The meanness of “I want a baby”

The meanness of “I want a baby”

By Gabriel Dinda

I see a number of my friends dating and once in a while, I hear some statements that make me think twice. Recently, I heard a gentleman tell his girlfriend, “I want a baby”. I was a bit surprised that the girlfriend only giggled, probably communicating that it wasn’t a bad idea after all.  I couldn’t help but think more of this sad state of affair.  Not long ago, I heard of a story where a lady was narrating how together with her boyfriend, they decided to “have a baby”. Soon after, the boyfriend started behaving weirdly and before long, they broke up. The lady has now remained a bitter person, talking ill of all men as trash. The baby’s future now remains in limbo, since he finds himself trapped between complex emotions from those who should love him. It is on this basis that I feel compelled to write what I think I must; the truth as I see it from my eyes.

  1. Follow the due process

When you are dating, there is always an illusion that nothing bad will happen. Many people don’t think that there is any possibility other than living together with the person they love. With this trust, they decide to do, what should ideally not be done; move in(always secretly), and start living like husband and wife. Sooner or later, this relationship results in a baby under unclear circumstances. My proposition is simple; follow the due process. If you love someone so much, and you feel you have a future together, introduce the person to your family, do all that you are required to do according to your culture and marry procedurally. Once that is done, live like a married couple, do all that is due to you. Coming up with “modern” forms of “wanting a baby” without any due process is in my view a bit mean. Following the due process may not guarantee success of anything 100%, but life has no such guarantees. It helps us reduce some issues we can avoid. Some of these problems that we are now faced with, can easily be solved by just doing the right thing. Do it and stop this nonsense of “I want a baby” and skipping the process.

  1. There was a reason why wedding is preferred

I have seen many people marry “secretly” for different reasons. This is where you fall in love with a person and sooner or later slide to their house and boom! You are married. No one in your family knows about your spouse. No one is involved whatsoever. Sooner or later, in some cases, the problems start and even your closest family members can’t help. No one understands the history of your “relationship”, no one understands your spouse. No one understands anything. Yet, your problem affects those around you. My suggestion is simple; once you love someone and you think the two of you can commit to each other for life, why not do a wedding (or whatever your culture dictates) and make it public and commit. This increases our social accountability. We are weaker than we think, especially when it comes to matters emotions. We all need society to shape us, because it provided us with the place to grow in the first place. There is a reason why before a constitution is adopted by any country, a promulgation (public pronouncement) is done. We need a bit of this, in whichever form our reason allows

  1. It is all about commitment

I have seen many people succeed in very unique businesses. You could find someone starting something so “little,” but with commitment and working on it daily, they soon succeed. I think the same applies to relationships and marriages. Many people expect perfect partners, almost flawless. They forget that for something to be flawless, they must have been worked on by someone. We are all afraid to work on ourselves and those close to us to “get them to levels we wish for”. We always, only want “ready-made”. It appears to me that commitment wins it all. If one is truly committed to their relationship (better if both are), they form a formidable force that can almost penetrate through anything. This is what life is asking of us. Many people are not ready to provide it, but many people succeed in providing it. This is an invitation to commit, in all you do, but especially in relationships.


May we always remember that the children deserve to be raised in a stable family environment, where they can learn all they need to face the world. May we always remember that more than us, we belong to a part of a larger society and we are definitely way weaker than we think.


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26 thoughts on “The meanness of “I want a baby””

  1. A factual and surgical write up on the fallacy of Nizalie. And the falsehood that passion for a child is a sign of love.
    Awesome read.

    1. Amos kariuki Njoroge

      Wow great message to youths,nizalie is like slogan to many boy but in mind they knew can’t able to handle the baby.
      I totally agree with you that they should do it procedural and avoid something which are not necessarily to us.
      To the youth having a girl and ‘kuzaa ‘ is not an achievement anymore but down fall to them for the wasted energy ……..

  2. Well said, especially by a man, since the lady is left “holding the baby ” most times when things go wrong. I agree that getting married and getting babies is a lifetime commitment that needs careful thought and accountability. Also I hear the expression “to get a baby for someone “from Nigerian movies.My vernacular does not have that.I wonder is this a cultural view or a modern romanticization of having babies.

  3. This an incisive piece Gabriel, and I like the approach of making easier and workable for variable cultures and preferences by individuals.

    ✅ a child needs a good parental environment
    ✅ it is not about “I” but “We” want a baby coz we are ready to be parents
    ✅ Marriage is not a secret institution and it needs societal support from family.

    Good thoughts.

  4. This should reach all young people with plans of building a family. Having a baby is a lifetime commitment and requires focus. I know exactly how it feels…

    1. And how many parents know that like arrows in the quiver of a hunter they bear the responsibility of shooting their children to each their appointed destiny?

  5. Excellent piece, i hope many young people in relationships have read it, before being asked to have a baby, parties involved should know the nature of their relationship, and see whether their is commitment, respect and understanding between them, and whether they are ready emotionally and financially to raise a baby of course when married as it is binding, to provide the baby with all the needs as it is a lifetime investment. So ladies, be careful don’t rush to having babies when your relationship is not well defined, ama mtalia kwa choo.

  6. Philosopher Gabriel, you have hit the nail on the head. Choices have always consequences. Any plans to have a baby out of a properly constituted and recognised marriage will always lead to bitterness and regret. Very sound advice especially to the young adults! How I wish they take this golden advice seriously!

  7. Nice article…I have always detested this nonsense of folks programming their minds to just “have a baby”. Reality indicates that couples fond of making such statements are in ‘situationships.’ Now, what next after “having a baby”? Marriage is a social enterprise that should be about companionship and collective growth. I think people lack the discipline of thought by considering short-cuts that aren’t a firm foundation for a stable family.

  8. Surprisingly women too want babies from men especially the well to do who think marriage is not their thing. A friend confided in me recently that she was just waiting for this man to impregnate her then she dumps him. All she wants from him is a child. So sad that children are no longer the blessing from above for the married couple.

  9. This is great, Gabi. Thanks for sharing it. I know as you mentioned, there are different ways depending on which community to legalize marriage, a relationship. I’ve written a full book on the topic, printed last month in large quantities by Across, a nonprofit organization in Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan.

    I have enjoyed the reading. Keep sharing.
    There are also some reasons why people don’t wed in church, but it doesn’t matter where the wedding or public confirmation takes place as you alluded to.

    Keep writing. Keep sharing. Shalom ❣️.

  10. Many at times we forget about the child that we are asking for and their emotional needs and support, children are supposed to be raised in a stable family where all their needs are met. I have heard that statement many times and most of the times I have heard it, I have always deduced it as a selfish move,there are so many illegitimate children born of this statement ?? how I wish that when someone is saying this words they mean it to the core and are ready to go all the way with their partners to give their bundle of joy when it arrives, full support.

  11. Excellent thoughts Mr. Gabby. At some point I felt this was a continuation of your wonderful book “Questions of My Youth”. It is reminisces so succinctly the nuggets of wisdom therein.

    I fully share in your wise and praiseworthy perspective on this matter. Marriage is the foundational building block of the basic social unit of the human society: family. It is confounding how the present generation treats it so cavalierly—without due commitment or forethought. It is preposterous to assume that once a child is born a relationship becomes complete as the sole outcome of a union is fully attained.

    As recently reported by the Kenyan media, a court ruled that “staying in a man’s house (or having his name on your ID card) is not proof of marriage”. A distillation of Gabby’s wisdom in the above article can allow us to spoof that ruling and say “Bearing a child to a man is not proof of marriage or love” and the converse is just as true.

    Thus, before we get to a point where we are asking for children we need do at least these two things. First, formalise our union using the avenues recognized by our cultures, faiths or constitution, as mutually agreeable. That is also the point at which we welcome contributions, support and blessings from our respective families or social circles. Secondly, we need, as individuals or together with our partners, to do an intense soul-searching. It is at that moment of introspection that we evaluate options and ponder on the attendant responsibilities of having children and our preparedness for that lifelong task of parenting. Because children are precious gifts that must be loved, taken care of, nurtured and guided. It is important to note that fulfilling role can be very exacting emotionally, physically, psychologically and financially. A famous Swahili saying has it that “Kuzaa si kazi, kazi ni kulea”.

    It is misguided to think that children are a sign of commitment to a lasting relationship. Should a relationship burdens you with such blackmailing demands then that’s a red flag that things are wrongly premised. It is disheartening that some folks can use “having a child” as a way of “trapping” their partners or proving their love to them. Parenthood asks for more than that. It is like a voyage through a vast ocean. And may we, as young people, take time to study things well, prepare adequately before we plunge into it, for our children deserve and need the best from us, always.

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