The Fertility Rate In France Proves The United States Has A Lot To Learn About How To Treat Mothers
The French are fertile. Like, the most fertile. I know, I know, insert accordion music and every French stereotype you’ve ever heard about ‘amour’. But seriously, I think we can learn a lot from recent findings about why the birth rate in France is higher than it is in the United States and several other European countries. Basically, it boils down to gender equality and how well new mothers are treated in France – from a medical, professional, and personal standpoint.
From The Guardian:
“There is nothing straightforward or natural about ‘the family.’ It is a very complex world based on social norms, what the American sociologist Ronald Rindfuss calls the ‘family package.’ [In France] the family norm is much more flexible, with late marriages, reconstituted families, single parents, much more frequent births outside marriage and divorces than further south,” Toulemon adds. “People are far less concerned about the outlook for the family [as an institution].”
See guys? French people are all “let’s enjoy wine and eating outside and smoking and being thin” and are less about societal norms/pressures. As someone who has been to France (I was a college student on a highly discounted school trip – it sounds much less pretentious if you know that), I fell in love with their way of life instantly. At 20, I was able to see that we are just going about things the completely wrong way over here in fast-paced, whats-a-conversation America. We’re anxious, overly prepared, constantly comparing ourselves to our friends, and we are planners. French people work, like, 5 hour days and spend the rest of the time drinking and eating with their friends and family. There’s no giant weekly grocery shopping trip. They just buy fresh stuff every day and figure out what they’re gonna make for their families as they go. That alone relieves a lot of family anxiety and stress right there.
Now, I’m not saying their economy is benefitting from this, but their overall happiness sure is. I can totally see how their “carpe diem” way of life has a direct effect on their fertility rates. Couple that with an awesome maternity leave (like A WHOLE YEAR) and free healthcare, and yeah… people are gonna want to have more babies. GET IT TOGETHER AMERICA.