Women are biologically built to have babies. But that doesn’t mean they have to and according to a new study, fewer women are reproducing. Researchers with Demographic Intelligence, a consulting firm that analyzes fertility data, predicts the average number of births per woman in the U.S. will plunge to a 25-year low in the next couple of years. Experts say the decline is part of the economic recovery because people can’t afford the price of parenthood. Here are my thoughts on why some women, including myself, do not have kids.
1. Mentally some women aren’t prepared for motherhood. Take this conversation I overheard in a coffee shop between Mom and pre-teen daughter.
Daughter: Mom I want a cookie.
Mom: You dropped your cookie on the floor so you can’t have another one.
Daughter: (She looks down at her huge cookie crumbled on the floor) No mom that’s your cookie. I don’t eat peanut butter any more remember? Don’t you pay attention to anything?
Mom: Honey what are you talking about?
Daughter: (she crosses her arms, rolls her eyes and shouts) I can’t stand you. Why don’t you know that I hate peanut butter? You should knwo this!
Mom: But honey you eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday.
Keep in mind this is the shortened version. The young girl persistently insisted that she does not eat peanut butter. Ummm, yes you do! While some might find this conversation cute, others think it’s annoying. It takes patience to be a parent and personally I lack that skill.
2. Physically, there are women who don’t want to gain weight. Yes this sounds superficial, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Some women including celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Madonna and Halle Berry make pregnancy look pretty because they barely gain weight and then weeks after giving birth they are back to their flawless look. On the other hand, some women gain lots of weight. While there is no doubt in my mind that women can lose their pregnancy weight, at this point in my life, I’d just prefer not to pick it up.
3. Financially, the annual cost of raising one child is $12,290 to $14,320 per year for middle-income families, according to a 2011 government report. That’s a lot of money. Instead you can buy one of the following:
* One brand new 2012 Kia Soul base model
* One pair Manolo Blahnik alligator boots
* One year tuition plus room and board at University of Mississippi
* Not to mention the thousands of items you could purchase from Dollar General or a similar store.
Being a good parent requires time, patience and sacrifice. But there are few things more rewarding than raising a child and sharing moments like their first day of school or teaching them to ride a bike. One day, I will be a fantastic aunt or god-mother to some lucky child. But being a responsible parent is a 24/7 job that I’m currently under-qualified for. I rarely make my bed in the mornings, and I come and go as I please. Ccould you imagine if I had to wake up, change diapers, breast feed and more? For now, I am more than qualified to be child-free.