Outsourcing Baby

Usually we only judge Republicans, the Administration, Katie Holmes and Katherine Heigl here on KT. But as avid fans of KT know, my claws come out whenever they are in the mood and today, today, I’m judging some parents.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post ran a story in the Business section about the booming industry sprung from parents who are outsourcing tasks for their baby. For some, it starts with night nurses when the baby is born so they can get some much needed rest, maybe it snowballs from there, or maybe people just figure it out later, but what I don’t understand is why people hire other adults to do things that they, as parents, are perfectly capable – and some might argue – SHOULD – be doing for their own offspring.

Now, I will give credit where credit is due, and my hat is off to those who are clever enough to benefit from rich parents who outsource baby tasks to others, as ridiculous as I think it is.

Why, for example, can’t people baby proof their own house? Are we really that busy that we can’t purchase some baby proofing supplies while we are out running errands and then take a few minutes to put them up around the house? Maybe my child is living in a dangerous house but I’m pretty sure it took us about 15 minutes to baby proof the house. Maybe 30 minutes at the most. Barring anyone who is curing cancer or feeding the poorest children in Africa, are we Americans really so busy that we don’t have time for this simple task of protecting our own young and vulnerable child?

The Post piece featured a woman who is profiting off parents who are too busy to shop for their kids own birthday party. The mother featured in the piece paid someone to purchase a “special” present for her daughter’s 3 year old birthday. Just reading that made my core body temperature rise. Where is the joy in knowing your child and thinking about what is important to them, what will delight them, and then taking some time to find it and wrap it and present it to them? I mean, really people, again – are those parents saving us from the next most vicious widespread disease? Or are they just so self-consumed that they can’t spend a little time on their own kid?

A KT friend emailed me over the weekend, in an outrage, and wondered – what will the mother say to her daughter when she is grown up and asks about her favorite tutu that she got on her third bday and her mom reveals that she just paid some woman money to find something special but had the wherewithal to hire someone who actually knows what 3 year old girls like, so it all worked out in the end?  I mean really.  Will her mother respond like this “Oh come on honey, at least I paid an American to do it, look at all the parents that are outsourcing to India and China for these things today.”

And potty training consultants? Come the hell on. How about the fact that potty training your kid is a huge rite of passage and  you get an enormous sense of fulfillment and satisfaction when, at the end of the day, you survived that one and lived to tell the tale?

I just don’t get it. I really don’t understand where, along the way of deciding to bring children into the world, we decide that if we can hire someone to take care of something, then well, let’s just do it.

There, I judged today, what else are Monday’s good for if not starting off the week all fired up?

Here’s a link if you’d like to read it and mock:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/07/AR2008030703511.html

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