Millennials are spending hundreds of dollars to decide whether or not to have children

Photo: Ryan Polei

Having a child is one of the most impactful decisions someone is likely to make in their life. Parenthood has major implications for careers, especially for women, and the financial hurdles are hard to clear for generations with less financial stability than their predecessors. And yet there is still an expectation that people will want to have families and a stigma that affects those who choose not to reproduce.

As older millennials waiver on whether to procreate, their biological clocks are ticking out of time. Some of them are feeling pressure to solidify their plans, before their bodies do so for them.

Already, a good number of women have decided with their partners that children are not part of their future. Answers to a Bustle Trends Group survey show that millennials understand the state of work in the United States and how it disproportionately hurts professional women. Some are so disenchanted that they’re hesitant to join that demographic.  

“We aren’t having children, so I won’t have to deal with the issues working parents face about maternity/paternity leave, childcare costs, discrimination against mothers in the workforce, etc.,” one respondent wrote.

“As a woman who wants to be a physician but also have a family, I feel that at some point I will have to make a choice,” wrote another.

For a chunk of potential parents, that choice proves more difficult than for others who are resolute in their decisions. Some millennials feel so much anxiety about parenthood that they’re willing to dish out hundreds of dollars for clarity.

Through online group courses and one-day workshops, young adults are flocking to experts who can help them solidify their feelings about parenthood. Some of the factors to consider include whether the person has a support network, is capable of self-care, can show discipline, and sees having children as a pathway to fulfillment, according to Business Insider.

The price of clarity can be steep — a four-month online group course with Ann Davidman, one of the foremost motherhood clarity mentors, runs at $397. But for confused clients, it’s often worth the price tag.

Abigail Donahue told The New York Times in August that she had not been sure if she wanted to get pregnant. In fact, because of parenthood’s financial toll, she was leaning against it.

But after taking Davidman’s course, Donahue changed her mind and is now a mother.

“When I’m feeling especially sleep deprived and overwhelmed,” she told The Times, “it feels good to remember how deliberately I chose this.”