Well-intentioned and Wrong

Did you carry an egg around in junior high? The late 1980s saw schools providing ‘egg babies’ to their students in an attempt to expose them to the work involved in caring for a baby. You were meant to provide a place for the egg to rest and keep it with you at all times. Not all the eggs survived.

Schools with more financial resources provided dolls that simulated real babies with sounds, skin-like feel and even baby smells. Being woken by screams in the night and struggling to soothe a cranky baby was intended to drive home the difficulty of motherhood and lower the number of pregnant teens. It’s easy to understand the thinking of educators and psychologists who promoted this program. And, I’m sure that it worked for some teens.

Except—oops—according to the book Mom Genes: Inside the New Science of Our Ancient Maternal Instincts, a recent Australian study revealed that girls who cared for these simulator babies were more, rather than less, likely to get pregnant. Being around babies inclines females to want to be around babies. (I don’t know of any studies involving wanting to be around eggs.)

I haven’t finished the book and so far I’m finding it an interesting read, although one that I think bends over backwards trying not to violate politically correct thinking. However, whether we try to influence teens with egg experiments while providing financial bonuses and social messages that influence them in the opposite direction, or whether we “magnanimously” allow one child, two children or more as China has and is trying to do, we are missing the mark. The secret to healthy and happy families isn’t more maternity and paternity leave or child-allowance credits. All of the above are attempts to compensate for the damage of decades of anti-family positions while continuing to train the next generation to agitate for even more of those very policies.

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19 thoughts on “Well-intentioned and Wrong”

  1. When I was in middle school, back in the 1990s, my school had us do the “egg” mommy-daddy thing. I have to admit, at the time, I thought it was interesting but very inconvenient. My school was an Engineering, Math and Science school; and kids like me simply had too much school work and books to carry (and then they wanted us to carry around an “egg” in a basket!)… Anyways, we had to keep a journal and meet with the teacher daily so they could “inspect” the egg to make sure we were generally caring for it.

    Looking back, it sorta reminds me of the Liberal welfare system: Unmarried “hook-up” couples with a baby; a baby that’s not really wanted; all the while, having an authority figure check to make sure we weren’t abusing the baby.

    To me, it simply reinforced that most black kids, like myself, simply come from really crappy backgrounds and neighborhoods and need government oversight to control us.

  2. I’d forgotten about those dolls. I was in middle school in the early 90s. A good friend, who went to public school, was assigned one of those dolls. I distinctly remember being a bit jealous of her, and wishing I could have one too. I was homeschooled, and as the oldest of 9, had a real, live baby on my hip from the age of 8 or so onward. But still, the idea of having my very own “baby”, appealed to me. That Australian study made me laugh, because even though I always believed the program must had been a success, my own experience belied it.

  3. The oldest kid in a family of eight children. One of the best fates I could have wished for when beginning to raise my own family…it came as second nature. Your children are not accessories, pets or replacements for disappointing spouses, et cetera. Before even considering starting families both parents must have a very clear perspective on why they want children, how they will most certainly affect the couple, the demands they will place on your energy, patience and budget and most importantly they must stay on the same page about how the kids will be raised and the priority they must be in your lives. I am aghast at how this society has struck out on nearly every one of those points. It breaks my heart. Don’t even get a four-legged “substitute” thinking they need less care. Wait until you grow up and learn a little self-sacrifice first.

  4. David Hastings

    Now I’m really curious how a book with the words in the title “Ancient Maternal Instincts” hasn’t been “canceled” in todays woke culture.

    Interesting though.

  5. 50’s and 60’s what prepared us were our parents, mom and dad. Never held an egg baby, I have held, cared and loved 5 kids, 17 grandkids. Boy how things have changed. I never heard of the egg baby concept. I guess I’m just different or old. Have a blessed day Rabbi, Shalom.

    1. Grandpa Vince, one of the points the author makes is that our own mothers make a huge difference in the mothers we become.

  6. Jason Determann

    I can only imagine the smells that would cause after carrying one around for a month and it breaks…

    1. Jason, I believe the eggs were hollowed out and cleaned before being distributed.

    1. In my dream world, Anoushka, I’d like to see a return to seeing marriage and children linked together as a vital and valuable part of society. In today’s world, I would settle for a Libertarian option of doing what you want but not forcing your fellow citizens to support you financially or psychologically in your choice.

    1. I agree, Anna. Stop punishing marriage and family and leave the “rewards” out of it.

  7. Debbie R Evans

    Couldn’t agree more. Our society of more, more and more. Without the concentration upon our Bible study and learning Hebrew, if motivated, would help. Certainly values and morals definitely would help. My personal encouragement is put ( for starters ) Bibles back in every government buildings and K-12. Along with 10 Suggestions ( Commandments ), prayer, pledge of Allegiance and scaredness of raising our flag. But seems we will be a Federation, it could be a lot worse. Praying for Y-h to help us.

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