Today, the story on NPR’s Story of the Day podcast was how more children – four, to be specific – is the newest status symbol for the (very) wealthy. The explanation goes something like this: Kids are expensive. The more kids you have, the more it shows that you’re wealthy.

This is why the rest of the world hates us.

The story also gives a second explanation. Many of the women who are having these (four) kids had very successful careers before they were mothers (e.g., lawyers, high-powered executives, entrepreneurs, etc.), and so these women have channeled that competitive, Type A personality into motherhood and child-rearing. For them, success is now measured not in salary, sales, or office size, but the “well-roundedness” of their brood (i.e., swimming and dancing lessons, soccer games, etc). Also, having more kids furthers justifies their choice to stop working in the first place.

Nevertheless, the story also points out that many of these mothers employ an army of nannies, babysitters, and “consultants” [apparently, you can get a consultant to help potty train your child or assist your child in learning how to ride that bike], and that leads to some uncomfortable questions, in my mind.

So I’m listening to this story, and I can only shake my head in disbelief. We have one child, and it takes all of our time to raise and care for her. It’s even to the point where we are now thinking that having only one child might not be so bad. I can’t imagine anyone deciding to have a fourth child just to keep up with the Joneses. Surely, this kind of behavior is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

You can listen to the podcast below.


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