Motherhood Is Not For Everyone

Hello Beautiful People. Welcome to another Monday Rush. Yes, I know it’s not Monday, but there was this concert featuring a certain masked musician whose name begins with and L. Needless to say, I just couldn’t miss it so I left this unfinished. Sue me. P. S. Shout out to my girl Tola who held it…

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Hello Beautiful People. Welcome to another Monday Rush. Yes, I know it’s not Monday, but there was this concert featuring a certain masked musician whose name begins with and L. Needless to say, I just couldn’t miss it so I left this unfinished. Sue me.

P. S. Shout out to my girl Tola who held it down at that concert on Sunday. Much Love!!

Anyway, let’s get it!!

In the US, this past Sunday was Mother’s Day. I don’t quite know why the Mother’s Day in the US has to be different from the one the rest of the world celebrates, but it is. Be that as it may, I did my good son thing and called the most important women that I have ever had the privilege of calling “mommy.” After that, I started watching a bunch of YouTube  videos to while away time before the aforementioned concert. I came across some very interesting videos about Mother’s Day from a channel called Stuff Mom Never Told You. The video that really caught my attention was about women who don’t want to have children.

To be honest, there was a time in my life when the very notion that a woman would not want to have children was anathema to me. Back then, I really couldn’t fathom that there were people in this world who weren’t completely driven by the socio-biological imperative to get married and have kids (preferably the more the merrier because the species depends on it). These days, I’ve become fairly ambivalent to prospect of fulfilling that imperative, so I am definitely a lot more understanding.

There’s a common mentality that everyone is hardwired to want to be parents. Coupled with that notion is the idea that we all instinctively know how to be good at parenting. I have seen first hand that those ideas are utter crap. In the last few years, I have gotten the opportunity to spend a few weeks observing people in the newborn nursery. After watching some of those women become mothers for the first, third, sometimes the sixth time, it was clear that motherhood and good parenting skills weren’t necessarily things that came naturally to everyone. There were definitely those for whom it came as effortlessly as breathing in the aroma of cherry blossoms in the spring time. Some struggled at first, like learning to ride a bike, but they eventually got it. And then, there were those for whom despite having multiple children, motherhood was as foreign as reading the Principia Mathematica in an extinct language.

That experience made me a little judgemental. I left that place thinking, “Man, the only crime some kids in this world committed was being born to people who should never be parents.” I realize that there more than a few deeply held negative biases in that last sentence, but my point still stands.

I don’t think it’s everyone’s lot in life to galavant gingerly towards procreation. There’s a lot of emotional, financial, and physiological considerations that go into bringing a child into world and successfully raising them to adulthood. Some women have weighed their options and decided that motherhood is not in the cards for them. They may cite a myriad of reasons related feeling/being incapable of handling such a tremendous commitment. They might just decide they don’t want it at all even if they’re more than capable of handling it.

Personally, I don’t think it’s particularly selfish or callous for people to willingly decide to forgo procreation and/or child rearing if they don’t feel up to the task. In a way, I think it’s kind of noble. It’s hard to float an argument against the idea that all children deserve to grow up in homes where people will love and support them in every important way. As it stands, far too many children don’t have that. In that light, it seems logically inconsistent for society to vilify people, especially women, who decide that they don’t want to have kids that they can’t or won’t be willing to support. Nobody wants to be stuck in a situation that feels forced upon them, especially if they feel unwanted.

In conclusion, shout out to the ladies who have definitely decided that they’re having kids. Kudos to the ones who have decided not to do it. And cheers, to the ladies who are still making up their minds.
Question Time:

Note: This question is for everyone generally, and ladies in particular.

Are you planning on having kids? Why or why not?

Responses

  1. S
    This is so beautiful. I know too few people who share the same sentiments as we do.
    It’s pretty simple, I have no interest in being a mum and I’ve gotten to the stage in my life where I’m not afraid to say it neither will I be made to feel guilty about it.
    just because I’m biologically designed to bear babies doesn’t mean I have to, biology doesn’t always trump logic.
    I have seen my fair share of horrible parents and it breaks my heart because the kids don’t deserve the crap treatment, they didn’t even have a say in their being born but the parents did. ugh.
    I also know 2 couples who willingly decided not to have children, beautiful people really.
    Yes, the society needs children to replace the old people who die but one person or 10 people’s decision to not have children will not make the society extinct.
    having children is not the ultimate key to happiness in any relationship.
    Also, in this our ever changing world, women can have babies without men, gay people can adopt children, and women can decide not to have kids without being labelled as barren and it’s wonderful really.
    I feel like if you are going to have kids, you need to be excellent at it, but at the same time you can be a ‘good’ parent and the kid will turn out to be a nightmare. can you live with that?
    1. Nosa
      “women can have babies without men”. Not going to argue the error in logic of that statement.

      But yeah, The simple truth is that “everything is not for everybody”.

      As for the case of being a parent, I think some ladies are just scared of the childbearing process, i’m a guy and Lord knows I am. So i’ll let my wife decide how many kids we should have then we can adopt to make up numbers.

        1. Nosa
          Seriously?? They are gradually making the menfolk non-relevant.

          While I applaud this particular advancement; Has a child ever been conceived and born through this process and then the growth of such child monitored so as to detect any defect. If they are actually successful with this, They can then try to perfect the human species

          1. Omotola Ajibade Post author
            To my knowledge, nobody has fertilized any eggs using this process and I doubt that anyone will do so anytime soon. Our current ethical frameworks for research involving humans and human gametes and embryos haven’t become robust enough to deal with what might happen as a result. Also, there are still too many unknowns about the process.

            Furthermore, these sperm cells differ from traditional sperm in very distinct ways. For example, they are immotile (meaning they don’t have tails). That makes it less likely that the sperm cells created from this process will be able to fertilize the egg without some additional help.

            So far, I think the research that went into process was mainly to help clarify some of the biochemical signaling pathways that help stem cells mature along different cell lines. Since they were able to reverse engineer the process and grow the cells into a whole new direction, they will probably use the information they got from that process work with diseases for which stem cell therapy might be only cure. Also, it effectively makes the argument against using human embryos that would have been discarded from IVF and other advanced reproductive procedures irrelevant, since they don’t need embryos anymore.

            Lastly, Designer babies are definitely on the horizon with or without this stem cell stuff. Genetics has gotten advanced enough to were we can edit genes in early stage embryos. Researchers in China announced that they did it successfully about a month and a half ago. Scientists were livid and have called for a moratorium on all germline genetic editing of human embryos. Whether it’s skin-sperm or germline genetic editing, nobody know what the effects of all these things. As always, more research, more caution, more imagination, and more pragmatism are needed.

        2. DEJIDOPE
          this guy, hoe can a woman have a baby without a ”male” been involved, and how come you are like the only person that hears about all these scientific breakthroughs, why would they be looking for a way to make women have babies without men.
          1. D.K
            Lol. Tola probably reads science, eats science, drinks science, dreams of science. Let’s face it, the man is a geek.
          2. Omotola Ajibade Post author
            First, I never said it was definite. I only said it MIGHT be possible. If the sperm from skin thing becomes viable, more than likely, the first people who will use it will be same kinds of people who already go for things like IVF, egg donation, sperm donation, and the like. It’s likely going to be another tool in the arsenal of reproductive endocrinology.

            Secondly, people view problems of reproduction as a largely female issue, but it also affects men. As such, it’s not necessarily going to be that men are entirely written out of the picture. Some men might want biological children but might have fertility problems for various reasons. For example, guys who had cancer in childhood and received chemotherapy or radiation treatments sometimes become sterile as a side effect of the drugs. This new tool could help them as well.

            Lastly, I know this kind of information because I go looking for it. Curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge are things that are very sacred to me. I keep my life well ordered towards learning something new everyday. I believe that a day in which you learn nothing new is a day that is entirely wasted. It also helps that I have multiple science degrees, a steady wireless connection, and access to some incredible research repositories through my school. Let me stop here before I start ranting about the utterly inadequate levels of research going on all over the African continent. That is a matter for a different day.

  2. DEJIDOPE
    Definitely planing on having kids, 6 to be precise, would have more if childbirth wasn’t painful for women, i feel you can never reaily know what love really feels like until you have children, i already know i will cry the day my wife gives birth to our first baby, i just love babies and i happen to be very good at taking care of them.
  3. deehvahrzz
    I am undecided for now. But what I am sure about is that I am made for so much more than just to bear children. The day I spoke this aloud. My friends almost held me down ND forced it back down my throat. According to them, we were made to give birth, take care of the children and have our husbands open a shop for us. Afterall the Bible commanded us to multiply and not doing so is going against God’s world.
    With my aunt and her nine month almost born ‘s death still fresh in my mind. I wonder everyday if she would still be alive if she had tried giving birth at all cost. She had everything perfect except a baby. Even a man who loves God and loves her so much he couldn’t bring himself to cheat even after almost 20 years of marriage.
    Sometimes I want 21children and at other times, I wonder if I can handle motherhood. I like my solitary life so much relationships are hard work for me.
    In Nigeria, whether we give birth or not, we will end up mothering other people’s children. So what is the big deal about pushing ND having d mad contractions ur self. I don’t get.
    1. Omotola Ajibade Post author
      Lol. Sure, The Bible says “Be fruitful and multiply,” but there are 7.5 Billion people on the planet right now and that number isn’t going down any time soon. I think it’s safe to call “Mission Accomplished” on that commandment
  4. BlackPearl
    Blushes!!! Omghee!!! I just got a shoutout from Tola! It was so cool to meet you on Sunday
    Also, I ended up getting signed CDs and pics with our masked friend… even got a selfie (Cloud 9 chilling)
    I think part of the world’s problem is the fact that the rhetoric that if you are a woman, you must want to procreate is what has caused so many bad parents and damaged kids in the world today. As for me, I cannot wait to be a mom… well I can wait, but I do know that I want kids. But I also have friends who have already stated that they don’t want kids. I even have a friend who is fantastic with kids.. she is even a kindergarten teacher but she knows she does not want any kids personally. I don’t question her or think her damaged, i just respect her stand on the issue. I promise, there are more than enough people giving birth in the world today, the ones that do not want it are not going to destroy the world with their decision. In fact, more people should make that decision, it should help the overpopulation issues that are threatening the world right now!
    1. Omotola Ajibade Post author
      I jealous you die!! I wish I could have stayed, but I had a quite a long drive after the show.

      I totally agree with your. I’ve had people who tell me that I would make a great dad, but I’m not certain that fatherhood is something that I will do.

  5. Toyole
    I totally agree and I applaud the bravery and candour of those able to make that decision. Not long ago I wasn’t sure I wanted to have kids (My Yoruba mother lost it and prayed against it when I told her). I wasn’t sure I wanted to be that selfless, but now I have come to the conclusion that I will be doing the world a great disservice if I do not procreate and pass on this awesomeness :p
  6. devinne
    Every couple that feels that way,tis okay,provided your both good with it,provided society and family can’t bully you after some time of consistency in that frame of mind and get you to eat your words and seeking for a child at menopause,now that won’t be funny at all!
    Marriage aint all about kids anyway,they are just fruits,why birth a kid you can’t meet his or her needs fully? I want the fruit,that’s a future decision,if you dnt want it now or in the nearest future,maintain your stance on the matter,wavering only seems like you don’t know what it is exactly that you want!
  7. Olayinka
    What I love the most about TNC is how it allows everyone to dream out loud. It is such a great getaway from a perpetually judgmental world and its daily pressure.
    Me I’ve wanted kids since I was 21 and many of them too. I think it is one of the most consistent dreams I’ve nursed in my life. So I am having kids. Lots of them. If I can.
    I am totally for people who don’t want children. They are the brave ones truly . Like Tola said, I think we have reproduced enough humans for now. The break is definitely necessary. For the sake of our host, the fragile mother earth. The weight of 7 billion people plus their other baggage. Hmm..
    1. Omotola Ajibade Post author
      We’re glad to be your respite. Dream loudly, but don’t stop there. In the tradition of misquoting Henry David Thoreau, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve always imagined.”
  8. glamkeys
    I’ve always wanted kids even though I am not really great with them but I believe i’ll learn cos it’s something I desire and I agree that everyone has a right to decide if they want children or not. but this is Africa u can’t tell your mother u don’t want kids you’ll end up in deliverance sessions in church, I don’t think Nigeria has evolved enough for people to think your not wanting a child doesn’t have anything to do with spiritual forces.
  9. wunmi
    Pregnant with my second child and it feels great.
    My daughter is a piece I know only God could have created.
    Labor/delivery is not as bad as people said it is.
    I honestly think having 2 kids is my limit (le boo disagrees).
    Parenting is serious hard and intentional work.
    …my thoughts
  10. Ojuolape
    Shout to Tola!!! you too make sense. The world needs more men like you. I grew up in Nigeria and I agree. I thought it was selfish to not have kids. I have now changed my story ohhhhh!!!
    Ohhh boy… the thing is not beans and further more, not all women are wired to be maternal.

    Shout out to deehvahrzz and been forced to take back that statement. I can soo relate. Was just talking to a friend about this last week. We both said the same thing. I will accomplish more than having kids or being married. My life means soo much more.
    I rest…

  11. Lola
    I told my cousin (who is a younger version of my mother), and she instantly rejected it from my life and prayed for my future right there and then.

    My mother is definitely never hearing my opinion on having kids.

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