People all over the country are beginning to revise their plans for a family. People who used to think back in 2007 that they would have three children, have had the recession completely shake their confidence. Of course, we’re now ten years on, and the recession is over and we’re heading back towards a more stable economy with gradual growth. But people know that things could get bad again and there’s nothing they can do about it.
Becoming pregnant now, they wonder if they will be able to handle the extra health insurance, the cost of baby products, school, clothes, toys and college. One might as well face it – children can be a luxury in today’s economy, a time when there is soaring unemployment and when inflation makes the money that normal middle-class people have worth far less. It’s happened every time in our history that we’ve had some kind of national economic crisis. The Great Depression and the 1973 petroleum crisis all made people stop and think twice before becoming pregnant.
Psychiatrists and marriage counselors are beginning to see quite a trend here. Couples coming in for counseling aren’t becoming pregnant that much anymore even if they really want to. On the one hand, they have money problems and wonder if they can afford a child. And then, when they have money problems, their marriages come under strain. Couples don’t feel that good about each other when they worry about money and it makes them make love less often. And when couples need fertility procedures to become pregnant, they often just cannot opt for such a luxury when they don’t know when one of their jobs is going to be made redundant. With a growing trend towards intervention techniques like acupuncture, women’s fertility treatments like massage might make female fertility seem like a luxury rather than a right. Of course, there’s plenty of help available on the web from female fertility experts but they’re not going to give you the pay rise you need to make it happen.
It is just becoming pregnant that the whole procession thing is bad for. Parents hoping to adopt find that the adoption process that can cost at least $20,000 to push through is just impossible today. There are all those children without homes today who are that way because of the recession. Even if hopeful parents do scrape together the money for an adoption, what will they do for everything else that goes into raising a child?
Some parents are just hopeful that in five years or so when a baby they have today will be old enough to really need spending on, the economy will have recovered. People who think in this way, believe that there is never a good time to load yourself with extra expenses. If you’re middle-class, you might as well keep waiting your whole life. They do constantly hope and pray that they don’t get twins. But hope springs eternal.
Naturally, there’s a flip side to every argument. Parents often spend less time out socializing than their friends who do not yet have kids, so having children is often a savings plan in itself. If you’re a bit of a party animal and can burn through cash like it’s going out of fashion, then maybe the expense of children will pale into insignificance.
The important thing to remember is that, for women particularly, the clock is ticking on fertility, and if you leave it too late, having your own children may well become a chance that is gone for good, and the heartache that brings can be more stressful than managing a tight family budget. If you really do want a family, at the very least make plans for how long you’re willing to wait!