I have long taken a stance that other people’s reproductive choices are none of my business. Want a kid? Mazel tov! Don’t want a kid? Great! When I say I’m pro-choice, I mean it in every sense of the word. And this stance doesn’t change just because someone is a celebrity: No matter how public a figure, what they do with their uterus or the uterus of any willing partner is private and entirely up to them. But... when in the course of human events we are presented with the prolific baby-making skills of Nick Cannon — a man who has fathered 12 children with six women, often overlapping pregnancies — we reserve the right to arch a bemused eyebrow and embark upon a baffled (but still respectful) hot take. We have questions. Lots of questions. (And yet we still have fewer questions than Nick Cannon has offspring.)
#1. Do your hosting gigs really pay that well?
Don’t get me wrong: I know you must make a ton of money. The Masked Singer is huge and that’s only one of your various projects... but does it pay “providing for multiple families” money? Multiple celebrity families? I have to imagine your various children and partners have certain expectations about what it means to bear the progeny of someone your level of famous.
So what gives? Are you selling plasma on the side? Do you have an Etsy shop? Do you sell discarded costumes from The Masked Singer on eBay when no one is looking? What kind of side hustles are required to pay for all these kids?
#2. Are you OK with the fact that you never get to retire?
My dude, you are 42 years old and your oldest children are 11. You’ve welcomed — either through birth or pregnancy announcement — just under half a dozen infants this year alone. If you stop with the amount of kids you have now, you’re going to be 60 before the youngest batch turns 18. About 65 when they graduate college. And do you think they’re going stop asking pops for money after they graduate?
To be fair, as a Millennial who came of age just as the entire economy tanked in a spectacular fashion, I myself doubt I’ll have the opportunity to retire in a timely fashion. My retirement plan is Mad Max-style societal collapse.
#3. What scheduling apps do you use?
Like... do you just share calendars on your phones? Do the mothers of your children hop in on each other's calendars? Do you have a big color-coded calendar taking up an entire wall in your office? I imagine diagrams, frantically penned post-it notes, pictures, and color coded string connecting relevant items. Do you delegate this task to an assistant? Do you have a team of assistants? I just want to know because it must be positively mind-boggling. I have one partner, two children, and a job with steady hours and, even so, managing even one family schedule has taken years off my life. I cannot imagine coordinating soccer games, ballet recitals, parent-teacher meetings (OMG how does that even work?! Do you have the most chaotic ClassDojo account on the planet?), doctor's appointments, and various other obligations for 11 kids, six partners and ex-partners, and myself, much less finding the time to do it all.
#4. Are you trying to one-up Genghis Khan?
Fun fact: 16 million people on planet earth — approximately 8% of men in the region of the former Mongol empire, or about one in 200 men worldwide — share a single male ancestor. While we can’t know for sure who this person was, we know he lived in the area around Mongolia about 500 years ago and, per IFLScience.com, “based on a combination of logic, statistics, and common sense, that ancestor was almost certainly Genghis Khan.”
Legend has it that ol’ G.K. had 500 concubines in addition to seven wives, which I guess is one of the benefits of conquering vast swathes of Eurasia. If you’re planning to come for the Khan’s crown, you’ve got a ways to go, but I admire your willingness to take on a challenge.
#5. How many rounds of Goodnight Moon is that per evening?
It’s a lot, isn’t it?
#6. How is EVERYONE cool with this?
Look, I’m not some suburban Pollyanna who thinks families only consist of a husband, a wife, two kids, and a dog. There are lots of ways to have a family, including polyamorous families. But listen: I know a few polyamorous parents and none of them have a configurations that comes close to yours. And I can’t help but be amazed at the thought that everyone is so cool with this. I mean, if they are, great! But did you seriously just stumble upon the six chillest women on the planet? I find it hard to believe that a family with this many babies and mothers all vying for the attention of one father (and not vying in a desperate way, just vying in the sense that you are splitting parenting duties across six different child-filled households) is drama free.
#7. Sir, respectfully, why?
Being a parent is the most amazing thing I’ve done with my life (and, like, I’ve lived a fascinating life, my good man, believe you me: I once stayed at a hotel with a make-your-own-waffle station at their free breakfast). Kids are amazing! But I cannot imagine having the money, energy, time, or wherewithal to parent to this many children, especially across different households, even with your riches and resources. So what’s the deal? What is it about children or pregnancy that you’re so obsessed with? Because you have to admit: what you’re doing is pretty bonkers. And I say bonkers because you seem to have a sense of humor about your prodigious baby-making habit and the fact that there’s no other way to describe five pregnancies in a single year — to join six pre-existing children — as anything other than “bonkers.”