Has the Recession Slowed the Birthrate?

Aug 05 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She blogs every day at Sociological Images.

As demonstrated by some figures posted at Family Inequality, the U.S. birthrate has dropped during the recession:

But the birth rate hasn’t dropped for all American women equally.  Women who’ve already had two children were most likely to skip having a child during this period, and women who already had one child were more likely to delay or end childbearing than women with no children.   But women who already had three children were relatively ready to plow forward with a fourth, even more ready than childless women.

To make an even stronger case that the recession inhibited childbearing, Philip Cohen correlated birth data by state and state unemployment rates (both from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).  His figure shows that “fertility fell more where the recession hit harder”:

Great stuff, as always, from Family Inequality.

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An Open Letter to My Mother

May 12 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Dear Mother,

Two weeks ago I invited you over for dinner, along with Dad bc you had not seen your grandson for about a month. The same amount of time it has been since Mr.SM's grandmother and parents have not seen their great/ grandson.  In march, after spending the whole weekend installing floors , still have a shit load of stuff to do and wanting to do nothing but sit on my couch with take out, I packed up my family and drove out 30 minutes to see you guys.  That night, just like the night 2 week ago, you did not ask me how I was doing. Was I feeling OK, did I need any help. How was the pregnancy. All you cared about was playing with monkey and figuring if you were going to have another grandson or finally get a granddaughter.

Except the night two weeks ago, you decided to guilt trip me about how little time you get with your grandson. You said you understood that Mr.SM and I work fulltime and only get the weekends to be a family but you still demanded, not asked but demanded that monkey sleep over at least 1x every 3 weeks. You know we have a lot going. You know that Mr.SM has a huge family, whom we are quiet close to. Yet you have the balls to say that monkey doesn't need to go to every extended family members function.  Guess what woman, you're extended family too. And yes he does need to go to the functions that we go to. We pick and choose what is important to for us to attend and if we feel it is important for Mr.SM and I to attend, it is important for our child(ren) to attend. This is how they learn the importance of family.

Instead of ensuring that in the final weeks of my pregnancy, I was relaxed and healthy. You decided to demand that since it works better for your holidays, my husband can go back to work right after his child is born.  When I refused and informed you that after my child was born, I would like the father of my child around, you chose to act is if I was some how insulting you.

On Sunday, I left a scientific retreat, immediately after my talk to attend my nephews birthday. Do you know how pointless it is to give a talk and then not stick around to chat with colleagues about it? But I did that. Why? Because if I didn't you and my dear sister would use it as another example of how selfish I am, despite the fact that Mr.SM took monkey to the party on time. He did this, despite my sister never showing up for our grandfathers funeral or acknowledging in anyway, shape or form, the emotional trauma we may be dealing with after the fact. Despite completing disrespecting him at her FIL's funeral.

When her father-in-law recently passed away, we did our family responsibility. We did not do tit for tat.  We went to her MILs house the day of the death, we went to the funeral, to the prayer and back to her MILs house after. Even though my sister blatantly ignored both Mr.SM and myself.  She walked up to the man standing next to my husband and thanked him for coming. Then she looked at my husband and walked away. You know what I did? Nothing. I took, as I keep doing, taking the higher road.

It was Mothers Day on Sunday. Do you know that it was the 4th year that I have been a mother and you have not acknowledged that.  Despite this I still called you last week to ask if you wanted to come for dinner. I asked both my bitch sister and my brother to come. Understandably, my sister did not want to come since she was throwing a party that morning. Your son and other daughter (me) were going to be there. Notice that I was not having any time to spend with my child on mothers day? Because mothers day is not about me. its about you.

At the party you noticed I was tired. Shit I wonder why I would be tired mother?  Did you ask me how I was feeling? Did I need any help? Nope. Nor would  you give me a straight answer on dinner. Later on you called that you were not coming and I was happy. I did not want to spend another evening with you. You choose not come. Remember that.

Do not send me an email at work 3 days later trying to guilt me about how mothers day is about family and how dare all of your children not be around you.. You know nothing about family. You only know how to try and use guilt to make me do what you want. I am slowly getting to a point where you can't push my buttons. You will be losing out because of that.

You ruined my day with your email and are adding stress that I don't need. I am done with you. I told you two weeks ago that I am done trying to make you happy. Now I am telling the world. Sunday was the last mothers day that was about you.  You will see your grandchild(ren). I will not poison them against you. Your access will be limited. The less they have to deal with your selfish and manipulating ways the better.  You will get to spend time with them 1/month for a few hours. Sorry you did this. not me.

Your daughter

13 responses so far