Tag Archives: marriage

The new face of mommies in America

I’ve been very curious about this new phenomena in America- having kids after 30.  While I look around at my friends who have kids and are my age, some of them are almost done with their parental duties.  I see 37-year old moms like myself who have 13 and 14 year olds.  They are almost done!  Me, though, I am just starting out.  I wanted to find out whether I was the rule or the anomaly.  Did I wait too long to have kids or are more and more new mommies in America over 30?

I had to do some research and found that since 1990, the face of new mommies in America has shifted.  For example mothers in 2008 were more educated and older than those mommies two decades ago. (1)  More and more women are considering these days in vitro and other fertility options, and not necessarily with partners  – women are adopting and having babies without marriage or a partner.  Also, homosexual partners are deciding to adopt or have children as well.  This significantly changes the face of the American mom or dad.  I do not think any of these changes are a bad thing, I am simply amazed that two decades can make that big of a difference!

Two decades ago, women over 35 were less likely to have a child than a teenager, but now that has shifted.  In 2010, more and more babies are born to women over the age of 35 and less and less to teenagers.  This may be a result of better education on issues like birth control, abstinence, and sex ed. in schools and at home.  Moreover, as a result of better education, and better birth control, it seems that even women in their 20s and early 30s are waiting longer and longer to have kids.

Of course, it is also a sign of the times.  As we evolve as a people, with advanced medicine, advances in technology, it is no wonder that we are becoming more selfish as a society too.  There are so many constraints on our time with TV, media, technology, and social constraints that more and more women are waiting until they are done with school, established in their careers, and frankly, just have a better handle on their lives, especially balance in their lives, to have kids. More and more couples are also choosing the path of no children but decide to have pets instead.  After all, there is just too much to do, let alone raise children and feed more mouths.  This is a decision I also celebrate because it is important for everyone to make the right choice for their lives and lifestyles.

I got these statistics from this article at http://www.livescience.com/health/american-moms-older-more-educated-100506.html

•The percentage of teen moms and moms over 35 has just about flipped. In 1990, 13 percent of births were to teens while 9 percent were to women over 35. In 2008, the percentages were 10 percent to teens and 14 percent to women over 35.

•The percentage of single moms grew from 28 percent in 1990 to a record 41 percent in 2008.

•More than half of moms, 54 percent, had at least some college-level education in 2006, up from 41 percent in 1990.

•Birth rates for women aged 35 to 39 increased by 47 percent, and rates for women aged 40 to 44 increased by 80 percent over the time period.

•The overall number of babies born has remained relatively stable, rising from 4.2 million in 1990 to 4.3 million in 2008. The country saw a dip in the total number of births coinciding with the recent recession.

Of course, these statistics are interesting to me.  Even among my friends, I am one of the few that is married and has kids.  Then, among the people I have met in my groups like Bunco, Mile High Mammas, I may be slightly behind the power curve but not by much.  It just depends on which group I am with.  In my professional life and among my best friends, it seems that everyone had kids later in life or are still waiting, and among other groups especially mommy-type groups, I am the anomaly (i.e. had kids too late).  So, again, there is no right age or wrong age but I just know I am exhausted.  I cannot imagine having a kid in my 40s or 50s but women are doing it more and more and doing it just fine!   I say whatever choice you make, just stand by it and be okay with where you are because the new face of Mommies in America is not the same as it was for your parents’ generation or their parents and it is changing very rapidly- who knows what the new face will be in another decade!

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God can be cruel sometimes

I heard another story this past week of a couple who could not conceive or have children. Great marriage – great people but they could not have kids. Since they wanted to share their love and wealth, they unselfishly adopted not one but two boys – one of whom was troubled and caused many issues for them. I have heard many a stories of women who try and try and cannot have kids. When I was visiting my hometown last month, I heard that my ex-boyfriend and his wife could not conceive so they had to adopt 2 kids- one boy, one girl as well. I had no idea. Not that adoption is horrible but there is a difference I think in having your own and adopting. I think it is wonderful and truly amazing how selfless couples who have so much love to give adopt and give their love to a kid who otherwise may not get a shot. I think it is admirable really because I am not sure I could do it. I remember my own step-grandmother could not have kids of her own – she conceived three times but all ended in miscarriage. My grandfather already had 3 kids from his first marriage so they did not adopt but it certainly makes you wonder what is at play when these types of things occur.

Conversely, there are those people who are procreating who really have no business doing so. The mom who thinks it is a good idea to give birth in a toilet hoping the “problem” will just be flushed away. The father who did not want to be a father so drops off a newborn in a dumpster. The mother who starves her child because she thinks the baby needs to be punished for crying. There are countless other stories of people who are able to conceive with no problems and bring children into the world who are otherwise not wanted, mistreated, or left to die.

It just baffles me that perfectly great people who want to have children sometimes cannot and I always wonder how God allows that to happen. I am sure there is some rhyme or reason but it makes no sense to me. As I hear more and more stories of those not able to conceive or have children of their own, I truly believe there is a plan for them and the kids they end up adopting, but I just do not understand it yet.

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