The age at which women prefer to give birth has been increasing, with more people preferring to have children between the ages of 30 and 34. Conversely, the number of young mothers, who are less than 20 years old, is falling and both these circumstances are creating a new precedent in the USA. Economic, political, and cultural factors all influence the manner in which people prefer to create a family, as it is an inherently social and strenuous process. Therefore, understanding these circumstances, which may have influenced this phenomenon, is an essential part of understanding our thought process as a society.
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Giving birth is a taxing process, demanding not only that the woman is prepared for such a task mentally and biologically but also stable enough financially. From the provision of child-friendly living conditions to hiring tutors, children require not only attention but also financial means to support their growth as biological humans and as individuals. Unfortunately, even if the family is not a single-parent one, amassing enough economic weight to feel rather secure to have a child is becoming achievable only in parents’ later years.
However, while, for example, buying a house now is a more complicated economic endeavor than it was 15 or 20 years ago, women now have unprecedented and unrestricted access to the job market. While this should mean that family’s that have both parents working should be in a better financial situation, these circumstances also indicate that women are unable to take unpaid maternity leave. Therefore, because children require investment to become individuals, many families in the current economic climate may prefer to delay childbirth.
The topic of financial security and its understanding by a considerable fragment of the population leads directly to another factor influencing the rise in numbers of older parents. Conscientiousness has become a positive character trait and being mindful of an action’s effect has become an ingrained social expectation. Therefore, before having a child, a woman must consider not only her ability to give a child a happy life but also a healthy one.
Medically, birth at a later age has become not merely more accessible but also safer, with fewer repercussions for both the mother’s and child’s physical and mental health. These conditions, while not being a defining factor in later childbirth, may serve as a catalyst, with medicine creating the means for women to achieve their wishes.
Even if a woman is stable financially and has faith in the current political regime, pregnancy becomes a fatiguing social process. A pregnancy invites biological changes in a woman; fluctuating hormone levels affect her emotional status and, thus, invite ridicule from those who do not understand these processes. Society expects a woman to abandon her past attachments and focus on her child, leaving behind friends, work, and sex life, which many prefer not to treat as a healthy part of family life.
In such a situation wherein culture forcibly reduces a woman to a stay-at-home mom, her partner is expected to compensate for her, settling into the role of the “head of the household.” To avoid socially imposed constraints, many parents prefer to wait and create more stable conditions, which would safeguard the new family from detrimental expectations, more often in the face of parental pressure.
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Having children has become a more particular process because of numerous modern-day occurrences that are rooted in the economic and political undercurrents, while social pressure retains influence over new families. Women and families as a whole want to feel secure, feeling that childbirth is their choice rather than merely a fulfillment of societal expectations. Ensuring that a child’s future is happy is the ultimate goal of any family and parents attempt to achieve this through creating safeguarded childhood conditions, that are not possible to produce at 20 years old.