An opinion piece was published recently on the popular parenting website, Scary Mommy, in which the blogger shamed millennials about not wanting to have children. The article, entitled Millennials, Stop Whining and Go Have Babies, (Since renamed Stop Whining and Get it On) is roughly five-hundred words of pure, compost-loving, bullshit. Working off of another article, 9 Brutally Real Reasons Why Millennials Refuse to Have Children, the writer of said bullshit, takes the reasons why millennials refuse to have children and attempts to undermine them with unimaginative put-downs and what has to be deliberate ignorance. She ignores that which she can not convincingly argue against, including the most important reason why some people are choosing not to have children- they just don't want to. Instead, the blogger chose to focus on telling millennials that all their concerns are idiotic and unfounded.
For example, she implies that children aren't that expensive because all you really need are diapers, onesies, and boobs. Yeah, that's right. Let's just bitterly step over the extremely presumptuous and controversial assumption that everyone has the capability or desire to breastfeed, or that everyone is able to have children without medical intervention, and just move on to what was conveniently left out of this cute little list.
I think we can all safely assume that the writer has sidestepped the astronomical price of daycare by staying at home with her children, and the absence of daycare on her list is a not-so-subtle suggestion that women should be staying at home with their children. I could take that idea and scream at it for a few hundred words, but, instead, I'll just move on to the more tangible items that the writer believes millennial moms-to-be should just learn to live without. Things like a crib (if you're not into attachment parenting), stroller/baby wearing device, diapers, wipes, medicine, highchair, pacifiers, seasonal clothing, blankets, and maybe a toy or two. And, let us not forget the pesky law that requires a baby to ride in a carseat.
The article also implies that babies just cease to exist at some point. I have it on good authority that babies grow into...wait for it...children! And kids? They are not only soul suckers, but cash suckers as well. Are you planning to go bare minimum there too? Well then, say goodbye to preschool, school supplies, doctor's visits, summer camps, sports, beds, dressers, toys, the dreaded tablet/iPad/cellphone babysitters, and, of course, actual babysitters. Add on the fact that many millennials also have heaps of school-loan debt, and the idea of passing up children doesn't look like such a bad idea.
Another "point" the article tried to make is one that I take personal issue with. I use the quotation marks because, "Pregnancy is beautiful" is less a point and more an inspirational magnet you find in the Dollar Store check-out aisle. Listen, I am not hear to tell you that you can't find your pregnancy beautiful. I'm really over the freaking moon for you if you spent your pregnancy glowing and shitting rainbows. Seriously. Good for you. Me? Not so much. I didn't find pregnancy beautiful. For me, the idea of growing life inside me was just the dirty process required to get the kid at the end. For me, pregnancy was difficult. It was painful. It was rarely enjoyable.
Was it rewarding? Yes. Would I do it again for a third? Hell no. Its a shame this point has to be made to a fully grown woman, but not everyone experiences things in the same way, and to shame someone into having a child by implying that there is something wrong with them for not enjoying the process? That's actually really shitty.
On to the third and last point I am going to pull from this "article." Many millennials stated overpopulation to be a contributing factor as to why they have decided to forgo having biological children. The blogger that called millennials whiny, goes on to take a quote entirely out of context and then tell a woman that caring more about the environment than wanting children of her own should earn her a one-way ticket to a psychiatrist.
She also conveniently ignores quotes like this,
"There are too many unwanted kids on the planet as is, and many of them are starving, underprivileged and have no resources. I don't want to contribute to that. I'd rather help kids that are already in need. I'm adopting if I ever decide I want kids. People don't understand how bad having a large population is." (x)
Instead, she focuses on bashing people for caring about planet sustainability. Personally, I find adoption to be a BEAUTIFUL idea and an excellent reason not to have biological children. If this makes millennials "whiny", I'd say our resident Scary Mommy blogger needs a new dictionary.
These three legitimate reasons for millennials not wanting to have children are, in my opinion, perfectly sound. But you know what? None of them explain the most important reason someone might not want to have kids and here it is:
Some people just don't want to have kids and its none of your fucking business why.
I could write up a dissertation on why some woman are obsessed with the idea of other women not having children, but smarter and better people have already done so. The truth is, the only (barely useful) commentary I can offer on this subject is that I used to be one of those women. I didn't understand why anyone would say, "I don't want kids." I was raised to be a wife, a mother. I was raised as someone who didn't have the option NOT to be either of those things. That was just what women did in my family.
Thankfully, I did eventually learn that women don't have to be wives, that we don't have to be mothers. I learned that we shouldn't have to live up to some arbitrary standard of what it means to have a uterus. Not just because not everyone who identifies as a woman has a uterus, but also because the world is changing for the better, and women are no longer relegated to kitchens and red tents. Some women may prefer to stay in the kitchen or behind a stroller, and that is perfectly fine. I am not here to shame them. However, not everyone wants that life and under no circumstances should they be called "whiny" for it.
Do whatever the fuck you want.
You don't have to have kids. Focus on your career. Go to medical or law school. Start a band. Go skydiving. Travel the world. Spend an entire week on the couch watching old episodes of Grey's Anatomy. Join the peace core. Cure cancer. Smoke a bowl. Hell, smoke three. Live your life and enjoy it in whatever way you want.
You don't owe offspring to anyone.