Millennials ruin everything. Thus far we’ve killed beer and motorcycles, sex, diamonds, and even the Big Mac. We’ve destroyed patriotism, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Home Depot. We’re like King Midas, who turned everything he touched to gold. Except we’re different, because according to mainstream media and society, everything we touch turns to absolute shit. I mean, how the fuck does a collective group of people born in a certain time frame kill Home Depot? Millennials have been blamed for the downfall of virtually everything in common society. But chicken wings and DIY supplies aren’t the only thing we’re killing! We’re killing reproduction as well!
That’s right. The news stories aren’t wrong, and you’re not just imagining things. Millennials aren’t having babies. At least not very many of them. And we’ve got damn good reason for it, too.
I’m 24 years old. I was born in 1993. I don’t know that it necessarily gets much more millennial than me. I was a spawn of the ‘90s. I grew up through Polly Pocket, floppy disk, AOL and AIM, and I witnessed the transition to CD’s and DVD’s. Yet, I’m still young enough as an adult to understand and thrive with the new and ever-changing technology. And I fit society’s general description of the millennial group. I’m a liberal, I’m pro-choice, I’m pro-gun control and pro-LGBT+. The only thing I don’t have going for me is the fact that avocados make me gag. Otherwise, I pretty well reek of the millennial stereotype. And, like the good little millennial I am, I ain’t having a bunch of babies either.
I have one kid. A four-year-old daughter. I didn’t have her on purpose, but I wouldn’t trade her for all the corn chips in the world. However, I’m done. This kitchen is closed. No more buns will be baking in this oven. Actually, I’m in the process of seeing some doctors to make sure that I NEVER bake another bun. And just like my fellow millennials, I have damn good reason.
“We’re far too busy cleaning up the baby boomer mess to even have time to consider doing “normal” things like getting married, buying a home, and starting a family. We were robbed of an economy to even sustain these things.”
According to the powers that be, and the Washington Examiner, millennials are having babies at a record low, causing a “baby bust.” We’re just not reproducing fast enough to keep up with the rate of death in America. Evidently, women are supposed to produce 2.1 children to keep up with the amount of people dying. The last time those numbers were reached was in 2010. Since then, the rate has dropped to a mere 1.8 child per millennial woman. According to the statistics, we just ain’t spitting out the babies fast enough. But why?
The last baby boom was between 1946 and 1964. WWII had just ended and people were finally moving forward with their lives again. They were optimistic about the state of the country and our economy for the first time in a long while. Up until then, their lives had been put on hold. They didn’t have a chance to recoup from the Great Depression before they were thrown into a war. They couldn’t worry about making babies because they had to worry about staying alive. They put off everything from babies, to marriage, to buying a home, because our economy, and life as they knew it, was teetering on the precipice. But once the war was over, what better way to celebrate than to reproduce like rabbits?
Young and old alike were piled into maternity wards, birthing as many babies as their vaginas would allow. Life was good again! By 1964, 76.4 million baby boomers were toddling their way across the nation.
Long story short, people weren’t having babies during the economic crisis of the Great Depression and World War II. Now, take into consideration that us millennials were sort of “coming of age” during the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Thanks to the Great Recession in the early 2000’s, we watched our parents struggle. We watched them lose their jobs, and oftentimes their homes. We were old enough to see and somewhat understand what was going on, and we’re coming into adulthood during the recovery. Therefore, we’re attempting to not make the same mistakes that our parents did.
That means we’re opting out of a lot of things that were considered “normal adult behavior” 30 years ago. Things like a driver’s license, first car, marriage, and homeownership are being severely delayed or even relinquished all together. And that includes reproducing.
We want to be smarter than those before us. We don’t want to drown under a ridiculously high mortgage that we can’t pay for. We’re choosing public transportation over a license and new car, mostly because it’s cheaper. And we’re opting out of things like marriage and parenthood, because it just doesn’t seem like a smart decision.
Instead, we’re focusing on our careers and activism. We’re renting small apartments for as cheap as possible in lieu of trying to become the ever-elusive homeowner. We don’t want to bury ourselves under a house payment like we watched our parents do. And because of all of this, we’re avoiding reproduction.
We don’t want to raise babies in tiny apartments and try to get back and forth to our OB appointments via the subway. Our careers and futures are important to us. And truth be told, we are the only generation that’s old enough, yet still young enough, to recognize the multitude of fuckery that is our country right now. We’re fighting tooth and nail, noses to the grindstone, to fix the economy that the baby boomers completely and entirely fucked up for us. We’re focused on making this world a better place to live before we clog it up with more people to live on it.
Quite frankly, we’re embarrassed of what we have to offer a child right now. Because it’s nothing good. So we’re doing our best to rectify that. Millennials got the short end of the stick. We’re far too busy cleaning up the baby boomer mess to even have time to consider doing “normal” things like getting married, buying a home, and starting a family. We were robbed of an economy to even sustain these things.
Instead of having babies, and houses, and husbands or wives – we have careers, and rallies, and protests. We give up all the things that we’re deserving of, so that the coming generation can hopefully thrive. We forfeit having children in an attempt to make a world worth having children in.
I chose to have my daughter, and I don’t regret that. But I want to leave her with a world worth growing up in, a world worth having more children. I can’t do that with 5 kids in tow.
Our economy is fucked right now, and babies are expensive. Us millennials are a bit smarter than you think. We know that we can’t afford 2.1 children, so we don’t have them. We understand the state of our affairs in this country right now, and we choose not to bring in more witnesses.
So, no, millennials aren’t making babies. At least not as many as we should be. But believe me, we’re doing our share for this world, and I don’t think we’re anywhere near extinction anytime soon.
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Andrea is a freelance writer based out of Kentucky. She is the mother to a 3 year old little girl and step-mother to a 6 year old boy. She’s been married to her husband and best friend for 5 years. She enjoys fishing, camping, hiking and the occasional glass of wine by a bonfire.