Would you let the economy dictate how many children you have, or if you have children at all? For many couples, the poor state of the economy has forced them into remaining childless, even through they have always dreamed of having children, they say.
If you’ve noticed fewer babies and young children at the park lately, you aren’t imagining things. According to the Centers of Disease Control, the U.S. fertility rate has dropped sharply since the country went into recession (2007), and it shows no signs of bouncing back any time soon.
Experts predict that when the economy does eventually rebound, women may try to play catch up in giving birth, but for some couples, it just might be too late. By waiting until the right time, they may have waited themselves out of a family.
Should a family decide not to have children because of economic reasons? This is a tough one for me. On one hand, I would not recommend a woman start a family if she is in a situation where she is struggling to keep her head above water. Children can be expensive, and poverty can be tough to climb out of, especially when you have children. On the other hand, I see many professional couples who have a nice house, two cars, take vacations and eat out on a regular basis. I feel that these couples could have a family, if they were willing to make some sacrifices in their budget.
Many parents, even wealthy ones, worry that they won’t be able to parent exactly as they like, which may everything from fancy strollers and cute clothes to a top of the line preschool.
What I wonder if these potential parents realize is that children can be raised in happy homes, even if their parents can’t provide the latest toys, fancy sports camps, or huge homes. Kids can climb upside down in the backyard or at a park instead of going to gymnastics four times a week; they can visit the library and have adventures in books instead of spending hours with the latest electronic devices. They can spend time cooking a homemade dinner or playing a board game with their parents.
What do you think?