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31 March 2016

Millennials shouldn’t bother having kids – for the sake of the kids

How are we ever going to afford to procreate, anyway?

By Eleanor Margolis

What’s in a Google search history? Mine is a list of medical symptoms, occasionally interrupted by elaborate hypothetical questions. Which, I imagine, is boringly millennial of me. Neurotic. Self-absorbed. Existing in the sort of prolonged adolescence that would lead me to ask:

“What would happen if an entire generation didn’t have children?”

Which is my most recent Google search. The most comprehensive answer to which is a two-year-old Reddit thread, in which no one can agree on the definition of “generation”. The meaning I had in mind was “anyone born in the early Eighties to late Nineties”, ie my own generation. The one which, according to every article in The Atlantic for the past seven years, everyone despises because the middle class among us do things like move into impoverished areas and open reiki ball ponds for the perpetually bothered.

In fact, as a paid up member of generation Perpetually Bothered, I was recently lying awake at 4am, having decided to be extremely upset about the fact I’ll probably never be able to afford to have children. Then something quite important occurred to me:

With all due respect to my niece and nephew, babies are the absolute fucking worst. Consider this – no really consider it: you have to train them to use a toilet. They are so ignorant and unhygienic that you literally have to teach them – after a couple years of them defecating wherever they see fit – to poo into a designated receptacle.

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Then something even more important occurred to me:

It would be really, really funny if Generation Y, in its bothered entirety, made a pact to refuse to propagate the next generation. OK, not entirety perhaps. It’s not like we were all planning on getting pregnant on the same day. There’s already a smattering of Y spawn out there, God help it. But those of us who are ambivalent about having kids, let’s just not. Not only would this cause unprecedented chaos  (I imagine…. that Reddit thread was not informative) sticking two humanity-dooming fingers up at the generations who screwed us over, then dared to hate us; it would also leave us with more time to do the following:

  • Write think pieces about Lena Dunham
  • Tweet about how much we love Sriracha
  • Read think pieces about Lena Dunham

These, after all, are the only three things we do. And doing them well requires not having to simultaneously teach some thick homunculus where to shit. Not that any of us can afford to do that, anyway. There is so little money in being aware of Lena Dunham and Sriracha. Even so, whichever generation we’re supposed to propagate (Generation WHY GOD WHY? Generation Enough Already?) is already being begat. This must end now.

Imagine it’s 2026 and aged Tories – who have evolved into a singular and mildly noisome mist – are begging us to procreate. The CEO of JoJo Maman Bébé is now a scar-covered, one-eyed arms dealer in a childless wasteland. Grandchildless boomers sit sullenly on sofas in front of Peppa Pig, clutching adopted chimpanzees.

We alone can create this frankly hilarious mess. It is up to us to, in the true spirit of our generation, ignore those grinding reproductive instincts and basically throw history’s biggest tantrum.

And if you’re still not convinced, I urge you to spend at least five minutes looking over some Donald Trump gifs and imagine dragging a child into a world in which he is the most powerful person. Don’t have kids for the kids, in a way.

Or, you know, the LOLs.