Why Are People My Age Having Kids?

I’m doing this thing lately where I try to be less judgmental of other people’s choices. I’m realizing that the things that make ME happy aren’t necessarily the same things that make others happy. It seems fairly obvious but when you’re seeing people you went to high school with currently working at the movie theatre in your hometown, you can’t help but wonder how they could ever be happy doing such a thing. Don’t they want more? Don’t they want success and money and all of the things that would ordinarily make someone jealous when they look at your Facebook?

The answer is, of course, no, they don’t. Not everybody wants a career and to live in a “cool” metropolitan city. Some are just content with never moving away from where they grew up and taking a steady 9-5 job. And that’s great, that’s nothing to be ashamed about if it’s what you really want. One of my best friends still lives in our hometown and has a Big Girl job (she makes more money than me!) and you know what? She’s one of the happiest people I know. She’s satisfied, certainly more so than me. She won the post grad happiness game.

But one thing I will never understand and will always struggle with trying not to be a Judge Judy about is people my age having babies.

WHY? Why do you feel compelled to have children now? I’m 25 so it’s less alarming and ridiculous when I see an acquaintance with a pregnant belly but even when I was 22, I knew people who were getting knocked up. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I’m gay and don’t really have a strong desire to have children myself. I wouldn’t rule it out but it’s just not a part of my plan. But I think my being uncomfortable with it stems beyond my homosexuality. When I think of babies, I think of one thing: MONEY, HONEY. Babies are soooooo expensive. They just TAKE your money. They come out of your vagina and immediately crawl over to your purse and take fifty dollars from it. BYE. I feel like if you want to bring another life into this world, you must have your finances worked out. You must know that you can realistically provide for another human being. Otherwise, I think that your desire to have a child is sort of selfish. Don’t you want to make sure your baby has the best life possible? What’s the harm in just waiting for a few years until you get to a more stable place financially?

After stealing your money, the next thing a baby does is steal your life. “Oh, did you drop your life on the ground?” your baby asks you, innocently. “Well, too bad ’cause it’s mine now!” If someone has a baby at a young age, they’re sacrificing a large piece of their personal freedom. I guess this is the hardest thing for me to fathom, this willingness to give up your freedom so early in exchange for a child. What I love most about being in my 20s is my ability to do whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s my time to be totally selfish and I’m taking full advantage. I feel like everyone needs this time to be free. If you immediately get married and have a child, you miss out on getting to know yourself. I’ve had so much self-discovery in the past few years just by being totally lost, by having no ties to anything but myself. This is going to sound super freaky cheesy, I’m gagging as I type this, but I think you can only truly know yourself after NOT KNOWING YOURSELF, after you go through a period where you don’t have YOU figured out. Skipping this crucial period and going straight into dedicating your life to a child seems unwise. Shouldn’t I have my crap figured out before I can expect to know how to raise someone?

I feel like a giant jerk for even caring so much. it doesn’t matter that I can’t comprehend why people are popping out babies. It’s their life, it’s their choice to make. Projecting your own values on to other people is remarkably immature and that’s something I’m quickly figuring out for myself. After all, it’s not MY vagina. Who cares what other people do with their lives? Why does it bother me so much? Just let them live their life and I’ll live mine. (This is so hard to do with the internet though. Jesus, is it hard! There are just so many people’s life decisions laid out for you to pass judgement on!)

Okay, deep breaths. It’s going to be okay. Having a baby doesn’t mean you’re ruining your life. It doesn’t mean you’re stupid. It just means you want to have a baby. Right? TC Mark

image – Shutterstock

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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