Decisions to get married and have children are only partly rational decisions for most.

Decisions to get married and have children are only partly rational decisions for most.

You cannot know in advance all the ramifications of these decisions which is as it should be for if you did you might not enter into either arrangement. Because the fate of our happiness and the perpetuation of the human race depended on it, the Lord left these decisions in the hands of the young and caused them to go a little crazy before making their decisions.

Definitions and Numbers

‘Family’ is defined by the Census Bureau as two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption residing in the same housing unit. [If cohabitating, they’re a ‘household.’]

‘Related’ means their activities, outcomes, and fates are connected and, hopefully, concordant, or harmonious. I would add that the real basis of unity is not a legal agreement but love, and when it breaks down, a family becomes merely a household.

We have 76 million families of whom 55 million are married-couple households, 5.5 million households headed by single males, and 15 million headed by single females. The rest live in 40 million non-family households. Average family size is 3.25 and declining as the number of children per family declines below the replacement ratio of 2.1. If it weren’t for illegal immigrants of high fecundity our national population would be declining.


Women are marrying later and the proportion choosing to remain childless has been increasing at an astonishing rate. Our birthrate is the lowest in recorded American history.

Twenty percent of women never bear children. One such woman described motherhood as “The hardest job in the world;” another said, “I love children. I just don’t need to own one;” and a third said, “It takes all of you, and I don’t know that I want to give it all.”

The more intelligent women are, the less likely they are to become mothers. But, other groups are catching up. The typical four stages of adulthood are college, career, house, and kids but the economy and women’s liberation have extended women’s years in college and work which provided them a lifestyle without children that they don’t want to give up.[1]

A child born last year will cost an average middle-income couple $241,000 to raise to the age of 18—NOT counting the cost of college. As a result of the State reducing appropriations and public universities over-compensating with tuition increases, college has been priced out of the budget of the average working-class family.

Child care averages 30 percent of a woman’s income which causes some women to opt for stay-at-home mom-hood. After several years of that, some have lost their employability. Two-thirds of mothers in the work force have children under 18, and 40 percent of wives are their family’s primary bread winner. Seventy studies have found maternal employment has not had a bad effect on the intellectual achievement of children and actually lowers the risk of divorce. [2]

Single Parenting

Everything bad that happens to children is worse in single-mother homes and anything to the contrary is a self-serving rationale and myth. Children need daddies. Period.

Buying a typical existing home here costing $193,000 is hard on one income given the requirement of a credit score of 650, 10 percent down payment [$19,300,] and monthly payments of $1,240 for 30 years. Remember, families choose jobs and unconscionable commutes to secure homes in school districts sought for their children. Everything about single-parenting condemns most children to the same economic status in life as their parents—the basis of charges that our society is devolving from class to caste. [3] The American Dream of children doing better than their parents is being sacrificed at the altar of life without Father.

American Values

Individuals are in the midst of a tectonic shift in values and practices in four areas of their personal behaviors and beliefs which in the aggregate are endangering the nation’s strength and future. Sex outside of marriage, cohabitating, children born out of wedlock, and single-parenting are common and tolerated as different rather than judged to be wrong or even undesirable.

Far worse, we are changing the basis of our value judgments from the Bible to peer norms and public opinion polls. Legal now trumps moral. We have moral standards by majority rule. Fixed standards are out, replaced by situational ethics and moral relativism. We are in a moral whiteout without a polar star or moral compass.

[1] “The Childfree Life,” TIME, August 12, 2013. “How Long Can You Wait To Have A Baby?,” Jean Twenge, The Atlantic, July/August 2013.

[2] Stephanie Coontz, “The Trium p of the Working Mother,” NYT, June 2, 2013; NYT, Dec. 1, 2013.

[3] Charles Murray, Coming Apart, NY: Crown Forum, 2012.