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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: It’s Okay To Not Want Kids



Last Christmas when my friend visited with her daughter, she came to the conclusion that I do not like children. For some reason, it wasn’t a thing I had ever given much thought to. Outside of the occasional cooing over babies and making small talk about Ben10 with 6 year-olds, I didn’t think anything about children. Also, because I have never been bitten by the Broody Bug, I never felt that longing for a child of my own. So, when I got the verdict that I didn’t like kids, it made me think deeply about my position on children. Was it that I don’t like kids in general? Do I not like them at a certain age? Was it because I’ve not spent a lot of time with them to actually understand their needs and the different phases? Was it that I’d not been around children for long enough? Or do I just not like badly behaved kids whom I can’t scold without fear of their parents being offended? Do I not want to be around kids? Or was it a case of waiting till I have my own and watching the magic happen? It is truly worrisome. One minute I didn’t think there was something wrong with me, next minute I’m starting to feel inadequate. Oh God! Was I one of those people who didn’t want kids? Was it so terribly bad not to want kids?

The discussion about wanting kids is one of those things that is almost taken for granted by a lot of Nigerians. It’s the same way you meet someone and they assume you’re Christian. When you say you’re not they say ‘Oh you’re a Moslem then’. When you say ‘No, I’m not’, the next thing that comes is ‘Oh so what are you?’. The discussion about wanting children is something that many people don’t have because it is almost as if you should want kids by default. You hear things like ‘Why not. If your parents didn’t want children you wouldn’t exist’. However, I wonder if societal pressure is doing more harm than good by not allowing the open and honest discussion about children.
It is more detrimental in the long run to have children you don’t want and then end up raising them badly.

Parenting in itself is overwhelming. Apart from the financial requirement of raising children, there’s the responsibility that comes with ensuring that they’re healthy, they’re well grounded and psychologically balanced. If one is incapable of providing for a child, then is it still fair to pressure a person into procreating because it is ‘ordained by God’?

At a dinner with some friends yesterday, we had a conversation about wanting children and whether we (as Nigerians) are allowed to be honest about what we want. I said that it wasn’t something I’d thought of, but as a Nigerian my default answer was ‘Yes, I want children’. The alternative was probably going to end in a protracted and unnecessary argument that would probably end up being completely unproductive.

In the past, some people had children in order to have a kind of security for care in old age. However, history has shown that having children is not a guarantee of end of life care.  For some people it is the need to carry on their legacy.  I have a friend whose parents (both medical doctors) reminded him that they set up their medical practice in hope read as expectation that he would take it over when he came of age.  It didn’t happen – dude is a writer and doesn’t plan to ever stop being one.

As with all choices we make in life, it’s important that the motives are right. If you make a decision to do something, you should be true to yourself.  Choices shouldn’t really be determined by societal pressure because at the end of the day, you are the one who will live with the end result of your life choices.

Share some of your views with us. Do you want kids? If so why? Have you had a relationship go awry because you had dissenting views on wanting kids. Do you think that wanting children or not is something that can only be determined after you have them – you know how they say that spirit of fatherhood just descends when you feel the child in your arms. Do you believe that wanting or not wanting children has anything to do with whether or not you will be a good parent?

Have a lovely week ahead. I’m terribly sorry this is coming so late. I woke up with a slamming headache and a bad tummy. Not a good way to start the week I tell ya, but I’ll live!

Peace, love & cupcakes.


Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Darren Baker
Atoke – Writer | Lover | Noisemaker. Twitter – @atoke_

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. Neo

    June 16, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Pls first of all amend the header to Atoke’s Monday Afternoon Banter cos i know how many times i have refreshed my browser till now. Does headache not know that you have ‘fanz”? Take time oh!

    On to the matter. i love kids, want kids but i dont think its a bad thing not to want kids. I’ve heard someone question a friend about her decision not to have kids cos she was being selfish in not wanting to continue the legacy of populating and multiplying the earth. I was quick to point out that our biggest problem is even over population and that one less willing uterus would not derail the ultimate calling.

    The funniest bit is that this friend has done a complete 180 in the last few years and now wants kids! So i dont think its so much in the “decision”, more like a feeling. Broodiness is more than cute curly haired baby induced pangs in one’s ovaries, its not biological and can be quite unexpected.

    My biggest challenge is that i want a baby more than i want a husband (and in these parts thats putting the cart before the horse) so maybe i should elope to have one eh?

    • Creamy

      June 16, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      looolllll…….so true for me too. I want a baby more than i want a husband. it put a smile on my face to read it in my exact same words!

    • dp

      June 16, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      Me too i refreshed and i kept refreshing ohhhh,

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      June 16, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      I blamed the weather, then my boss, then my laptop for deliberately filtering Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter from me. Pls don’t put us on endless ‘is coming” again o.
      Hope you feel better now and your week turns out just as special as you are. Thank you for always finding time and strength to feed this crowd that “refreshes’ here every Monday morning.

    • Igbeyinadun

      June 16, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      Haaa I remember my flatmate whilst in Uni, she did not want kids and I could not comprehend how someone would know at that age if they wanted kids or not (mind you we were in our late teens and early twenties). I felt it was too early to know that kind thing na, but i realised that the reason for her decision is because her parents separated when she was just 2 and this affect her and her brother’s childhood, hence the decision. So, I don’t think we should judge people on not wanting kids because we may not know the angle they are coming from and they may change their minds in future.

      In answer to the question, me i want kids oo, plenty paa paa… minimum of 6 and maximum of 12; ooo the joy of having them… sigh.

    • B-WEST

      June 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      u don pay sukulu fees before ???!! u get any wild incline how much gudt edukashun dey cost dese days ??issokay!! DiarrisGod! e go clear u 4 eye .not to worry

    • idomagirl

      June 18, 2014 at 12:42 am

      “My biggest challenge is that i want a baby more than i want a husband (and in these parts thats putting the cart before the horse) so maybe i should elope to have one eh?”

      My current dilemma.

  2. bb

    June 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Hmm. Atoke sorry dont share your views, not on this one

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      June 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      That’s why its a banter, luvie. It wont be if we all agreed to the same thing the same way.

  3. laide

    June 16, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I remember once when I and my colleague were having this conversation, and he said I am very selfish for wanting kids. His reasons were that the world is a very terrible and sad place…why bring more people into it. I gave all the reasons I could think of and he found a way to counter all of them. To end the discussion, I said I want kids …period!

    • laide

      June 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      my colleague isnt Nigerian by the way , so I concluded it was something about the ‘European culture’

    • bb

      June 16, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Well, your wrong am Nigerian and female, lived in Nigeria and attended school there until I was 15 am now 20 and am moving back home next year and Guess what? I don’t want kids or marriage, if I ever feel broody I will not be selfish to the point of bringing kids to this world when there are many children here already in need of love and care. Bottom line- not wanting kids is not a European thing have always said I did not want to get married or have kids since I was 7.

    • Oma

      June 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Thank you BB.
      Laide, I am female, in my late twenties. born and bred in Nigeria. I do love kids, i have god-daughters, little cousins and all. I do not want kids of my own. At least I have felt this way since i was 9,10 years old I think. I have had to go for counseling over the years, still no change of mind. Maybe that will change…maybe not. Nonetheless, I make it a point to mention that to the men with ‘potential’ to be my partner who come asking my hand in a relationship/marriage.
      Truth: none have stayed. Truth: some stayed to be sure it was not a phase…and left when they realized it wasn’t. Truth: It is tough sometimes. They say ‘oyibo’ books and films have ruined me. They say it is ‘not -Nigerian’, it is ‘un-christian’. SIGH!
      I say I will not be unfair to experiment with an innocent soul just because It is the right thing to do. Maybe someday I will adopt. Maybe I will have my own kids.
      One thing I know for sure is, I am a healthy, lively, achieving, warm, young,kindhearted Nigerian woman, and I do not want child(ren).

      Excellent job Atoke. Feel Better. XX

  4. Jo!

    June 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Atoke went DEEP today, this is not banter

  5. Inem

    June 16, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Oh wow! This question got me thinking. I have always admired kids and all. Even though most babies don’t like me…lol. I once came across a baby that didn’t follow any dark skinned person except her parents who are both dark skinned, when I tried to hold her, she screamed.
    Once, I told a friend, “oh, your kids are so adorable, I want mine soon”. She told me, “my dear, if that’s the reason you want kids, you better think again”.
    Honestly, I thought again…I love kids…I mean that smile I see on my parents’ faces when they tell people how proud they are of me. I want to feel that way someday. The whole up and down that comes with motherhood….those stories my mum tells me about my cheerful childhood, I want to tell my kids too.
    I am 22, and extremely busy building my life and relationships around me. At this point of my life, I am not ready to have kids…maybe that would change in 2 to 3 years from now. Each time I tell my mum, she freaks out. But I don’t really bother because I know what I want….she has to understand.
    So, I know that feeling, it’s not a bad one…

  6. khaleesi

    June 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Atoke! Atoke!! Atoke!!! how many times did i call u? no try this rough play again oh….ahan! kilode? since morning i have been checking Bellanaija for your write up…i am soo addicted to your posts…..your post is like cocaine to me on mondays, making me to work better….please stop uploading your posts late….biko

    back to ya post……i love kidssss…….i am obsessed with them. cant wait to have mine. for the sake of my kids i am ready to endure the pain known as sex….lol

    Ps: i love your post & i love you(no homo)

    the One and only Khaleesi of Onitsha!


      June 16, 2014 at 5:28 pm

      “I’m willing to endure the pain known as sex”. I wish you would expatiate on that.

      On wanting kids, I never really liked kids to be honest but now I’ve never been more sure about them as I am now. Like someone commented above, I want them more than I want to get married, TBH they’re probably the primary reason I want to get married. That said, children are not for everyone. Being a woman does not make you a mother by default, I’ve seen products of women who obviously should never have had kids and their stories are not pleasant at all.

    • khaleesi

      June 17, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      when i was sexually active, i was hooked on pain killers cos the act was soo painful for me. i have been told the pain is more psychological than physical considering that i was molested and raped at a tender age.

  7. inmyopinion

    June 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Personally, I don’t want children. Not because I don’t like them buh I just don’t think I’ll ever be psychologically ready to have and raise them. Unfortunately, I’m pregnant with my first child and the whole process is sickening and heartbreaking. I cry almost everyday. But then, it is against every moral ground to have an abortion…………even worse when you are married. For earth’s sake, what will be my excuse? Africans do not understand the principle of being ready before doing anything. I pray for God’s help and strength each day and I hope at the end of it all, i’ll be glad.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      June 16, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Darling, it sounds like a rough begining with your pregnancy. Feel like reaching out and just rubbing your back…

      If it helps, I honestly don’t think there’s really ever a time anyone feels ready and maybe my opinion is one-sided as I’ve gathered the same reaction everytime one of my girlfriends gets preggers. They often weren’t prepared and I’m including even the ones who thought they were ready to start a family. I know a few (being married, like you) also considered termination for that reason. However, they went on to have the babies and I can honestly tell you that in each individual case, this latte group of women were completely amazed at how in love they’ve become with those particular children. I don’t know if the foetus sensed mummy’s thoughts and decided to become the cutest darn kids their mum would ever see but it’s true and I’ve met the children. They are all truly special bundles of joy, their mums never stood a chance.

      As I said earlier, this opinion may be biased but I’m hoping and praying that your story turns out like this. I agree with you that Africans have a flawed approach to these things, believing that because you’re married, you should automatically be elated about pregnancy, no matter what the timing is. Don’t let them make you even more upset than you already seem to be, just try and focus on what lies ahead and may God give you the strength and every health benefit to see your 9-months through.

    • ebony

      June 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      ‘unfortunately”? really? hmmn! wait till u have that wee being in ur hands, am sure u will ve a change of heart…

    • Bobosteke & Lara Bian

      June 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      I understand what you mean; a child is not a trial and error kind of thing. Its not an “if it works fine if it don’t you pack it up and focus on something else”; it is a commitment of life for life.

      I understand that if there is no pull, no warmth, no love, and no want for this child now, while it lives within you, what would you feel for it when its out of your body; when it is a squalling child needing your every minute and attention and grows eventually grows into someone with an identity and personality separate from you.

      Sometimes an everyone eventually comes round to love their children might not suffice. Don’t crucify what you could feel for that child today between the dislikes of yesterday and the uncertainties of tomorrow. Take it each day at a time. Place a palm on your womb and consider the child…your child. Choose an aspect of the child to focus on each day. Do this quietly, do this solemnly and whisper a prayer every time you do.

      Strength for today and a bright hope for tomorrow.

    • Naveah

      June 16, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      My dear, if you were not ready to have kids, why did you allow yourself to get pregnant?

    • tunmi

      June 17, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      If you are not ready for this child…talk to someone about it and keep your options open…all of them, including abortion. This is a life and a human being and giving birth to that child when you know that you are not psychologically or mentally ready and you are really fearing it…talk to a psychologist/psychiatrist…talk to a health professional please

    • yes I said it

      June 18, 2014 at 9:26 am

      My mouth was left gapingly opened when u said unfortunately u are pregnant! Unfortunately??? Please by all means if u didn’t want to have kids that’s no problem but why did u get pregnant then…have u never heard of contraception?? Please don’t let me loose my mind. I have been looking to God for a child for how many years and the one that doesn’t want it gets pregnant straight away and says “unfortunately ” may thunder strike u

  8. sum1special

    June 16, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I wouldn’t say i am a massive kid lover especially badly behaved kids. Would definitely want kids of my own and would nurture them in the fear of God to grow up to be respectful, well behaved children. I love kids that are well behaved,i could spoil them.

  9. Sokariba

    June 16, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I hate it when people say you should be grateful your parents had you, it’s absurd, you never begged your parents to have you, they wanted (hopefully) you and had sex to have you so there should not be a sense of entitlement that they gave you life, instead honour them for sticking around to raise you this is not to say you shouldn’t love, care and obey your parents o. If you decide to bring a child into this world you owe that child big time to provide their needs and make sure there’s an enabling environment for them, if you can’t afford three kids how about sticking to one or two. Child do not ask to be born oooooo. I thank my mum everyday for taking care of me and putting my needs before her own but not for having me cos she’s the one who wanted me. Yes she could have had an abortion but guess what? I won’t have known.

    • Do not reply except you fully comprehend my post

      June 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      God bless you for this. That has always seemed like an absurd question to me …”How would you feel if your parents hadn’t given birth to you?”. Silly question.

    • TA

      June 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      A million likes!

    • Curious

      June 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      Who are you and where are you from? I ask because I freaking love you!!! How you just reached into the depths of my soul and pulled is just amazing. I say this EVERY DARN TIME! Nobody writes a letter to their parents requesting to be born. I mean if that was the case, many people would have chosen to be born in different households. So people need to stop with all that unnecessary guilt tripping, it doesn’t work here! And can people hear this and quit having kids they can’t afford….That is what I consider to be extremely selfish. It is such an atrocity to bring kids into this world only to have them languish in penury…So terrible.

      Again, thank you tons!

  10. Wake

    June 16, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Morning Atoke-hope you feel better, you might have had a bit too much fun over the weekend.

    Regarding your topic, we’ve addressed this topic a couple of times on BN. Personally, none of my closest friends (about five professional couples all at the height of their professions) and I have even considered breeding. It just never comes up. Yes, I have nieces and nephews I adore, but am not sure children are particularly necessary especially considering the direction the world is heading with limited resources, wars and the general global madness going on around. Having children is very serious business and like you alluded to, a very personal decision. Parents, not just Nigerian parents, tend to make one guilty for their own selfish reasons. It reminds me of the scene from Guess who is coming to dinner; when Poitier’s character told his father that “yes, you had to make all those sacrifices for me because you chose to bring me into this world but now, I have to make MY own decisions as I see fit for my situation”. We are all individuals with unique aspirations and ideals. The fact that our parents “made” us because of their own beliefs, interests, cultural pressures and personal intentions doesn’t necessarily make it automatic that their children have to produce grand children for them. And please don’t let people argue the religion angle that our purpose is to procreate as ordained by God. Yes, that is probably true in some instances. I have been told I will change my mind when the right partner comes along-who knows? Children are adorable though…

    • Miss Anonymous

      June 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      @ Wale. Although I don’t always agree with your views I like the way you write. You always get your points across clearly without being disrespectful.
      You sound like an interesting person.
      Are you single? 😉

  11. iyke

    June 16, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Tony, a 50 something yrs old man in one of the mainstream banks in Lagos, left his wife of 18 yrs for a woman who bore him a child. He met his wife when she was in her early 20s while he was in his mid 30s. She was more focused on career and wasn’t ready as at then, to have kids. Tony went on with the marriage believing they were both not ready,that in time,she would be ready to give him kids. Fast forward 12 yrs later, Tony was becoming increasingly frustrated that his wife wasn’t considering having babies, and decided to PLAY AWAY with an older woman. His wife found out, issues of infidelity were raised and as they were about to settle their differences, news came that the older woman was pregnant with his child. To cut the story short, Tony left his wife and married the other woman who bore him a son.
    The wife was devastated, left the country and at 45, has accomplished so much in her career, is dating now, chose not to remarry, but remained and childless.
    Emeka, a 42-year-old single man in one of the oil and gas companies, knows what people think of him. “They assume I’m a player because I haven’t married yet,” he explained over drinks with the lads and I ….He said, and I quote …..”But I’m not a player at all. I want to be married and I really want to be a father. I just haven’t met that woman yet. Becoming a father is really important to me. I’ve even considered having a child with a friend, but in the end, decided to wait for the right relationship and have kids with the woman I love.”
    In these two cases and considering the society we live in and their views about marriage and children, it is very important that you ARE EXACTLY SURE of what you want. Those who really don’t want to have kids, all I have to tell you is that people can only try but PLEASE never allow them to make YOU feel misguided or inadequate. Don’t be on the defensive about not wanting kids? It’s absolutely OK to be childless and happy. Just make sure you are honest to yourself and to your partner about your choices.
    And for those who want to have kids in a marriage relationship,wait and have kids with the one you love and have the nuts to do so even in the face of complete ignorance and certain backlash.
    Your honest decision no matter how selfish it may seem, has nothing to do with whether you are a good partner or not. We only get one shot at this.MAKE IT COUNT!!!

    • TA

      June 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Another million likes for this! Your opinions at the end greatly mirror mine 🙂

    • Peaches77

      June 17, 2014 at 2:35 pm

      Totally agree with you. However, we may be very certain about not wanting kids in our twenties or even thirties, problem is that by 40s and 50s, our priorities, desires and wants will most likely change. And this happens so frequently. Well on the other hand, I guess at that age, other means of having children may then be considered.
      It’s never really so clear cut. I guess being sooo definite isn’t the wisest.

  12. missme

    June 16, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I knew I didn’t want kids since I was ten and now I’m twenty four. I currently share a house with my brother and his wife and they welcomed a baby boy four months ago. I swear every time he wakes me at night with his cries…… *ireservemycomment*. He is one cute baby tho and I love to watch him smile but I’m not sure I’m cut out for the whole motherhood thingy.

    • Peace

      June 17, 2014 at 10:04 am

      Missme, how about moving out of their house? This personal beef you have for the baby may have a negative effect on his growth and development.

  13. Mz Socially Awkward...

    June 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    How I love me some li’l chilluns!! LOVE them to bits, what’s not to adore about how cute they are, and how they’re so openhearted, investigative, forgiving, trusting, funny, guileless and loving … and babies! Love babies!!!! They smell amazing and are so soft and gorgeous and interesting and such a pleasure to cuddle…. There’s a very good reason why Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

    Yes, they can definitely be a lot of work (insights gained from spending quality time with my 1.5yr old godson and his almost-3yr old brother… lawdy Lord! Their batteries just never go flat from dawn to dusk!!!) and I’m not under any misapprehension about how much you need to materially and emotionally invest to raise them but children make me very happy.

    For this reason, I’m okay with people who don’t want kids. My charity interests are mainly in the area of supporting orphaned and abandoned children so, to be honest, I’d rather people were honest with themselves and used birth control, instead of bringing these helpless beings into the world without any commitment towards raising them. My cousin’s hubby (a fantastic dad of 2 girls) always contends that procreation is one of the most selfish actions humans fulfil. And this probably explains why he’s not bothered by the curious bystanders who keep asking whether he won’t try for a “male child” because why else are would anyone who already had two healthy, lovely children still insist on “looking for a son”, if it’s not for the selfish purpose of seeing your name being upheld in history after you die? If you were looking for a child to love and raise, 2 girls are more than enough.

    However and even after saying that, Atoke, I think the desire for one’s own children to have and to hold can sometimes take one by surprise. I’ve never knowingly yearned for the pregnancy or labour room experience (I mean, I was the teenager who used to constantly bargain with God about how I could avoid the whole Aunt Flow business entirely IF ONLY He’d make a very rare exception in my case) but recently, after seeing photos of women my age with their teen daughters, I’ve started wanting a little girl. Like, really, really wanting to raise and mould a delightful cherub, as I watch her grow into a young lady. The ideal would be to marry a widower with kids since I’m not so hot on labour contractions, abi? Although, that could wrongly translate to waiting to reap where another woman sowed so I take it back, may death not prematurely snatch anyone’s wife or mother…
    So, yes to kids and maybe labour one single time and the rest will either be my growing cache of godchildren who come and spend weekends or they’ll be adopted chilluns :).

    • TA

      June 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      That’s me right there sister ! Yes to labour room only once(if they are twins or more,double blessings hehehehe) and no more…all things being equal.

    • D

      June 17, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Solution to the labour deal is Epidural. God’s greatest gift to womanhood and motherhood. God gave whoever created that deal some serious sense and brain and I thank God for them.

  14. Layo

    June 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Sigh thanks for that Atoke. … I have been refreshing bellanaija since morning, waiting for your banter.
    get well soon. Love ya

  15. madam Pee

    June 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    hmmm! this is one deep topic, I understand where you are coming from Atoke,reminds me of when I finally said to my mum that I cant deal with marriage and the issues ,so I am not looking forward to getting married,I still get called by pastors and my mum still thinks I need deliverance………
    Personally I want to have a child or 2 children, I wont say I am a lover of kids, but I have always wished to experience being pregnant and the process of taking care of my own kid/s maybe because I have nurtured my niece from birth till now, its interesting seeing her grow from one stage to another, its exciting, I think that’s the driving force for me.

    Right now I am pregnant and as weird as it sounds I was happy when my now ex-boyfriend said he wasn’t ready and wont be a part of it, life is finally playing as I want it, “MY CHILD,MY CAREER AND I”…………………then the partner to keep body and soul together……..any kpakam and I delete you 😀

    • thatgidigirl

      June 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm

      i loooove you madam Pee!!!! “any kpakam and I delete you” straight up!!

    • madam Pee

      June 18, 2014 at 11:14 am

      thanks dear,love you too

  16. @edDREAMZ

    June 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    The only reason i want kids is to have someone who will take gud care of me when i grow old and atoke i will follow yu on twitter just follow back sharperly…

    • Do not reply except you fully comprehend my post

      June 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm

      LOOL! I laugh in Igbo. As much as I like to believe everyone is entitled to whatever side of this argument they fall on, yours just made me laugh. What makes you think the children will take care of you when they grow old? What if they hate you oga? What if they kill you sef? (God forbid of course). I do think you were joking when you wrote this but I’ve actually met people who want to have kids for this sole purpose and it just amuses me.

  17. Tobore

    June 16, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Well personally I feel if you do not want to have kids becuase of a health related issue or financial constraints etc, That is fine. But I believe if you can have kids and you do not because you feel you are not capabel or psychologically ready…… then you are shying away from responsibilities

    • Do not reply except you fully comprehend my post

      June 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      I disagree. I think it means you are responsible enough to know what you can handle. HAVING CHILDREN AND NOT TAKING CARE OF THEM = SHYING AWAY FROM RESPONSIBILITIES. Choosing not to have children because you know or aren’t sure you can take care of them actually seems responsible to me.

  18. nikky

    June 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    I don’t want kids. I’ve never fantasized or dreamt of motherhood. That does not take away from the fact that I think baby’s are cute and adorable whenever this conversation comes up I get the same response of what if your parents bla bla bla. They made their decision and I’ve made mine.
    I have also noticed that women who choose not to have kids are judged more harshly than men.

    Plz don’t west our time waiting for your write up next week.

  19. Zayt

    June 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Awww Atoke! Hope you feel better now *hugs*
    Back to the topic, not soo sure about wanting ‘children’. Why not just one child?
    Anytime i bring this up mum and hubby freak out! But seriously though its my body why cant i make a decision about the number of kids i want to have? Especially with the experience of a not so rosy pregnancy.

  20. Naveah

    June 16, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I would rather that people be honest with themselves. It is NOT necessary for everyone to procreate. DO NOT have children if you are not maternal, not interested, do not like children, don’t have the right set up (i.e. emotional/physical support system, emotional readiness, you will never have enough money but at least a little bit etc) rather than bring them to this world simply to neglect their every need or dumping them on others to raise. Because the way you treat your children ends up affecting not just your life but the lives of others than they come in contact with until they leave this earth. Nigerians are sort of robotic about certain things prescribed career paths, marriage, building a house in the village, children and thinking outside of those boxes is considered sacrilegious. There are some people who would rather suffer through marriage than be single until they find someone deserving or just stay single and be happy and it is the same thing with children. Some people would have children when deep down inside they know they do not have the temperament for it but because people will talk, they have them and then abuse the children like slaves. Parenting is NOT for everyone.

  21. Olayemi

    June 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    This topic is on point. Some kids were not meant to be born! Yes, I said it. A lady once brought her son to the salon and the boy ended up beating other kids in the salon to everyone’s dismay. He was an absolute trouble maker. The mother didn’t appear bothered. And when she was done, she reluctantly stood up and said “Sorry o everybody, you know sons can be playful and difficult”. I pitied her very existence instantly. Please, do not have kids if you can’t bring them up properly ‘cos they will either kill you or a neighbor one day.

  22. Abi

    June 16, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I used to fantasize about having a big family, four kids and all but now that I’m expecting my first, I have soooooo changed my mind. I def wanna be a mum (like I have a choice now) lol but I’m sticking to 2 kids so help me God.

  23. tammy

    June 16, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    I want kids so bad i ache, don’t care if their dad is in the pic or not. I want them for me..

  24. Ada

    June 16, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Children are a great gift from the Lord! I love kids so much and I’ve loved them since I started tying my baby dolls to my back when I was three. Personally…I’d love to have at least four because I marvel at the miracle of ‘child birth’ and ‘children’ but in the age of over-priced school fees and diapers, maybe I’ll stop at three.

  25. TA

    June 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    @ Atoke darling so sorry about your headache and tummy. Hope you get better real soon.
    God bless you so much for this article. This is easily my favourite article you have ever written. You went there and you went deep …:-) We really need to live and let others,all the societal pressure in Naija can be quite tiresome. Pressure to marry,then after that comes pressure to have kids,then pressure to have a male or female child… The whole wahala starts at the wedding reception,people praying and blessing you with ‘countless children! Nigerians and their legendary presumptousness! Haa! Who told you the couple want kids or even about the number they want? You just wrongly assume they want. And a colleague in her ignorance once asked me,’If the person does not want kids so why then did the person get married? I just was too appalled at such crass ignorance!!! Imagine having a woman like that for a mother in law. My own advice is guys,please make sure you talk about what you want. If you feel like you are not wired to be a mother or father,don’t sweat it. You are not a bad person,at least you were honest enough to admit it. And if you know you are one of those persons who cannot wait to get married and have dozens of kids,then please by all means let your fiancee/fiance know where you stand. Talk honestly about what you both want/need. If there is no compromising,then wave each other goodbye. God nor go vex. So many people are not emotionally,physically,psychologically,spiritually ready to have kids, yet they go ahead because of societal pressure. I work with orphanages ,troubled/disadvantaged kids and its heartbreaking to see the damages caused by parental neglect of any kind. Its wicked to have kids you cannot care for,care is not about money o,or is it buying first class ticket to disneyland while you remain in Lagos attending to your business. Or how about the career woman who completely neglects her kids (nannies to the rescue)? Its not by force to have children. If your job/career/hobby/spouse is more important to you,then do not have a child just because people expect you to. It is not a contest nor does it make you less human if you decide not to have kids.

  26. Dee

    June 16, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I love kids but I’m not sure I want any biological ones. I just want to adopt and take care of some of the many children that were brought into this world by parents who supposedly wanted them only to dump them. Most people think I’m acting too ” Oyibo” by wanting to just adopt bug the truth is I have never had any desire to be pregnant. Even if I decide to have a biological child for my spouse plus the adopted ones I’ll use a surrogate. The beauty about today’s world is there are enough options for everyone to suit what works for them but once you bring children into this work for adopt them then you better be ready to be a parent in every sense of the word.

  27. maria

    June 16, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    i am Nigerian born raised and everything education kindergarten to college. moved to the USA at the age of 21 and i want kids but i don’t want the husband i don’t even want the boyfriend i just want kids and i have had this view since i was in Nigeria. Nigeria women are made to believe that if we don’t have a man or be married we are incomplete but i really do not think a man completes me i like the fact that no stress no worries and i wont be a maid for some guy. i work hard for myself and enjoy my fruit if i have to have a man to get children then bye to the two

  28. Lilly

    June 16, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    In Nigeria , we are not allowed to talk about our feelings concerning children. We are expected to grow up get married and have kids nine months after. Many people do this without even thinking and planning for the children. Yes! they are a gift from God still it makes sense to truly think about if one is ready to be responsible for another human being.
    First of all, they rule your life (which is not so much a bad thing), every single thing is about them and every stage has its challenges. Secondly, it is very capital intensive to have kids. I will be honest for the past few weeks I have been been contemplating this very question and I am not sure I want to have kids.
    I have been married for two years now, my mum keeps singing the child/children song saying God will provide which I am sure he will. I just know I am not ready and not sure if I ever will be. I can imagine all hell breaking loose if I tell her that. The lovely thing about this is that my husband and I agree on this issue and for that reason I am very content.
    If we decide to have kids in the future we will and will be prepared for responsibility that follows and not because everyone must get married and have children. It is liberating to be rid of the pressure of having kids.

  29. everything's rosie

    June 16, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    It is a very odd blogsite where a great number of members do not want kids, while another equally large group want kids sans husbands! A very sad development indeed.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      June 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      Whilst I do not encourage any woman to willingly opt for single motherhood, as I still subscribe wholeheartedly to the belief that children need to have both parental figures in their lives… Even having that belief system, I cannot deny and would urge you to not lie to yourself either about the fact of many women (VERY MANY of them) who go into marriages these days only do so because they’re ready to have kids. Not because they love the man they’re getting wed to, not because they want to build a future with him for their progeny. Women are now very calculating about getting tied on paper to what is effectively a sperm donor. And the men do the very same thing as well from the other side of the fence so you effectively have two single people using each other and married in name only.

      Now in that scenario, a child comes into a loveless marriage and things get even worse when the parents don’t bother to shield this young one from all the cracks and tension evident in their union. What do you think about all those thousands of loveless marriages where children are being created for selfish purposes? Is that a sad development as well? And in addition there’s the reality of commenters opting to remain single mums rather than being bound to men who appear to be a source of disappointment to them. Are you sad about that too? I am, to be honest with you, it says something worrying about the direction which relationships appear to be going in nowadays and it’s not how things should ordinarily be between men and women. That’s the real oddity to focus on (and pray about).

      As for those who don’t want kids at all, whether in or outside marriages… as I said before, I would rather people were upfront about it instead of pretending and bringing a child to suffer (physically or emotionally) in this world.

    • CarliforniaBawlar

      June 17, 2014 at 12:47 am

      As deep and odd as it may seem…Maybe more people around you truly feel that way? The comment section is a form of social media and an outlet where most folks can express themselves without losing anonymity and get judged. Maybe one of the comments is from that fine girl sitting across your cubicle at work…who knows where the buffalos roam? lols.

    • Ada Nnewi

      June 17, 2014 at 10:38 am

      How is it sad? What makes your choice to have a stadium full of children better than my decision to have one when the time comes naturally (or use a surrogate), and adopt 3 other kids? What makes your decisions better than someone who wants to be a single mum or doesn’t want to have kids? You are a very myopic and selfish individual for your statement as the reason behind your decisions to procreate mercilessly and latch yourself to a man are largely based on societal expectations and acceptance.. In a nutshell, your case is really the sad one.

    • nene

      June 17, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      my dear i agree with you. these comments…i’m just shaking my head but it’s better for those unborn kids. a lot of men and women have “issues” these days, so it’s better they don’t have kids. i find it abnormal for someone, a human being, not to want kids, even animals and plants have offsprings. me, i don’t really bother about having a boyfriend or husband, but i must have at least 1 child, either adopted or biological.

  30. SunshineInTheRain

    June 16, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    In my opinion, nobody should undertake this journey unless they’re ready for the consequences, mostly the emotional aspect and most especially the ladies. I’m 26yrs old and married. Was on birth control until God knows what happened and I got pregnant. I’m 4months gone now and the experience is horrible! In my 2nd month, I contemplated abortion and discussed this with my husband. He was quite hurt cos he’s in his mid thirties and says he wants a kid of his own already. I’ve even stopped using my medications with the hope that anything will happen! I love kids and all but i don’t think i’m ready for this experience. It has drained me emotionally and I’m now a shadow of my old self. Even my job is suffering cos most times I just can’t go to work. I’m doing all I can not to fall into depression mostly as it seems I’m one of those women who don’t have the experience easy! After this baby is born, I’m strongly considering adopting the rest of the kids cos I love kids and will love to take care of as many as I can.

    • slice

      June 17, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      i suggest you get back on any recommended medication b/c the kid will come but you may have a difft problem if he has a birth defect. not taking your medication will not necessarily induce an abortion

  31. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    June 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    I remember once when I was in school, I told my boyfriend at the time that my Genotype was AS. As he suspected his was AS as well, he understood the gravity of what I had told him. He was very quiet for a long time then he sighed and shrugged and said, “Well, we don’t have to have children. There is more to marriage than kids”, and in his usual way, it was a simple as that.

    I still remember him sitting there with his full curly ‘fro and those eyes in the cafeteria. To say that I was shocked is putting it mildly. I was downright flabbergasted I almost started to cry. I had said it to force him to get his medicals done and I instead received one of the most teaching lessons on life and love. You see, like most people, I had unconsciously equated marriage with having children. I mean, if you were going to start the race might as well take in the full measure of the nine yards, abi? I certainly supported not having children early in marriage but at some unidentifiable point in the future you should want to.

    Recently, a girl walked up to me and said, “Do you know you are my role model?” and instantly all the bad things I had done ( and currently doing) in my life flashed through my mind. As a closet perfectionist, I hold myself to the highest critism which may account for my “role model material check” I did on myself. However, I have learnt not to be led by my feelings. I always say, if I get married and if God decides to bless me with children… which gets my listener rankled. its not because I feel more/less motherly than the next person or more/less wife material than anyone, but because I know that in this life, there are such things to mark my passage here. These things do not define me, they only compliment who I am already.

  32. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    June 16, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    (Apologies, posted my comment unfinished.)
    Being a wife and a mother (yes mommy, in that order) would be nice, but it is not something anyone should be judged by.

  33. Mzreeny

    June 16, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    First off, lovely post. Nigerians are beginning to be open minded about issues. But in our open mindednesss let’s not forget that it takes two to make a baby- a man and woman. It therefore takes a man and a woman to raise a child. A father and mother. Lets not loose sight of that. Just to put things in perspective for those who want children but wil gladly discard the man. Children need both parents for a healthy formation stage. And if one or both parents. happen to be absent, a role model(s) to stand in the gap. It’s not easy to be a single parent.

    • nene

      June 17, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      gbam. broken homes and single parents are why the western society keeps deteriorating in every aspect. i read daily mail and some american blogs, so i know what’s going on and how people feel about societal issues, etc.

    • Ada Nnewi

      June 18, 2014 at 10:47 am

      FROM DAILY MAIL and SOME AMERICAN BLOGS you have analysed whole societies….hmmmmm! Nene! God gave us brains so we can filter information we gather through all our senses.. Use yours abeg….

    • madam Pee

      June 18, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      and I know loads of criminals,ill minded individuals who grew up having both parents,some from very Christian homes…… please hush

  34. abi

    June 16, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    i know this nice guy that’s an atheist. atoke mi, if you’d prefer someone who doesn’t believe in god. Perhaps you guys might work out 🙂

  35. naniar

    June 16, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    my help once told me she wanted to have 6 children so they could all pull resources to give her a grand burial when she grew old and died……..she left my house two weeks later!!

    • Nat

      June 17, 2014 at 10:24 pm


    • B-WEST

      June 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      u pursue am or e carry her 2 left leg waka go as e waka come? LOL.

  36. everything's rosie

    June 16, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    “I don’t want kids” “I want children but not my biological children” ” I want children but no husband or boyfriend”. Some people are here to identify with the subject matter as if it was some sort of trendy lifestyle. I’m sure, if Atoke comes up with a write-up ” It is okay to kill” these same people will be well represented!

    • Curious

      June 17, 2014 at 3:00 am

      The fact that people with differing opinions and views are well represented here is testament to the fact that WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT OH! It is also a welcome sign because it shows people are now becoming unafraid to be who they really are, which in my opinion is just marvelous. It might rub you the wrong way, but there is really nothing anybody can do about that. It is your problem, so go find help for it somewhere. You want kids, whoooopee!!! Now go on and have a billion of them, others do not want them, or want some variation that differs from your ideal; big effing deal! Do you is all I am saying oh! Do you! It’s folks like you who force folks to pretend to be what they are not so as to conform to some useless societal standard. Always trying to vilify people for daring to be different. Abeg park well jor! Annoying somebody!

    • chop knuckle

      June 17, 2014 at 10:33 am

      You dey mind them?
      I have realized majority of them are within the age bracket of 22-25. Most don’t even have a boyfriend yet not to talk of a husband. Na chic chic tins still they do them and prolly living with parents, uncle, brother, sister….they never see life.

      Some don’t even have a mind of their own, they go with anything. Since i realized that, i no dey too comment here join issue with all dis small small daddy’s girls. Na formation years dem still dey and it is allowed to day dream and be in disney land.

      Let them come back in 5-10 years time to still talk all this thrash dem dey yarn. What do you expect of a child before? to think of babies? naa, hin brain never develop reach that level.

      Till then, as i get free time from work, i go dey surf, read, broaden my knowledge and smile at this little little babies.

    • Ada Nnewi

      June 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

      It’s a pity that a supposed “mature” mind like yours sounds this incoherent, bitter and largely full of spite for people that are secure in themselves and are not afraid to choose a path for themselves that you would probably have chosen but you were to scared to walk alone….i’m sending a big E-hug your way to smooth away all the stress that faces you while you worry about a man that probably no longer sends you and you struggle to raise kids as a single married woman….*Big Hug*

    • chopknuckle

      June 17, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Ada Nnewi, go and hang if the truth hurts!

    • nene

      June 17, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      agree with you

    • Ada Nnewi

      June 17, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      You sound like the hurt one my darling “chop knuckle” aka “agadi nwanyi”…Like i said before Ndoo!

    • nene

      June 17, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      i agree with you rosie, not ada nnewi.

  37. Wale

    June 16, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Thank you. I give credit to my Nigerian teachers from back in the day. I am not married but searching, bit of a challenge finding the right person where I live and not sure how to please potentials back home. I am easy going and private. Efezee and being ostentatious doesn’t appeal to me- like we know, this is very typical of Nigerians.

    • Miss Anonymous

      June 17, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Wale,
      “Efizzy” doesn’t appeal to me either:-)
      You can reach me on [email protected] maybe then we could compare notes on how much of a challenge it has been finding the right person.

    • miss M

      June 17, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Oya Oya…make it happen! I met my man exactly this way on BN comment section and we’ve been going strong.Enjoy…

  38. Wale

    June 16, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    BN-sorry this response was meant for Ms. Anonymous under my original response above. Thx

  39. Johnspeaksnotdumb

    June 17, 2014 at 6:51 am

    It all depends on the individual and also the culture of the land. as for me, I want kids but just 1 is okay for me

  40. ego

    June 17, 2014 at 10:05 am

    I’m a mother and I don’t like children. I avoid them as much as possible. My hubby is the opposite he loves kids. So one might have kids, nephews and and nieces (like i do) and still not like children at all. I love my son and nieces and nephews just that i am not into children at all. I know it sounds like a contradiction but that’s just how it is.

    • B-WEST

      June 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      chaii!! chaiii!! diarrisGodoooo!!! diarrisGodoooo! momma wey no like shudren ?i’m flabberwhelmed & overgasted! oya come let me lay hand, if ossible lay leg, no!!lay belle on u so a paradigm shift can occur!

    • Ada Nnewi

      June 19, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Your comment is ignorant!

  41. Dee

    June 17, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    My dear Chop Knuckle, you sound really ignorant and bitter. I don’t think you should even b allowed to breed, by the way I’m in my mid-thirties .

  42. nene

    June 17, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    i’m just shaking my head. i find it abnormal for someone, a human being, not to want kids, even animals and plants have offsprings. me, i don’t really bother about having a boyfriend or husband, but i must have at least 1 child, either adopted or biological.

  43. D

    June 17, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    First of all, we thank God for birth control and free will!!!! I think it is okay not to want kids if one is truly honest about the reasons why they do not want kids. For me, I’ll say I do want kids. Where I probably would have an issue is with how many…not more than 2. Who has more than three these days any way? Ok back to the issue at hand. I recently watched the movie “Belle” and I got really into the story, especially when I found out it was a true story so after the movie I ‘wikipediaed’ “Dido Elizabeth Belle” and tried to trace her family tree, found out that her great great grandson died in South Africa but as he had no children the lineage stopped there. I was overwhelmed with a deep sense of sadness as I was expecting to read about her current descendants. So yes I do want kids!

  44. patsy

    June 18, 2014 at 6:18 am

    God knows I love babies to death but after seeing my girlfriend give birth to her second child,it was terrible….had a change of mine buh now in my late twenties,having a change of mind,wanting to get married fast and having my own babies as soon as possible……

  45. Que

    June 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    #TeamIWantKids #Motherofmanynations #childrenkeepyouforeveryoung #lovethecircleoflife #nuffsaid. I dont mind people not wanting kids, its d longing for creating single parent homes that worries me…….it is easy to decide on this cos it works for u, how about deciding what works best for dis child u so desperately want….. one parent can never play both roles perfectly….. I know all sorts of exceptions exist, but do u want to gamble the result of ur child’s upbringing based on d likelihood that they too will be an exception? I know pple who didnt plan on being single parents, it happened anyways, and the challenges they face aren’t what I’ll use my clear eye to long for… systems are great, and creating n upholding families are one sure way of creating lasting support systems…..I’ll always be for that. Having children isnt for convenience, so think very well!
    Said more than I intended…. morning everyone.

  46. hn

    June 19, 2014 at 9:48 am

    after having a daughter and a failed marriage, i dont think i want any more kids, and that is what i tell every potential that comes me, but they just think am weird or living in the past pains of my life. i dont mind getting re-married but i dont want another kid!! One is sufficient abeg

  47. Moyo

    June 19, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    Society puts a lot of pressure on us to have children. I have an aunt who got married because she got pregnant (she was 27 at the time). The father of her child had been her boyfriend for 7 years before they got married. After 6 months of being married, they separated and now my aunt is a single mother raising her child alone.

    I was on the phone some weeks back and she told me that people have been saying that her son (now 3) should have a younger sibling by now. She was very considering marrying a colleague’s brother who already has a wife. I asked her if she was ready to have another child and her response kept resonating around the fact that people will talk if she does not remarry and the fact that her son is yet to have a younger sibling.

    Our culture is very nosey and no one has limits to what they say to you. Most people subscribe to doing things to please others so they won’t talk about them at the detriment of their own happiness.

  48. Flames

    July 3, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I luv children, I absolutely adore dem n I wnt like 4 or 5 of dem bt dis is my problem- dese are end tyms, d world is abt 2 end n I have watched d movie,2012 n I have read Revelations in d bible n I absolutely do not wnt 2 put any baby of mine 2ru dat torture n suffering. It would kill me if any of my babies suffer dat

  49. Deebabe

    August 28, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Love and Adore Kids, Taken care of and lived with a few growing up and also seen the death of one of this kids (that are sooo dear to me) at age 5. Still can’t wait to have mine.

    Everyone is entitled to what they want and don’t want, in my opinion. That shouldn’t bring criticism from anyone.

  50. dione ee

    August 28, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    love this discussion. I love kids. my nieces illict some sort of warm and protective feeling in me that i have never felt for anyone in this world. Love them with every fibre of my being and i would lay down my life for them. but when i think of having MY own kids.. i cant come up with those feelings. i never feel comfortable with the decision. i only feel comfortable if i think of NOT having kids. I have let my boyfriend know i do not want kids, he thinks i will change my mind (i think this is a bit unfair, why doesn’t he change his own mind). maybe i will, maybe i wont; don’t know the future. at this point, at 29, it is what it is

  51. tobiloba

    August 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    @Wake u should reply @miss anonymous.

  52. tobiloba

    August 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I usually just read Atoke’s monday morning/afternoon banter without bothering to read through the comments, or even write one. I am glad I read through today. It’s good to know that different people have differing opinons. This makes life interesting.
    And Atoke is right (in my opinion), not everyone ‘should want to have kids’. Its okay if you don’t want to. I would love to have kids when I am ready to cater for them. I don’t think it (having/not having kids) is a determinant of the kind of person one is.

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