Are American mothers influenced by stimulant abuse among college and business people?

I think so.  This is basically a link dump, though. Stimulant refers to adderall and other strong prescription-needed stimulant drugs, so not coffee or nicotine.

https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/12/28/adderall-risks-much-more-than-you-wanted-to-know/

This is the usual glorious TLDR; from Scott Alexander.  Steve Sailer picked it up and discussed it here, and if you even glance at the comments you’ll see a bunch of his readers use stimulants, previously used stimulants or are frothingly envious of people who have access to stimulants.

As to how this relates to American motherhood, since we’re closing in on 60% of births to women with a BA or higher, you have the largest historical group ever on an annual basis of women who came out of the hothouse high-performance, heavy-stimulant using college environments and decided to go for marriage and kids.  So they are bringing in expectations of how to “be productive” that are influenced by heavy stimulant abuse, even if they didn’t mess with that stuff themselves or don’t know anyone who did.

It also explains some of the extraordinary cultural callousness around sleep deprivation, as well.  It’s not just that being sleep deprived yourself makes you cold to other women experiencing it.  It’s that the entire media culture is full of stimulant abusers who don’t think about the fact that nursing and pregnant women can’t possibly solve their sleep issues the way the stimulant users do.

The selection bias of women who come up in those high-performance environments but end up starting families anyway and trying to make it all work without those little helpers (and without cultural support to “trade across” with actual domestic support) is worth exploring, rather than continuing to assert that women are delaying  marriage and childbearing to be scandalous cat ladies.

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Are American mothers influenced by stimulant abuse among college and business people?

  1. Some thoughts:

    –Plexus!

    https://plexusworldwide.com/product/plexus-edge

    –Caffeine is how a lot of people make it work. My sweet grandma had amazing energy in her younger years–but she was also a coffee fiend with a pot always going. (Good news–coffee doesn’t seem to be that bad for you.)
    –Unfortunately, as you mention, conscientious pregnant and breastfeeding women can’t lean on that particular crutch.
    –“It also explains some of the extraordinary cultural callousness around sleep deprivation, as well.” Sleep deprived people may also not know how stupid they are being or that they are functioning more poorly, as there’s a lot of happy talk as to how you “get used to it”. There’s a lot of machismo surrounding not sleeping much.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/sleep-deprived-drivers-have-plenty-in-common-with-drunk-drivers/2016/12/06/2f83d166-bbcb-11e6-91ee-1adddfe36cbe_story.html?utm_term=.e74ef3d8ba68

    Like

  2. Come to think of it, eating can be a cheap and legal way for a mom to keep going.

    This has a long term downside, just like pharmaceutical stimulants, but in the short term, it can keep you awake and doing what needs to be done. (Been there, done that.)

    Combine caffeine with calories, and you’ve got a billion dollar industry.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starbucks

    Like

  3. “It also explains some of the extraordinary cultural callousness around sleep deprivation, as well. It’s not just that being sleep deprived yourself makes you cold to other women experiencing it. It’s that the entire media culture is full of stimulant abusers who don’t think about the fact that nursing and pregnant women can’t possibly solve their sleep issues the way the stimulant users do.”

    Ohhhhhh this is a huge interest of mine –sleep deprivation and what it does to moms. This is all very interesting and I just thought of something–in the realm of moms we have moms vs. moms using stimulants in the way some athletes use steroids. This is how some moms always come out looking better, more productive, more perfect–the supermom. These moms are effectively on steroids and cheating at the sport motherhood in the same way athletes cheat at their sport. This then in turn sets up unfair standards and expectations that the average woman really can’t meet.

    Like

    • Stone said:

      “This is how some moms always come out looking better, more productive, more perfect–the supermom.”

      There’s actually a chapter about that in “People I’d Like to Punch in the Throat.”

      Like

    • Haha, have you ever seen that SNL skit where Kelly Ripa tells everyone her secret is crack cocaine? Old but still funny: https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/creating-saturday-night-live-skating-goodnights/3641609

      I figure some of those ladies really are just type a go getters but yeah, some of my friends are happy to tell you they’re taking all the pharmaceutical help they can get. Much like sports doping, I mind it less when it’s done in the open. I’m not so eager to have 8 kids and my MIL living under my roof that I’m interesting in going on klonopin to manage, but I’m also not judging my friend who’s already there.

      Like

  4. Makes sense to me, though I would kinda question whether stimulant abuse is more common among college attendees than the population at large: seems to me that the stimulant usage among the college set is just likelier to come from with a script/diagnosis. Meth is still pretty popular with blue collar people, though its former popularity seems to be losing ground to opiates: I didn’t think it could get worse than meth but I was so wrong

    The other thing that comes from college is a habit of thinking about things as “one big push to get through,” because that works in a college context: there’s one big push to get through finals or your senior thesis or the big scary organic chemistry weeder class, and the big push has a defined ending where your sacrifice is rewarded with a good grade, a long break, and a sense of accomplishment. Motherhood (well, and life in general) isn’t really like that: it’s a marathon more than a series of frantic sprints, especially if you’re going to have more than two kids 18 months apart or maintain any kind of longterm professional career. People get so abused by management going “one big push!” that they often fail to notice that there’s ALWAYS a big push on, lol

    Like

    • Except the one big push (literally) that comes with giving birth that propels you into motherhood and that constant marathon. I laugh now at childbirth. It seems so easy and all the pain (epidural/drug free births here) is nothing in comparison to the marathon afterwards. The song that never ends its just goes on and on my friends…
      Wouldn’t it be nice if after birth we got that long break in college, ha.

      Like

      • You should TOTALLY get a vacation after childbirth. it’s completely nuts to see women go back to to paid work a WEEK after having a baby, and we generally get back into the domestic swing of things a whole 48 hours later, which is just as bad/worse

        Like

        • That’s very interesting. Historical high-achieving women with (sometimes lots of) kids always had wet nurses and nannies. Sleep deprivation was a thing professionals endured for money, while the queen got to scheme with a clear and focused mind. Wet nurses went out of fashion, and something had to take their function.
          Personally, I’m a natural insomniac and need relaxants, not stimulants (never tried the medical stuff but tried every “sleep tea” sold in grocery stores). I’m actually pleased that tiredness from baby care makes me fall asleep faster than before. Count me as a supermom, lol… though I’m not American and don’t play this game.

          Like

  5. I would say that my idea of productivity is kind of influenced by stimulant users. One of my friends has been on Adderrall since college. She has several elementary school aged children, runs a successful business and is heavily involved in her children’s private school. She’s also very thin.

    My husband and I sat down and had our end of the year “state of the family” discussion recently and I realized that I had accomplished a lot towards our family’s goals this year. My husband says that he was very happy to see me relaxing and enjoying myself more often. But until we sat down and actually looked at what we accomplished I was feeling a little guilty about taking a more laidback approach.

    That constantly working, never tired supermom thing isn’t possible for most stimulant free people. At least not in the long term. But it also isn’t even necessary in my case. Things get done well enough even if I take naps and spa days.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s