Children are blessings, or at least what most Nigerians hold on to as a reason to become parents or convince others to tow the parenthood line.

But why do people really have kids? Do prospective parents stop to consider why they want a child? I spoke to seven Nigerians and they shared how — and why — they decided to become parents.

Image designed by Freepik

Oyin, 28

I have kids because I love babies. It’s a weird reason, but I just love cuddling babies and inhaling their scent. 

When I first got married, my husband and I agreed to wait a year before having kids so we’d get to know each other better. But I started getting baby fever after the first few months and “accidentally” got pregnant. I wasn’t prepared for how fast babies grow out of the cute infant stage and start scattering your house, though. 

Baby fever hit again when my child was one year old, and I got pregnant again. Just like the last time, I loved the baby stage but I’ve realised it’s just a small reward for the years and years of raising them — which isn’t easy at all. I don’t know if I want to try for another one again.

Sola*, 25

I’m a single mum of a five-year-old. My baby daddy wanted me to get an abortion, and I refused. I was in uni when I got pregnant and wasn’t ready for a child, but killing an innocent child is a sin I didn’t want to add to my list of errors.

I love my son, but I sometimes wish I didn’t have him so early. I’ve lost jobs because he was always falling sick as a toddler and we were in and out of hospitals. It’s also tough providing for him without help. I feel like I’d have been able to achieve more and even give him more things if I’d done the right thing at the right time.

Samuel, 31

Having children was the logical next step after marriage. My wife and I didn’t discuss whether we wanted children or not; we just discussed how many we wanted to have, and we landed on three kids. 

It was after we had our first baby two years ago that I actually started to think about why we even decided on three. We can have one more to give our child a sibling, but that’ll be it. I love children, but they’re stressful and expensive. There’s honestly no need to amass them like property. 

Tunde, 29

I believe children are a commandment from God. The Bible says we should “go forth and multiply”, so I’ve always wanted a large family. Maybe it’s also because I was an only child. I only have one kid now, but my wife and I plan to have at least five. The only thing that might reduce that number is this economy. 

Loveth*, 36

I haven’t really thought about why I have kids. I’m a Nigerian woman; having children has been like a given since I was a child myself. All I knew was that pregnancy before marriage was a big no. After marriage? Start pushing them out. I guess I just did that. I got married in 2009 and I have three kids. They’re all I know, and I love them.

Christy*, 28

I’ve always loved children. But it’s not just wanting to have one for the sake of it. I think it’s important to guide the next generation on the right path and children are the best way to do that. If more parents trained their children well, we wouldn’t have so many evil people today. 

And it doesn’t even have to be your biological children. I have only one child and I intend to adopt more rather than go through pregnancy again. There are more than enough kids on earth already who need guidance.

Kunle*, 38

I think children are what makes a family a family. So, after marriage, the next thing was obviously children. My wife and I dealt with infertility for a while, but deciding to go without kids just wasn’t an option. It took six years after marriage, but we’re a proper family now.

*Some names have been changed for anonymity.

NEXT READ: Am I a Terrible Mother for Wishing My Child Is Normal?

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