Kids? The No Thank You Generation

According to the Pew Research Center 1 in 4 women with a bachelor’s degree are now saying no to having children. Studies show that with the education in women comes a decline in birthrates. Why are educated women turning down the typical family unit of husband, wife, and child? Could it be that now more than ever women are focusing on careers and success in the work force?

Image by Pew Research Center

Four or more years put into a degree program hoping to land a dream job, climbing the ranks, and trying to live life to the fullest with dream vacations leave little time for a tiny baby in tow. Still, while women are told that they too can succeed in business, women are still expected to handle the brunt work of baby raising. Get a job, struggle to pay the bills, make a baby and you get to struggle a lot harder. Now that the idea that women have to have children to be fulfilled in life is no longer as prominent of an opinion as it use to be women are now looking at the idea of children rationally.

Do I really want to raise a child?

Can I afford to raise a child?

What will happen to my life if I have a child?

Women across America are asking these questions and more. Faced with huge amounts of college debt, uncertain careers, better contraception, later marriages, higher infertility rates, and the option of opting out, there’s a growing number of women saying no to children.

There is now a choice more than ever. With birth control widely available women can now say no to kids and yes to marriage. Many of these women probably would have had children 100 years ago. Back then it was just the path you took in life. Get married. Have children. Now women are getting the idea that they don’t have to have children. That it can be their choice.

Some women look at kids and see their life. They see the husband standing over the crib at night, smiling back at them. They see a little infant in their arms swaddled in a soft baby blanket. The role of mother and wife is sacred and it’s the dream they’ve always wanted. They want to raise someone smart, gentle, and kind. Someone who will make a difference in the world.

There’s nothing wrong with visions of raising babies. It’s a superpower of it’s own kind.

But some women see children and their chest starts tightening. They might see the long string of drool hanging from a smiling child’s face and feel a little revulsion. They see children, not as something that adds to life, but as something that takes away. Children take away time and money. They take away from education and from careers. How will I travel to Africa with a newborn on my hip? How can I be a doctor with a baby I’ll have no time for? To these women, the thought of sending their child off to football practice sounds a little horrifying. There’s a lot of bad in this world. What if I raise a psychopath? What if my baby grows up and kills people someday? Hey, these things do happen people.

Or really, a better question, what if I have never had a desire to have a baby in my life?

Women have children for all different reasons. Women have been turning down the idea of having children for all sorts of reasons too. Each side is valid in its own way.

Like it or not, the reverse baby boom is happening.

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