We Grandparents Should Be Thankful for the Grandchildren We Have Looking at Three Important Articles and A New Book as to Why Everyone Is Having Less Children And How We Can Grandparents Can Change This Course In Our Own Families

The recent news has bombarded this Grandma about how everyone in America is having less children.  I must be thankful and grateful that I have reached the average of six grandchildren.  I expect that this average is going to decline greatly according to the following articles and book.

As a grandparent or wishful to be grandparent, it is time to pay attention.  You will see the same culprits as reasons why we are seeing less and less American children born: millennials waiting longer to get married and women waiting longer to have children; lack of suitable mate with whom to raise children; costs of raising children, child care, housing and college are more expensive; the future of the planet is in jeopardy; worldwide conflict is causing concern about the future.

AMERICANS ARE HAVING FEWER BABIES

“Americans Are Having Fewer Babies. They Told Us Why,” by Claire Cain Miller, in the New York Times, July 5, 2018, addresses all of the reasons above as to why we are seeing less and less children born in America, and more.

The article charts the top reasons and gives percentages in order of concern.  Time and Money seem the top concerns, but the article gives it all to you and it is not a pretty picture for any of us who are grandparents or wish to be grandparents.

MIDDLE CHILDREN NO MORE WITH SMALLER FAMILIES

“The Extinction of the Middle Child, by Adam Sternbergh, in New York Magazine, July 9-22, 2018, tells us happily that August 12 is National Middle Child Day.  If you have a middle grandchild, mark it on your calendar to celebrate with the grandchild.  Even better than buying your middle grandchild a present, buy their parents a present for having them!

His theme is that middle children are becoming extinct and an American rarity just when America could use them the most.   Of course, he mentions the “lionized firstborn, adored and groomed to succeed, and . . .the coddled lastborn, the baby of the family, who benefits from inexhaustible attention and experienced parents.”

I love Mr. Sternbergh’s prose that the middle child is “excluded, forgotten, shoved into the role of de facto peace maker among squabbling kinfolk, stripped rudely at an early age of the privileged status as the youngest and taught instead to accept benign indifference from siblings, parents and the world.”

We love all of our grandchildren, and having one in the middle means there are three in the family, and there is a natural mediator in our middle grandchild. Read the article at this link.

You will learn the famous middle children in the world and studies about birth order.  He even mentions how many Supreme Court Justices are middle born and what that means for our country!

That is the only good news in the article.  The rest of the article prepares us for the extinction of middle children.  He cites the Pew Research Center Studies and how today, nearly two thirds of American women with children in every demographic group now have just one or two children.

WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH FROZEN EGGS

“Only 7 percent of social egg freezers have returned for fertility treatment at a large European center: Still little known about outcome in this increasingly popular fertility service,” is the title of a study reviewed in Science Daily.   This Grandma is one who encouraged and encourages all young women to freeze eggs when they reach their mid thirties.  After all, people are living longer and mating later so this seems to make good sense.  In the study, the mean age of those freezing eggs is 36.5, so I was on target with age.  Those who did return found a “suitable” partner with whom to raise a child.  The numbers were different in different parts of the article, one section said 7.6% returned and in another place it said 12.8% returned for frozen eggs.  Either way, we grandparents have reason to worry.  Also, reasons to worry were the article discussions about viability of egg retrieval and pregnancy.

WHY OUR FAMILIES CANNOT AFFORD AMERICA

“Squeezed, Why Our Families Cannot Afford America,” by Alissa Quart is a book reviewed by Emily Cooke, in the New York Times Book Review, “Barely Afloat in America,” July 15, 2018.  Here is the link to Ms Cooke’s article. Ms. Cooke shares the anxiety of parents like her, educated professionals without many assets and concerned about how they can afford children.  Ms. Cooke writes, as other authors have, that women are having fewer children than any point since 1978, 1.76 over their lifetimes, down from 2.1 in 2007.  She describes the difference between desired and “completed” family size, and her personal take on Ms. Quart’s book is worth reading.  She says that “Quart has tried to write a book that is not uniformly depressing, and at the end of some chapters she describes ways people have attempted to better their situations with unconventional arrangements. . . .”  It is sad to this Grandma that to be not depressed about America and less children, we must go out of the norm to seek solutions.  Here is the Amazon link to Ms. Quart’s book.

WHAT CAN WE GRANDPARENTS OR WISHFUL GRANDPARENTS DO

We cannot cure the world’s ills, but we can ease the way for the parents of our grandchildren.  Time and money are the top two concerns of those considering to be parents or those who are parents in this day and age in America.  We Boomer grandparents, according to everything we read about us, have the most time and most money of any generation.  Our children and grandchildren are threatened each day with recession, lost jobs, lower lifestyle than their parents, and a host of other worries.

Read some of the posts in the Archives and about this Grandma’s mantra that if we can help with the grandchildren, we should help, without jeopardizing our own economic and physical health.  This blog contains so many Archive posts on ways to do so, that maintain that “no responsibility and all joy” with our grandchildren should be what we seek.  Start with the Archives and oldest posts and go forward.*

Share your time and with the parents of the grandchildren and the grandchildren and make life better for them as you can.  You never know.  You might just then make the average of six grandchildren!

 

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

 

 

* Here is a list I recently sent a long (we never say old) friend who just found out she is going to be a grandma for the first time. And this was only until 2014 posts.  Share with those you care about, as I did, with the “Subject: CONGRATS AND ENJOY!”  Remind them to subscribe in the space on the blog home page.

 

How to be the Best Grandma in the World with the Most Joy and Least Responsibility

 

Mother-in-law and Mother Relationship is the Same for Grandma

 

Songs, Sonograms, Shopping, and Creating a History

 

Never Say No–Number 1

 

Grandma Gift Guide for Parents to be

 

Names for Grandma and Names for Grandchild

 

Never Say No Number 2

 

The Grandma on the Floor

 

Grandma’s favorite websites for gifts for grandchildren

 

The baby nurse–the best EXPENSIVE gift you can give your newborn grandchild

 

Safety at Grandma’s House

 

 

Grandma Gift Guide for Babies

 

The Grandma Glue: Keeping Families Together for Holiday Rituals and Traditions

 

Tips for Grandma Visits: Getting What You Wish For

 

http://grandmother-blog.com/blog/2013/05/23/push-presents-according-to-grandma/  (help your son pick this out)

 

Grandma’s List of Five Best and Five Worst New Baby Gifts

 

”Grandma No Baby-sitter”

 

Grandma Essential Baby Supplies: Throw a Shower for a First Time Grandma!

 

Of First Born Children and First Born Grandchildren: Benefits of Loving The First the Longest

 

Belly Art: Who Knew It is a Craze?

 

A Grandma Who Needs Grandma Lessons

 

What Do Pregnant Women Want?

 

The Best Baby Shower Variation is a “Sprinkle”

 

Pediatrics Group Recommends Reading Aloud to Children From Birth

 

We Grandmas Must Not Forget Our Golden Rule: We Must Do As the Parents of Our Grandchildren Direct

 

Why this Long Distance Grandma No Longer Envies Local Grandmas

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