Eleven years ago, money wasn't much of a factor when my husband and I were thinking about having our first child.
Sure, there was hand-wringing about my staying home and not working full-time. And money was so tight some weeks that I hesitated to even drive my car. But the idea that we would postpone baby-making because of our budget never entered our minds. We thought we'd always have jobs, our home.
Not so much anymore.
Makes me wonder if my 2 kids would have a chance in today's economy.
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A CDC report shows that U.S. birth rates have declined for the 2nd straight year in a row. About 4.1 million babies were born in 2009, a 2.6 percent drop from 2008. The drop follows a 2 percent fall in births that occurred between 2007 and 2008, which pushed the nation's fertility rate below 2.1 per woman, meaning Americans are no longer giving birth to enough children to keep the population from declining.
The stats people attribute all this reluctance to the recession. Having a newborn is pretty stressful. Having that newborn while struggling to pay bills and dodging layoffs seems suicidal.
But is there ever a good time to make a baby? Would having a baby in this economy make you pause?