Thursday, February 12, 2009

Excuse me while I become rude...

Welcome to the recession. Things are hard for many, many people. Every day is a hard decision, as people face choices between purchasing one need or another. "Do I fill my vehicle with gas or do I buy food? Well, I need fuel for the vehicle to go buy the food, so I guess I'm splitting what little money I have." (Not me, mind you. I haven't had a vehicle since 1997, and haven't driven since 2000. I no longer have a valid license.) Of course, one could take a bus to the nearest market, but then you have the joy of trying to get $200 of food for your family home on public transportation.

Of late, however, I'm being hit with news of Nadya Suleman, who had six children already, and just gave birth to octuplets. I was basically ignoring this story, right up until I heard Jay Leno make a joke about this woman having established a site for donations to support her family. In an instant, I wanted to find this woman so I could ask her face-to-face, "Exactly how stupid are you?"

I am overwhelmed by the irresponsibility of this woman. As much as a woman might want a large family, my thought on the matter is that you don't have kids you, yourself, can't care for. The concept is absurd to me.

Let's look elsewhere in the world, like toward NY, where my friend Julie lives. She was a single mom of one child. She found a new boyfriend, got pregnant by him, and they made arrangements to move in together, eventually taking on the purchase of a house. Ten days after the baby was born, he was laid off from work. Their lives instantly became very tough. This, however, was not a matter of having a child she couldn't afford. All was well when she became pregnant, and the purchase of the house was a turn for the better. When Joe was laid off, things took a rapid, terrible turn. But what's she supposed to do? She had committed herself in her heart and mind to keep the baby, and now adopting Ruby out would be heartbreaking to the entire family.

Turn your eyes, now, to Arizona, right in my own home, where I wish I could have a child. I have wanted to be a father for decades, but never had a woman make it down the aisle with me to start a family. Julie, as loving and caring about me as she is, was very close to offering to have a baby for me. (Yes, our friendship is that complete.)

Alas, several factors come into play. First, my disabilities. Caring for my cat is sometimes a challenge, and recently asked a neighbor's kids to help me change her litter because of the pain in my feet. Having to care for a child might tax my physical abilities too much. On top of that, I can't afford my life now, as a single adult with no luxuries whatsoever. Sure, I'm still playing City of Heroes lately, but that's because a friend asked for access to my game account and paid for six months of playing time, (which came with a bonus month, allowing me to play for a total of seven months). I don't have a cell phone, (I'm not that important). I don't have cable or satellite TV, (I don't need extra channels of nothing to watch). I make $800 a month, and approximately $535 goes out toward rent and utilities; I'm left with $265 for the rest of the month, which is why my last post included a bit of begging for help. (No one has offered aid as of yet, which is distressing.) As much as I want a child, it's just not smart for me to have one...not as a single parent, anyway.

Back in California, Miss Suleman now has 14 children, has refused to marry the father of all of her kids (according to one source I read, she divorced some guy (the father?) in 2008), and, while able to apparently afford the outstanding costs of in vitro fertilization, requires disability for three of her kids and food stamps. She was already in dire straights before she had these eight babies, and she had them with the intent of keeping them! Did someone fail to tell her that rearing children isn't cheap? And why would someone have to tell her? She should have noticed with the other six, two of which are twins.

Am I missing something here? Is my decidedly male mind incapable of understanding what's going on inside this woman's head? She was already in a financial hole, and she chose to dig it deeper. And now she's asking for money? It seems almost hypocritical of me to be so angry with this woman, but I didn't choose to live beneath poverty; I didn't choose to become disabled. She chose to have eight more babies on top of her six existing children - while single and living with other family members because she can't afford to live alone with her brood - and now she has the audacity to ask people to help!

Sure, Nadya...I'll help. Just give me your address, and I'll send you a list of adoption agencies near you. Somewhere out in the world are responsible adults who can afford to take care of the eight new members of your tribe, and can't have kids of their own. Meanwhile, we'll get a fire marshal to your place to shut down your uterus. It's obviously a health hazard.

I am most distressed over the welfare of these kids. It takes a special kind of stupidity, in my mind, to have more kids when you can't afford the ones you already have. These children are now going to have to fight for the rest of their lives to survive, and at some point their going to look at their mother and wonder why she would do this to them. Her desire for a big family is a selfish one, and they're going to be the ones to pay for her fantasy. Her fantasy, their nightmare.

Even more nightmarish is the idea that she may have had so many kids so she could receive more government aid. To me, such an act is fraud. All alone, I can't afford to eat regular meals. I have to take shortcuts to meet the requirements of my diabetic diet, and the local welfare office seems to be of a mind that I make too much money to receive food stamps. This woman, whose spending for IVF is out of control, will likely receive all kinds of free offers, plenty of donations, and welfare.

Am I selfish for thinking this way? Maybe. But it's definitely time to stop this baby-making machine called Nadya Suleman, if only for the sake of the children. Oh, she claims she won't be having any more. Personally, I'd do my best to make sure of it. Like amputating her body from the solar plexus, down. That idea is not nearly as cruel as some might think. I mean, if she needs to reach a high shelf or cabinet, her kids can form a pyramid and she can crawl up them.


Okay. I think I'm done ranting now. My apologies to anyone who finds this post rude, but I'm in a bad way through no design of my own. When I see people purposely setting their children up for a future loaded with hardship, I become angered fairly easily.


morbidwombat said...

That's the other side of the "woman's right to choose what she does with her body" thing. Any sort of reproductive restrictions can be seen as inherently sexist. That's why there's no such thing as a parenting license.

So far as I understand, some of her kids already live with her mother. I'm sure she won't be allowed to keep them all for long, given her situation.

Anonymous said...

I am shocked by the news. I hadn't heard that the woman was so deep into a financial hole. I was quite disturbed by the news but I thought she was just a rich woman that could afford all those kids. Now... I think that woman should be locked in some mental institution... because what she did is plain... insane.

Her excuse for having so many kids? She likes kids. For goodness sake... if she likes kids so much, she should just become a teacher. Why bring more and more kids into this world if she can't keep them?

I know there's some of that insane stuff here in Mexico, but that's a cultural thing, not an insanity case. Over here, the church tells people they should have "as many kids as God sends you" and says that contraception methods are sinful. Combine that with a "macho" culture where the female has to give in to sex whenever the male feels like it... and yes, you get families with 8 or more kids. Mind you, this is mostly in the lower socioeconomic circles, but in Mexico, that IS a good deal of the population. Sadly, that means that most of the families which end up doing this also end up in the "more kids than we can afford" problem and... yes. Things get ugly. There was quite a scandal years back when the government decided to put an end to this themselves and, if the woman got a cesarean section and it was her second (or third or more) child... they'd pretty much shut the factory down. Without consent, hence the scandal. They don't do that anymore, but... honestly...? I think they should. This kind of thing shouldn't happen. Children shouldn't suffer just because their parents want more kids than they can afford.

And Bor... I swear... if only I had the money and credit card and job... I'd send aid your way. Soon, though, I hope... since I'm finally getting treatment for the issue that's kept me from being able to have the energy to look for a job. So I'm hoping that soon enough I won't be confined to mostly being in bed and I actually can get a job. I still wish you all the best, though... and I hope you manage to get through this.

Rob Meadows said...

Morbid, this woman's mother is caring for the kids while the Nadya is in the hospital and caring for the infants. And the mother has some harsh words for her daughter, calling her daughter's actions unconscionable. "She already has six beautiful children, why would she do this?...I'm struggling to look after her six. We had to put in bunk beds, feed them in shifts and there's children's clothing piled all over the house." And it stuns me that she would go to a fertility clinic when she already had six kids, was receiving food stamps, and three of whom are disabled. It's absurd.

Sneaky Ale, posting comments. Thanks for your wishes, sweetie. But knowing you as I do, I'm afraid that even when things are okay for you, it would be wiser for you to hang on to your money. It's hard for me to say no to aid, but the Mexican economy is ALWAYS on fire, and you should hang on to your funds for emergencies like mine.

As for this woman, I can't help but wonder at her "love of kids." Her only claim thus far is that she wants a big family.

Today, I'm learning that she broke U.S. fertility treatment guidelines by insisting that six embryos be implanted in her womb, as opposed to the guideline maximum of two. She ended up with eight kids because IVF can result in embryos splitting.

the NY cynic in me sees this whole thing as a money scam. She's unemployed, single, supposedly in school, and now claiming she won't take welfare. Well, who needs welfare when she can set up a website asking for donations to support her irresponsibility, as well as have a publicist to go around asking for $2,000,000 for her story?

I'm not trying to come off as sexist. A woman has a right to do what she wants with her body, so long as it's not endangering herself or others. In this case, she's endagering others: the children. How is one jobless woman supposed to care for 14 kids? And then to have the chutzpah to ask people for money online! I may do the same thing, but I'm not asking people to support my "baby habit."

No...This has all the makings of a money-making stunt. She broke the guidelines to have as many kids as possible so she could start making a plea to those who like to give, as well as generate a profitable story that would sell for millions. This wasn't about the kids. This was about her bank accounts. In my mind, those kids should be taken away and put up for adoption, and she should be jailed for fraud.