Wendy Archer is a 40-year-old woman who loves her children. She bathes them, she feeds them and she dresses them in the latest styles. She's spent thousands on toys and accessories for them and she tells The Daily Mail that she couldn't bear to be without them. Archer is the perfect mother. There's just one catch: The babies are reborn dolls.
Archer, who has four living children of her own, began collecting reborns after she gave birth to her fourth child and decided to undergo tubal ligation. But then, after she had completed the procedure, Archer realized that she had made a mistake and that she would never be able to have children again. That's why, with four children at home, Archer began collecting reborns, newborn dolls who have been meticulously painted and altered to make them appear as if they are living, breathing children. She says that her feelings of regret and emptiness went away when she purchased her first doll.
Now Archer spends hours a day taking care of her babies, who she insists aren't toys. They have a real crib and car seats. Archer says that she loves all of her children (and grandchildren) but knows that her kids have their own lives and that her grandkids will always leave at the end of the day; her reborns won't and she can continue being a full-time mother to them forever. It's understandable that Archer would have empty nest syndrome, but two of her children a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old still live at home. These children aren't profiled in the piece, but considering how devoted Archer is to her reborns, its likely that they have some strong feelings about their lifelike siblings.
Archer, who starts and ends her days with her reborns says she loves the dolls because they're so lifelike.
'I have beds, and Moses baskets for each of them, and they take it in turns to sleep in the crib in my room.
'Every evening I change them into their pyjamas and tuck them into bed and every day I change them, give them fresh nappies and put them in their day clothes.
'I know some people might think I'm mad but so many of my friends have been amazed by how happy the dolls can make people.
'When you cuddle them, they feel like a baby, because their heads lull and they even smell like a real baby, because of the fabric softener their clothes are washed in. It is truly amazing.
She hasn't taken the dolls into town yet, because she's worried people will think she's crazy, but plans to as soon as she can afford a stroller. Archer is currently unemployed (The Daily Mail reports that she's never been employed) and spends as much time as she can at a store where reborns are sold, caring for them and watching how they're made. She's been using her savings to pay for her reborns and is still in debt, paying for the dolls in weekly installments. This brings up concerns about how Archer is able to care for her living children, especially considering that she doesn't plan on stopping her spending. She's currently looking for a job to pay for more babies.