Legit Reasons Millennials Are Afraid To Have Kids

August 28, 2019  |  
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millennials and child rearing

I regularly have nightmares about discovering that I’m pregnant. These are my nightmares. In the nightmare, I’ll start scrambling to find a pregnancy test to retake—these results cannot be true. I feel like I’m falling through quicksand. I wake up from these dreams sweaty, and terrified, and so glad it was just a nightmare. So if I want a real answer to the question how do I feel about having kids I’m pretty sure that’s my subconscious letting me know. But there are a lot of reasons I am consciously afraid of having kids, including how my own childhood made me view parenthood. I’ve been talking to my peers who are right around that age when they may or may not have kids, and I’m learning something: millennials in particular are frightened of bringing kids into this world.



millennials and child rearing

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New gender rules

We are glad that gender norms are dissipating, but we also aren’t clear on what the new rules are around talking to our children about gender, or assigning them a gender. Sure, when they grow up, they can choose their gender but…what about when they’re just babies? And toddlers? Will we mess them up by calling them “he” or “she?”

millennials and child rearing

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We can’t afford houses

We just can’t do it—not nearly as much as our parents’ generation could. And we don’t want to raise our children in apartments. We want them to have yards, and live in nice, suburban neighborhoods, too. But…we can’t afford it. And we need to stay in the city to be near opportunities.

millennials and child rearing

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Teens are having sex early

How early? We aren’t even sure, and we are afraid to know the answer. But, look: our parents thought it was shocking that we started having sex around age 16. And we thought we were old enough. So what does that mean? That today kids do it at…12? 13? And if we don’t just give them birth control and say, “have fun” that we are the close-minded ones?

millennials and child rearing

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Violence in schools

It’s hard to even talk about with a shooting happening so recently, but the reality becomes more horrific when you think of this: when was the last time there wasn’t a shooting recently? There are bulletproof backpacks on the market today. We don’t want to send our kids into this world.

millennials and child rearing

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What new drugs are out there?

We can’t even possibly imagine how drugs have evolved since we were teenagers. When I was in high school, the biggest deal around town was either green and smokable or white and sniffable. That was it. But you know that narcotics have become complicated and often fatal today. I don’t want my kids in a world where those exist.

millennials and child rearing

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How/when do we talk to them about it?

How and when do we talk to them about things like drugs and sex? It seems the timeline has moved up on these hazards significantly. We don’t want to miss the mark, and send our kids out unprepared for the first time they encounter drugs or a sexual experience. We also don’t want to bring it up too soon and scar them.

millennials and child rearing

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Raises aren’t commonplace anymore

Remember the days when everybody just got a three percent raise, every year, no matter what, in order to keep up with cost of living increases? Yeah…me neither. That’s because this is an antiquated tradition that our generation doesn’t experience. So we are just scrambling to figure out how we could possibly afford children.

millennials and child rearing

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Politics feel volatile

We are unsure what role America has on the global stage. Let’s put it this way: we are the opposite of Switzerland. Will our children be able to travel and feel safe? Will they be able to travel and feel embraced?

millennials and child rearing

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Social media is terrifying

Now that social media exists, we feel we’ve lost any possible hint of control over our children’s activity on the Internet. Every day there is a new app on which they can interact with strangers online and post videos that may be inappropriate and then—poof—disappear.

millennials and child rearing

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How do we discipline kids?

Last I checked, we aren’t allowed to spank them or even say the word “No.” How do we discipline them anymore? How do we tell them they’ve done something wrong? Really, what are the rules?

millennials and child rearing

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They’ll want to be YouTube stars

The “role models” out there today are, sorry, but, a bit of a joke. Our kids might just aspire to be YouTube stars or social media “influencers” and, we just don’t know if we can stomach it.

millennials and child rearing

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The country feels divided

Within our own country, things feel very unstable. We don’t want our children to ever be the victims of hate speech. We don’t even want them to witness hate speech, and we know there is a good chance they will.

millennials and child rearing

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Preschool prep is a thing now?

At the rate things are moving, we’ll be projecting holographs of professors into our uteri for our growing fetuses to get ready for preschool before they’re even born. The pressure on early education is crazy these days.

millennials and child rearing

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We are still paying off our own student loans

It’s hard for us to think about starting a college fund for our children when we are still paying off our own student debt—which many of us are.

millennials and child rearing

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We don’t want our kids to have debt

We want our kids to go to college, but we don’t know how we’ll pay for it, and we don’t want them taking on debt. So…the best we can hope for is that we somehow become millionaires before our kids turn 17?

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