Big Families Are Not Status Symbols

April Peveteaux

big familiesAnother piece is rolling around the web about those wealthy Manhattan mamas who keep on having more and more children to serve as status symbols of their opulence. Even Tina Fey referenced the trend in her awesome piece on motherhood in The New Yorker, where she shared her suspicion that moms with large broods were really trying to boast about how big their apartments were.

I can't pretend to understand a woman who wants to give birth repeatedly. I had miserable pregnancies, and two unwanted c-sections despite of my natural-leanings. Honestly, if I could have figured out any way to have more kids that didn't involve my uterus -- I would have done it. So it's probably presumptuous of me to say that I really don't believe these women with a mini-van full of kids are doing it to show how wealthy they are.

Being wealthy may indeed, be a precursor to extra large families (although in some cases, it's obviously not). But as one of the interviewees points out, if there's a woman out there having multiple kids to increase her status -- she must be a sociopath. I would totally agree. So to call this a trend, would mean there are a lot of sociopaths in New York City getting pregnant for crazy reasons. I don't really buy it.

I do, however, think that pregnancy and babies have become a super trend over the past decade. Now more than ever you can dress your pregnant belly, not to mention your kids, in super cute clothes that don't scream "maternity" or "loss of identity." There are a zillion print and online publications (like this one) that celebrate parenthood, as well as dissect. Mom bloggers are dominating the Internet, and any halfway controversial book that comes out about parenting will get major play in all mediums. Moms are hot. Whether you have one or four kids -- it's kind of a big deal.

Maybe women who have four or more children are showing off a little bit. I mean, I'm impressed. But to imply their status is more important than their love for their children is way off base. Even those of us who know we're done having children -- seriously, the idea of even one more is exhausting -- have moments when we look at our children and think how amazing it would be to have another one. If money, pain, or space weren't an issue, who says we wouldn't all have a house full?

Do you think women with four or more kids are doing it to show off?


Image via Bravo


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