Editor’s note: This column was revised for accuracy at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday.
The 2.5 child average that American families normally have has been blown out of the water by single mother, Nadya Suleman.
Suleman is now a mom to a total of 14 children.
I am exhausted just thinking about 14 kids – let alone having to raise them.
Usually, Americans are overjoyed by multiple births.
We love the show “John and Kate Plus 8.” Companies have sent the family free Pampers and baby food for life in hopes of gaining publicity for their brands. We smile at their images on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Today Show.”
But in the case of Suleman, the American media has traded the usual bliss with outrage.
After Suleman gave birth on Jan. 29, 2009, initial media reports espoused joy at the first surviving set of octuplets, but when further investigation revealed that she had already been a single mother to six children, lives with her parents and hadn’t had a job in years – she was toast.
The media went crazy with specialists, had financial advisers diagnose how much the care of the children would cost and doubted the ethical character of the doctors involved with her procedure.
Recently, Suleman went on “The Today Show” and in an interview with Ann Curry, a best-selling author and political commentator, Suleman said she loves children, and distrusts the media because she was harassed for being a single mother. Coulter also discovered that Suleman had suffered from depression several years prior and during that time, she had an epiphany that she needed to have many children to fill her life.
In a few days, Suleman’s children will all be home together and she will have to take care of them.
It is unclear how Suleman plans to support all these children because she is unemployed. When this question was raised during an interview with Ann Curry, a news anchor for NBC, Suleman said that she should have no problem supporting the children once she completes her college education.
Is she serious? I know a mother of two who can barely maintain their schedules while going to school full-time.
Big families are nice, but when you are a single mom with more than a dozen children, there is no way they can all receive the one-on-one time and emotional support they need from their mother.
It goes beyond just being starved for attention and can actually lead to more serious problems, according to an interview on “Today” with psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz.
“There’s going to be an absence of some emotional needs. There will probably be developmental delays at best in these children – maybe learning disabilities,” Saltz said. “There are going to be major issues that they’re going to need various therapies for.”
The only thing left for the media to do at this point is watch the new mother, who is planning a career in television as a childcare expert and is now trying to get $2 million for her next interview, according to the London Times.