I’ve written several times now about how the responsibility for children is moving lower on the priority scale to minimal status in our society. You can see this in the flippancy with which unmarried women have children, exposing them to a life with no father and the jarring repetition of Mommy’s newest love fling. Or the way children are thrown into institutionalized day-care from birth, or are shuttled between casually divorced parents busy with new romances and career opportunities. You even see it with the increasing number of children left to die in the back seat of cars, because their parents forgot all about having a child in the first place!
According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, having children has fallen to eighth on a list of nine keys to happiness in marriage, way behind what is now considered more important, such as sharing household chores and being faithful:
2. Good sex
3. Sharing household chores
4. Adequate income
5. Good housing
6. Shared religious beliefs
7. Shared tastes and interests
9. Agreement on politics
I see these results as ominous. If this self-centered “it’s all about what I wanna have and do, with little inconvenience or stress” attitude continues, future generations of children will suffer increasing neglect. This neglect will cause deep emotional pain and social chaos as their “acting out of control” behaviors negatively impact American society.
Of the nine qualities these folks mention as important for a successful marriage, only one had anything to do with giving, and that is children. The rest have to do with getting. Thoughts of division of labor and responsibilities are clearly out the window as the issue of which person might be doing more in the house than the other is more important. That sounds more like roommates than loving spouses.
When 50% more folks think that not taking one more bag of garbage to the curb than their spouse is more important to a marriage than combining love and energies into making a family, America is in trouble.
Much of Europe is already in trouble with this mentality, with the birthrates not replacing or growing their populations. Italy is most impacted, with most of its population considered “elderly.”