This is so important, stories like this need to be told. The cultural insistence we have that parenthood is some kind of magical bonding that happens every time without exception does real harm to both parents and children, as you can see from some of these stories:
My father recently told me he never wanted kids, but my mother wanted them. She thought he would love us when we were born.
I didn’t realize that a maternal instinct is not universal. You know how
you see parents in the delivery room and they are crying tears of joy? I
[…] My boys are well cared for and I am always here for them, but it feels very unnatural and fake and unenjoyable. It
is a bit like a retail job you don’t like where you put on a fake
persona and slog through it the best you can. I don’t get to leave this
I also thought I wouldn’t mind missing out on all the partying and holidays because I would have the ultimate gift, a child.
I always said I would never have children. I hate kids..I do. I am just not that type of nurturing person. I was always very careful to make sure protection was in use (condoms, birth control) but I am that .1% and apparently very fertile. I do not have that natural motherly instinct that all women seem to have, you know..that one that kicks in the moment they know they’re pregnant. I have to work really hard at it and it’s exhausting. I miss my solitude and being able to “check out” of reality from time to time.
Because kids aren’t the life completer we believe they are.
Are there people for whom having children completes their lives? No doubt. Are there parents for whom the downsides like sleeplessness and loss of personal time are outweighed by the love and joy they feel? Of course. Are there people who change their minds about wanting kids once they have them? Sure. But that’s not true for everyone. It doesn’t happen every time, it’s never guaranteed, and the consequences are grievous when people who don’t want children have them anyway trusting that they will love the child and be happy.
We need to dispel the starry-eyed myths around pregnancy, childbirth, and marriage and create more realistic expectations. Parenthood is too important a choice for people not to go into it with their eyes open.
“It doesn’t happen every time, it’s never guaranteed, and the consequences are grievous when people who don’t want children have them anyway trusting that they will love the child and be happy.”
There’s a book on this topic that was groundbreaking when it came out, called Regretting Motherhood: A Study by Dr. Orna Donath. The backlash was insane. This is a topic that simply wasn’t discussed, and as the book became more famous (was translated into multiple languages, received a lot of public attention), the responses also became more incendiary. I had the utter honor and pleasure of studying with Orna – she read us some of the death threats she received, in her calm and measured manner, using them to further show just how deeply society expects motherhood of women.
I haven’t read the book myself, but knowing Orna, and having read some of her other work, I wholeheartedly recommend it.
YOU SON OF A
Harryhausen’s Bestiary –
The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
another-bondi-blonde:Thousands of premature infants were saved from certain death by being part of a…
Thousands of premature infants were saved from certain death by being part of a Coney Island entertainment sideshow.
At the time premature babies were considered genetically inferior, and were simply left to fend for themselves and ultimately die.
Dr Martin Couney offered desperate parents a pioneering solution that was as expensive as it was experimental – and came up with a very unusual way of covering the costs.
It was Coney Island in the early 1900’s. Beyond the Four-Legged Woman, the sword swallowers, and “Lionel the Lion-Faced Man,” was an entirely different exhibit: rows of tiny, premature human babies living in glass incubators.
The brainchild of this exhibit was Dr. Martin Couney, an enigmatic figure in the history of medicine. Couney created and ran incubator-baby exhibits on the island from 1903 to the early 1940s.
Behind the gaudy facade, premature babies were fighting for their lives, attended by a team of medical professionals.To see them, punters paid 25 cents.The public funding paid for the expensive care, which cost about $15 a day in 1903 (the equivalent of $405 today) per incubator.
Couney was in the lifesaving business, and he took it seriously. The exhibit was immaculate. When new children arrived, dropped off by panicked parents who knew Couney could help them where hospitals could not, they were immediately bathed, rubbed with alcohol and swaddled tight, then “placed in an incubator kept at 96 or so degrees, depending on the patient. Every two hours, those who could suckle were carried upstairs on a tiny elevator and fed by breast by wet nurses who lived in the building. The rest [were fed by] a funneled spoon. The smallest baby Couney handled is reported to have weighed a pound and a half.
His nurses all wore starched white uniforms and the facility was always spotlessly clean.
An early advocate of breast feeding, if he caught his wet nurses smoking or drinking they were sacked on the spot. He even employed a cook to make healthy meals for them.
The incubators themselves were a medical miracle, 40 years ahead of what was being developed in America at that time.
Each incubator was made of steel and glass and stood on legs, about 5ft tall. A water boiler on the outside supplied hot water to a pipe running underneath a bed of mesh, upon which the baby slept.
Race, economic class, and social status were never factors in his decision to treat and Couney never charged the parents for the babies care.The names were always kept anonymous, and in later years the doctor would stage reunions of his “graduates.
According to historian Jeffrey Baker, Couney’s exhibits “offered a standard of technological care not matched in any hospital of the time.”
Throughout his decades of saving babies, Couney understood there were better options. He tried to sell, or even donate, his incubators to hospitals, but they didn’t want them. He even offered all his incubators to the city of New York in 1940, but was turned down.
In a career spanning nearly half a century he claimed to have saved nearly 6,500 babies with a success rate of 85 per cent, according to the Coney Island History
In 1943, Cornell New York Hospital opened the city’s first dedicated premature infant station. As more hospitals began to adopt incubators and his techniques, Couney closed the show at Coney Island. He said his work was done.
Today, one in 10 babies born in the United States is premature, but their chance of survival is vastly improved—thanks to Couney and the carnival babies.
Book: The strange case of Dr. Couney
New York Post Photograph: Beth Allen
Original FB post by Liz Watkins Barton
Swiss Pavilion, Photo by Timm Rautert, 1970
Screenshot from my playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077
That’s actually a brilliant idea, even from a strict effectiveness standpoint.
Pity they got shut down.
Just goes to show how much data facebook/insta collect about you that gets sent to advertisers. Also facebook responded by effectively saying ‘yes we collect the data but we dont allow advertisers to say that they’re using this data’ after trying to accuse Signal of pulling a ‘PR stunt’. Facebook is so scummy.