While visiting family in Nigeria, I’ve been told at least thirty times to think about having children soon, and asked at least 20 times to consider getting married. I’ve been asked maybe once if I’m seeing anyone or if I’ve fallen in love or whatever (I have!) because I guess it’s not so important WHO I get married to and have children with.
I still have lots and lots to learn about how to raise kids. I would say it has taken me 25 years just to learn how to barely take care of myself, let alone to take on the responsibility of a child who needs me completely for her/his education, her/his sense of values, her/his health.
I believe it takes an adult to raise an adult. I think if you’re still a child, you’ll have a lot of trouble being a parent simultaneously… And because I have traveled and run around trying to discover things, I have MET many amazing parents, really inspirational people who laugh and play and seem to appreciate every second with their kids, and I am sure even they would say that it takes very much strength and patience; strength and patience which take a long time to grow in yourself.
I don’t have kids, because I’m still learning, growing, and watching the way kids grow, in order to figure out how to raise awesome kids. I’m not in a rush to have kids who I do not know how to raise. I also know that there are already lots of kids out there who don’t have anyone to take care of them, and I think maybe it would be a better thing to adopt kids, instead of forcing upon the world a little rascal copy of myself.
When I think about what it must be like to be a kid with nobody there to love you, I think I could definitely do a lot more good by adopting. I got very sad and the screen got blurry and I couldn’t write at all for some time, when I was thinking about being a lonely kid in a little empty world. If you have a chance to help a kid from going through that, I think that’s one of the best things you can ever do.
If instead of encouraging each other to have children, Nigerians encouraged each other to take time, learn about the world, and learn about themselves, Nigeria would be very, very different. Nobody has the time or the money to travel with three or four kids.
If instead of pressuring each other to go to church (I’ve never seen more billboards for jesus anywhere in my life), Nigerians encouraged each other to go to school, I think Nigeria could be also be saved from an epidemic of rough times, of not having enough food and space for everyone. Nigeria has the most rapid rate of deforestation on the planet because of population growth, for example.
Here, few people learn math and science, and everyone laments the economy, laments that there is nobody in the markets to buy what Nigerians are selling.
Few have a chance to study other cultures, to learn the value of transparency and honesty in government, and everyone wonders why the country is so corrupt.
Few have the time to develop a strong personal relationship with one child, many are busy having more children, and they wonder why the kids do not learn to trust, do not grow up the way they wish.
One thing I’ve finally learned by getting older is that things get done when they get done. I’m not in a rush. I wish people didn’t feel pressured to have kids so soon. There are other important things in life, too, and I hope more people have a chance to experience those things.
Originally published at dazedandconfused.club on July 18, 2017.