Babies

The Best Places to Raise a Family (Or Not)

If you have only yourself to consider, choosing where to live can be a walk in the park, or down the shore, or under an arch, or through some tar pits – whatever suits your fancy. If you shackle yourself, lovingly of course, to another human being, and the two of you with clear eyes and full hearts bring forth new life into the world, well, choosing where to live becomes more fraught. Values shift. Priorities adjust. Apartments that seemed cozy start to feel like “the hole” in The Shawshank Redemption.

---

Town in Finland Incentivizes The Creation of Future Taxpayers

There is a baby boom in the tiny town of Lestijärvi, Finland (population 850) and with “Turns Out Paying People Thousands of Dollars to Have a Baby Works Pretty Well” Feargus O’Sullivan is on it.

---

Soon Small Dogs Will Supplant The Human Race

As you may have heard and applauded, American women between the ages of 15 and 29 are not having nearly as many babies as they did even just seven years ago (10% drop between 2007 and 2012). MEANWHILE another adorable trend is on the rise, and Roberto Ferdman at Quartz, along with a few market researchers, think the two trends might be linked:

---

“Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?”: Estate Planning for Millenials

Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?” asks New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast’s aging parents, whose hesitance to discuss End of Life issues Chast captures in her upcoming graphic memoir. They are not alone: No one wants to talk about a subject that inspires either boredom (What will happen with our Social Security checks?) or terror (Who will raise the kids?) or some toxic combination of both (In what exurb will our bodies be interred to spend eternity alongside cars roaring by?)

The story of Mickey Rooney, who shuffled off this mortal coil on Sunday, is a good reminder to face down boredom and terror alike in an effort to keep one’s affairs in order. Otherwise your family members might turn into grave-robbing lunatics, claiming everything, including your corpse – especially perhaps if that is all you have to leave, as the Los Angeles Times reports:

Rooney’s trust didn’t have a dime. He owed back taxes to the IRS and the state Franchise Tax Board. He was estranged from most of his nine children and separated from his wife. He had disinherited everyone except one stepson, according to a will filed along with court papers that showed assets of just $18,000. …

After his death, his wife, Jan Chamberlin, and her son, Christopher Aber, contacted Forest Lawn and tried to move Rooney’s body against his expressed wishes, Augustine alleged in court papers filed Tuesday morning. Charlene Rooney said she and Mark received a call from Forest Lawn about the attempt a few hours after Rooney’s passing.

“Mickey was not even gone for a few hours, he had just left here on a gurney, and this ugliness started,” she said.

Rooney updated his will as recently as March 11th but missed the opportunity to include certain crucial details. Granted, he had a lot to remember. The actor had more wives than Henry VIII.

---

The Class Politics of Donating Your Eggs

Whew, Moira Donegan has a doozy of an essay over at the New Inquiry, whose issue this month is all about MONEY. In “Over Easy” Donegan talks about the work that goes into egg donation and the taboo of acknowledging the financial incentives for doing it. The matching process often brings together wealthy couples with women who, when ideal candidates, are often the financially struggling, aspirational versions of themselves.

---

Yakkin’ About Baby Showers

Mike: You will probably getting a package from Target from me today.

---

How Long Should Paternity Leave Be?

When Theodore Ross’s son was born, he received two weeks of paternity leave. Was it enough? In an editorial for Al Jazeera America, Ross says no.

---

The ACA and My Obstetrician and Me

So as previously mentioned I am growing increasingly pregnant with each passing day, and today I had an appointment with my OB-GYN. On the agenda for this morning was first to chug 10 oz. of a drink called Glucola™, which is basically like drinking flat orange drink except twice as sugary (Um, I was kind of into it) that does weird things to your blood sugar and screens you for gestational diabetes. Second on the agenda, aside from peeing in a cup, getting my blood pressure taken, and hearing baby’s heartbeat, was for me to corner my OB and try to get her to give me an honest answer about her practice’s plans to drop my newly begotten insurance plan.

---

Parents Are Unhappy? It’s the Economy, Stupid

Ross Douthat (“When I became a father, I expected to change in all the predictable ways … What I didn’t expect is that parenthood would make me such a whiner”) or Slate’s Ruth Graham (“My Facebook feed is an endless stream of blog posts and status updates depicting the messy, tedious, nightmarishly life-destroying aspects of parenting”). Raising kids in our contemporary world is, as Jennifer Senior’s new book puts it, All Joy and No Fun — and, as Lori Gottleib recently told us, no sex.

---

Tim Armstrong Apologizes; Mother of ‘Distressed Baby’ Speaks Up

On Saturday, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong apologized for his comments about distressed babies being a part of the reason why 401(k) benefits were being cut for employees, and announced that the old retirement savings plan would be restored (somehow?).

---

The Cost of Getting Knocked Up (So Far)

The cost of preparing for a baby.

---

An Artist Residency in Motherhood

I started reading these daily routines of different mothers around the world yesterday (via Jessica Stanley’s lovely blog) and now I CANNOT STOP READING THEM

---