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Bartering for a Baby

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Guest blogger Jessica Katz: I recently met a new mom who was a college friend of my husband's. When she had her first daughter (now age 6), her husband stayed home and watched the baby while she went back to work -- by choice. They hired no outside help and lived in a small house. When her husband asked her to get pregnant a second time, her response was, "I am going to be a snob about this. I want a full-time nanny, a maid and a five-bedroom house."

mother holding baby
And guess what? She got it! This time, he went to work and she didn't. Her baby (now 18 months old) is home with the mom and the nanny and the maid in the sprawling five-bedroom home.

I had no idea that all you could barter. I just got pregnant with the second one -- at my husband's urging. I didn't know you could ask for something in exchange; I mean, I feel like I could have at least gotten a hot new handbag out of the deal!

As I asked more and more moms about this "bartering for a baby" phenomenon, I found it's actually not that uncommon. The moms felt like they had to give up their bodies for nine months (plus birth and recovery), not to mention breastfeeding and raising the baby. So they felt like they deserved something in return -- and they made that very clear to their spouses.

Most men felt trapped into giving their wives what they wanted, because they had no choice. They couldn't carry the baby themselves, so if they wanted one, they had to pay up. And boy, did they!

I never knew the power of the womb for bargaining. Now we are done having kids, so I missed the proverbial boat. But here's a heads-up for the ladies out there who still have babies in their future: All you have to do is ask. (And make it something good!)

Moms, did any of you "barter for a baby"? If so, tell us what you got!

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
em December 30, 2010, 10:45 AM

this doesnt sit right with me…. not a fan.

Sarah B December 30, 2010, 8:23 PM

Seriously, what kind of woman does this? These people should NOT be having children. You should have them because YOU want them and because YOU want to raise them, not because you want something in return. This is just sad.

Carol December 30, 2010, 9:05 PM

I agree with Sarah.
What they get in return is a baby. What’s next, men bartering for marriage?

Jeanne-Marie January 3, 2011, 4:55 PM

I do think fathers sometimes need a reminder of all that women go through to carry, deliver and nurture a child. I don’t know what’s more pitiful though - making demands, or not appreciating what women go through to have babies!

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:39 AM

It’s good too read your website again buddy, i see some interesting updates here…

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