The birth rate in Germany is falling. This is nothing new, but what is remarkable is how quickly things have happened in recent years, writes the Federal Institute for Population Research. The pandemic, the war in Ukraine and of course the climate crisis – all of this has unsettled people in Germany. That’s not really surprising either. Reports abound about young people who are concerned about the state of our planet and no longer want to have children out of concern. It’s just that most of it sounds more like an excuse to me than a real reason.

There are plenty of other reasons not to have children.

Women should manage their careers and care work at the same time – not everyone wants to do that because it means stress, less time and a lot of work. Deciding not to have children because a woman would rather devote herself to work is by no means reprehensible. I too am afraid of not being able to balance children and work. Still, I would like to try it sometime. Whether you ultimately decide to have children or a career depends on your partner and your personality.

But society’s perspective on relationships and family has also changed. Relationships are becoming looser, online dating platforms are the new playground, especially for those who are not looking for something solid but rather erotic adventures. Open relationships are becoming fashionable, not only among people under 30, but also beyond.

Children are less likely to fit into such models because they demand reliability and responsibility. They cost time, money and nerves that you can save for yourself. Only those who regularly go on vacation and justify their childlessness with their love for our planet cannot be taken seriously.

In the end, having children is and remains an adult and, above all, a conscious decision. You have to learn to be a mother or father, what it really is like in the end, you will see it as a mom and / or dad.

Using wars and climate change as counterarguments is silly. Admittedly, in a situation like the Gaza Strip or Ukraine, I would think twice. Fortunately, we are currently far away from such a situation here in Germany (as well as in most of Europe). And the issue of overpopulation is also rather childish as an argument against having children.

Children don’t have to make the world worse. On the contrary, they can ensure that many things become better. For this to happen, young people don’t necessarily have to become driving climate activists or Nobel Peace Prize winners.

When raising children, parents take on responsibility for themselves and their offspring, but also a little bit for the rest of the world. In the end, it is up to each individual whether they want to take on this responsibility.