Having children is a choice and not a duty

Cost of rearing, work demands, past trauma are valid reasons to opt out

In Summary

• That awkward moment your date asks: Do you want to have kids 

A couple celebrates pregnancy
A couple celebrates pregnancy


The other day, on a date with a single mother, she asked me two questions. One, I had a ready answer for. The other was a little more complicated.

“Why have you chosen to stay single?” she said.

That was the easy one.

“I’m yet to be convinced of the importance of the marriage institution.”

And that was my simple answer. I could go on and on but I’ve come to know such discourse is a big you-know-what blocker.

“What about children?” she said. “Don’t you ever want any?”

This put me in a bind and called to mind a conversation I once came across on social media. A lady had expressed her wish never to have children and vitriol had rained upon her faster than Noah’s flood.

You’re selfish, they said. Your bloodline will die. What would your mama say? It’s tradition. I believe someone even mentioned the gods being in fault for making her a woman. The list of reasons why she was wrong was as long as it was ridiculous.

In my humble opinion, bearing children is a choice, not a duty. It’s that simple. Whatever reasons you want to attach to your argument is up to you.

One woman who never wanted children said, “I don’t want my body to swell up and change. I like it just as it is.”

Another claimed, “I’m not sure I can give a child the emotional attention and support he would need.” My only problem with this statement is how she knew it would be a boy.

The soaring cost of rearing children, career demands, past trauma (be it relationship or family-based), even overpopulation are some of the reasons women and men have chosen not to have children. And I have no beef with any of them.

“I worry about a future apocalypse,” I told my date.

“What?” She almost showered me with the soup in her mouth.

“I worry if I would be able to protect my children if a zombie epidemic broke out. Or having to behead them in case they became zombies. That’s why I don’t want to take the risk.”

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