Pregnancy Ambivalence: Still Not Sure
Despite recent reports which suggest that millennials are dropping the ball when it comes to procreating and home ownership, the future does not depend on your uterus or investment decisions. It’s absolutely all right if you, like most 20-somethings, are still stumbling through life. And not just when it comes to your job, your education, your love life, or where you want to live, or what show you want to Netflix and chill to this Friday night—every aspect of your life is yours to decide.
Not knowing if you want to have a child (or another child, for the parents reading this) is not the end of the world. Let me repeat: It's ok if you’re unsure about wanting to have children now, three years from now, or at all. If societal pressures have you feeling guilty or confused about delaying pregnancy and not being sure about parenting, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. You’re not alone.
Between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 women in the U.S. report that they would be okay either way regarding getting pregnant. In the same study, 53% of men and 52% of women said they would like to be parents now “if things in their life were different.” Even among those who say it is important to them to avoid pregnancy right now, 20% of women and 43% of men say they would be at least a little pleased if they found out today that they or their partner were pregnant.
2. And that's OK.
As a leading national organization that works to ensure all women and men—regardless of who they are or where they live—have the power to decide if and when to become parents, we’re saying that it’s all right not to know if you want to grow your family. There are plenty of reasons to want to get pregnant—and plenty of reasons not to. And you know what? They are all valid.
Pregnancy doesn't happen in a vacuum. Personal experiences and interactions with racism, poverty, and trauma impact how we feel about pregnancy, sex, dating, and sometimes even love. Not to mention, crippling student debt crisis, police brutality, questionable policies, and melting ice caps are all reasons enough to make us want to think twice about pregnancy.
3. Living your best life.
Certainty isn’t a prerequisite for living your best life. You can be empowered and confident that each and every day you are becoming a better version of yourself—without knowing for sure if you want to grow your family. Choosing to be present in this current moment, and planning for your right now is just as valid as future planning. There are still things you can do to take care of yourself so that no matter what you choose or what happens, you are in the best possible position to do what works for you. Self-care is a radical act of love—of which you are worthy.
So, in this “I’m actually not sure” phase, as you finesse those “when are you going to have another” and “when am I going to become a grandma” questions, find solace in knowing that you’re not alone. Get on a method that has your back, and continue to fight for a world that you’d be happy to raise your kids (or nieces and nephews or puppy) in.