couldn’t afford to deliver their children in America for instance…when the economy was reasonable when dollar was under N150, it was actually easy to plan certain endeavours- save for 2 years and you could more than afford the delivery, rent in America for a few months etc. However I think in Nigeria we expect to get slapped with the money as in there is this expectation that we will just hammer and all our life’s desires will be met.
To the real topic at hand that made me write this post…I was having a conversation with my brother about college funds for my girls…and I realise I am starting late even though they are only three months old. Let do the math quickly.
The worst of private nursery & primary schools in Lagos will charge easily – N200k per year – this is low for the record….if you are aspirational I believe Corona is about N1.5m or more per year. If we do it flatly (without considering future value of money) and multiply both by 12 years of basic education thats N2.4m for Jelesimi (let the house rest school) and N18m for Corona till the child finishes secondary school. If you are now aspirational and decide your child should go to school in Ame (that’s the Yoruba word for America) for university and you had the foresight to spend the $20,000 for the delivery assuming you were not a citizen or didnt have good insurance…your child can attend a community college for free (ask me how later) and you would have to help pay for the remaining two years to get a Bachelors. Now if you want to make sure your child has college tuition without having three jobs and working 25 hours in a day (fa gburu), the public system- My Alma Matter for Instance is $22k per year (cost of attendance) currently so by two years and that is at current rates oh.
Now if you are like me and you are aiming higher than your chest😂😂😂 Princeton is the cheapest of the IVY leagues( please God let my children rub shoulders with and be part of the pace setters and decisions makers), the current annual cost of attendance is $60,000 per year by four years.
We have not added on diapers, food, clothing, shelter…vacations are a luxury- what is the true cost of raising a child who actually stands a chance at a good life? I dare say we are looking at at least $100,000 per child at a minimum. My next question to you is can you current or future career path/life plan cater to making your child globally comeptitive?
Let’s face it- many children will not get scholarships to study at an Ivy League school, many are also not going to hammer like Goodluck Jonathan from no shoes to private jet status….if anything we will simply rise through the ranks in our chosen fields, so what gives?
I find myself getting incensed when a couple who have a combined income of N40,000 per month with four children between them turn around and say they don’t believe in family planning- like so are you reproducing to see if 1 of your 10 children will make it or you are reproducing so that the first set of children are burdened with catering for their siblings (this as far as U am concerned is selfishness as a parent- no child should have to be financially resonsible to train their younger ones)? Meanwhile these type of folks are quick to beg for help with schoolfees given that they can’t cater to all their army of children. I notice that in developed and richer economies people tend to have less kids with the hope of giving these kids an absolute advantage…while I respect religion which says go forward and multiply- it doesnt say go forward and multiply like a virus( destroying things it touches), I think it is important to apply wisdom to certain things.
In the past I have made several investments and from where I sit it is nowhere near enough to give my children what I want them to have- which is an advantage in life and I actually do feel like this consciousness came a little late and I have to work much harder to ensure I can personally cover what I believe is the deficit without actually needing my husband to do so..I have seen husbands and wives die young, so I have the belief that folks should have plans they can execute on their own God forbid death actually do them part.
What are your thoughts? Have you planned for your children already born or yet to be born? What are your aspirations for them? I challenge you to answer that question before you buy that next latest cellphone or business class ticket to God knows where.