Think Child-Free Millennials Will Regret Their Life Choices? Open Your Eyes

Reminder: having children is a personal – not a community – decision.
Igor Ustynskyy via Getty Images

A viral Twitter thread lashing out at millennials who do not have children has – quite rightly – sparked a furious backlash online.

It all began with an account belonging to someone called Shane Morris, who claimed millennials who are “very cavalier” about not having kids will soon “realise life is only half over” in their 40s.

They asked: “What do you do at that point? Keep trying to be sexy and have fun?

“Without the natural connections and belonging that literally emerge from marriage and fertility, the latter years become very cold and lonely. Those ‘Friendsgivings’ will get old, quickly.”

Somehow, the Twitter thread gained more than 29,000 likes (yes, really). But common sense prevailed as people started pointing out the pretty obvious points it missed out about parenthood.

As others noted, not only are some people unable to have children in the first place, the pressing issues around the world right now – from the cost of living crisis, unaffordable housing and sky-high childcare costs, oh, and the climate emergency – mean raising a child has (unsurprisingly) fallen down the list of priorities for some.

It’s also very expensive to have children. In the UK, the cost of raising a child until they’re 18 – including housing, childcare costs as well their basic needs – averages out to around £185,413. That’s pretty steep.

Not to mention the huge population the world already has, with 7.753 billion people already inhabiting it as of 2020.

We’re all for having kids if that’s your jam. But the idea that the only way to find happiness is by having kids isn’t fair on anyone – especially your hypothetical offspring. Young people are under enough pressure today, without the implication that they exist purely to serve their parents’ wellbeing, rather than live their own lives.

Using tiny humans to fill your life until they can fend for themselves is also not exactly a perfect strategy to avoid loneliness, as seen among all parents who suffer from empty nest syndrome.

The original tweet also takes a pop at Friendsgiving, an alternative celebration the day before Thanksgiving, where people honour their friendships.

But, frankly, having a group of people round who all like one another to enjoy a meal is probably more of a guaranteed win than most family get-togethers.

Assuming that your children will even like you back is also bit of an ask, according to some tweets.

Not to mention, having a child can force some women to put their happiness on hold. Becoming a mother usually triggers a series of intense life changes for the person who gave birth, from complete alterations to your body, pivotal changes within your career, or just deprioritising your personal life to care for others.

We’re not saying motherhood is bad, but let’s not pretend it’s all roses, either.

Being able to use contraception has enabled women to put their lives first, and women should be able to enjoy that, rather than face further pressure to reproduce.

It’s no wonder that according to research from, one in five women, aged 40-44 in the UK do not have children. The UK also comes third in the world in this study for having the most couples choosing not to have children.

Plenty of others simply choose not to have children, for whatever reason – and, at the end of the day, it is a personal choice, not one that is up for discussion.

Finally, there’s the claim that people in their 40s can no longer “keep trying to be sexy and have fun”.

We’d love to know what the likes of Winona Ryder, Leonardo Di’Caprio, Oprah Winfrey, Renee Zellweger, Keanu Reeves,and Helen Mirren (all over 40, all without kids) would say about that.

And you know what, some people just don’t want to follow the traditions laid out for us by previous generations. And that’s fine, too!

So, in conclusion: if it’s your body, you can decide what to do with it.

And for the tens of thousands of people who liked this thread, we hope we’ve opened your eyes, just a little.