Moral Moms & Babies

Christine Whelan | Posted on 05/07/10

Three headlines to share with Mom this Mother's Day:

1) It's the 50th Anniversary of the birth control pill. So, while it doesn't necessarily mean that you were "planned," if you're in your 20s and 30s, there's a much better chance that you weren't an accident.

2) Despite the fact that you think your kids are little evil hellions, research tells us that we are born with some basic morality. According to a fascinating piece in The New York Times Magazine 

A growing body of evidence, though, suggests that humans do have a rudimentary moral sense from the very start of life. With the help of well-designed experiments, you can see glimmers of moral thought, moral judgment and moral feeling even in the first year of life. Some sense of good and evil seems to be bred in the bone. Which is not to say that parents are wrong to concern themselves with moral development or that their interactions with their children are a waste of time. Socialization is critically important. But this is not because babies and young children lack a sense of right and wrong; it's because the sense of right and wrong that they naturally possess diverges in important ways from what we adults would want it to be.

3) First-time moms are getting older. According to a Pew Report, 14% of births in 2008 were to women ages 35 and older, and 10% were to teens. This reversed the stats from 1990, when 13 percent of U.S. births were to teens, and 9 percent were to older women.


A few other tidbits:

  • Feminists and conservatives alike should express outrage at the second-class citizenship given to mothers who devote their time and energy to raising their kids. To give a full-time mom her due, send her this.
  • For those who have recently lost their mothers, it's a tough holiday. A thoughtful piece by Meghan O'Rourke could be a helpful read. 
  • For women struggling with infertility, Mother's Day is a minefield of emotions. For some helpful hints on how to cope, RESOLVE has a good website. 
  • When I was little, I thought Mother's Day should be a celebration of me. Because without me, my parents wouldn't be Mommy and Daddy. They'd just be Beth and Steve. (Ah, the voice of an only child.) Self-help guru Deepak Chopra narrates a video of how we made our moms into moms-and how their bodies made us. (It's actually pretty cool)


Happy Mother's Day!

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