The United States birth rate is falling. Career women between the ages of thirty and forty years are opting out of motherhood. These are highly educated women who have successful careers. They make good salaries but still owe hefty loans that paid for their education.
These women are the latch key generation who had less security and home life than previous generations. They have more choices than their mothers and grandmothers and they are choosing not to have babies.
Some women are opting out of motherhood. They are the ladies who look wide awake and and don’t have juice stains on their clothing. Nearly half the women between the ages of thirty and forty have no children. It can be attributed to better contraceptives, more education and better job opportunities.
It can come from seeing half their girl friends sleepless and weary from raising young children, many of them without husbands. This is the first generation who truly has a choice about breeding children.
This generation of 46 million young women were latch key kids, raised by divorced parents, survived on cornflakes and pop tarts and were educated by Officer Bob. They carried keys tied around their necks to get into the house after school while mom was at work. Motherhood was not always wonderful. Moms were left to raise children alone and children didn’t have the supervision and security of former generations. It’s easy to see why these latch key children hesitate to bring kids of their own into the world. Add to that watching their divorced friends who have children, grow fat and disheveled with low paying jobs and no opportunities.
Studies of workplace issues were done by The Center of Work Life Policy. The study was called “The X Factor” They said career ambitions are among the reasons career women are opting out of motherhood. Many of these women are working 60 hours a week and still have huge student loans to pay back. The career ladies are out earning men (the first time in history) and they have choices. Last year just 4 million babies were born in the United States.
But looking at it another way, in the great depression of the 30s, birth rates fell off. There were no jobs and the economy hit the bottom. Those struggling parents held on by the skin of their and had fewer children than the former generation. Who can say? When the economy is thriving again, we may have a bumper crop of babies.
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