Are Women without kids an Unrecognized or Misunderstood Demographic?
I don't know about you, but when I first saw this statistic, I was blown away - nearly half of all childbearing women (between the ages of 15 and 44) are without children. Wow! This comes to us from the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey - the most current data available on this topic – and represents the highest percentage recorded to date since the bureau started tracking this statistic in 1976!
Now, I have to say that I was fully aware that women of childbearing age were waiting longer to have their first child, a trend we have seen for quite some time now, among other trends such as choosing to marry later in life and have fewer kids. So why was I so shocked to see such a high percentage?
Because I didn’t know I was part of such a large demographic, period. I feel validated knowing that I am no longer part of a minority group, but rather a growing cohort of women who according to the evidence are living happy and fulfilled lives despite choosing to be “refusenicks” (a term I just recently became aware of and quite fond of).
But why do I still feel as though our unique demographic is overlooked somehow? Whether you are watching TV or browsing on social media, I do not see marketers or corporate America reaching out to us the way they reach out to mothers with children. Whether it’s a commercial for Ford, Staples, Bounty paper towels or Petsmart, the majority of ads show women with children. However, I own a Ford Edge, consider Staples to be my “second office”, swear by Bounty paper towels to clean up dog messes around the house and count Petsmart as one of my weekly stops. Yet never have I seen a single woman without kids in tow in any of their commercials.
If you ask some of the experts who have been tracking the growing demographic of child-free women, the reasons are theoretical at best and include uncertainty among marketers as to how exactly they should pitch to us and corporate America choosing to chase a “tried and true” demographic. Moms, traditionally the decision makers in the household, spent $3.4 trillion in 2015 and represent the largest spending consumer group in the USA, according to Maria Bailey, chief executive of the marketing firm BSM Media. Yet according to research performed by Melanie Notkin (founder of the website SavvyAuntie) and DeVries Global (a public relations and marketing company), women without children spend 2x as much on beauty and hair products, spend 60% more time traveling abroad and 35% more on groceries than women without kids!
I’m curious to know how you feel about these statistics. Feeling forgotten or misunderstood?
Childless Women No Less Happy
A report by U.S. social researchers finds that having children does not substantially improve a woman’s psychological well-being later in life.
The presence of a significant other is more important to a woman’s happiness than children, according to the study's findings. Researchers looked at women between the ages of 51 and 61. Most were young adults in the 1950s, when women had more children and had them earlier in life. Although the childless women as a whole reported being somewhat less happy, when the researchers factored in socioeconomic characteristics and marital status, there was no difference in terms of well-being between the two groups. The rate of childlessness among women over 40 is now 20%, having doubled between 1980 and 1998. The study shows that their situation needn't be thought depressing. Women who had children before age 19 were the group found least happy, by and large. Those who became mothers after 25 were the most content. The research found that the childless women were as happy with their lives as women who gave birth between 19 and 24, the usual childbearing age for their generation.
Source: Childless Women No Less Happy April 14, 2007 04:16 PM by findingDulcinea Staff via www.findingdulcinea.com
This has always been a question of mine - are women without kids happier than women with children, and vice-versa? I guess it all depends upon one's definition of happiness, but according to this blog post (as well as many other sources), I think child-free women might score higher on the happiness scale...No kid, no cry? What do you think?
Early Menopause More Likely in Women Without Children
This article about early menopause was published Jan. 25 in the journal Human Reproduction and was featured in WebMD February newsletter. The research concludes that the risk of early menopause is higher among women who began having menstrual periods at a young age and did not have children.
Women who began menstruating at 11 or younger were also 30 percent more likely to have early menopause, the study authors said. Those who had never been pregnant or never had children had a twofold increased risk of premature menopause. These women also had a 30 percent increased risk of early menopause, according to the study.
What to you think about this? Has this been your experience?
FOR FULL ARTICLE, click here .
SOURCE: Human Reproduction, news release, Jan. 24, 2017
Do women who have kids sacrifice more than women who do not?
Is it an issue of “who thinks they have it more difficult” or is it an issue of “mothers regretting their choice to have kids”?
I was recently accused of not understanding or appreciating the level of sacrifice that another woman with children makes on a daily basis. Apparently this woman felt the need to share with me her resume of sacrifices made over the past 16 years as part of raising 3 kids. Juggling schedules, working 3 odd jobs to put food on the table, being absent from family gatherings – all a result of constant at-home and children demands, etc.
While I have watched from afar several friends, sisters and colleague deal with the many challenges of raising children (including finding time for themselves), I respectfully disagree that those of us who have found ourselves in the situation of not having children don’t understand a mother’s challenges. As woman we all experience stress, we all make sacrifices, every day is a negotiation, however our definition of sacrifice and how we choose to negotiate may not be the same depending upon whether or not we choose to become a parent.
A working mother today may define sacrifice as not being able to spend enough time with their kids in order to put food on the table, or may prioritize her children’s need for clothing, tutoring sessions, extracurricular activities, school uniform or college tuition all over her need for that massage or glass of wine that she often dreams of. A stay at home mom may view giving up a promising career as her sacrifice to raise her children. However women without children make their own sacrifices – many of which go unrecognized by women with children.
Has this woman ever considered that we’ve sacrificed never knowing what it’s like to birth our own offspring, or watch a part of ourselves grow into a human being? Always wondering who will take care of us when we are older or incapacitated and not able to make decisions related to our own well-being? Whether by choice, chance or circumstance, those of us without children might have extra time on our hands, money in bank or ability to knock off travel destinations on our bucket list more quickly, but let’s not forget, that we will never be surrounded by our naturally born children or their children on our death bed.
I’m curious - at what point does another sacrifice on behalf of a mother become too much, yielding an inherent anger towards those of us who have not chosen the path of motherhood? At any rate, I felt that this woman’s words were “punishing” to an extent – as if they were purposely made to make me feel guilty about my choice to pursue a life full of pleasures of a different kind.
Have you ever been in this situation before? How did you respond? What sacrifices do you (a woman without children) make on a daily basis?