Ok so I just had to comment on this because it seems like just about every American media news outlet is reporting on this. I’m not too sure the story has been picked up on in France or if it has, it’s been mentioned in passing. I mean there’s currently a video about Octo Mom on CNN’s website right now. Quick check on Le Monde’s website shows me it makes no mention of it. However the syndicates have unanimously agreed on another national day of strikes March 19th (already knew this thanks to those news headlines I get in those text messages I never signed up for). Basically I won’t ever attend class this semester except for the one I take at the Dickinson Center.

Octo Mom has definitely been a great distraction from the economic crisis judging by the way the media is all over this. Ever since the news broke that a woman had given birth to the first surviving octuplets ever (about 10 years ago another woman gave birth to octuplets in the US but one died shortly after birth), it seems every day there have been updates on the story. It didn’t take long for journalists to discover the woman’s name (she originally wanted to remain anonymous) and the fact she had conceived 6 kids via IVF. Oh and that she had no husband or boyfriend and that her parents had had to move in with her to help her raise her kids. And that she has no steady job, she is a “professional student”, has received up to $160,000 from disability payments (due to injuries sustained in a mental hospital she was working in during a patient riot, how ironic) and is living off of food stamps. Even though during her interview she had insisted she was not living on welfare. Liar, liar, pants on fire Octo Mom! (Real name: Nadya Suleman but Octo Mom is just more fun to say)

First of all, this woman is clearly off her rocker. You can so tell in the interview with Ann Curry. And she may deny it all she wants, but she definitely resembles Angelina Jolie (that’s plastic surgery gone wrong on the lips) and I wouldn’t be surprised if she idolized her since she looks like her and has a lot of kids. Unlike her famous idol, Octo Mom is not financially secure, does not have Brad Pitt to do the heavy lifting, or nannies helping out. So she’s the poor woman’s version of Angelina. But Octo Mom and Angelina are both crazy so I guess they have that in common besides wanting a lot of kids.

Am I being too harsh? According to Octo Mom, she’s always wanted a big family since she was an only child and that her childhood was dysfunctional. She stated in the interview she wanted to foster strong attachments with people and I guess as a kid she thought having siblings would fill this void. She apparently had friends but being an only child was really lonely for her. So she had a bunch of kids to drive away the loneliness which is what she basically admits to. I’ve never been an only child though I will admit I went through a stage where I longed to be one (Sandrine probably wanted to be adopted by another family altogether hahaha). I don’t know, I can’t relate to this woman’s dream of a large family because I’ve always liked spending time alone. I can’t imagine how I’d like it if I were surrounded by 12 other siblings. The friends I’ve made over the years have filled the social void and my sister and I didn’t spend much time together in high school. My childhood was pretty functional… I mean yeah, I went through some tough times but what kid doesn’t? I’ve battled with depression and anxiety issues and in middle school I even saw a psychiatrist (and no I’m not embarrassed to admit it, I’m tired of psychological issues being so off limits). I’m not sure if 20 siblings would have been the answer to my problems.

Octo Mom’s own mother has spoken out against her daughter and that she and her father were very against their daughter’s decision to get implanted with her 6 remaining IVF embryos. Any sensible mother would be. I’m not sure if this is true but apparently Octo Grandpa has to go back to work to support his 14 grandkids since his daughter hasn’t finished school to become a counselor (no that is not a joke, she wants to counsel other people!) I forget exactly what Octo Grandpa does (a mechanic maybe?) but it involves heading back to IRAQ of all places. That is the last place I’d want my dad to go!

What’s even worse are the living conditions the current kids are living in. There’s a video available online and the house is filthy. It’s only 3 bedrooms and seems to have cribs and bunk beds everywhere. Not to mention all the kiddy clothing thrown all over the place. And Octo Mom expects to bring home 8 newborn babies??? Where is she going to put them, the garage???? OH and on top of that, one of the older kids is autistic (and 2 others have some sort of disabilities). I’m sure he’s really going to appreciate 8 crying babies (originally supposed to be 7, doctors realized there was an 8th when they did the C section!!!) taking up residence in the house.

There are just too many negative factors in this story. 14 kids in a 3 bedroom house, mother isn’t working, no father figure, parents are watching over the remaining kids, Grandpa may possibly have to go back to Iraq, Grandma is fed up with looking after grandkids (and she and Grandpa had to foreclose on their last house to move in with their daughter because they were spending so much money on the grandkids!), an autistic son, and there isn’t enough money to go around. I think the public’s reaction has been mostly critical and I doubt many people are going to contribute money through the new family website that was launched by Octo Mom’s spokespeople. I’m really hoping the church she belongs to has a LOT of generous members. I’m not so sure I’d be generous as try to take all the kids away from her. I might be harsh but she just seems to be just plain selfish, putting her “I want lots of babies” needs above the kids she already had. Not to mention she’s definitely frustrated her parents.

My main concern is those kids. I really hope a miracle happens and everything gets resolved and Octo Grandpa can stay put and not go to Iraq. Octo Mom needs to get a job or marry a billionaire or something. Forget being a counselor, I can’t think of anybody who’d actually go to her for counseling now. Maybe her sperm donor might be willing to pitch in since apparently all the kids have the same biological father. Or maybe Angelina Jolie will step in and offer to adopt all the kids. Those kids would be well cared for with the money Angelina and Brad have. Or Angelina could just donate a lot of money. And while I think that family with 20 kids with names that all start with J is really creepy, I’m sure those parents could definitely give Octo Mom some wise words of advice. At least Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar didn’t have 20 kids all at once under the age of 6 at the same time. Plus they live debt free and Octo Mom does not.

So yeah I just had to weigh in on this. I love kids, most people know this about me. I got really ticked off when I learned this woman who clearly can’t support herself (and who may not be psychologically fit to be a parent) just decided that having a lot of kids would be ok given her circumstances. I’m not against single mothers either. But for reasons outlined above, this woman clearly should not have gotten impregnated with 6 embryos!!! Kids are a huge responsibility–I’ve been babysitting them since I was 12 and I’ve been a camp counselor for 3 summers. Taking care of them is both rewarding and a challenge. It really isn’t fair to them when their own mother doesn’t have any attention to give them and Octo Mom obviously doesn’t. And trust me, I have met plenty of attention starved kids, it really makes me mad when I do because the parents care more about themselves than their kids. (Yes, I am speaking to you, Martini Moms) I come from a family where kids are a priority and take precedence over everything. I’m a firm believer in that and if I ever have kids of my own, the same philosophy will be applied to them.

Ok, I just had to get that out of my system. This Octo Mom stuff was REALLY getting on my nerves. I know humans are selfish, I’m selfish, we all are. But that selfish? It scares me to even contemplate it.

Maybe I’ll go on strike March 19th against all the selfish parents in this world.

Amelie