Self-coaching: when do we want kids?

photo of a man in Southern Kyrgyzstan carrying a baby

So, Russians are weird. When the USSR dissolved and the Russians got poorer individually and as a nation, they did something no other population does. They had fewer children. Most other – if not all other – communities have more children in times of stress.

No one is quite sure why, but it happens. Birth control is tricky and costs money, and sex is free, perhaps. Struggling to get by may leave no energy for managing contraception. Or maybe children feel like hope and protection for the future at a time when the future seems grim? Maybe they are looking for meaning in their lives?

But, like I said, not for the Russians. When Russians stop having hope for the future, they stop bringing babies into the horrible present.

This, then, is my self-coaching question for today: Are the Russians right?