Yes, you who say you don’t want to have children,
It is okay not to want to have children. In fact, I admire you, because you make up the small percentage who are honest to themselves and have refused to be bullied into convention by society in this regard.
Not everyone was meant to procreate. Not everyone chooses to procreate. It is okay to acknowledge that and live with that choice.
People will say things like, “If your parents didn’t have you, will you be alive to say this?”
Ignore illogical statements like this one. Because these people, they won’t EVER help you raise that child. Their job is to make illogical statements.
Some will say, “You will die old and lonely.”
This particular set of people does not know you, but are so certain that someday down the years, you’ll regret it. Maybe you will. Then again, maybe you won’t.
I visit old people’s homes and see men and women living out their last days in the midst of strangers, when their children are alive and well. Some have been abandoned because a prophet told their children that they are witches and wizards.
These people telling you this, they think it can’t happen to them?
I’ve seen a neighbour lose four children in a fire, way after menopause. It’s called life; it happens. Children do not guarantee a life devoid of loneliness. They don’t guarantee happiness either.
There will come some that will carry the bible on their heads and tell you that God sent us to multiply. Never mind that they can barely feed and clothe their own multiplications. Never mind that their bibles are only used for bullying others into accepting their point of view. Because if they bothered to look inside that Bible, they’d know different.
Many who insist you procreate don’t even know why they do so. For them, it is the way things have been and must continue to be.
They don’t know you. They won’t ever contribute to your life in anyway, except to insist you do what you don’t want to do.
They are like those people who tell you not to adopt, because the child may be the child of an armed robber and will become like his father. Like we don’t have armed robbers that come from two-parent homes.
Some will call you selfish.
If that selfishness means you won’t bring a child to the world, who will be raised by the television because you’re always busy, who will feel no love because you’re emotionally unavailable, or whom you’re simply incapable of raising, then by all means, be selfish.
They will say you’re denying your parents of the joy of having grandchildren.
I say enough of the blackmail. Many of us have lived and are still living our lives based on what others want. Many of us are ruined because of this.
Study medicine. Marry a lawyer. Build a house in the village. Don’t pursue a career. Don’t move to Lagos. Stay close to home. Have four kids.
All these – just so that someone else can live their unfulfilled lives through you.
Grandchildren are good. But if you have to lose your joy and peace just so your parents can have them, it’s not worth it.
There are too many suffering children, especially here in Nigeria. The majority are not the results of rapes or unplanned pregnancies. No, many of them come from homes with two parents, where they should never have had children, or should have stopped at one or two.
Take the time to assure the well-meaning people that you’re not crazy or stupid. Be kind, but be firm.
You have a right to your decision. Exercise it without guilt or fear.
And if you regret it in the long run, don’t crucify yourself over it. We all have our regrets, some secret, some not so secret.
Own your regret without shame.
Written by Eketi