The oldest Filipino millennial will turn 40 years old this year. If they went the traditional route, they would already have gotten married and bought a house, maybe a car. They’d have a couple of kids running around, maybe more on the way. It’s the picture of a life well-lived, but whose definition is that? Though many are still happy and excited to have kids, more and more millennials have embraced the decision to go child-free. Here are just some of the reasons why many millennials don’t want kids.
Raising kids is expensive
One reason people choose to be childless is the fear of not being able to provide well for their children. A human child? In this economy? The expenses don’t just stop with the hospital bills after birth, it goes on for life — we’re talking decades of education, meals, clothes, hospital visits. Many millennials can’t even cope with the soaring cost of living alone in the metro, so how are they going to think of having kids? You also wouldn’t want to be that person who uses their kids as a retirement plan.
The world is getting worse
For starters, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. Wars are being waged in other countries, but the Philippines has also got domestic conflicts. We’ve seen an increase in hate crimes, an increasingly toxic political climate, and not to mention the ticking time bomb that is climate change.
The Guardian writer Sian Cain wrote a piece back in July 2020 entitled “Why a generation is choosing to be child-free.” It had some jarring statistics that still apply, one year later:
“Then I remember the numbers. If my baby were to be born today, they would be 10 years old when a quarter of the world’s insects could be gone, when 100 million children are expected to be suffering extreme food scarcity. My child would be 23 when 99% of coral reefs are set to experience severe bleaching. They would be 30 – my age now – when 200 million climate refugees will be roaming the world, when half of all species on Earth are predicted to be extinct in the wild.”
If our generation today is finding the things of the world stressful, what more for the generations to come? Will they be living in a world where cyberbullying or even police brutality is the norm? Would you want them to grow up in oceans littered with microplastic waste, extinct animals, and uninhabited locations?
They feel they’re not mentally stable enough to care for someone
It should go without saying that mental stability is one of the most important factors in deciding to raise a family. People who are stable and at peace with themselves make for great parents. More and more millennials are struggling with their mental health, and we can’t blame them for choosing to be alone rather than raising a child in that condition. It’s a smart thing, really, to acknowledge you don’t have the capacity to raise another human being.
Millennials find a different kind of parenthood better
Most millennials don’t want kids and will choose pet parenthood over, well, regular parenthood. Why? There are many benefits to raising cute fur babies. You get freedom since they don’t require 24/7 monitoring unlike human children. They’re great stress relievers and have significantly less needs than human babies. Yes, pet parenthood also has its share of expenses — food, check-ups, grooming, etc. — but all that doesn’t compare to the financial responsibility of raising a kid. Some couples use pet co-parenting to prepare for having kids while some just prefer pets over actual babies.
They prioritize their career over building a family
Success looks different for every person. For some, it’s getting married and raising a family. For others, it’s climbing that corporate ladder and emerging as a strong leader. One of the reasons why millennials don’t want kids is the fact that it’s going to take them a lot of effort and energy to build a family while simultaneously working on their dream career. They would have to prioritize one over the other and we know how that could very easily end in neglecting one aspect.
It doesn’t fit their lifestyle
Millennials have goals and many of them are ambitious and time-consuming. There’s traveling all over the world, owning real estate property that may not necessarily be not child-friendly, advancing their career — some, if not all of these, leave no room for children in the picture. Caring for a child will change anyone’s life and if they cling so strongly to their current lifestyle, going child-free is the best choice.
They’re content with what they have
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Many millennials have come to a point in their lives where they’re actually happy and content. And if they have no desire to change anything, that’s their business. Why should we pressure them to have kids when they’re happy the way they are?
They just simply don’t want to
Having or not having kids is a personal choice. Some millennials can give you an eight-point list about why they aren’t having one and some will just stick with the good ol’ “I don’t want to.” Doesn’t matter. If you don’t want to, you don’t want to.
Who’s to say it’s a mistake not having kids and who’s to say it’s the right thing? At the end of the day, the choice to have a child or form a family is not for society or relatives to choose. They shouldn’t influence you into making decisions that will affect you for the rest of your life. It’s your life to live.