Saturday, February 21, 2009

The hangover and not the drink

Almost intentionally, I've refrained from commenting publicly about the poor, delusional woman who recently gave birth to children seven through 14. This was mostly because I had nothing of real substance to say.

But this almost throwaway line from Katha Pollitt intrigued me:

"Suleman seems to have combined an extraordinary degree of planning for conception with no realistic planning for childraising."
Imagine that, for a young, single, unemployed mother of few apparent financial means. This seems like the height of irresponsibility, right?

And it leads into this great observation from Megan of Jezebel:

"It seems like there are certain people who get more than a little entranced by the idea of getting married or having kids, fetishizing it even, to the point that they don't pay quite as much attention to being a spouse or parenting a child."
Spot on.

I'm not normally one to point to self-help books but my mother bought me a good one from Dr. Robin L. Smith several years ago (about 75 percent off at Sam's Club), when she feared that I was getting too close to a woman - pre First Lady - who might have brought me a lifetime's worth of misery.

In the book, Dr. Smith talks a lot about showing up to the altar and, likely in Suleman's case, to the obstetrician, as a grown-up. Mostly, the book is a reminder that if you're more concerned about the wedding and baby shower and not the work of marriage and parenthood, it's probably a good idea to reconsider them all.

And what to think of a woman who spent upwards of $160,000 on fertility treatments yet receives about $500 a month in food stamps? Perhaps that, my goodness, she and her children are in for an extremely bumpy ride:

“All I can do is do my very best and be there for them; be present in their lives and have them my absolute priority in my life,” Suleman said. “I was not expecting it.”
Surprise, surprise.

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