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The Opt-Out Revolution, Revisited

In 2003, the New York Times published a lengthy article by Lisa Belkin about women who were choosing to leave the workforce to be stay-at-home moms: The Opt-Out Generation. In the the last ten years, the article's conclusions regarding upper-middle-class women's choices about work and motherhood have been debated, studied, rediscovered, denied, lamented, and defended. It's been noted by many that "most mothers have to work to make ends meet but the press writes mostly about the elite few who don’t." Ms. Belkin's piece also never mentioned what what a disaster divorce or the death of a spouse can create for dependent women in such situations. After a decade, the Times is revisiting the topic: The Opt-Out Generation Wants Back In.
posted by zarq on Aug 7, 2013 - 64 comments

“Commitment vows are very powerful, even in a cynical era when people aren't afraid of getting divorced,”

Families in Flux:"As household arrangements take new directions, scientists attempt to sort out the social effects" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 6, 2012 - 7 comments

"I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother."

The Mom Stays in the Picture - When Allison Tate wrote about how "Too much of a mama's life goes undocumented and unseen... I'm everywhere in their young lives, and yet I have very few pictures of me with them", it resonated with many other women. "To read through the notes that came with the thousand-plus photos (and yes, we have read every single one) was to read the minds of today's mothers. Over and over you told us that you don't look the way you want to look, don't look the way you once did. Even when joining a movement created around the motto 'I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother,' you felt the need to apologize." (via middleclasstool's other half)
posted by flex on Oct 12, 2012 - 50 comments

It airs right after "Teen Mom"

30 and Pregnant "How did this happen?" he said. I couldn't believe he didn't know. "We were so careful." I sighed heavily, twirling a piece of spaghetti around my fork, feeling overwhelmed that now I would officially have to come down on one side of the cloth versus disposable diapers debate.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jun 3, 2011 - 212 comments

'These children don’t recognize the flags of their home countries, but they can all sing "Jesus Loves Me."'

The Evangelical Adoption Crusade [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 28, 2011 - 137 comments

"Serial monogamy" and "domino dads"

A University of Michigan study has found that 1 in 5 American women have had children by several different men. Time Magazine dubs the phenomenon "domino dads". The study is the first of its kind to survey Americans from all walks of life, and it finds that the practice can be found across economic classes. But is its publication putting an unfair spotlight on black women?
posted by shii on Apr 5, 2011 - 63 comments

Beyond the scary Christmas list

The cost of raising a child from cradle to 18 has risen to $222,000. Chiefly among the reasons is parents' desire to "cultivate" their children.
posted by reenum on Dec 6, 2010 - 122 comments

Keeping up with the Joneses

The Bateses of Tennessee are just behind the Duggars of Arkansas. Not even close to the 18th century Vassilyevs though.
posted by vidur on Nov 9, 2010 - 68 comments

Like Mom, Like Dad

Recreating pictures of your parents on zefrank.com. (Previous Project) [more inside]
posted by gman on Aug 28, 2010 - 25 comments

The kids are alright .. in the freezer

A D.C. couple wants children, but not now, and are worried about infertility creeping up on them as they get deeper into their thirties. They came up with a novel solution -- donating frozen embryos to their future selves. The procedure is not uncommon for couples with fertility problems; will it become a popular insurance option for young couples who just aren't ready for kids? They might want to think about what to do if they have more embryos than they want. Or what happens if they get divorced.
posted by escabeche on Jul 6, 2010 - 45 comments

Defining passion, as a mother

"Yes, I have four children. Four children with whom I spend a good part of every day: bathing them, combing their hair, sitting with them while they do their homework, holding them while they weep their tragic tears. But I'm not in love with any of them. I am in love with my husband."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 27, 2009 - 182 comments

Hope Generator

Generations of Hope is a non-profit set up to bring kids out of foster care and into extended families with grandparents. The community of Hope Meadows was repurposed from housing on a closed Air Force base in Illinois. (The NYT article erroneously refers to the community by the non-profit's name. No matter. The story is still inspirational.) [more inside]
posted by yiftach on Sep 16, 2008 - 5 comments

For The Bible Tells Me So

For The Bible Tells Me So. (documentary, Google Video. Trailer.)
posted by Ira.metafilter on Mar 8, 2008 - 52 comments

The Opt-Out Myth

The "Revolution" that isn't. The idea that well-educated women are leaving their careers behind and choosing to stay at home is a recurring story- notably in "The Opt Out Revolution", Lisa Belkin's 2003 essay in the New York Times. A closer examination [.pdf, long] challenges the idea that women are returning home as a matter of biological "pull" rather than a workplace "push", and argues that how the media portrays the personal decisions of a few obfuscates the real social needs of most American working families. In 2007, the United States is one of the few countries in the world without paid maternity leave.
posted by ambrosia on Mar 16, 2007 - 55 comments

"All families in OECD countries today are aware that childhood is being reshaped by forces whose mainspring is not necessarily the best interests of the child."

How does your country measure up as a place to raise kids? It turns out that growing up in the UK is a bleaker experience than in any other wealthy country. UNICEF studied all the wealthiest nations (full report PDF here), and the US and UK came in at the bottom on almost all indicators (material wellbeing, health and safety, education, family and peer relationships, behaviours and risks, and the subjective feelings of kids and teens themselves ). Doing best for kids were the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. It turns out that GDP and material wealth alone does not ensure healthier or happier or more well-educated kids--the Czech Republic scored very well despite being one of the poorest nations surveyed.
posted by amberglow on Feb 15, 2007 - 113 comments

One Egg At A Time, Please, Just One Egg At A Time

One Egg At A Time, Please, Just One Egg At A Time!

Representative Lonnie Napier has a great idea! IVF requires eggs to be harvested from a woman, combined with a man's sperm outside of the woman's body, then putting several embryos back in hopes of getting one to implant and grow, resulting in a baby. Rep. Napier, being strongly pro-life and opposed to IVF, thinks the way to solve this is to fertilize only one egg at a time. And to violate this new law would be a class D felony in Kentucky, punishable with 1-5 years in prison.

Via And I Wasted All That Birth Control...
posted by OhPuhLeez on May 12, 2005 - 71 comments

Womb For God

Meet The Duggars! ?Michelle and Jim Bob have had 15 children in 16 years all with first names that start with the letter “J”. Recently they had their own 1 hour reality TV show called: 14 Children and Pregnant Again. They belong to the Full Quiver movement which states that you should receive as many children as God blesses you with. The women dress Little House on the Prairie fashion and refer to themselves as Prairie Muffins. The men get to dress normally. This is what the White Supremists think of them and this is what other Christians think of them.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Nov 30, 2004 - 140 comments

Girls seek "divorce" of lesbian mother

Girls seek "divorce" of lesbian mother The Scottish paper seems to take a fairly serious anti-gay stance, where as the report in the Houston Chronicle seems to be a little more factual and less hysterical. But, in either case, do children have the right to demand that their parents "stop being gay"?
posted by dejah420 on Aug 20, 2002 - 51 comments

A couple from the UK

A couple from the UK have a beloved son who has leukemia, and who may need a marrow transplant to save his life. They are using in-vitro fertilization to select a fertilized egg which will be genetically similar enough to their son so that the resulting baby could be a marrow donor. Is it ethical to design a baby as a transplant donor, even to save the life of another child?
posted by Steven Den Beste on Oct 15, 2001 - 25 comments

The estate of a divorced father is freed from paying a failing son's tuition.

The estate of a divorced father is freed from paying a failing son's tuition. Basically, the ruling establishes (at least in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) that children have obligations to parents. OK, if you want your parents to pay for your college education, you should at least try to graduate. But what are the other consequences of this ruling? What's the point at which a child's bad behavior releases a parent from their obligations as a parent? If your divorced dad is the Great Santini, can he cut off your child support if you hit him back?
posted by dchase on Apr 20, 2001 - 2 comments

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