Your parents are always going to think they know what’s best for you, even if that includes you bringing a whole human being into the world. These seven Nigerians want no part in raising a child, and did one of the hardest things ever; resist their Nigerian parents. Here are the reactions they got.
“She asked if I plan to just be having sex.” – Rehia*, 29
I’ve never aligned with the idea of kids, I’ve just never been interested. My mum is a God-first, family-second kind of Christian. When I turned 26, she playfully brought up marriage.
I immediately cleared her so rubbish like that wouldn’t fester. She responded with something about God’s purpose for women and whether I plan just to be having sex. I made it very clear, there was no way I could be interested in men or kids, after watching the domestic violence in her marriage. She hasn’t mentioned marriage or kids since then.
“He’s sure I know what’s best for me. – Tomi*, 19
I was 17 when I told my dad, and it wasn’t a conversation per se. I just said, I’m not really interested in having kids, because they didn’t align with the goals I set for myself. He was like okay, we’ll see how that goes, but he’s sure I know the best thing for me. He probably thinks I was joking. I was not.
“She just said I was going to have a child, and that’s it.” – Chuks*, 24
My mom was telling me how her friend’s daughter who is close to my age is expecting a second child and how she can’t wait for me to get married and start having children.
I told her that I don’t want children, she didn’t even ask me why , she just said that I didn’t know what I want, I was going to have a child and that’s that.
I’m her only son, so I understand where she is coming from, but it’s my decision to make.
I like being around kids, but if we’re honest, they’re a lot of work and hinder growth in many ways. Everybody talks about kids being a blessing, but nobody talks about them also being a burden.
Kids tend to upend lives, you could have a specific timeline to achieve a goal and then a kid comes along, and you have to rearrange the timeline and sometimes the goal, just to accommodate them.
I’m a very ambitious person, and I don’t want that in my life.
“She says I shouldn’t use my mouth to curse myself.” – Davina*, 19
I’ve always known I didn’t want kids. Not because I don’t love children or anything just because I never saw myself being a mother. In my mind, there are more disadvantages than advantages to having a child, and every advantage you can think of is selfish.
I haven’t told my dad yet, but I mentioned it to my mum one day as we were talking about my plans after school. She was talking about me moving abroad for my Masters and said if I got married and gave birth there, I’d become a citizen. I told her I didn’t mind getting married but giving birth is not something I want to do. She shouted, “God forbid.” That I’ll carry my children, and I’ll have plenty children, then started praying. She says I’m still young, and I shouldn’t use my mouth to curse myself.
“She called me Jezebel” – Lucy, 22
An aunt had just given birth, and my mom was having baby fever one day, then she goes “do and grow up and marry let me carry your child o” and I told her that even if I get married, which I also don’t want, I’m not having kids.
She reacted by calling me Jezebel for refusing to fulfill God’s word and we had an argument about it. I brought up the fact that many people were not capable of having kids, like her sister, and asked if that made them Jezebels too.
She got defensive, but I was adamant. She hasn’t said a word since but she hopes my mind changes because I’m still ‘young’. I don’t think my mind’s ever going to change though. I’ve never had any sentiment towards kids or fantasized about having them. As I grew up, I became more aware of the responsibility and decided I wanted no part in it.
I think it’s the longevity , the fact that there’s no end to raising a child. There’s also the possibility of being a bad parent, or a deadbeat, and it scares me shitless.
“They still think I’m joking.” – Debo, 26
I told my parents when the subtle “We can’t wait to hold your children -our grandchildren” talk became not-so-subtle.
They still think I’m joking, but the world is already overpopulated, and looking at the general state of things , it seems unfair to bring another person into this world. I’d rather be the rich uncle.
“You’ll grow out of it.” – Daniel*, 35
I just don’t want children. The same way people decide they want kids, is the same way I’ve decided I don’t. There’s no rationale.
One day, I opened my mouth and told my parents I don’t want kids. I’m not scared of them and they’re not going to take care of my children for me, so they’ll be okay. When I told them they were like, “You’ll grow out of it.” But over the years, they’ve come to see that I haven’t grown out of it. They see that I don’t care for it. So they’ll be alright.