I am 26 in less than a week and while few of the people around me are engaging that most primal of impulses, however some of my girlfriend's friends/associates are getting pregnant, or have recently dropped a slow-release-nuclear-bomb of DNA replication and species propagation.
And the question on so many of the lips of my friends who broach or are invited into the subject of having children is, "Why?"
Not a vague, mumbled half attentive why, but a vitriolic, brow furrowing almost shouted 'WHY?!'.
What would provide evidence that at our age, with our relative financial situations and the chances of owning our own homes and the likelyhood you have chosen someone you can actually raise a child with (not to mention actually being able to determine what that looks like) and the urgency of an entire paradigm shift before economic, social and environmental collapse and the neuroses you haven't dealt with so will pass on and the fact that at 26, in the cushy confines of Melbourne - you probably haven't been through a harrowing experience, digested the lessons and come out stronger on the other side, coming to know who you are; What would provide the evidence that you are capable of defying the odds to successfully and responsibly raise a child?
Is it some a desire of your own, a wish you had from whence cometh thou knowest not or just a timely whisper of Have a baby. Have a baby. Feeling that necessary itch for a species who spent most of it's life trying to find enough food to keep themselves and a couple offspring alive while Nature continually tried to kill us and so, best bet is to have a bunch o' kids 'cause some of them will die.
Are you sure you are making this decision?
There are biological triggers that can kick in from 10 upto 25. That's just when they turn on, who knows when or if they turn off.
There are cultural triggers planted within from mindless parrots squawking their take on consensus standards. Your twenties is the gauntlet minefield of expectation, missed opportunity and baby drive. Everyone weighs in on what you should be doing at this age, what they wish they could go back and do over, the many issues of the world come into stark focus and no one has any satisfying answers, your grandparents ask about children from the black sheep of the family who raises an incredulous brow, there is tell of everything ending at 30 and of a madness epidemic hitting people at around 40, as you struggle to make any decisions about which path to walk down you meet a beautiful person and vow to manifest a living likeness in dedication to the shared Love, like once Love starved and now drunk fools.
The triggers are all around us - every person promotes their lifestyle as being that shade of grass you always wanted, whether they like their life or not. A convenient stance for someone who threw themselves into a dangerous, difficult and long term situation; who doesn't want to appear mad, who doesn't want to appear burdened by their decision.
We do what we can to make the best of a situation, making the best of a dangerous, difficult and long term situation can still end up really, really shit for all involved and a bunch of innocence along the way.
Life is simple and life is difficult. It is not a place for unprepared, selfish people and their unfortunate offspring. Forgive me if I seem like a eugenicist promoting some kind of better people if the lesser-than just stopped breeding. I'm vastly distinct from those rascals, I don't think I should be having children either. I am not saying any one type of person is better than another. Self aware and integrated people tend to defy type-casting. Responsibility in this area is not just a personal characteristic but a dire necessity.
Let me emphasise, I'm not a tyrant, do whatever the fuck you want.
Who the hell am I to direct you AT ALL? Be intentional with who influences you, for your own sanity.
I won't be materialising, from a fantasy perpetuated by the norm and so many romantic images, extra fuel and confusion for this madhouse in blazes.
A child is not the solution, to any of your problems. A child is a great gift deserving a committment of appropriately great responsibility and care. They are not a repair kit for your sense of loneliness or to compensate for your relationships.
And this all goes without pointing out the huge resource burden that children are, particularly in the west. Who twice a year receive enough packaged affection and community to choke several waterways while also being able to finance several third-world water sustainability projects, just so that the relatives gain some sort of competitive advantage among the child's favourite people list.
We're smarter and more principled than this right?