Don't Have Kids If You Can't Afford to Take Care of Them

Stats 92

I've reproduced just twice. I'm ok with that.
Is limiting the number of children one has a symptom of “cultural decadence”? This week in The New York Times, Ross Douthat argues that it is the niceties of modern life that are contributing significantly to the declining birthrate in America.

Fertility plunged after the recession hit in 2008, and it has yet to recover. The Pew Research Center found that U.S. birthrates hit their lowest number ever in 2011, with 63 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age. In 1990, it was 71 per 1,000.

It makes sense. A lot of people (myself included) worry that they won’t have the means to provide for another child. Kids are expensive, yo, what with their lessons and activities, clothes, health upkeep, and the endless supply of GoGurt they seem to consume -- and that’s before we even get into the emotional toll they take on our lives.

Think about it: In poor developing nations, people don’t worry so much about whether or not they’ll be able to afford private school or violin lessons or a bigger house to contain all that stuff that kids come with. That stuff doesn’t exist for them, so there’s no need to feel like a crappy parent for not providing it.

Another aspect that may be affecting the drop in kiddos being born is that a lot of modern moms work outside the home now. Daycare is expensive for one or two kids, can you imagine paying for it for four or six? Then there’s the time commitment … for better or worse, moms that work away from their children spend less time with them than those that work purely as domestic engineers. These parents may decide that their time is better spent nurturing a fewer number of children.

Megan McArdle points out in The Daily Beast that without growth, our economy is destined to become even more stagnant, especially as the population ages. She writes, “Without the growth around which all of our modern welfare states have been structured, the modern safety nets that governments have spent the last century establishing may not be politically or economically sustainable.”  

What are we women of childbearing age supposed to do? Take one (or two or three or four) for the team? I don’t think so, but I think it’s important to be aware of what this culture shift means for our individual families and our country as a whole.

The fact is that we’re not producing as many babies as we once did. Therefore those nonexistent babies will not grow up and join the workforce and pay the taxes necessary to fund Social Security and Medicare. Plan accordingly.

Do you think the declining birthrate is a result of cultural decadence, or something else?

back-to-work, bonding, childbirth, childcare, in the news, work, motherhood


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Celia... Celiacelia

In times like these people are thinking twice because you could lose you job at any moment. I believe the decline will be short lived, at least I hope. I wouldn't want to have children knowing that either a) I can't afford them. B) I am not in the home enough to care for them myself. It's a huge disservice to your kids if you can't meet all their needs.

UgtaB... UgtaBkdnMe

Maybe people are finally thinking, instead of just popping out kids.

Nellie Athome

All Americans seriously need to learn to differentiate between what they (or their kids) *WANT* and what is an actual *NEED*


Need = clothes, food shelter

Want = expensive toys, costly activities, sports teams, vacations, the latest greatest electronic gadget, cell phones, etc

fave82 fave82

I do think the cost of child care is a big contributer and i dont see that changing anytime soon. If anything, it'll just go up.

the4m... the4mutts

I have 4 kids. And by economic trends/statistics, I can't afford them.

But we live sooo well within our means, that even with my s/o laid off at the moment, we were still able to spend hundreds on christmas for our kids, our parents, our friends....

I never spend unnessecarily, and I'm great at finding affordable, fresh food, also I save, and then I have money for special things.

If we can have EXTRAS on half our usual income, then others can also.

I believe that the decline in birth rate, has less to do with income, and working spouses, as it does with the entitlement generation not wanting to be tied down. They want to spend their money on themselves, and be unburdened by responsibility.

But that doesn't matter anyway. Its their life.

Plan for your retirement. And don't worry about what everyone else is doing.

divam... divamomtjcj

wtf u know what if the medical card didnt cut off my birth control pills i wouldnt be pregnant i would of got fixed ! Alot of ppl who need assistance are going throught the same thing ! U could be rich and still cant afford to have kids !

miche... micheledo

Nellie and the4mutts - totally agree with you!!

People probably think we can't afford our five kids, but we live below our means and make sure our children's NEEDS are met and they are loved.  Everything else is just extra.  

kelti... kelticmom

So if my husband and I choose to only have two kids, somehow we are selfish and "entitled"? I wasn't aware that my purpose in life was to have as many kids as possible.

we2an... we2angels

I'm letting the Duggars have my extras for me. ;-)

It's not about cost as much as how much sanity I have to give. I have two, i'm tapped out on sanity therefore i'm done

Cel7777 Cel7777

divamomtjcj---are you drunk?

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