“all you need to be a mom is love” is utter bullshit

I rewatched the scene from Bojack Horseman where Princess Carolyn refuses to let her ex-boyfriend help her raise this baby she’s trying to adopt.  Inadvertently, she convinces the birth mother that she, too, can do it all on her own, “All you need is love!”

My friend just gave birth to a baby boy.  She did it without a father, that is, with a sperm donor.  She is “doing it all on her own.”  Sort of.  She’s also living with her parents.  Which is fine, if that’s what you want.  It’s only that you kind of have to live with your parents if you take that path.  Or be independently wealthy and hire a nanny, a maid, etc.

It’s entirely possible to raise a child without a father figure.  I am not sure it’s desirable (children need both male and female perspectives), but it’s possible.  But let’s not pretend these women do it “on their own” (without losing their entire identity and living in misery).

Princess Carolyn had a miserable existence trying to “do it all.”  Until she finally realized she needed the help of someone who loved her, supported her, and was amazing with children in ways she frankly never would be (yes, she loved them, no, she wasn’t particularly “good” with children).  Ultimately, she realized she was better off as the breadwinner, with her husband as a stay at home father (again, doesn’t mean she was uninvolved, simply not the primary caregiver).  She might be mythical, but single, unsupported parents are hardly imaginary.

I love my munchkins beyond belief, but, no, I can’t do it on my own.  Heck, their dad and I can’t do it -easily- on our own.  I’ll leave off whether the munchkins want this; but their father and I admittedly benefit from their bio mother and stepfather watching the kids every other week.  (Yes, I feel incredibly guilty about that).  Besides which both he and I have supportive family that, yes, is critical in raising cared for children.

Love doesn’t pay rent, groceries, or other basic needs.  Love doesn’t replace sleep.  It doesn’t teach you all you need to ensure your child is raised in a safe, healthy manner (as safe and healthy as humanly possible).

Love is a critical ingredient in raising a loved child; but only one ingredient of many.  Sugar is needed for a delicious cake; but on its own, it’s nothing but a pile of sugar.  Sweet, but not very filling.

Princess Carolyn could not do it alone.  She needed Judah.  Someone who understand children innately.  Someone to give her love, as she gave love to her daughter (children are wonderful, but for the early years, mostly love leeches, sorry kids.  It’s not your fault.  It’s hard to give a lot of love when you’re busy figuring out you have hands and fingers).   

Someone to do life with together.

We all need that.  It’s a feature, not a flaw.

So love your child to pieces, please!  But do everything you can to love them with someone else.

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