(Brave New) Care Plus World

When will an establishment like this appear on our shores? My guess: not long. Via Hot Air headlines, behold the epitome of modern parenting in a surrogacy world:

Juggling parenting with a high-powered career and hectic social life is a challenge anywhere in the world. One daycare center in India has stepped in to help with at least one part of that equation: a 24-hour nursery for the children of the super busy.

Care Plus World in India’s capital New Delhi bills itself as the place to go for “children of parents who are too busy to put them to bed,” according to Britain’s Times newspaper [...]

Why, why have children if you’re too busy to put them to bed? Oh, silly people that is a luxury:

“At ‘Care Plus World’ we recognize, in this busy world, at not everyone has the luxury of being at home with their children, therefore we strive to give children a ‘home from home’ environment in their most important early years.”

Just in case you’re really tired of putting the kids to bed, the nursery offers services ranging from one week to a year.

To be fair, I consider it a luxury to have a babysitter for an evening. A luxury since it doesn’t happen vey often as I’m not lucky enough to live close to extended family. Most military families aren’t so blessed. Even without a grandma nearby, I love bedtime with my daughter. We read. We pray. We discuss our day and cuddle. Yes, at times–primarily if I haven’t been diligent and she’s overtired–it can be a chore. But not one I would abdicate to someone else for a year because I’m too busy.

Exit question: how long before the nanny-state gurus suggest this for all?

Related: Pundette, Some advice for busy mothers from C.S. Lewis 

UPDATE: linked by Pundette. Thanks!

Celebrate mom by helping others avoid motherhood.

This rivals a suggestion on Facebook when a former schoolmate asked others to donate to NARAL in lieu of wrapping up a gift for Christmas. Saves paper and bows! Besides, what says joy of infant Jesus like the slaughter of the unborn?

Kirsten Gilibrand stuck her foot in it today. Via Hot Air, behold:

“This Mother’s Day, I can’t think of a better way to honor all the mothers in the country — past and present — than with a contribution to EMILY’s List,” Gillibrand writes. “They’re the ones working tirelessly to elect the pro-choice Democratic women who are making sure that our freedoms are protected for generations to come.”

“So, this year, join me in commemorating Mother’s Day with a contribution to EMILY’s List to help elect the Democratic women who will continue to secure our rights,” the senator continues. “On Mother’s Day, let’s get women involved and make sure they know who is truly fighting for them – the pro-choice Democratic women EMILY’s List is working each day to elect to office. Make this Mother’s Day extra special. Honor mothers around the country with a contribution to EMILY’s List.”

Feminist liberals cannot honestly celebrate mothers without first thinking mothers should have the right to murder their offspring. How enlightening.

A parent’s worst nightmare…?

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we ad-lib to conceive…

From LifeSiteNews

Single mom wants baby.

But she’s on a budget, so sperm donor is out of the question.

So she goes the way of “ex-boyfriend with benefits” – sorta – she pays him $1400 for his “service”
– you know his guy friends were fist bumping, “Duuuuuddddeee! Score!”

For the next three years, she allows her daughter’s father (ex-boyfriend with paid benefits) to visit his daughter.

When her daughter is three years old, mom dies of cancer. Absolutely  horrible for such a young child to lose a parent…but because of her non-traditional family, insult is added to injury as an ugly custody battle ensues: (emphasis mine)

The ex-boyfriend of the deceased single mother then entered the scene  to make a parental claim for the young girl, arguing that he was her legal father. The case appeared before a Quebec court. The ex-boyfriend won a paternity ruling from the Quebec Court of Appeal last year, and that ruling was upheld last month when the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal of the case.

Michael Lubetsky, the lawyer who represented the girl’s grandparents at the appeal court, told the National Post that it is a parent’s “worst nightmare” that a biological parent can “show up and start asserting rights over the child.”

“That’s incredibly disruptive…. It’s an attack on the family structure,” he said.

I had to read that a few times and wonder, “Have we gotten to the point that we are saying that with a straight face?” An attack on the family structure? WHAT FAMILY “STRUCTURE” ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

Structure,  loosely defined,  is something made up of parts, held or put together in a particular way.

Structure

Not stucture

This is what happens when we start tinkering with a STRUCTURE that has been in place and worked for thousands of years.  When we embark in a DIY “structure” it all comes crashing down on us, sooner or later.  And the children are the ones who get crushed.

UPDATE: linked by Lin at No One of Any Import and a Recommended Read of Pundette’s! Thanks!

Reproductive justice, indeed.

Heh. Via The Lonely Conservative.

Need I remind you, the future belongs to the fruitful.

UPDATE: linked at Theo Spark. Thanks, Chris! AND at Temple of MUT! Merci!

Taxing motherhood

I’ve highlighted Ann Althouse’s explanation of the tax benefit of having a stay-at-home parent before. A refresher:

Why don’t more couples do the math and figure out that they should not do all that extra work for the government? Life is so much simpler with the 1-earner family, and the spouse who doesn’t bring in the dollars can provide great economic benefits by directly performing work that would otherwise have to be paid for, most notably child care. Since this economic benefit isn’t taxed, it’s a double benefit. Instead of buying inferior childcare (or other services) with after-tax dollars, you perform the work that is worth that much money, and you’re not paid, so you don’t pay taxes on the value it represents.

The flip side is that the services you provide do not qualify for a tax break per se, though I’d argue the economic benefit still works out to help the one-income family. Nevertheless, it can needle some. Phil Lawler fumes:

Do you realize that you can deduct child-care expenses–unless you care for your own children. And you can deduct education expenses–unlessyou educate your children at home? If you drop you toddler off at the day-care center, the cost is a deductible expense. But you can’t pay yourself, and you can’t deduct the expenses you run up keeping your child out of that day-care center. If you’re a schoolteacher, you can deduct miscellaneous expenses incurred on the job. But if you’re a home-schooler, you can’t. In other words, Moms can’t be paid, and can’t even deduct out-of-pocket spending, for doing the work that other people are paid to do.

And you wonder why a liberal Democrat might think that a Mom “never worked a day in her life.”

(H/t: Pundette)

I prefer to stay under the radar. Let the liberals and the government think I don’t work, and as such, provide a continuing threat to liberalism. As I told a friend this week, you take care of your own. Who knew I’d be such a counter-cultural radical who must be demeaned and destroyed!

 

“The days I stay home with my kids without going out, I start to get ill.”

Ah, she gets a headache, too.

So quipped the First Lady in an interview in 2007. The full Monty:

Every year, Michelle Obama considers quitting her job and staying home full-time to take care of her children. “It was a gift having my mother home every day. I want my kids to feel that way,” she says. But having experienced the pleasures of work outside the home, she is reluctant to give up her independence. “Work is rewarding,” she says. “I love losing myself in a set of problems that have nothing to do with my husband and children. Once you’ve tasted that, it’s hard to walk away.”

So difficult to walk away. Why would your children’s problems ever be more important than ones with no connection or bearing to your family?

Then, too, there is that little-discussed fact that staying home with children can be—how else to put it?—less than intellectually stimulating. “The days I stay home with my kids without going out, I start to get ill,” she says. “My head starts to ache.” When she mentioned it to her mother, Marian Robinson told her daughter she didn’t think Michelle could handle the boredom of staying home with kids. Obama was surprised to hear that taking care of her had been boring, but now she embraces the idea of discussing it openly.

The boredom. It’s funny, I’m so busy I’m rarely bored.

Bored? What the hell did Michelle do on sick days? Stay in bed herself? Luckily for Michelle, the family decided they couldn’t live on Barack’s humble salary of $162k. How military families like mine decide it’s in the family’s best interest to have me stay home must be a mystery as we do it for much less than $162k a year. Then again, I do know how to cook. That saves a boatload, I guess.

H/t to Pundette for the illuminating Vogue interview with our esteemed First Lady.

“The future belongs to the fruitful”

So argues James Taranto of the WSJ yet again in explaning the consequences of what he terms the “Roe Effect.” More:

We have another thought as to why environmentalism seems to have peaked with the baby boom. The key is in that generation’s moniker: “baby boom.” The baby boomers’ parents were unusually fertile, especially when compared with subsequent generations, including the boomers themselves. But the decline in fertility was not evenly distributed throughout American society.

This columnist has posited that the polarization of the electorate around the issue of abortion, combined with the direct effect of abortion itself on fertility, over the long term has a conservatizing effect on the electorate. We call it the Roe Effect. Although environmentalism is not sharply polarizing in the way that abortion is, it seems to us quite probable that a similar and overlapping effect is at work here.

After all, you can’t make a baby by hugging a tree. Attitudes about “the environment” are very much tied up with attitudes about human fertility. The prevailing view on the environmentalist left is, and has been since at least the early 1970s, that to bring a child into the world is an act of violence against Mother Earth. Along with feminism, which devalued motherhood and women’s domestic work, environmentalism motivated left-liberal baby boomers to have smaller families, or none at all.

I’m not sure if I can wait for liberals to make themselves extinct. As Instapundit says (in, admittedly, an entirely different context): faster, please.

H/t: Instapundit. 

UPDATE: Linked by Pundette as a Recommended Read. Thanks!

Pricetag of the would-have-been aborted daughter: $3 million

Meet Ariel and Deborah Levy of Portland. They have three children. Two of whom are sons:

The Levys said their sons are healthy, strong and bright. The oldest is a competitive chess player and has placed in the 99th percentile on standardized tests.

Alas, their daughter–despite all the prenatal tests and ultrasounds–has Down Syndrome. The parents claim they would have aborted their now four year-old girl, Kalanit, had they known of her disability, a tidbit gleaned from the British press rather than the American. They sued the medical center where tests had been performed, and the jury awarded them the money.

I’m struck by many aspects of this story, most of all that a British tabloid is more truthful that the American press which obfuscates the reality of this horror, all the while emphasizing how much they love her:

Experts say so few parents choose to file wrongful birth suits because it forces them to take an awkward position: They must be willing to say on the record that they would have aborted the pregnancy, and that they feel a burden — albeit financial — of raising the child.

The Levys’ attorney, David K. Miller, said his clients deeply love their daughter but worried about being portrayed as heartless. Miller said they sued because they worried about providing all that their daughter would need over her lifetime. Experts testified that she will continue to need speech and physical therapy and face a concerning list of possible medical problems over her lifetime. Professionals have told the Levys that she will likely never be able to live independently, or earn a living.

Anyone who goes on record as saying they would have aborted her child after four years of raising her–not a “pregnancy”–does not love her.

How incredibly sad for any kid, disabled or not.

The defense argued that Kalanit’s form of Down Syndrome–mosaicism–was the reason the tests came back incorrectly. Mosaicism accounts for a very small percentage of Down Syndrome, and it means that not all cells have the extra copy of a gene, i.e. a percentage of cells do. As a result, kids with mosaicism tend to not have as many health problems and also generally have a higher IQ. Given that, I’m awed and a little angered by the “expert testimony” the Levys paid for who argued Kalanit would never be able to live independently or of the medical problems she would face.

But the jurors didn’t care.

Deborah Levy, who had held her emotions in check throughout the trial, began to cry as Judge Karin Immergut read the verdict. The couple nodded and mouthed “thank you” as jurors filed out of the courtroom. A few nodded back, smiled or reached out a hand toward the Levys. One juror visibly held back tears. Another wished them peace.

Peace, indeed. Peace to explain to your daughter–who will understand–why you chose to publicly disown her life which you don’t feel is worth living.

UPDATE: I had forgotten about this story from last September:

The jury awarded the parents $4.5 million to help “buy prostheses, wheelchairs and other medical services experts say he will need to live any semblance of a normal life” because their son was born sans arms and with only one leg.

At least Bryan Santa has a life, no?

What torment for a child at the age of three to know that mommy and daddy would have chosen to abort him because his life was too hard for them to bear.

Pray for this kid. Not because he has no arms and one leg. Pray for him because he knows he’s not wanted. And instead of teaching their child to focus on what he does have–a life, for the love of God!–they only look at his shortcomings.

I remember watching a documentary as a teenager about the thalidomide babies. Many were bitter. Some were ugly bitter, so twisted with hate because they were different, likely because the parents resented the intrusion from normalcy. But one–I still remember how his zest for life overcame everything, largely, I think, because he came from a big family where he was one of many. He played the drums with his feet. He painted. He could play frisbee. He had a wife–all limbs intact–and children. He was a happy man.

Bryan Santana, be that man. That’s my prayer for you. You have a heart and you have a mind. No one can take that away, not even your parents.

UPDATE: From the comments, Sherry imparts this:

The world says love equals never having to sacrifice or suffer at all.  And people want to believe it.

How true. It reminds me of Joe Klein’s thanks to Santorum for forcing uncomfortable thoughts regarding our society’s position on disability and parenting.

“I’m grateful to Santorum for forcing on me the discomfort of having to think about the moral implications of his daughter’s smile”

So concludes Time magazine writer Joe Klein of Santorum’s oft-vilified family choices. It’s a beautiful and moving tribute that bears repeating often. The whole piece is behind a paywall, but visit if you have a subscription. I might have to buy this copy once it hits newstands. Via NRO:

Rick and Karen decided to fight for Gabriel’s life, which nearly cost Karen her own, and they passionately embraced the child during his two hours on earth. They have spent the past three years caring for their daughter Isabella, whose genetic defect, trisomy 18, is an early-death sentence. “Almost 100% of trisomy 18 children are encouraged to be aborted,” Santorum told Schieffer.

I am haunted by the smiling photos I’ve seen of Isabella with her father and mother, brothers and sisters. No doubt she struggles through many of her days — she nearly died a few weeks ago — but she has also been granted three years of unconditional love and the ability to smile and bring joy. Her tenuous survival has given her family a deeper sense of how precious even the frailest of lives are.

All right, I can hear you saying, the Santorum family’s course may be admirable, but shouldn’t we have the right to make our own choices?

Yes, I suppose. But I also worry that we’ve become too averse to personal inconvenience as a society—that we’re less rigorous parents than we should be, that we’ve farmed out our responsibilities, especially for the disabled, to the state—and I’m grateful to Santorum for forcing on me the discomfort of having to think about the moral implications of his daughter’s smile.

The Santorums lead by example of what we should aspire to be as parents–fighters for our children, not executioners because “that kind of life” isn’t what we had planned. That’s what makes lives like Isabella’s all the more rare and special: they have the ability to make us see ourselves for what we really are. Joe Klein sees her radiant smile and realizes something incredibly important. Most don’t.

UPDATE: linked as a “Recommended Read” by Pundette. Thanks!

Are French parents superior? They achieve remarkably different results

It’s all in priorities. Don’t tolerate whiny, screaming, demanding kids. Expect better of them. Do you want an independent or dependent child?

From the WSJ, an article penned by American ex-pat Pamela Druckerman explains the difference between American and French parenting styles. It’s rather illuminating. She writes:

And once I started thinking about French parenting, I realized it wasn’t just mealtime that was different. I suddenly had lots of questions. Why was it, for example, that in the hundreds of hours I’d clocked at French playgrounds, I’d never seen a child (except my own) throw a temper tantrum? Why didn’t my French friends ever need to rush off the phone because their kids were demanding something? Why hadn’t their living rooms been taken over by teepees and toy kitchens, the way ours had?

Soon it became clear to me that quietly and en masse, French parents were achieving outcomes that created a whole different atmosphere for family life. When American families visited our home, the parents usually spent much of the visit refereeing their kids’ spats, helping their toddlers do laps around the kitchen island, or getting down on the floor to build Lego villages. When French friends visited, by contrast, the grownups had coffee and the children played happily by themselves.

Before you chide the French for not involving themselves in child-rearing, think again:

But for all its problems, France is the perfect foil for the current problems in American parenting. Middle-class French parents (I didn’t follow the very rich or poor) have values that look familiar to me. They are zealous about talking to their kids, showing them nature and reading them lots of books. They take them to tennis lessons, painting classes and interactive science museums.

Yet the French have managed to be involved with their families without becoming obsessive. They assume that even good parents aren’t at the constant service of their children, and that there is no need to feel guilty about this. “For me, the evenings are for the parents,” one Parisian mother told me. “My daughter can be with us if she wants, but it’s adult time.” French parents want their kids to be stimulated, but not all the time. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are—by design—toddling around by themselves.

Fostering independence is a primary goal–or should be–of parenting. If, after all, you’re preparing your kids to go off into the world alone, should they not be able to care for themselves? If nothing else, decades of helicopter parenting reveals overly sheltered kids who are ill-prepared to enter the world, by failure of the parents. No wonder the “youth vote” breaks so heavily for Democrats: they need Big Brother since they are unable to care for themselves.

Druckerman highlights myriad facets of “French parenting” she hails as highly successful. Read the rest. I plan on downloading her new book.

H/t: Lisa

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