Updated: Sep 30
In a world where social norms often overshadow the intricate complexities of marriage and parenting, OPENSPACE Global dared to bring the unspoken to the forefront. On the 22nd of September, 2023, OPENSPACE Global hosted an enlightening event titled 'The unsettling side of settling down'. This conversation delved deep into the uncharted territories of matrimony and parenthood, shedding light on the often-overlooked aspects, especially for those who have yet to take those life-changing steps.
The event was a resounding success, thanks to the impeccable moderation by none other than Sydney Scott, the visionary founder of OPENSPACE Global. Sydney led the conversation with grace and precision, ensuring that every voice was heard and every perspective was considered. Accra's vibrant Impact Hub served as the perfect backdrop for this insightful discourse, where attendees from diverse backgrounds and walks of life gathered to explore the complexities of relationships and family life. The event offered a safe and open space for attendees to engage in meaningful conversations, share their thoughts, and gain valuable insights from the discussions.
As the event kicked off, valid concerns highlighting the complex tapestry of emotions individuals navigate as they contemplate the profound commitment of settling down were highlighted. The permanency of marriage, the fear of one’s spouse changing over time, the prospect of scaling back one’s individuality, the nagging possibility of finding someone else more attractive (physically, intellectually, etc. ) and the lingering concern about potentially choosing the wrong life partner were just a few of the highlights that made the audience nervous about settling down.
Throughout the event, thought-provoking questions were raised: What are some of the ‘muscles’ needed to settle down? Do we need to sacrifice (our pleasures, personalities, etc. ) in a marriage? Is settling down and/or parenthood meant for everyone? Are your parenthood fears justified? These questions, among others, sparked engaging dialogues and encouraged attendees to critically examine their beliefs and choices.
One other key aspect discussed in the event and is often overlooked in conversations about settling down is parenthood. Parenthood carries with it a multitude of unspoken fears for those not yet parents and hidden challenges for those who are already parents. These fears include; The apprehension of inadvertently passing on one's own traumas to the next generation, the complex maze of family finances that can sometimes feel overwhelming, the constant quest to discover the right parenting strategy in an ever-changing world and the fear of becoming a controlling parent, driven by a desire to protect and guide one's children.
Amid these fears, parents grapple with the everyday struggles of nurturing and raising children. The pervasive question, ‘Am I good enough?’ reverberates in the hearts of many parents as they strive to provide love, guidance and support. Balancing family finances while ensuring a comfortable and secure life for one's children is an ongoing dilemma. Maintaining emotional control amidst the whirlwind of parenting emotions and managing time effectively are all struggles associated with parenthood. But parenthood is not merely a canvas of fears and challenges; it's a profound and transformative chapter of life that brings so much fulfilment.
Attendees at the event
This conversation shed light on the multifaceted reality of settling down and embracing the struggles, responsibilities and joys of parenthood. In case you missed out, here are a few takeaways;
Fears and uncertainties: The discussion highlighted the various fears and uncertainties surrounding the idea of settling down, including concerns about permanent commitment, the fears of one's spouse changing over time and the possibility of making the wrong choice.
Individuality vs. Partnership: Settling down is often associated with scaling back on one's individual pursuits and merging them with a partner's. This balance between personal aspirations and shared goals can be a source of concern.
Financial realities: The event delved into the financial challenges of marriage and parenting, emphasizing the importance of sound financial planning and management within these life choices.
The parenthood journey: Attendees discussed everyday struggles of being a parent (e.g.. self-doubt, financial constraints, maintaining emotional composure, etc.) and the fear associated with parenthood (transferring their own traumas, fear of becoming a controlling parent, etc.) for those not yet parents.
Informed decision-making: Ultimately, the conversation encouraged attendees to make informed decisions about marriage and parenthood, emphasizing the importance of open dialogue, understanding and self-reflection before taking these life-changing steps.
As the event came to a close, the venue buzzed with lively conversations as attendees continued to connect and exchange thoughts long after the discussions had ended. It was evident that 'The Unsettling Side of Settling Down' was not just a conversation; it was a transformative experience that encouraged self-reflection, empathy, and understanding. By addressing the unspoken realities of marriage and parenting in Ghana, especially for those who have yet to embark on these life paths, OPENSPACE Global once again proved its commitment to promoting open dialogue and fostering a more inclusive and informed society.
Until next time!
Credits: Margaret Mathenge