How the recession is affecting family life
The current recession is affecting everybody. Here are a few examples of how it is affecting family life.
Role reversal: As the recession lengthens, more men are becoming unemployed and assuming the role of Mr. Moms. That leaves a lot of working moms as sole breadwinners. This is due to the fact that men are usually employed in the financial sector and other businesses closely linked to the current credit crunch. The men are therefore the ones who are most likely to lose their jobs. A lot of women, on the other hand, are working in education and health care, and are less likely to be affected by budget cuts and downsizing. There are Moms who are forced to go back to work because Dad becomes jobless. Unfortunately, women usually earn less than men. This role reversal has some effect on the family structure. The family has to make do with less, Mom probably has to work longer hours while Dad has to deal with household chores and childcare. It is not unimaginable that such alteration in the family set up can lead to tension and strife between parents and confusion among children.
Divorce rates: Experts can’t agree how the recession is affecting divorce rates. Previous figures show that economic downturns can have adverse effects on relationships that lead to increased divorce rates. There are however, reports which shows that the current recession drives divorce rates lower because people would rather spend their money on more essential things than divorce lawyer fees. There is evidence that men believe that it is “cheaper to keep her.” Divorce rates for 2008 were the lowest since 1970. In the American states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York which were strongly affected by the credit crunch, divorce filings are reported down to a third of previous rates. This doesn’t indicate that the family structure has been strengthened by the current financial woes. It used to be that couples stay together for the sake of the children. Nowadays it’s for the sake of saving money.
In the UK, the recession seems to have resulted in more families breaking down, according to the Yorkshire Post. This is resulting in more children being placed in foster home, most especially older children.
Birth rates: Finally, the current recession will also have an effect on the future of family structure as more and more people abstaining from having babies. As coblogger Alexandra had written, the numbers of abortions and vasectomies are going up. It seems that the current recession might slow down the baby boom the US has been experiencing lately. In Europe, this is a big blow to countries already suffering from very low birth rates. We will be expecting smaller families in the years to come