e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

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Octuplets' Mother's Excuses

She claims she had that many children because she was lonely growing up as an only child.

She claims she paid for that much IVF with a $160,000 settlement for a work-related back injury.

In other words, she's an immature twit with no grasp of what parenting is about, how much money a given sum is, in terms of, for instance, bringing up baby.  

I am an only child.   And yes, there were times I wished I had siblings to share the chore load with (contrary to popular belief, only children DO  have chores, and there's only one child to do them.   I did the dishes every night.  Took out the trash every day.  Etc, etc, etc.  Lots of etc.)  I got darned sick and tired of having teachers (and other adults) make snide and ignorant comments about those of us who were onlies (the presumption that we were all lazy, spoiled, and selfish got old fast.)   There were good things about being an only, and there were not-so-good things (and that's true of any size family,  and any birth order within a family

All the families I read about in books had multiples who seemed to have a lot of fun.  Most of my friends were in families with multiples.   So yes, I wanted a big family when I was a child and (a smaller but still good-sized) family in adolescence.

And yet, when it proved impossible to have biological children--and when the first adoption bottleneck prevented easy, quick adoption--I accepted the reality instead of having a hysterical (the adjective is precise) determination to have "my own" babies.   By then I was an adult.  I knew that the right reason to have children was to give those children a good home--not to fill emotional voids in my own psyche.  I knew what giving children a good home entailed...in money, in time, in knowledge, in emotional commitment.   It was not fun to listen to friends talk about their wonderful children (who were wonderful children and are wonderful adults)--or other friends complain endlessly about how their children had ruined their creativity (my unspoken thought was "Fine--give me your children, go write your book/paint/run for office, and we'll both be happier and so will the kids." ) 

Wanting children for the wrong reason--to fill a void in oneself--is not limited to those who were only children,  and not all onlies are like that.   It's a sigh of immaturity--selfish immaturity--and is, of course, completely unrealistic.  That's why one or two or three children aren't enough for these women, because the first children (being children, not daydreams) do not "love them" enough to fill that void.   Children learn to love by being loved....it doesn't work the other way around, any more than a baby can breastfeed its mother.   Everyone would agree that a mother who tried to suck milk out of her baby to nourish  herself would be wrong (and probably insane.)   Wanting a child to have "something to love" and/or "someone who will love me" is the same sick dynamic.

When we adopted our son, we had to go through various legal hoops to ensure (they hoped) that we wanted to adopt for the right reasons--his welfare, not ours--and that we had the resources (in all senses of the word) to be good parents.  It was annoying at times, especially when the social worker focused on the fact that both our mothers had been single parents who worked full time (one widow, one divorcee) , but we understood that the intent was to ensure the baby's welfare.  So it's especially galling that no screening is done for biological parents who require IVF.   This woman could not satisfy any of the criteria we had to satisfy--but just because she's the biological mother, nobody even thinks of checking.  Maturity?  No.  Emotional stability?  No.  Financial stability and resources adequate for the number of children?  No.  Appropriate size house for the number of children?  No.  Knowledge of children's needs(including the likelihood of complications in multiple births and very large families?  No.  Commitment to the welfare of each child?  No.

None of us want the children already in existence to fall through the cracks because their mother is an idiot.  But I personally would like to see all fourteen children removed from her "care" (what, after all, are they going to learn from her?  Not how to be rational adults or good parents!)  at least until she has had considerable therapy and probably permanently.  She is not a fit parent.  She has demonstrated irresponsible behavior in every domain she could touch.

I still blame the IVF clinic, and especially the doctor(s) who implanted her this last time, for not insisting on a psychological evaluation and refusing to implant her again.  The medical expert is supposed to be the last line of defense against medical idiocy--but here whoever it was removed the guardrails and invited this woman to jump off the cliff.  

As a society, we fail our young women when we let them grow up believing the romantic myths of motherhood--that babies "fulfill" women, that babies and children are a source of love, that being childless is the worst tragedy, that women exist only to make babies and are "more" woman if they have more babies.  There was a time in history when the survival of the human race did depend on all women having children--that  was tens of thousands of years ago.  Now the survival of the human race depends on facing the reality of limits: the limits of drinkable water, of arable soil, of breathable air.   There's no reason to scold and shame girls who don't want children...no reason to allow girls to think they have no value except as fertile vessels for men's pride. There's no reason to push the infertile to extreme means of having babies.  And certainly no reason to let any girl grow up believing that having a baby (or lots of babies) is the cure for loneliness  or an emotional void.

All babies should be wanted babies...and wanted for the right reasons.   The emotionally needy young woman needs therapy more than she needs a baby.   Treat the depression.  Treat the immaturity.  Treat any other mental illness first.  Teach her how to have a satisfying and happy life that is not dependent on motherhood.   Then, when she is emotionally stable, no longer needy, no longer wrapped in that mythology, she will be a better parent and a more responsible person. 

As for spending a disability settlement on IVF...that's equivalent to spending it on any other "want"--sports car, clothes, jewelry--instead of using it for what it was intended.    The real problem here is what drove her to make that choice.
Tags: opinion, politics
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