Baby, Maybe?

CB107562Usually, CNN provides the backdrop to my day, droning on with the top headlines while I write in my PJs on my couch. But after a few hours of hearing the same stories over and over and over again, I’m frequently forced to change the station to preserve my sanity. Often, I find myself flipping over to TLC. Now anyone who’s ever been home in the middle of the day knows that means just one thing: Babies! Yes, whether it’s A Baby Story or Bringing Home Baby or Jon and Kate Plus Eight repeats, if you’re fond of the drooling, poo-smelling set, it’s TV heaven.
It was during a marathon session of half-watching babies yesterday—yes, half, I do have to work—that I started to wonder if these shows are the closest many folks will get to babies over the next couple of years. I mean, I already have two lovely stepdaughters, so I’m good for a while, but the hubby and I would like to have another couple of (male) crumb snatchers. But there’s no way it will happen before the recession stops kicking our butts.
Turns out we’re not the only ones waiting to bring more hungry mouths into the world. Historically, birth rates in the U.S. decline during hard times. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the last four recessions have all been followed by a drop in overall births. And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports a huge plunge during the Great Depression; the birth rate fell from 25.1 children born per 1000 people in 1925 to just 18.7 babies per 1000 people in 1935.

And there are other indicators that we’re being more careful with the birth control., which monitors and ranks websites and searches, reports that searches for the word “pregnancy” are down 37% over this time last year. Searches for “baby names” have dropped 40%, and those looking for “maternity clothes” are down a whopping 74%.

What have you put off for post-bailout sunny skies? Chillun? Vacays? Bags? Tell me!


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Last 5 posts by kenrya

  • Diane

    um, retirement. That’s right. Once we’re ‘out’ of this recession – those pesky taxes are gonna drive home what the idjits in DC are currently doing – and I will have no choice but to work until I drop.

    So sad since likely not a whole lot of folks are gonna want some 75 yr. old or older woman. And that half my gene pool has longevity – as in 90+ years… I wonder if they’ll offer a ‘deal’ on euthanasia …

    I’m quite thankful my international/domestic travels were pretty much satiated before now. I’m thankful I made the biggest leap of faith of my life two years ago. All hindsight.

    What lays before us is a brave new world. If anyone tells you to look at the past in order to map your future (investments or otherwise) – they’re not thinking realistically. JMO

  • Maria

    You are right! I have found myself being EXTRA careful about my birth control pills. My husband also reminds me whenever he can. We really can’t afford to bring a recession-born baby right now! We want babies in 2-3 years.
    Also, even though we both have jobs, I think we are being much more careful in the way we spend money. We don’t go out for dinner very often. Which, I know, slows down the economy.

  • Derek

    I say breed if it’s what you want to do. Yes, I suppose it’s irresponsible if you’re absolutely penniless and dependent on others to get by. But I think now is a great time to raise kids who aren’t materialistic little shitheads. We’re finally, finally, finally, stepping away from the culture of entitlement and compulsory consumption. The pressures to cave to the godawful value system that plagued our culture for years is finally letting up somewhat. So go ahead and raise a kid or two who will understand that you can’t have everything you want, that it’s normal to follow a budget, that there are more important things in life than having the latest clothes, video game, whatever. Best time in years to be raising kids.

  • Candace

    Hate to burst your bubble, Diane, but your retirement funds began a HUGE plunge LONG before this current administration. That’s why so many folks are foregoing retirement right now– they can’t afford to because 401k’s have been killed!
    As for me, thank God that things are still good. But it’s definitely something I consider– even with being able to help others affected by the crisis. It does, however, make me more conscious in my home purchases/sells…

  • julie

    I have to agree with Derek! The key words here are “culture of entitlement”. We need to re-learn that the state of happiness is really achieved through HARD WORK, and not items that you CAN buy with money that you DON’T have. May be the state of our economy will make us understand and realize that no one is entitled to have everything they ever want without earning it first! The recession will force the vast majority of Americans to learn the concept of checks and balances because it is a key to their survival. And who won’t get the concept, oh well, I’m all down with Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory!

  • Diane

    @Candace – actually my retirement funds were doing quite well – I’ve been lucky with extremely generous funds in all my different 401ks/403bs. It is the recent debacle that has caused my tirade above…

    @Derek – hear hear! Now can you help us with the current materialistic shitheads already bred?

    @Julie – yeppers. If they applied Darwin – AIG/Citi/Merrill would all be gone. Capitalism on the way up, and socialism on the way down – it’s not gonna work.

    But Julie – breeding? YOU didn’t answer that… hhhmmm?

  • julie

    @ Diane
    Julie is not breeding yet… 🙂 but not opposed to it!

    well, i don’t want to label things by calling them capitalism/socialism, i just want to note that rational thinking should prevail. Everything is interconnected, banking industry screwed up, can’t say anything about that, but, as a consumer, why would I try to borrow money from the above mentioned bank (that by default agrees to lend it to me, bastards!!!) for a bigger car/house if I can’t even afford to sustain it once purchased? So, we are back to the “culture of entitlement” factor, right?!

  • Diane

    @Julie – I’m glad to hear breeding isn’t off the table!

    Rational – wouldn’t that be nice?

    Here’s a ditty from Suze Orman – some gal calls in to the show. She and hubby decided to take a HELOC of $100,000 and put it ALL into ONE stock 17 months ago. It’s now worth… $750.00 – they lost it all. And now they are refinancing to include the HELOC – and they’ll likely never recoup that market loss…

    What were they thinking? Greed. That’s all I can think of this whole global mess as it unfolds.

    But ya gotta love PM Brown coming over to ask if the US would assist bailing out Europe. Like we have the monies. Go to China – they own us.

    And foreign speculators are buying up US properties – so our physical country is even less ‘US’ than it was.

    ‘Brave new world’

  • Chardon

    I would have to agree with this article. I just had my first child and the natural question for everyone is when are you having the next. Everytime, I think about having another one, I think of the cost associated with it. Love is great, but it will not feed a child when it is hungry; it will not clothe it either. In times like these I believe everyone is looking at money.

  • Tahad

    Taking care of a child is not expensive, as long as you have a job; as an adult some things are inevitable, like paying rent, buying groceries and new clothing for work or leisure time. of-coarse it’s all of the services provided you use, to help raise your child, now that’s expensive. Day care is costly, private school tuition cost annually. Furthermore, books, toys, birthday’s, fancy cribs and strollers. What about emergencies? God forbid you have more than two and one is sickly. That’s a new car to travel around. the more price you pay, the more time away from your child will continue. Times have changed, people want to keep up with others that pretend to live a high fashion materialistic life. I can remember my family having public assistance a very short time because after my mom landed a good job we were cut off, and she took care of seven children by her self. Not nowadays! it could never happen. Kids today demand more and the world demand that you give your children more.