I’m 27 and want kids – but my millennial friends don’t understand why


I go quiet with longing when I see babies, and get a lump in my throat when those babies have pigtails (Picture: Emmie Harrison-West)

‘Well, I heard that someone is broody!’ a friend recently announced in the pub.

Tentatively, I put my hand up in admittance and was met with slack-mouthed stares, shocked gasps and an eventual eruption of laughter.

I’m 27, I’ve been a wife for 14 months and I’m broody as hell. But the problem is, none of my friends are – not even my husband.

In the pub, the yearning butterflies in my ovaries become the hot topic of conversation. My friends insist (with nothing but the best intentions) that I haven’t lived my life yet, by saying: ‘Your twenties are supposed to be your best years!’

Not a single one of them can relate to my urge for children.

My situation isn’t ideal to have a child to begin with; I’m on a poor writer’s salary, in a pokey two-bed flat in East London. I’m clinging on to the career ladder for dear life – narrowly avoiding annual redundancies with pay rises and promotions nowhere in sight – my parents 300 miles away and a rather trusty contraception lodged in my cervix. 

Still, there’s a feeling in me that I haven’t experienced before.

I go quiet with longing when I see babies, and get a lump in my throat when those babies have pigtails. I cry to my husband when I see children in dungarees being pushed on the swings by their dad.

I can’t help it, but it feels like my body is changing – without my permission, or any forewarning.

‘But what about partying? Or your career?’ my friends (and husband) add, trying to excite me with the raves, all-nighters, brewery crawls and festivals of the future.

One person even reminded me that my husband and I finally have Glastonbury tickets for next year – as if this is more admirable than my plans for a baby.

The comment unnerved me. It’s like I’m torn between my mother begging me to birth her a grandchild and my social circle telling me I need to tick of a list of 20-something life goals before wanting kids.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely know that my husband, Jethro, and I will have children one day – I’ve never met a man more caring and more suited to being a father than him.

Instead, I’ve been advised to put my baby plans on hold as my husband and I finally got Glastonbury tickets (Picture: Emmie Harrison-West)

We talked about it mere months into our relationship, so it will happen, but he has (kindly) said that he’s not ‘finished’ with things yet, of being a young person who isn’t identified solely by his child.

And that’s okay; we’re at different stages in our lives right now and we’ll eventually join up together on the same path. I would never push him on it.

I don’t blame the disbelief of my family and friends – far from it. Since leaving school, millennials and young adults have the ideal drilled into them that in order to become a parent, they have to achieve something first.

Get a good degree. Get a good job. Get a good partner. Get married. Get a house. Get a baby. 

To me and my generation, that’s the natural progression of life, and to stray from that path by wanting a child while in my twenties would make me a ‘bad millennial’, and perhaps even a ‘bad woman’. 

I’ve been a wife for only 14 months and I’m broody as hell (Picture: Emmie Harrison-West)

It doesn’t help that I’ve spent my whole life trying not to get pregnant with scores of contraception, leaving all types of scars – both physically and mentally, from the mind-numbing three-month long periods on the pill, to the centimetre-long scars on my left arm from a scalpel removing a piece of plastic that gave me horrendous mood-swings. 

I’m so scared that I’ll miss my chance to have a baby or choose the wrong time for children.

I want a product of mine and my husband’s love as I feel like I have nothing else to give. I’ve got the job, the flat, and the good guy. It’s the next step, right? 

But I’m terrified that, if I fell pregnant now, I wouldn’t be able to afford to give my baby the life my parents gave me.

And I also ask myself: is it worth the risk of foregoing my future achievements?

Younger generations in the UK, especially women, have to work harder for less (be it money, stability or progression) and we’re in debt because of it.

Despite being better educated than every generation before us, we’re paid on average 20% less.

To be the only broody person among my friends is confusing. It feels like I’m wrong and out of place.

I’m caught between living like a career-driven, freedom-loving feminist and settling on a conventional ‘womanly’ path determined by my ever-changing body.

So until the right moment arrives, I’ll be sneaking to the baby aisle during my weekly shop to whimper over baby booties for tiny little feet.

Do you have a story you’d like to share?

Get in touch by emailing jess.austin@metro.co.uk.

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