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A husband and wife with their two children

Posted 07 September 2017

The Family Unit: married with children

Originally from Nigeria, Abby and Tola grew up in large families. Now they live in Harpenden with their two children, aged five and two.

Do you think the term ‘traditional family’ has a place in today’s Britain?

There is so much family diversity in today’s Britain that I think the term ‘traditional’ family should be dropped altogether. In my opinion, it is rather unfair to label a specific type as the ‘traditional’ family, especially when there are so many out there today.

We tend to socialise with families that are either old friends or families from our children's school, who are roughly in the same age group, and these people happen to be similar families to ours. That said, we do have some friends and family who are single parents or have children from previous marriages.

Do you have a will?

No, we still haven't got around to it. Initially, it was more a case of working out exactly what we would put in the will, but as we continue to build investments for our children’s future, we know a will is something we need to produce very soon. I’d really expect us to have a will within a year at least.

Do you have life insurance?

Abby and I each have individual policies: Abby has a business life insurance policy while I have a personal one that I've had for a while now. However, I am looking to change mine to a joint insurance policy.

'For me, it is about making financial preparations for your loved ones in case anything happens to either or both parents'.

What was it like growing up in a big family?

Tola: It was awesome. We had loads of fun, with lots of laughter around the house, and there was always someone to hang out with.

Abby: We always had lots of people around, like a brother or sister, so there was always someone to talk to and play with until we all got older.

Did you always know that you wanted to get married and have children?

Tola: Yes, we always knew that we wanted to have children, especially growing up in large families ourselves. Although, if we had the chance to go back and change a few things, we would.

Abby: I would have taken the time to travel more by myself and with my wife, and tried various business investments and opportunities which are harder to do once you become a family man, due to the level of risk involved with them.

‘The majority of people who say they are married, six in ten (60%), are a parent or guardian.’

Tola: I would have preferred that the children were closer in age, simply because they would be doing the same thing roughly around the same time. It also means my late night wake ups and nappy days would have ended sooner!

You have decided to only have two children. What reasons, if any, did you both prefer not to have a big family yourselves?

I think we both agreed, especially after having our first child, that it's not easy being a parent. Lots of responsibility and work goes on behind the scenes, which, as a child, you know absolutely nothing about! Having a child is also expensive, especially in the UK, so it was a very easy decision for us to have only two kids.

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