Black Women Putting Off Babies Because of Recession: Are You?

October 14, 2011  |  

Despite those who would throw cliché sayings in my face  like “children don’t need much,” I know I won’t be comfortable giving my child the bare minimum. (And how is $226,000 not much?) If I’m bringing a baby into this world, I ought to at least be able to give him more than I had. In this recession, that doesn’t seem likely.

I’ve seen friends who at first were shocked by my opinion suddenly jump on board as the economic situation in America worsens. Unsure what the future brings, other than higher unemployment, they too have put off their wishes of raising a family—perhaps not permanently but at least until they have a clear view of how everything will shake out.

People always say there’s never quite a right time for anything and that you’re never fully prepared for children, but most of us know when the time is wrong. For many women that time seems to be now.

Have you put plans for starting a family on hold due to the recession? Do you see yourself never having children because of the economy or are you holding off until things get better?

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  • I am absolutely putting off kids until my fiances improve and the recession lessens. I think that many people (both men and women) do not fully understand how much your financial situation impacts your marriage or family until the finances are strained and you have to begin prioritizing and compromising. I am not saying that you can't raise intelligent, well-adjusted, good children unless you have a lot of money. I know that isn't true because most people in this country historically have raised good kids everyday with few resources. However, in years past priorities were set and families didn't desire as many material things. I think now families have the same needs but accessibility to these needs cost more so in order to access the things you'd like to expose your children to you have to have more money. My Dad told me years ago the reason my generation (Generation X) was so broke was because we have too many bills to pay. We pay for cell phones, internet, credit cards, student loans, etc. His generation just didn't have to deal with this. While I agreed with him 100% I also pointed out that all of these needs (mostly technology) are necessary for us to literally navigate this world. So we have greater expenses for different needs, making less money. Yet, we have to make this money to allow our children the access to these things. So, if I have to get my financial priorities in order (i.e. make more money) before I have a child, I will do so sans the 'biological clock'.

  • Kam

    "White people do it" is not an acceptable excuse. We need to do what's good for us, not necessarily be like white people. We lead in out of wedlock marriages by far.

  • IllyPhilly

    BS, these females are having kids back to back to back!! itch bay I know live with her mama and three kids, got a "crazy" check for her son and having another baby even though she still living wit her mama! Another chick went for her 6 week appointment after just having a baby n knocked up again! Apparently, they didn't get that recession memo.

  • Guest

    Well I am having a baby as we speak and calculating the cost of having a baby is overwhelming even though my husband has a good job. We don't qualify for any assistance and neither his or my family helps. So yes I will be holding off having any more children because we cannot afford it. Since I cannot work full time on my feet because I am pregnant I am working part time to save up. And even after six weeks I am going back to work full time. I have a degree but even with that its expensive. So yes the economy does affect the way I'm having kids because my belief is don't have more children than you can afford.

  • Cora

    That and being single are my reasons..

  • Guest

    I choose to not have children because i don't want to….

    • chocolateman

      what about black race, culture and real dark skin black sons/kids huh?!

      • IllyPhilly

        @ chocolateman "Yes because skin tone is always a good reason to have babies." *side eye* WTF

      • Guest

        Then YOU have 'em and pay for 'em.

        I'm not some brood mare for the black race….

  • sweettea

    I’ve never really put a lot of thought into the actual cost of raising children before i had them. Ive been married for 8 years and am currently pregnant with my 3rd child. We are by no means rich but i have happy healthy kids in a stable home and thats all i ever wanted and pretty much my whole reason for going to college in the first place was so no matter what i would be able to support myself and as many kids as i wanted

    • Cora

      You go girl!

  • Madeline

    Um, here's a thought: maybe black women are tired of the baby-mama stigma, and are thereby putting off having children until they get married? Just a thought. :-/

    • Cora


    • Korey

      Exactly! The last time a woman had a baby without a man was 2000 years ago and even THAT was deemed suspect.

  • wildflower

    I agree with this post 100 percent! I graduated from college last year with high hopes of finding a job which, would help me be more financially stable. As you all know from the economic state of our country things have gone crazy for everyone ( all races included). Shortly after graduating the only decent job i could find were temporary jobs with little pay. My goal was to have children one day however after accessing my finances there will be no room for babies.Suffice to say the least i would love to get married and find the Mr. right before i would ever consider having children at this point in my life. I'm currently unemployed and practicing celibacy to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Honestly, I hear too many women complain about the cost of taking care of a child during the recession. In most cases the women are single parents who depend on child support which is not enough in my opinion. On the other hand some are married and still struggle to take care of their children. I just hope one day i will be financially stable enough to have a family. I believe all children are a blessing!!!

    • Timothy

      if you believed children were a blessing you wouldn't work so hard not to have one now would you?

      • wildflower

        Apparently you did not read my statement correctly , because you would understand that at the moment i'm not financially stable and secondly, i would want to find Mr. right before i have children. (please learn how to read and then respond.) finally, Why would i have a child when i'm unemployed seriously?!. Again, Children are a blessing however i would love to be financially stable to have children. There is nothing wrong with a women realizing the timing is not right to have children. It takes a smart person to realize they are not ready for children and then take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening. please learn how to read!!

  • @ theinnocenttruth I’m sorry but the lie is that black women have to continue to have children out of wedlock. I’m 31yrs old I’ve never been pregnant ever & its sickening to know you believe I’m a lie. When the truth is you’re speaking the lie when white ppl have about just as many children out of wedlock as blacks do. Support ur stats and give the total picture of all the numbers of children born out of wedlock.

    • InnocentTruth

      It's sad that u lie to yourself to feel better. I guess the HIV/Aids epidemic in the black community is a lie also? How about the high divorce rate for blacks (70%), is that a lie also? What about the high drop out rates of African Americans from high school? I guess white people made up these lies to make blacks look bad, huh? Get real!

      • Guest

        Negro please! You'd say anything to make yourself sound intelligent.

        Where do you think these STD stats in black women came from? BLACK MEN!!!

        Please expound on why it's so easy for black males like you to spew nonsense and then try to make it out to be someone else's fault?

      • Romanlthomas

        Typical white trying categorize black people.How about we talk about your priest raping you when you were little. So all catholic priests must be rapist huh…?

  • Korey

    I put off having kids because I don't have a man and the breed of men that are roaming about are leaving much to be desired when it comes to mixing of gene pools.

    But then I walk down the street and I see women pregnant and pushing double strollers, or walking with toddlers when they look like they are barely getting by, I have to wince at the thought of having that financial burden in my life. I am barely able to sustain myself… I gave up looking for work and I'm just doing odd jobs to get by. I can get by on less than $10 a day, but children cannot. Now imagine if I had a child to support? It'd be seen as child neglect! It's so not worth it right now. Children demand a lot and frankly there are not enough resources to provide.

    But good luck and kudos to those that do.

    • Guest

      *standing ovation*

      I concur!

  • ImAtPeace

    Although, we have not chosen to, I can see why many couples are waiting. My husband and I are expecting our first child and already, five months in, Im overwhelmed with the cost of raising our kid. I have researched online and spoken with mothers to determine what baby items will not be significantly needed (doing so to save money).
    Also, due to the recession we have to pay for most of our baby items (we dont want to ask/ rely on family to contribute to baby shower gifts).

  • nappturallyspeaking

    No I wouldn't say that its because of the recession I'm putting it off because I want to be married before having children. I know it doesn't guarantee that a man will stay or finances will be great, but its better than having a kid with someone you were just kicking it with and then have to pray that he's not an idiot

    • InnocentTruth

      We both know black women have no problems having children without marriage. With a 73% OUT OF WEDLOCK BIRTH RATE YOU KNOW YOUR LYING.

    • Gaylyn

      I completely agree. If more women had this mindset, there would be less heartache that women would experience. Women should take their time when it comes to relationships. I've been affected by the recession and I'm back in school for a second degree. It's tough, but I'm going to persevere.

  • Myself and hubby personally haven't put if off and would like to start trying after our wedding which is very near. I personally see it like this, we can be back on track with the economy tomorrow, start baby making and bam 1 year later we're back in the crap hole with the economy but at the point it wouldn't matter because baby is here. I truly believe it depends on each person's individual situation and mindset. Also, knowing how to manage your money is key.