I want more children.
Long before Liam was even a thought, those words wouldn’t have left my lips so easily, if even at all. Growing up, I never gave much thought to marriage, kids and the white picket fence. When my sister gave birth to her daughter, I was active in her upbringing and at one point raised her practically solely for a year. During this time, I was also working at the country’s leading kids/baby megastore as a baby registry specialist. If my job role title isn’t giving anything away, about 85% of my job comprised of talking about babies, helping mothers plan for their babies and sometimes even holding and interacting with babies. This love for children came naturally to me; I wanted to be a paediatrician as a kid.
However, somewhere along the way, I came to the conclusion I didn’t want my own children nor did I look forward to pregnancy. When Liam came along, everything changed. I had a relatively easy pregnancy but it was my blunt honesty about how I really felt to be young and pregnant and my refusal to portray it like it was all daisies and sunshine that inspired the start of my blogging journey. Once Liam was born, my entire outlook on having children changed. My love for his sheer vulnerability; he needed me and it was addictive. Baby fever times 100. Now he’s all grown up, I think my husband and I have survived parenthood and we’re ready to do it all over again. I personally feel myself craving the experience once more. Or twice… who knows?
But is this selfish?
Bringing a life into the world for my own desire, essentially, knowing for the beginning of their existence they will be entirely dependent on us? Am I wrong to want to have multiple children? Living in Barbados, these questions would never have come to my mind. However, since my move to Bristol, I have been exposed to a completely new way of thinking and new perspectives behind the rose-tinted glasses of millennials when it comes to the topic of having children. A lot of these perspectives are built on the foundation of beliefs I, too, share so it’s hard not to take a step back and analyse or even second-guess.
The main perspective on having children, and perhaps the most interesting one to me, is that of climate change and threats to our environment. I have encountered individuals (some I consider friends), who I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with and discuss these views at length. They encourage the question, “Why would you want to bring a child into this world? This world?! Knowing what we know of the fragile state our planet is in; the suffering of our ecosystems and the bleak outlook our future existence. Why would we subject a child to these eventualities who would not otherwise exist if not for our own desires? We have a world on the demise, corrupt governments and organisations; why would we want to add anymore to the species causing the harm in the first place? Strong, thought provoking questions, I know. They can be quite uncomfortable to hear as a woman who intends on having more children. I discovered this millennial outlook on having children was not only a local one after reading Miley Cyrus’ recent interview where she also expressed this was her reason for not having children. Not while the world is in it’s current state.
I’ve given a lot of thought to it since these discussions. I dare to challenge this perspective and present another view. What if the children are the future? Are we not inspired by the passion and efforts of the younger generation like Greta Thunberg and Emma Gonzalez? What if adding to the population of the younger generation steers the world into a more positive direction? Naïve? Maybe. But when I see efforts of larger organisations reducing plastic waste and providing alternatives to harmful manufactured elements to those of my son’s nursery encouraging recycling and the go-green campaign, I can’t help but be hopeful that the desire to save our planet will become contagious.
Despite my impartialness, I think it’s completely up to the individual whether or not they choose to have children for whatever reason. In this modern age of feminism, it is no longer an expectation or rite of passage for a woman to have children. We have evolved into a world where women are playing active roles in our societies and speaking out for us and standing up for all rights, not just a woman’s. And in this fight to save our world, women have proven to serve a larger purpose than having children. Women are dominating every aspect of civilisation.
It didn’t start with us, but it can end with us.
And maybe, hopefully, our children.