Generation X Ladies Need to Have Some Babies

generation x not having babies
Hipster Baby
An interesting statistic about the women and men of Generation X -- babies born between 1965 and 1978 -- shows that a huge chunk of these 33- to 46-year-olds are not having babies of their own. A startling 43 percent of Gen X ladies are not having children, and 32 percent of Gen X men. Granted, we're not the Baby Boomers, but that's still a lot of adults deciding to forgo parenthood.

As a card-carrying member of Generation X, it has not escaped my notice that many, many of my friends remain child-free. When I try to think back to my own mother's friends, I can't recall any of them not having their own children. Yet I would say probably 43 percent of my female friends don't have kids.

What the heck is going on?

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One article expressed the opinion that Gen Xers are overworked, underpaid, and just don't have the expendable income that is required to raise children. As an overworked, underpaid mom myself, I kind of call b.s. on that idea. Not that we shouldn't have support in place in our stressed economy to help people when they want to become mothers -- we should. But I don't think paid maternity and paternity leave, subsidized day care, and universal health care are the deciding factors when people make a baby.

All of the above would have made my life dramatically better in the early days of having my own babies, yet I still had them. Sure, I complained about it, my marriage was stressful as a result of having zero support in these arenas, and my health suffered. But again, I had a second child knowing all of these things.

But you know when I didn't have a baby? During my first, incredibly short "starter marriage," my self-preservation instincts kicked in and kept me on a very strict birth control regimen. And the Gen X women I know who don't have children are mostly the ones who have struggled to find a partner that they trust enough to go with on this journey of parenthood.

Our generation is notorious for being "latch-key" kids and having divorced parents. Most of us are gun-shy when it comes to trusting other people and we damn sure don't want to repeat the mistakes of our own parents. Hence, the lack of marriages, and lack of children as a result of those unions.

As a child of divorce and other lifestyle choices I would have preferred not to have been brought up around, I get this instinct. And I realize that I was incredibly lucky to meet and fall in love with a man who I knew would be an amazing husband and father, and that our marriage would be nothing like those 1960s and '70s disasters. I wouldn't have had children either, if I hadn't met him.

However, this is where I tell all of you Gen X ladies and dudes to take a leap of faith. Having children made me a better person. Experiencing the struggles and joys of bringing up small people that are related to me has enriched my life beyond what I could have imagined. And as a cynical, smartass Gen Xer who was never going to have children, I'm shocked.

Single parenting is difficult, and I'm not advocating it if you're not ready for it, but being a parent is an experience that I would wish on all of my Gen X brothers and sisters. Okay, not all. You know who you are. But most of you who may just be thinking it's not worth the hassle. It is. Jump in, the water is cool.

Are you a Gen Xer without kids?


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