How much am I like Nadya Suleman?

Okay, obviously, right now, not so much like her. But…there is something about her story we all find compelling.

Suzanne Tobias writes in The Wichita Eagle:

Something about her story both fascinates and makes me fume.

I think it’s because Suleman illustrates a struggle every parent or prospective parent faces: the volley between heart and head, emotion and reason, decisions and consequences.

There is something irrational, if you will, about wanting to go through pregnancy – I’ll get to that sometime soon, the pregnancy lust, which is different than, strictly, the baby fever. But there is an illogic to it, because it is such a huge deal, a strain on body, mind, finances, relationships. And yet, there is that pull. Not fur everyone, but certainly, for me.

Tobias continues:

Part of me couldn’t wait to experience pregnancy and snuggle a newborn. I love babies. I love their cantaloupe heads, their wrinkled feet, their yawns and grimaces, the intoxicating smell of Ivory Snow and baby shampoo. All of it, divine.

Like Suleman, I envisioned family dinners and Christmas mornings, a house full of laughter and love. I’d love to have lots more children. But I also realize that pitter-pattering little feet eventually require shoes.

It’s no wonder that doctors around the United States have reported a sharp increase in the number of vasectomies recently. When the economy sours, many couples’ concerns about providing for children can overshadow baby fever.

That’s unfortunate. But far more upsetting is Suleman’s shortsighted vision of motherhood and the consequences it poses for her 14 children and everyone — including other working, taxpaying parents — who will help provide for them.

I think that’s fascinating about the economy and vasectomies. I think it’s interesting too because out of all the parents I know, no one has ever said to me, “It costs this much.” It’s always just, “It’s a lot of money” or “It’s not as bad as you think, when they’re babies, anyway.” In real dollars? I have no clue. My income also fluctuates and I’ve lived so paycheck to paycheck for so many years I’ve gotten used to it. I am striving for stability in that regard, not just for me, but for my future children. At the same time, will I ever have “enough” money? Probably not, but I know plenty of people who don’t have “enough” yet make it work.

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