Oh Mitt Romney. Do you know I've missed you these past few months? I really have. But look -- you're in the news today! And for such a silly reason, too. Geez, all you did was tell a bunch of college graduates to start pumping out babies as soon as possible. I mean, what's so crazy about that idea?
In Romney's speech to graduates at Southern Virginia University, he delivered many inspiring thoughts on living an abundant life. He urged students to "launch out into the deep" instead of living in "the shallows." Just like Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In! (I'm sure he had the female students' future careers in mind when he said that.) And then he advised everyone to get married before their 30s and have a "quiver full of kids" because -- wait, he said what?!?
Some people could marry but choose to take more time, they say, for themselves. Others plan to wait until they’re well into their 30s or 40s until they think about getting married. They’re going to miss so much of living, I’m afraid. If you meet a person you love, get married. Have a quiver full of kids if you can.
Quiver full of kids -- is that like binders full of women? Bwa ha ha, you walked right into that one, Mitt! Oh you give so much.
Okay, a little context. Southern Virginia University is not affiliated with the Mormon church, but most of the students there are Mormon and the school embraces the church's values. As someone who grew up Mormon and then went to a Mormon school (Brigham Young University), this is par for the course. Whoever spoke at my graduation, and I can't even remember who it was, probably said the same thing.
But all these years later, it sure sounds batshit bonkers!
They're going to miss so much of living? Why, because they're going to be in a coma until they're married?
I grew up with a lot of families who followed that "quiver-full" advice. Some people happen to be gifted at parenting lots of children. But not everyone -- and if you're trying to conform to some cookie-cutter ideal and churning out all those kids you are clearly not suited to have, it's just a crying shame for everyone. We've all known families like these.
My late grandpa used to say, "Children are the jewels in your crown," or something like that. He and my grandma had 14 children. In Mexico. (They were Catholic.) And then he immigrated to the U.S. and left my older aunts to raise half of the kids.
So when a man encourages you to go have a quiver full of children, or says that kids are pretty much emeralds only not as shiny, I think you should be skeptical. Exactly WHO will be responsible for the day-to-day care of these children? Who is going to be pregnant for nine months -- nine times? Who's going through labor for that quiver-full?
I know this woman who grew up Mormon. She got married young and probably should have married someone else because he was quite unsuitable as a husband, but they had an exciting life filled with all kinds of adventures, and after seven years she had a baby at 33. And that was her only baby. And that one child has filled her life with so much abundance, I couldn't possibly put it all in writing. (P.S. yes, that's me.) I'm just saying. Beware of graduation speeches that seem to narrow the vision of your life instead of expanding it.
Do you think it's good advice to tell people to marry young and have lots of children?
Image via SouthernVirginiaUniv/YouTube