As a young girl, I remember dreaming of my future children. In the first grade, I doodled baby names in my notebook. As the oldest of four, I helped care for my siblings. I spent many years and summers babysitting. But, as I grew older I started noticing things about children and families that awakened a negative light to it all. I can’t remember when the shift happened, but one day I decided I may not want to have children.
When Kris and I were dating, I told him I may never want children. He wanted a family and was ready to have children like yesterday. He would brush off my sentiment and say things like, “Oh you’ll change your mind” or “You will one day.” I would get so annoyed he didn’t take my feelings on children seriously.
Finally, when we were engaged and planning our wedding, I felt the need to make sure he understood the seriousness of how I felt. I sat him down and said, “Babe, I need you to take me seriously. I know you want children. I need to know that if I don’t change my mind about them 5-10 years from now, you will be okay with that. Would you still want to marry me if we never had children?”
He said, “I do know deep down that you will change your mind. But yes, if you don’t, I still choose you anyways. I’m not marrying you to have children. I’m marrying you because I want you.”
I felt relieved after that conversation. Through our relationship and marriage, he never pressured me or asked me when I was ready or would be ready. Never. Good thing he didn’t, because it most likely would have delayed my desire a lot longer. (I’m one of those people who needs to decide things and make moves without hints, suggestions or pressure. You feel me?)
I realize now I wasn’t alone in how I felt about children. I saw a meme on instagram the other day about why millennials don’t want children. It showed that births for women ages 20-30 had decreased by 15% since 2007. See below:
I related to some of these. I had seen my parents sacrifice their dreams for us. I saw them struggle financially. I saw my mom barely ever shop for herself or do anything nice for herself she so deserved. I felt bad for my parents. I felt bad for short circuiting their bright futures.
People call millennials or women “selfish” or “self-absorbed” for not wanting children. But, I thought it was more selfish to have children in conditions where you couldn’t properly provide and where the home life wasn’t healthy. Other millennials share this same sentiment. The top two reasons studies show are financial strain and the fear of passing on mental illness.
Logically, it makes complete sense why women would decide not to have or delay having children in this world.
- They are expensive, they change our bodies and we can’t eat or drink certain things while pregnant for almost a year.
- They change our lifestyles.
- Women are usually the ones who sacrifice the most. We have to pay someone to come over so we can have alone time with our husband or a social evening with friends… on top of the money we are already spending out.
- When do we workout? Unless we are a yogi who uses our baby to make post partum fit mom instagram videos?
- We can’t leave the house when we want.
- We can’t do anything including shower without at least 20 minutes of preparation.
- In a sense, we are relinquishing much of our freedom. I love to travel. But we won’t be able to travel as much because an airplane seat for a toddler costs just as much as mine….and umm I don’t know if I can justify that.
Although my daughter is about to be born, I can totally validate these points millennials feel.
When I saw the meme on instagram, though, it stirred something within me. I had this feeling that women were getting cheated. Although these points are logical and seemingly even responsible, something about it unsettled me.
I’m not a woman who just looooves children. When my friends started having them, it didn’t spark any desire in me at all. I actually felt kind of bad for them at first. I didn’t even get them baby gifts for their showers. I got them mommie gifts instead because I felt like they were already getting neglected and would need the extra comfort.
But, when you are connected to the heart of God, He will give you a heart for what He has a heart for. He will give you a heart for His will and desire. One day, I was praying and listening to worship music in our living room. My eyes were closed and suddenly, I saw a vision of my daughter in a field. I was behind her as she was twirling and skipping along. Then she stopped, turned around and looked me square in the eyes. It’s hard to explain what happened in that moment. Her eyes penetrated my heart like a piercing sword. Tears flooded down my cheeks and my heart swelled in aching love for her.
From that moment on my living room floor, I was changed. I knew my daughter was coming into the world. I was in love with her already. I just didn’t know when. I began to pray and ask God to reveal to me all of my future children and to show me when it was time to bring them in the world.
It happened two years later in June of 2016. I had prayed that when it was time, I would feel a gaping hole in my stomach…like a void in my womb. It came upon me and it was painful. Up until then, I had been praying for my daughter and all of my future children. I already loved them. I already knew things about them. The feelings I had for them obliterated fears like losing my freedom and having discretionary income to get facials.
I really feel like the enemy has a spell on our generation of women…and it is rooted in fear. We are afraid we won’t provide a good life for our children. We are afraid we will mess them up. We are afraid we will pass down family woundings or genetic issues. We are afraid we will lose our precious freedom or that we won’t live fulfilling lives or will be run ragged driven completely by our children’s schedules and needs. We are afraid our hard work and degree won’t be put to good use. We are afraid we will lose our attractiveness in pregnancy.
The enemy can’t create life, so he is trying to prevent it. If he can get us to agree with his lies based in half-truths or false truths…he has won. He has done his job. All he needs is for us to agree with him.
Yes, my life is going to forever change in a few days or weeks. I never thought I would say I am ready for it. I am excited for it. Not because I am financially loaded, not because I took a lot of parenting classes (I didn’t take one), not because I am organized or have a high capacity for a demanding life (I don’t). I am ready and excited because I am in love with my little girl. I am in awe that God chose to entrust His daughter to me. I am excited that I get to raise her in the truth of her royal identity. I get to pass on generational blessings and trust that God will make up for my weaknesses.
Having your own baby may not make sense by the world’s view, but we live in the Kingdom with a God view. God calls and equips us to do things that may seem foolish through our basic lens. Put on your Kingdom vision and see what He shows you. What you see could penetrate your heart and wreck your heart for something or someone you never could have imagined. Even a child you’ve never met.
No, I don’t think we should bring children into the world if we don’t want to or are don’t feel “ready.” But, I do encourage you to pray and test if your sentiments about having your own baby is rooted in fear and fueled by the destructive and logical whisper of the enemy. Don’t be a pawn in his scheme to prevent life. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. At least pray, press into God and find out if the enemy is attempting to steal a daughter or son that God wants to entrust to you.
I’m a millennial who thought I may not want children and God gave me a change of heart.