Sunday, April 13, 2014

A New Choice: Stroller vs. Leash

Do you ever have one of those moments when you look around and all you see are pregnant women? They've been out in force this week, making me feel like I'm no longer a member of that very exclusive club. But perhaps this was a sign.

This week brought the joyful news of three new and healthy pregnancies in my circle of family and friends. Ultrasound pictures were posted on Facebook and alongside a tray of celebratory cookies.

Given my happy baby news, I was a bit surprised by new data released by the US Centers for Disease Control indicating that young women are choosing owning a puppy over having a baby. A substantial dip in the number of babies born to women ages 15-29 corresponds with a noticeable rise in the number of tiny dogs owned by young American women.

The federal report shows"over the past seven years, the number of live births per 1000 women between ages 15 and 29 in America has plunged 9 percent." During this same seven years, the American Pet Products Associations reports"the number of small dogs (under 25 pounds) has skyrocketed from 34.1 million to 40.8 million."

Young women find that owning a tiny dog is "just easier" than having a child. True it is much easier to have a social life with a dog than a baby. Dogs are cheaper and certainly less permanent in your life than a child. You don't have to get married and settle down to own a toy poodle, effectively eliminating any lifelong commitments. And yes, you can dress your Yorkie like a baby. Just seems like a narcissistic lifestyle choice.

Perhaps I'm lucky that I have it all—three kids and a dog. I'd never give up the joy and sheer exhilaration of watching three babies grow up into amazing young adults. No matter how you dress it up, a chihuahua is just not a replacement for a baby.

3 comments:

Diane said...

I heard this, too! Interesting, huh?

Christianna said...

Guess that explains the seasonal dog clothing selections at Target.

alyssa said...

I'm surprised they included the ages of 15-17 in the study, as those ages are not considered adults, nor are they likely to be married. I would think it would be a good thing to reduce babies born to mothers of that age.

Also, part of the younger women not having babies trend may also be related to the women marrying later trend. The average age for the first marriage for women is now 27, on the upper range of this study.

So what if women in this age range aren't having babies? It doesn't mean that they never will. It might just mean that they are waiting for the right time.