Hm, let’s just call it the thoughts of the anti-kid tribe.
Growing up, there was always the understanding that women became mommies and anything outside of that was pretty much not a thing. When little girls were asked where they saw themselves as an adult, they’d respond with the picket fence-influenced answer: married with kids. They’d let you know off the bat if they’d like a big family or the traditional “just a boy and girl but the boy first so he can protect her.” Even as adults, they’d paint the picture ever so passionately of how home life is going to be and how they hope their kid/s will turn out. Then there’s us, the grown up 90s babies without a maternal bone whatsoever.
So I’ve been in a steady relationship for a couple of years and whenever the question “When are you guys gonna have kids?” gets floated my way, I just know I’m in for mixed reactions. There are the “wow” folks, whose shock is etched across their faces be it for a nanosecond or a full two-second pause. Then there’s the “wait, are you serious?” folk, whose eyebrows reflect the seriousness of the question. But, it’s the “you don’t like kids?” swiftly followed by the “wait, what do you mean you don’t like kids?” that’s the most common of reactions. It is at that point I then have to defend myself and repeat for the umpteenth time why being child-less is, has always been, and forever will be my choice. It’s 2022 and it’s still a shocker that not everyone is a fan of kids. We do exist!
Today, there seems to be a small pocket of disconnect between society’s expectation, that is, women are to bear kids, and the reality of a tight-knit, often hushed, group of women (and yes, men) who don’t want kids. Women are opting not to share in the joy that is directly linked with motherhood due to personal reasons including the fear of giving birth, even health reasons such as transferring genetic conditions or being incapable of having kids, or simply because they and their partner have no interest in having children. Though, let’s talk about why a handful of 90s babies are saying no to the whole thing that is “making a baby”.
As a 90s baby myself, the reason to not become a mom is also fueled by simply throwing an eye on the news. What, with high global price inflation, the police and mass shootings along with clear racism in play with no real consequences, plus living in a pandemic for over two years without its end in sight? I meaaaan, it’s not difficult to understand why the choice to remain child-free has somewhat of an appeal. You see, women are hitting the brakes and putting themselves first. I’ve heard things like “I am a wandering soul and I love to travel. My partner doesn’t want children either” and, “I feel like I am too selfish to have a child,” even the straight-up, “Having kids would mean having to be in that caring position for the rest of my life.” Then there’s the brutally honest take that “the world is going to shit”.
Additionally, there are those women who feel very strongly about their child’s quality of life so they’re steering clear altogether: “I work in special education. I love [my students] but I could not have the patience to have a child like them myself.” There’s the earth-conscious woman: “I work in the green energy industry and I try to do what I can.” The population-concerned woman: “It feels so socially irresponsible. Overpopulation mixed with the reality of climate change is a recipe for disaster.” Then, not surprisingly in the mix is the body-conscious woman, “I don’t like the idea of giving birth and changing my body.” Though, in the name of being candid, men too, share in the agreement that they have not an issue with being childless.
A top concern for men when it comes to reasons as to why they’re not having kids is the hill they’ll die on: economic insecurity. They’re not fans of the direction the world is heading, as it’s a direction that is clearly not favored. The point to be made stands to say that with the ever-brooding economic uncertainty faced globally, men feel like they won’t be leading a child into a good environment and overall situation in today’s world. That, in their eyes, it’s arrogant to believe they’d be depriving the world of their genetics if they don’t procreate. That because they didn’t go forth and start a family, the world lost something. You see, when it comes to the thought of paying bills, the financial anxiety can best be described as crippling. Though, admittedly, the money saved by leading child-free lives and being able to spend however they wish is a love potion of sorts to them. Frankly put, the desire to raise a child is simply not there. When it comes to knowing if they’d like to be a father or not, they just know. Like online user Voyeurism_Bot, about having kids said: “What? No. Why?’ And that has never changed. The more thought I put into it, the more reasons I’ve come up with. But my complete lack of desire to ever have kids predates all of them. I’m just not that person.” Another online user, Ipakookapi, about having kids: “I just don’t? I knew I didn’t want kids when I was a kid and didn’t change my mind.”
Summing up the whole having kids thing is online user, Toke_Ivo, who wisely said: “If you’re not 100 percent certain that you want that job, just stay away. You’ll never hear one preachy word from me if someone says they don’t want kids. It’s hard as fuck, and if I didn’t actually like it, I’m not sure how I would’ve coped with it.” And you know what? I’m not mad at it. Let’s normalize the fact that, when asking someone when they’re gonna pop one out ‘em, chances are you’ll run into one of ours – the anti-kid tribe. Be more open to hearing “I don’t want kids” and try to understand their story of choosing to move through life childless cuz hey, that’s absolutely okay.
Photo courtesy blackmilkwomen.com