Shudder. I hate that question. I am fielding that question a lot these days, and it’s been literally a decade since I was first asked the question. When I was a senior in high school, I remember talking to my girlfriends about it. “I’m going to go to college, graduate, go to law school, get married by 27, pop out a baby when I’m 29, and still become a hot shot lawyer.” I said it so matter-of-fact, as if they were just the logical steps every woman would take after obtaining a high school diploma. The type-A in me was so programmed.
Today, I am 28. I did go to college (and graduated, phew). But after working 2 years at a law firm with disgruntled attorneys, I decided law school wasn’t for me. I ended up being recruited by a head hunter and was introduced to the wonderful (and crazy) world of recruiting. I started dating my now boyfriend at 27. 29 is only one year away. I have a general sense of where, what and who I want to be by then… and it definitely does not include being a 29 year-old mother. When I was asked the question again for the first time in nearly a decade I was caught off guard.
Shit. I have not even thought about it. “Uhhhh…. two. Twins, preferably. Two for one pregnancy. Yes, BOGO. That sounds like a deal.” The truth is, the deeper I think about it, and really start to visualize what having a kid is about, I’m not entirely sure I want one. I am definitely not prepared to raise one. Two years ago, I asked a best friend how many times she dropped her daughter. She gave me an eyebrow raise and said, “Never.” I was amazed. She was mortified. It’s no wonder she hasn’t asked me to babysit.
As millennials, we are often described as “spoiled, entitled, instant gratification seekers” by our previous generation. Studies show there is a 54% decline in marriages compared to our parents’ generation. This makes sense: we have so many options available at our fingertips (literally). I can’t say what it was like to grow up before Tinder, POF, Match, etc., but I can imagine when you met someone, you really knew they were special. And when you met that person, I can see how having kids would be the next logical step to take. Our parents didn’t grow up with PS4, Reddit, Netflix, Expedia, World of Warcraft — you know, timeless activities. Perhaps I contribute to our Gen-Y stereotype of being the selfish generation. Sarah Silverman summarizes it quite nicely below.
So, “How many kids do you want?” I think the more common question to ask our generation is, “Do you want to have kids?” Subconsciously, I have always been conditioned to think having kids is for everyone but I’m starting to realize maybe it’s not. Life is filled with surprises and I’ve realized there is no such thing a life road map. Yes, you can make general plans but there will always be detours thrown at you, because, life. Better double up on protection.