Lillian and Ben Mungai, both 29, and their five-month-old son, Myles Njuguna, grace this month’s cover. The couple works for Safaricom Limited. Ben is an analyst while Lillian is in the Customer Care department. Their love dates back to 2003, when they were both students at Kenyatta University (KU) where Lillian was pursuing a Bachelors degree in education and Ben a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry. Lilian, a bornagain- Christian, met Ben after he gave his life to Christ and he was placed under her care, to guide and nurture him to walk with the Lord. As fate would have it, they had an instant liking of each other and became good friends and within no time were dating. Ben proposed to Lillian in June 2006, and the couple got married on August 23, 2008.
Parents: Describe your union?
Ben: Our marriage is the best anyone would ever wish for. I am married to my best friend and the woman of my dreams. Lillian is caring and loving.
Lillian: It is a fulfilling union because we share everything in our lives. I believe that when you are married to your best friend, you are able to handle challenges amicably.
Parents: How did you react when you found out you would soon be parents?
Lillian: I was over the moon! When I discovered I was pregnant, I called my close relatives and friends to break the news.
Ben: I was overjoyed. We had planned to stay for at least one year before starting a family and when it happened earlier than we had planned, in January this year, we felt the timing was right.
Parents: How was the pregnancy?
Lillian: It was an easy pregnancy. We had prayed for a natural birth but it ended up as a caesarean section. I was in labour for more than 24 hours and my energy depot ran empty justifying a caesarean. All the while, my husband was by my side, something I greatly appreciated.
Ben: My wife had a problem-free pregnancy. I used to massage her feet every day, and also helped with household chores. We spent a lot of time planning for our baby.
Parents: Has anything changed since you became parents?
Lillian: A lot has changed in terms of my time, my body and my relationships. I have learnt to manage my time and finances in a better way. I don’t have time to hang out with my friends as before. I dedicate my time to my son when I am not working. Hiring house helps has been an area of great challenge; so far I have had four house girls in just five months.
Ben: Parenting is hard work because there are times the child gets sick and this not only gets you worried but also keeps you on your toes. Our sleeping pattern has been disrupted because the baby wakes up several times at night, but we are coping well. The baby has taught me how to be a responsible father and husband. I bathe Myles, change diapers and also wake up at night to attend to his needs.
Parents: Any parenting style yet?
Ben: In terms of discipline, we want to agree on how to go about it to avoid conflicts. We want to bring up Myles in the fear of God.
Lillian: I am guided by a verse in Proverbs 22:6: ‘Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.’ I also believe in strict discipline when a child is old enough to understand the reasons he is being disciplined.
Parents: Describe Myles?
Ben: He is a happy boy who doesn’t cry much unless he is sick. He laughs a lot and is very curious about his environment.
Lillian: He is a darling. He lights up my face even when things are tough. He is very strong, which was evident recently when he was taken ill.
Parents: Any plans for him yet?
Ben: We will give him the best foundation in his life by offering him good education, love and support. We will guide him as parents and let him make his choices in life when he is of age.
Parents: Any advice for aspiring parents?
Lillian: Parenting is both fun and challenging. You must be psychologically prepared to handle all the changes that come with it. You must also be prepared financially. I believe that anyone can make a good mother or father with commitment and a clear guideline on discipline.
Ben: Parenting is a great privilege. I always look forward to spending time with my son who lights up our lives in many ways.