In a way, millennials are an antitheses of what their parents were taught and grew up believing. Get a 9 to 5 or a government job, settle down at the first choice and raise kids and bask in the glory of the happily ever after. Most of the millennials don’t want any of those.
A study conducted in the US indicated how millennials are not looking to have kids, and they’re perfectly okay with the decision. It showed how birth rates amongst 20-year-olds were declining in addition to an increasing number of women choosing to forego motherhood.
While this is all true for the US, we wanted to see if the same is the case for India as well. So do millennials really don’t want kids? And what’s the reason behind it.
“I’m not looking to have kids in the future. For the record, I’m not even looking at marriage, to be honest. I think all of those things are something that has been just taught to us by society like they’re the things that define the ‘ideal life’. I think there are other things that can give you happiness, stability and peace as you grow older. Not having a kid is not the end of the world you know”
--- Yash, 20 years, Student
"Have you seen the state of the world right now? Open any platform and you’re bound to get more negative news than positive. Sometimes I myself question whether this world is turning inhabitable by the minute. Why would I want to bring a kid into that?"
--- Rishabh, 24, Environmental Lawyer
“My reason to not want kids is pretty practical let me tell you. I’m a first-year college student, and I’m seeing first-hand how expensive it is to support a kid. Frankly, don’t know how my parents do it. At least right now, the cost of supporting a kid is certainly higher than the kid itself for me. Don’t judge, it’s just pure maths.
--- Rishika, 19, CA aspirant
If you’re reading this and have already started the rant on how this generation is driving the world to the donkeys and how they are a bunch of tech-addicted bunch of nothings, it is important to understand where all of these thoughts come from and the rationale behind such opinions.
For years both men and women have been pressured to maintain the status quo when it comes to family matters. Early marriages to avoid the social stigma, conceiving early under family pressure and marriages of convenience have been some of the issues that have long plagued our society and have never come to the conversational forefront.
So when there’s a generation that is actually ready to take a step back, challenge the society’s pre-set framework and analyse what’s right for them and what is not, it is certainly an act that should be applauded rather than being reprimanded for. Women for years have had to suffer from patriarchy and the pressures of being the ideal Indian woman. While there is no denying the fact that motherhood is a beautiful thing, it is imperative to understand that it is a matter of choice and in no way a barometer for character judgement.
Fixating certain metrics, such as having kids and equating them as indicators of happiness can be a dangerous thing. Different people have different sources from where they derive their energies and happiness from, and settling down and building a family is just one of those, and not the only one.
“I’d like to believe I’d want to have kids someday. Like right now it seems bit far-fetched, but I understand that whole fuss about those cute little balls of terror. So yes, sometime in the future maybe?
--- Bhavya, 24, Social Worker
“Obviously I want kids! It’s like there’s this someone which is entirely dependent on you and you’re completely responsible for his or her life, at least in the beginning. It seems both damn scary and rewarding. I loved my childhood, it’ll be really cool to experience it from the other side as well.
--- Nikhil, 20, Student
As always there are two sides to the story. The important thing is to understand that none of them is wrong. Kids or no kids, the millennials are here to stay.