7 Nigerians Reveal Why They Don’t Want Children

July 16, 2020

Society has conditioned us — especially women — to think of procreation as a necessity. Thanks to the transparent conversations that social media has made possible, we now know that a lot of people don’t feel that way.

So, we asked a bunch of Nigerians who don’t want children to share why they feel that way and the kind of reactions their decision typically gets. Here are 7 of the most revealing answers we got.

Chioma, 30/Female

I’ve known I didn’t want kids since I was 12. I’ve never had a maternal bone in my body. I’m not like a mean person or anything, but that’s just not me. I literally cannot picture myself being anyone’s mother.

Those who don’t understand are quick to tell me that I’ll eventually change my mind. It’s been 18 years and nothing. They also say I’ll eventually get lonely and regret my choice, but I really don’t see that happening.

Ebuka, 28/Male

I was 25 when I realised I don’t want biological kids. I usually tell people the main reason is that I think it’s selfish and egomaniacal to have biological children, especially when you could just adopt. 

The real reason I don’t want them, however, is my awareness of just how fucked up I am. I wouldn’t want to burden a child with my genes. Honestly, both reasons are equally true.

My mother has accepted it. She initially thought it was just a phase, but knowing that I am open to adopting with a partner made her a lot more open to the idea. Everyone else I’ve told thinks I’m insane. 

Tobi, 23/Female

I’ve known I didn’t want kids for almost two years now. The main reason is that I’m tired of looking out for people and sacrificing my happiness for others, especially entitled family members.

I also have keloids and there’s a high chance of it spreading after childbirth. I don’t want to hate my body because of any child, then end up resenting the child in the process. People have called me selfish, but I don’t care. 

Obi, 29/Male

I realised that I didn’t want kids about 3 years ago. I love kids, so It was painful to accept that if I really wanted to have a fulfilled and happy life, I’d be better off not having them. I’ve made peace with my decision. 

I also can’t understand why anyone, especially a 3rd world citizen, would want to bring another human into this messed up world. How do you look at all the shit going on and think a child deserves this?

A few weeks ago, my uncle called me selfish for not wanting to carry on the name of my father as his first son. Meanwhile, I have 2 brothers and my father is still very much alive.

Bola, 30/Female

I realised — more like accepted — that I didn’t want kids 2 years ago. I just don’t see the point in having them. I haven’t been able to answer for myself why I should have them. Like, what’s the purpose? 

It doesn’t help that they are expensive. If I have a child that’s anything like me, I’d end up BROKE broke. Also, minus the legitimate fear of pregnancy, I don’t think I have it in me to be motherly.

When I tell people, they usually scoff or get mad. People swear that I’ll change my mind once I’m older or in love. For me, having a child just to make a man happy would be torture, not love. 

Maryam, 34/Female

I’ve known I didn’t want to have kids (or get married) for as long as I can remember. It’s just not my calling. Not only am I not maternal, I completely freak out whenever I think of pregnancy and childbirth.

I also think the world is an evil and scary place, so why would I want to bring a child into it? This pain? This suffering? There’s only so much you can realistically protect your child from. 

I’ve been called selfish a lot. I remember telling one of my exes and he got really mad. He called me a witch and said I have a spiritual family, and that’s why I refused to marry and have kids with him.

Funmi, 22/Female

I’ve kind of always known I didn’t want kids, but I only started talking openly about it when I was 19. I feel it’s a lot of responsibility and I’m not sure I have the capacity to handle it. 

Earth is already over-populated and reproduction feels like narcissism to me. Also, if I had a choice, I wouldn’t even exist, so why would I want to put someone else through that? 

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