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Somber questions I ask myself about having children

By J.A. HaglMay 11, 2017

pregnant woman
pregnant woman

First come love, then comes marriage and then comes a baby carriage. The childhood rhyme says much about the generally accepted progression of life. Except nowadays, the path to having a family has changed significantly.  Love, marriage, and children are on the backburner for most career minded individuals. A 2014 Gall Up poll showed only 59 percent of millennial are single. Even though 86 percent of young Americans between 18-34 want to get married, they’re delaying it. The same study found having children isn’t contingent on being married for millennials. Thirty-nine percent of millennial have children— whether it was from unexpected pregnancies to skipping love and marriage for the baby carriage.

Life is different from when our great-grandmothers were having children. Being a housewife is an option, not a definite path. Careers are more fluid and jobs tend to have social media in the description. People can purchase private trips to space now, albeit very expensive trips in the near future.

Despite every positive change, questions on security, equality, and what the future holds for a very tense world are on the minds of most. Regardless of which generational category you fall into, parents all as the same questions. Will I be able to protect my child? Can I give my child a great education? How will I take care of my child? Will they come to me when they have problems? How will their future turn out? Did I do a good job?

Childhood represents the best part of human life span. Children have the innate curiosity, can find delight in the simplest things and contain the purest form of compassion. The best parts of people come to fruition as they care for a child, even if they’re tired, stress and out of patience.

To clarify, I am not talking about having a child now. Childbearing is a regular topic of conversation when most of your friends are married, thinking about marriage or planning when they’re having their kids. Unlike wedding season, which is relegated to the spring and summer months of the year, the baby season is all year long. Thanks to Pinterest, there’s gender reveal parties, momma’s branches and DIY galore in addition to the baby shower. When I’m buying a gift for somebody’s baby (it’s becoming very frequent), I ask what if I am the one having the baby someday. But in a world filled with a stream of bad news, school shootings and higher cost of living and education, is bringing a child into the world a good idea for me?

Like most over thinkers, an avalanche of questions follows that first one. That way I can have an existential crisis in the middle of Pottery Barn Kids while holding an overpriced Winnie the Pooh.

 

That way I can have an existential crisis in the middle of Pottery Barn Kids while holding an overpriced Winnie the Pooh.

What if I got pregnant and I wasn’t expecting it?What if I wait till I am my late 30s and I’ll have a teenager in my 50s? All my friends’ kids will be out of their houses by then. What if I am a single parent? Can I handle that?

What if we have World War III and I have a small child? What am I going to do?

 What if I have a daughter, how am I supposed to explain to her sometimes the world isn’t a safe or fair place for women without discouraging her?  What if I have a son how do I have a conversation about police brutality without scaring him?

What do I do about education? What if public schools aren’t good where we live and I can’t afford a private school? What about college? Tuition was $68,000 a year when I went—how much will it be when my kid is 18?

What if my kid hates me?

What if there’s a shooting at my child’s school? What if something happens to me and I can’t take care of my child? What if something happens to my child?

Can I have my tubes tied? Even if it’s in a back alley?