Thursday, September 13, 2007

Yuppie Dads Display 5-Kid Families as Status Symbol.

Fatherhood 2.0
These days, being a dad is as much about proving your power and wealth as it is about parenting. The ultimate status symbol? Multiple kids. PLUS: A guide to making the most of your offspring, a look at the devolution of the stoic dad, and a video roundup of the fashion faux pas that define today’s fathers.
. . .
Statistics prove that Americans are producing more kids than they used to. Government studies show that from 1984 to 2004, the number of women giving birth to three or more children rose 12 percent, to 18.4 out of every 1,000 women in their childbearing years.
The article posits that the re-emergence of the baby boom among the rich is due to every-increasing salaries. Now that those with outlier wages can afford to have their spouse stay home, why not have more and more?

As someone who aspires to such a career, I'm just all the more tempted to keep it all to myself. Well, OK, that is more a perk than a motivation. But that is one of the beauties of being childfree - you can choose the lavish lifestyle -whatever that means to you - or you can opt out of the crazy hours one must put in to get there, and feel no guilt.

The article may convey dismaying content, but it does not appear to do so in a glowing, pro-natal way. Indeed it credits the baby boom to ego and one-upsmanship.
“Among the hedge-fund guys, it’s a joke,” says one Park Avenue woman. “They all have the trophy wife and the apartment and the four kids.”

Pamela Fiori, editor-in-chief of Town & Country, says a brood can be a prop for a photo-shoot-like lifestyle. “Some people are looking at their children as accessories,” Fiori says.
Of course, this is merely a different flavor of what we have seen before - among Upper West Side career women and soccer moms. The 'bump watch' phenomenon is just the latest in the baby-as-status symbol trend.

I'll admit I have seen this first hand among law firm partners, at least in smaller firms.
That said, no one is giving their children back. Ari and his wife go into withdrawal when two of their five go off to summer camp. “I can’t be in a house that only has three kids,” Ari says. “The silence scares me. Three kids is so weak. It doesn’t feel like you have any.”
You should be so lucky. Maybe that is similar to the sensation I had that my one bedroom apartment in Queens is a palatial wonder?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

“They all have the trophy wife and the apartment and the four kids.”

LOL - A trophy wife is usually slim and pretty, and I have a hard time imagining a four-times-pregnant woman, all stretched out and fat, as a trophy wife! Presumably he means young hot stepmom totty as the trophy wife?