Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Denial: Not Just a River in Africa

I was going to write about the research project that I have been involved in. But then I saw a video clip and decided that bringing the crazy was a much better idea.

Although I have not blogged regularly over the past few months, I have kept my eyes open for potential stories. One of those stories involves the Octuplet Mama, Nadya Suleman. She has been debated all over the blog0sphere, but it was her interview yesterday that was the final straw for me.

Honestly another multiple birth was not shocking. They seem to occur more often these days. However, the more I read the more shocked I got. Nadya is a single mom. She does not have a job or a source of income. She has six other children. One of them is autistic. She lives with her parents. Her father is going to Iraq to support the children.

All of these things made me angry. It all seems so selfish and irresponsible. As I watched her interview with Ann Curry with NBC, my worries seemed to be confirmed.

First let me point out that I think Nadya made a few good points. She is right, very few people would be judging her if she were married or in a relationship. If it is okay for couples to have large families, why not a single mom? I have good friends who are single moms. They love their children with a passion that is hard to match. But they also struggle financially and emotionally to support their kids. And oh yeah, each of my friends only has one baby; 14 would probably make them explode.

Thus, I do not think it is about whether an individual is single or in a relationship, but rather if they are able to handle a large family. Nadya does not appear to be able to support her children. When asked, "How are you going to feed them?" Her response was, "I will do it in my way." What does that mean? PB&J until the kids are in college? Will Jesus return to earth and multiply fish?

Second she did point out that being "present" for her kids and making them her top priority was the most important thing. She is right and many people do not do this with their kids. But she is delusional if she thinks that she alone can be "present" for 14 kids, all the while going back to school to provide for them.

When asked why she wanted to have such a large family, she responded that she was so lonely as a single child. She needed connections. Dude, have one or two and then get a dog! Having children because you do not feel connected to other people is dangerous. It is about as bad as having a child to save a marriage. I also have friends who tried that. It never worked.

In the end she sort of reminded me of individuals who have lots of cats or dogs. I don't mean just a few, but the crazy cat lady who does not talk to anybody and keeps getting more and more cats. That is actually a mental health issue and I am deeply troubled that her fertility doctor did not explore these problems with her.

Some good friends of ours are in the process of trying IVF and I have others who are desperately trying to get pregnant. They just want ONE little baby to love and cherish. Our friends are loving professional couples, who have excelled at everything but making babies. I cannot even bring this topic up to them because I am afraid of the reaction. Jealousy. And sadness. Those 14 kids have a long road ahead with a "present" yet delusional mother who may not be able to provide for them. Love don't put meat on the table. And our friends have plenty of love but no one to give it to.


Renate said...

I also have been wondering how she could even afford IVF. Isn't that awfully expensive?

Julie said...

Hi there! I've been enjoyed your blog.

The octuplet mom really makes me angry. I agree, it's the equivalent of cat-hoarding, only much much worse (cats don't require nearly as much as babies). And no responsible person would be party to the implantation of 6 embryos. It almost guarantees a difficult first year or more for each of those babies.

One last thing - you couldn't get a license as a day care provider with that caregiver-to-child ratio.

xsomegirl said...

I have often thought that people who hoard kids are similar to crazy cat ladies. When I happened to mention this at my moms' group I could not believe that I was in the minority. Most thought that the Duggars (the family on American TV with 18 or 19 kids) were selfless.

I am glad to know that there are others who think of crazy cat ladies when they see people having more children than they can reasonably handle.

Why oh why does the song "Every Sperm is Sacred" from Monty Python keep running through my head?

J said...

You tease.

Tell us about the research project!

Carrie said...

When I first heard about this story, I didn't care one way or another about how many kids she had or what she did with them...then I heard the details...single mom, no job, etc.

I think she's out to get a TV show like "Kate + 8" or the Duggers or one of the dozen "I have a huge number of kids" shows. I figure she's going to try to milk money out of it and that was her reason for doing it. The sad thing is, she's so damn dumb that she's let it back fire on her and she'll be lucky to keep the kids out of foster care. (Of course, I think adoption would be a good decision for her.)