Should There Be a Test to Pass Before Becoming a Parent?

Family Matters on 05.10.11
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Screenshot: Bravo TV

I am not ashamed to admit that I am a reality television junkie. Ok, well maybe I'm a little ashamed, but the cat is out of the bag now. And I'm not talking about Survivor or American Idol. My favorites are the totally outlandish reality shows that follow women being catty and crazy, people spending crazy amounts of money on houses, and even cooking competitions. Yes, if you put a show on Bravo, I will watch it over and over and over again. Just like Disney seems to put some sort of trance on our children, Bravo does that for me. For the most part, these shows seem pretty harmless, but lately I've been sucked into Pregnant in Heels, and watching all these demanding, clueless, pregnant women has me asking should anyone really be allowed to become a parent?

The show follows British born Rosie Pope, maternity concierge (something I had never heard of before) to New York's super-wealthy. Her job is to help them prepare for the baby's arrival no matter how totally crazy their requests are. Did it ever dawn on you to hold a focus group to name your child to ensure that they will be successful? And then of course just go with the name you liked to begin that no one in the focus group did. How about asking Lord Wedgewood to become your baby's godfather with a proper tea in Central Park? Rosie Pope is the woman to look to for just these things. But she also goes into homes and reviews parents' preparation for baby from the nursery to breastfeeding and diapering. She uses her Mommy IQ Test to determine their readiness. Pope comes off as being a bit snooty, but I love the way she talks about how crazy her clients can be. When you have clients who are nine months pregnant saying things like "I don't like children" and "I'm determined to look great minutes after I deliver" I don't know how she couldn't.

And in just about every show, Pope manages to show up at a client's house with an unexpected guest such as a psychologist or nutritionist to confront the underlying issue causing the client's complete lack of realism, even though some of them are having second or third children. Typically the client's are angry, and I can understand why. Even though she may know what she's doing, you don't want someone showing up at your door telling you you're a little crazy and need a psychologist before you give birth next week. It's more than slightly offensive.

But even though the first 50 minutes of each show focuses on the arguably insane to the average person requests of the clients, those last ten minutes show the parents post baby's arrival, and they are always over the moon, and seem to have dropped all other self-centeredness that they may have had previous to the baby arriving. Isn't it amazing how all these little people turn our worlds upside down? The fact is that you can't really judge (nor should you or I) with a test or any other way how a person is going to be as a parent until they become one; not even those people who roll their eyes when they are in the presence of your screaming children. Because when it's your own child, it's a totally different situation, and we all have a way of figuring it out even if we never perfect it. I know I certainly waited until the last minute to do a lot of my preparations for both of my kids, and if money weren't an object, I'm sure my preparations probably would have been a lot different, maybe even to the point where I could be one of Pope's "crazy" clients.


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