Baby boomers had babies, and so did Gen X reproduce and pass the chain to Millennials. Millennials got selfish and have refused to have kids. What are their reasons;
- Kids are expensive
- Childbearing is traumatizing
- There is no need to bring a child to a cruel world
- There is overpopulation
- Life is becoming expensive
- They had difficult childhoods (well, who said it would be easy)
- Laziness (Not a reason, but I will add)
Reproduction issues (Men’s testosterone levels have lowered, and brothers cant get right into the action and do the deed like the cavemen).
As you go through the internet, you come across a lot of information on population decrease and several reports indicating that millennials are not reproducing. At first, I thought it was just a bunk theory, but it seems more accurate the more I interact with fellow millennials and go through research.
When this blog was new, I wrote an article about a campaign that was going on in Denmark calling on young people to fulfill their evolution and natural role of fulfilling the earth. I considered it a foreign thing then and even made fun of it. I thought Africans were enough. However, these sentiments of childlessness, lifelong bachelorhood, and involuntary celibacy are also creeping up among young Africans and globally.
Where’s the proof?
I watched this video on the Russel brand channel of billionaires and scientists claiming that one of the biggest problems the world will have in 20 years is underpopulation. In 1950, the fertility rate per woman was 4.7 children. In 2017, it was at 2.7 kids per woman; projections estimate it will be at 1.7 by 2100. Some countries like Japan and Italy are expected to be half in population in a few years if the trend continues.
The research from the video claims the world’s population is expected to rise to 9.7 billion by 1964 and drop to 8.8 billion by the end of the century. Exciting studies; I won’t dwell so much on the numbers. I am a words person.
Back to the elephant in the room. Why are people scared of kids so much, and do the reasons millennials give for not having babies solid? Do they hold water?
The answer is no; it doesn’t make sense. We only empathize with people who don’t want to have kids if they have reproduction issues. I have aunts who never had kids. They had medical problems. It is rational in such instances, we understand.
If you can have kids and only have one child, we won’t even count it; that is being too careful. It is like mark timing. Just one kid? Doesn’t make sense.
Women empowerment has been pointed out as a factor. Women focus on careers and education and may not have time to sit at home and bear many kids, with some opting for adoption. That makes sense to an extent.
I won’t speak about women because I am not a female and will not carry kids in my body. The reason a person chooses to have a certain number of kids is so encoded in them that you can’t change it.
Don’t marry a female who wants two kids and thinks you will have 4. Don’t marry a man who wants an army of kids and think you will have 2 with him. It can lead to a bad argument in marriage.
However, what’s the purpose of life anyway? One of our primary goals here on earth is to procreate and continue the human species. The species that don’t reproduce soon become extinct.
However, bringing up kids to be resilient, competent, and successful is time-consuming and pricey. Also, that’s why many people have kids but don’t want to pay for them. As noted earlier, kids are expensive, and if you don’t want to pay for them, someone else will.
If you can have kids but choose to adopt, it is up to you, but you will pay for someone’s kids instead of your own. Just know that. I would rather have my own and pay for them if I can. However, at the end of the day, adoption is not a bad option. Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man in the world, was adopted. You also pay for relative’s kids, so it is not a problem to pay for other people’s kids if you choose. Uncles have given me pocket money in the past when I was young. However, no one apart from my parents paid for my school fees, not even the government bursary or student loans. Student loans are not free either. You shall have to repay them.
Reproduction is in your DNA, and no matter how often you repeat that you don’t want kids, nature has a way of bringing out that drive in you. People without kids get pets, adopt kids, or start fighting for a marginalized or oppressed group. They start acting crazy if you ask me. They also admire other people’s kids. So what’s the point of not having them if you desire them?
It would be best to have the financial muscle to care for babies. However, you don’t need as much as you think to bring a child to this life. Maternity is free in Kenya and most countries. Primary education is also free. Whatever you eat every day is what the child will eat. Kids need a lot of care when they are still young, but from 10 years onwards, they become pretty fun to look at and adore.
Some of my friends had kids while we were in college, they didn’t have any money, but today they are pretty fine. The kids have grown. They just figured it out with time. I won’t advise someone to go that route, my friends suffered in the early stages of parenting, but now they are managing. None of my friends had a stable income when they got kids. However, they had a good education, and it was just a matter of time before things looked up for them.
I have seen my friends with wives and kids even go back to school to upgrade their skills and improve their careers, whereas my bachelor friends have yet to do such kind of focus. The argument that kids and a wife will tie you down as a man or woman is not usually perfectly valid. However, it is good to be financially ready before popping out babies; that way, the kids start in a position of advantage. Don’t wing it.
Must You marry to have kids?
You don’t need a wife or marriage to have kids. Yes, having kids in matrimony will be great, but it is unrealistic for that always to happen. It is a wish or a hope that you will marry, have babies, and live happily ever after. It is a Disney fairy tale. You might divorce, your partner might pass (God forbid), you might pass away, or you might have kids out of wedlock.
Marriage is a societal thing. Reproduction is in your genes. You can thus reproduce without marriage; genetic drives are more potent and harder to resist than societal pressures. People defy societies all the time.
If you look at most marriages, they are suitable for kids and society, not the people in them. It is nice when a kid sees mum and dad all the time. It is easier to support a child you see than one you don’t see (both emotionally and financially). Regarding father figures, many people can play the father role in a kid’s life (coaches, bosses, uncles, grandpas, and any big brother figure a man might have).
We traditionally don’t usually count kids in Africa, but the economy is forcing us to count and take it slow on childbearing.
My baby brother decided to have a child a few months into his first job, making me and my sisters uncles and aunties prematurely. We were not ready for a niece as the elder siblings. Yesterday, as I walked around, I ran into a female friend I hadn’t seen. She looked somewhat different as opposed to how she is normally. I asked her what’s up with the motherly look she had on; she said she just delivered her 3rd baby. I congratulated her, and she told me her friends are shocked at how she has managed to get three.
I live around Somalis, Borana, et al. Those guys have ten kids or seven kids on the low. In fact, they will be a majority community in my country in the coming years.
You will have kids whether you like it or not.
Whether you think you want babies or not, it is advisable to prepare for them. Nature has a way of making sure you reproduce. It is what you evolved to do, sex is for babies, not pleasure, and as long as you engage in coitus, you will find yourself reproducing. Unless you are engaging in lesbian or gay sex, you will make babies soon.
If you ignore your nature, you will be frustrated and depressed, so just embrace it. A female friend of mine told me she wants marriage but not babies. She has had men who had a vasectomy because she doesn’t want kids. That sounds good; at least a gal like that will not try to trap you with a pregnancy. However, be even more careful with those who swear they don’t want babies until their faces turn blue because they still get them at the end of the day. After all, as I have said, nature has a way of making sure things fall into order, and the next generation is reproduced.
Your primal urges are so strong they override your logic, birth control and condoms can only be used for so long. Don’t think those will stop you from reproducing.
If your parents gave birth to you, struggled with you, persevered with you, and saw you through school till you became someone in life. It is selfish not to want to share your life with some little humans. The economy is pretty good; there are many ways of making money nowadays. During our parents’ days, you couldn’t even open a bank account if you didn’t have ksh 50k. Nowadays, you open an account with nothing; you can get loans quickly and start a business. There are internet businesses you can do (drop shipping, writing, trading, animation, graphic design etc.). People are becoming millionaires easily nowadays.
If you can get kids and you adore babies, have them. It is the only way you can see yourself in someone else. The baby is half you, half your partner. You don’t have to marry to get kids, but co-parenting is not easy either. Single parenting is hectic and has its challenges. Marriage, too, is not easy. You must be very strong if you get into one, but who said it would be easy? If you have succeeded in difficult situations in life, you stand a chance in marriage or raising kids. People raised kids for centuries before you came to this world. What makes you think your case will be tough or unmanageable?
If you don’t want marriage or kids, it is still okay but prepare for the future. Modern societies, or any society, were not built for lifelong bachelorhood or spinsterhood. A good family is always good to have around as you get older. It can be helpful. Children are not wealth, but they are nice to have.
In my mother tongue, there is a saying that “blood line doesn’t end but friendship ends”. Go figure that out!
In some religions, they will tell people you won’t go to heaven if you don’t have a certain number of babies. Of course, that is not true, but the idea is to encourage baby-making. It is a good thing.