August 18, 2019

Family

“REPRODUCTION IS MESSY. The genetic swaps and recombinations that occur when gametes merge don’t always happen perfectly. Babies don’t arrive when scheduled. Even preventing reproduction can be complicated, as anyone who has ever wrestled with birth control can attest.

That said, It’s arguably a better time than ever to have a baby. Prospective parents struggling with infertility can turn to IVF, or sperm and egg donation. But as the egg donor industry grows more sophisticated, the donors themselves are sometimes kept in the dark. Once a person becomes pregnant, they can take advantage of the extraordinary advancements in noninvasive prenatal testing to screen for chromosomal abnormalities and genetic mutations—but then, what actually happens to the mountains of genetic information these tests generate?

Or maybe it’s the worst time to have a kid. Mounting societal concerns—political upheaval, climate change, the general crushing financial and psychic toll children impose—make procreating seem like a spectacularly bad idea. People who opt to go #childfree certainly think so. And still-high prematurity rates, especially among minorities, show that science alone can’t solve every problem.”

"Perhaps it is time to add parenting to the growing list of “replacement religions” competing for our attention and currency these days, a list that already includes workism and politics."

"Summer Brennan talks about femininity and suffering, beauty and biology, and the startlingly dark turn she found herself taking when writing about women and power in her new book ‘High Heel.’"

"Someday my daughter will be asked if she wants to have a bat mitzvah. I’m inclined to let her make up her own mind... It's a lot of work to learn Hebrew, memorize parts of the Torah and prepare for a pressure-packed performance at such a young age."

"Let’s face it: Few of us marry and then begin planning for divorce or widowhood. But based on the statistics, that is precisely what we should do. I know this viscerally because I recently lost my husband."

"The most obvious and glaring problem with Workin’ Moms is the privilege of its main characters, which is blinding, exhausting, and all-encompassing."

"Birth order does not appear to influence personality in adults, according to several ambitious studies published in the past few years. This new wave of research relied on larger data sets and more robust statistical methods than earlier reports..."

"Helicopter parenting, the practice of hovering anxiously near one’s children, monitoring their every activity, is so 20th century. Some affluent mothers and fathers now are more like snowplows: machines chugging ahead, clearing any obstacles..."

"His face turned beet red. In my 37-year relationship with my father, it was the only time I recall him getting very angry at me. What had I done? Criticized Israel publicly."

"One in three children will experience clinically a significant anxiety disorder before adulthood. Unless treated, many will become anxious adults."

"Welcome to Gen Z dating. Educators say the current generation in college is uniquely bad at romance. Online dating has created a (false) feeling of an endless buffet of romantic choices."

"...Daisy instructed me on the basics of the sisterhood; stick together, don’t sabotage. It was everything I needed to hear in that moment..."

"The average American woman spends about an hour and a half more on unpaid work than the average man each day. That means she’s doing more child care, housework, shopping, and volunteering. And that’s OK."

"Two summers ago, my father asked if I would give him one of my kidneys. He was 70 at the time, suffering from kidney disease. I was 39 with a wife and two young kids, and I was blindsided by his request."

"Although Hard to Love covers diverse territory, Hopper’s primary concern is to understand what it means to be a single woman who has built a life, predominantly, through close friendships with other women."

"“No,” said another, “we have no documented case of anyone conceiving a biological child with these numbers. You could move on to egg donation, and of course adoption is always an option.”"

"There’s a lot of money in weddings; there’s been a lot of money lost in wedding startups. Why is it so hard to disrupt the wedding industrial complex?"

"To be a parent in 2019 is to walk a flaming tightrope of neverending shame and judgement and guilt. You’re constantly reminded that every decision you ever make will have far-reaching and disastrous consequences for you, your child and the world.."

"A study of 17th-century midwifery manuals reminds us that new mothers have always craved information about their children-to-be..."

"Her dad died three decades ago. She's three. Is preserving a Jewish bloodline worth creating a child who will never know her father?"

"Both hardcore anti-vaxxers and those who are reluctant or hesitant to vaccinate their children tend to occupy specific moral universes."

"Once, the father asked the daughter in a quiet, wistful voice whether it would be possible for him to move away from the facility and live somewhere else. She held her breath..."

"Our turn to formula, though, ended up being one of those unanticipated twists of parenthood that I look back on with the most gratitude."

"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."

"From the outside it may look like anything goes within the confines of polyamory. But actually, most non-monogamous relationships are based on a highly personalized set of agreements."

"What does it mean for a child today to be alone, to have an independent inner life? I’ve talked to scores of parents who use location-monitoring software to track their teenagers’ movements, who scrutinize their Instagram feeds and photo streams.."

"I’ll state the obvious and say that much if not all of the reason my life hasn’t changed is that I’m not a parent. Children are life’s great timekeepers, and when you don’t live with any, you’re at the mercy of your own internal clock..."

"My wish is to die in my own bed, cared for by people I love—clean, comfortable and relatively free from pain. I hope to have time to say my goodbyes and give my final blessings."

"Why are we spending money we don’t have on images of cute but armed cherubs and expensive dinners out? The answer is both complicated and surprisingly simple: We think true love will make our futures safe and secure."

"You have scheduled the events for the wrong day, because the correct day on which to celebrate Valentine's Day is, in fact, the day that comes before it."

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