Having a Baby in Germany: To Breed or Not to Breed, That Is the Question

German soccer human baby embryo in the womb
“Awww, it’s so adorable! Just like a rotten pear smeared in ass.” — (Image Credit: “9-Week Human Embryo from Ectopic Pregnancy” [Modified from original, ball and logo added] by Ed Uthman [https://www.flickr.com/photos/euthman/] Subject to CC 2.0 License.)
If you have ever pressured someone to have kids or even encouraged procreation at all, (like, because you had kids, for example), I want you to pick up your phone right now, call the dirtiest, smelliest, tree-hugging hippy you have ever known, and ask if they can get you some hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Buy as much as you can. A solid pound, ideally. Then, I want you to cram that shit down your throat by whatever means necessary and just sit there for an hour or two until it kicks in. Once it does, I want you to throw up so violently it hurts your lower back, and then proceed to experience the absolute worst, most horrific trip of your life — hour after hour of mental torture, like a waking nightmare of introspection, paranoia and psychedelic rape in the twisted claws of your every inner demon — and worry the entire time you’ll be stuck like this the rest of your life. (You won’t, I promise.)

After you’ve come back down to reality, cleaned the vomit off the floor and changed into a fresh pair of undies, I want you to reflect upon just how badly that trip sucked; how you will never try mushrooms again, even if someone paid you. Think about how astounding it is some people actually enjoy tripping balls on mushrooms. (I know I do! Mushrooms rule.) And finally, I want you to think back to that one time you pressured or even lightly encouraged someone to have children, and read the following two points very carefully:

  1. Fuck you.
  2. Just like taking psychedelic drugs, having children is not for everyone.

Okay! So as you’ve probably realized by now, my German wife and I are right at that age when the pressure to have children is hitting its zenith. Virtually all of our friends — in the States and in Germany — have at least one child, if not two. The rest are either trying pornographically hard to make one, utilizing the latest fertility science to make one, going through hell to adopt one, or literally can’t make one because they’re gay. (Personally, I prefer the gays.)

But it’s not that I’m against the idea of having kids — if they make you happy, sweet! — I’m against the unsubstantiated pressure to have them. If my wife and I ever decide to try and make some disgusting little half-German, half-American sperm troll, it won’t be because all our friends did it, or because my wife’s biological clock was ticking itself to pieces, or because the entire world seems to operate on the existence of children; it will be because we genuinely want to grow our family and expand the amount of love in our lives. (And because we’ve become a couple of narcissistic assholes who want to xerox ourselves in the form of a little pink monkey who will someday hear — and understand the full gravity — of the terrifying, inescapable, ever louder footsteps of death’s relentless pursuit.)

Given the choice, we’d probably summon our little cervix demon in Germany, rather than the United States. I don’t understand how anyone other than rich people can afford to have kids in the States. With healthcare, insurance, education and the basic necessities like food and clothing, the math just doesn’t add up! (Well, not my math, anyway.)

Okay, so say we drop the goblin here in Germany. Some of the information we’d probably want to gather in advance would be:

And then, uh, yay, I guess; we’d have a kid — just like everyone else on earth. But for now and the foreseeable future, we don’t. Instead, we have money and pressure. So naturally, my wife and I talk about having kids all the time. (Well, my wife brings it up a lot. I don’t really give a shit.) But we do discuss it: the pros, the cons, the fundamental insanity of human procreation… you know, that sort of thing.

So the other day, as we were eating breakfast together, we talked about the (apparently) hotly debated topic of having just one child vs. two, and how incredibly expensive having just one might be. That’s when my wife put her bowl in the sink, ran the faucet and exclaimed:

“Imagine sharing all our money with this thing who eats the hair off your head!”* **

*My response: “Jesus that’s gross.”
**From the German expression, “Jemandem die Haare vom Kopf fressen,” which in this case more directly translates to, “Er frisst mir die Haare vom Kopf,” and is similar in meaning to the English expression, “to be eaten out of house and home,” only waaaaaaay the hell more disgusting.

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day!

— OGM

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19 thoughts

  1. Come on…it’ll be fun they said…no no it WON’T. I had 2 who are now 30 and 24 (they still drive me crazy). I prefer my cats and hamsters.

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  2. Well I dropped two – or to be more precise – my wife did that for me, and I don’t for a second regret it. Best things on earth until the teenage years when the clicky mobile era starts. My advice – roger her senseless now like there will be no tomorrow – because after kids – there won’t be! Also, enjoy these days as you will refer to them as BC – Before Children!

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  3. As a human being who has less than zero interest in reproducing, I’m dreading the questions, “encouragement” and general pressure that is sure to come. My husband has already experienced some queries and hints from coworkers about when he’s going to put a baby in me, but luckily I’ve (mostly) been spared that sort of nonsense up until now. Once my student days are over and I’m out in the “real” world, though, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. I just don’t understand why people think it’s their business, or why they are so concerned that someone wouldn’t want kids. So what if I regret not having them? (which won’t happen, btw.) That’s my business, not anyone else’s.

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  4. Best thing I ever did (I think) was having and raising my two children, who are now adults. They are flawed and fabulous. And I’ve made it very clear to both of them that if they never have children, they won’t hear a word from me. If they’d ask my advice, I’d tell them not to do it (have kids, that is – “doing it” is fine).

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  5. Well If you two do decide to have a snot maker, please for the love of God make sure that he or she has your obnoxious perverted sarcastic sense of humor, and only your wife’s beautiful looks. Just please 🀣

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  6. Yeah, I am all pro-choice! My least favourite comment was the “Oh, so now that you have your degree, will you start making babies?” “Uh, no! I sure did not get a baby-making degree, thank you very much!” Mind you, I eventually ended up popping two of these nutters out and they drive me bonkers, when they don’t make me swoon that is. But that was my husband’s and my choice, not our friends’, co-workers’ or respective mothers’-in-law. Good for you for standing strong!

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  7. I gave birth to three German-American kids who have certificates of birth abroad from the US Embassy, two passports apiece for life, and mostly delightful dispositions. My husband and I could never have afforded a family this size in the US–and under the current president, we would probably not have enjoyed raising our kids. So my experiences are pleasant indeed, and German health care is just fab.

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      1. Happy to provide culturally specific details (F’rinstance: nobody’s heard of ice chips for the Mom here in Deutschland. You get thermoses filled with fennel tea).

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