Friday, September 12, 2008

Exhausted With Eight: Enough Already!

Submitted for publication by Misty

I am a mom. I am a mom of a lot of children. I have seven of them. Part of my initial draw to the show J&K plus 8 was the fact that I thought "here it is - another mom in my shoes!" Another mom who was trying to fit 30 hours worth of life into 24. A mom who was trying to treat each child special, as though he/she were the only one, and not "punish" the children because they were born into a large family. A mom who cut coupons and took a calculator to the store so she wouldn't go over budget. A mom who was doing it all to be a SAHM, sacrificing some of the finer things so that her kids could have an upbringing that was important, one where the mom was home preparing meals, thinking up crafts, trying to chase away the "rainy day blues" while still getting all the grown up stuff done for the day. Kate was me. In the beginning.

Then I started seeing the behaviors, those infamous behaviors, the belittling of the husband, the favoritism of the girls, the hollering in public. Then I began noticing the "stuff." Trips here, spa days there. I was caught when Kate, all robed up in her plush bathrobe with her toe nails drying and a glass of champagne in her hands while sitting in a massage chair remarked "it's worth it, it makes you a better mommy, it is expensive." And then they went to Disney. We took two of our seven to Disney because my parents lived a half hour from Orlando. It took us a year to save and my parents footed 90% of the bill (we are from California. We drove also.) The Utah trip... I could not believe the house they were staying in. All the jackets, snow suits, hats, mittens. I noticed her buying half a beef, my grandfather raises beef and I still cannot afford to even buy a quarter of beef from him. Little things added together make big things. I suddenly realized, Kate is not me.

I am a SAHM mom - this was a choice my husband and I made when we started having kids. (My hats off to those of you who work - I couldn't do both!!) My husband and I do not have kids we cannot afford. We do not have kids that we expect other people to raise for us, we do not have kids so that we can get handouts, we do not have kids so that we can get notoriety. We have kids because we love them and have chosen to have a large family. One of our children is severely handicapped. He is thirteen years old and still in diapers. I have a 5 month old. One of our boys is graduating this year, and we are wondering where his college fund is, our state did not set one up for him when he was born. Nope, believe it or not, a family of nine STILL has to *gasp* pay for the kids to go to college. What will we do? Beg for handouts? Send an email to our family and friends letting them know the proper account to funnel money into to help us? Remark that our savings (ha!) should not have to be used to pay for our own children's upbringing? No. What we will do is what countless other Americans do every day of every month of every year. We will work it out.

We Christmas shop all year. I buy all their winter clothes at the beginning of summer when they are all on clearance. I buy all their summer clothes at the beginning of winter to get the good deals. My wrapping paper for this year will all be from the close out sales of after Christmas last year. I don't have strangers sending me gifts for my kids, and the Gosselins are millionaires for heaven's sakes. They are getting a free Christmas and they make more money per episode than my husband makes in a year. What is wrong with this picture?

I get up everyday and face my life, the life that I have chosen. I get six children ready for school with one hand while nursing my infant with the other. I even make my own coffee. I drive, imagine this, hither, thither, and yon, with an infant, doing all of my own errands, while my school aged kids are at school so that when they are home I am with them. I do laundry for a family of nine by. my. self. Mind you, that includes three baseball players, one basketball player, one softball player, several flag football players, an infant, and a handicapped child who still pees and poos himself. I wash it, dry it, fold it, iron it, and put it all away. I have one less child than Kate. If I'm measuring myself against all the laundry help she has, I must have super powers!!!

Did I mention that my wonderful, helpful, kind, patient, loving husband has a job which requires travel approximately 80% of the time? He flies out Monday morning and flies in Friday night. He is home every weekend, just enough time for him to play with our kids and destroy my house and yard, leaving a trail of destruction the likes of which the Tasmanian Devil would be jealous. And do you know what I do while they are doing it? Play along! Encourage! The mess will get taken care of! By who? A slew of helpers? No. Just little ole me, with a baby tied to me in a Moby Wrap or a Bjorn carrier, going back through the house that I just cleaned and doing it all over again because my kids got to make memories over the weekend. I don't get to have a husband who stays home with me. I don't even get to have a husband who helps me shuttle kids to school, practice, friends houses. I get to juggle all the Back To School Nights and Open Houses and Parent Teacher Conferences alone, because my husband had to take the best job with the best medical insurance and the most pay. Because see, we do it alone.

I am living, breathing, sometimes tired, proof that it can be done. And it can be done with love and grace. It can be done with a smile and a good attitude. It can be done without yelling, losing control, mental breakdowns, and ugliness. It can be done without freebies and handouts. I will say that I have the luxury of having a cleaning service come through once per month to clean my bathrooms, because let's face it, I just can't get it all! I get a nice massage gift certificate for Christmas every year from my in- laws. But I save religiously for vacations, which we take the children on once a year two kids at a time. We save for school shopping all year long. We Christmas shop, as I said, all year long (from the clearance rack).

The real kicker of it all is, I am not that tired at the end of the day! I still manage to have a smile on my face at the dinner table. Don't get me wrong, there are days, OH yes! There are days, when I just want to get in my car and keep on going. When the laundry has piled up and the dishes are starting to emanate some weird smell from my sink, when the fridge is looking a bit bare and I am doing dinners from a box until the next paycheck. But I do it. WE do it. And I don't feel like a martyr for it, I don't feel that I am entitled to anyone's help, and in fact I turn down help a lot of the times because let's face it - this is MY life!!! I WANT to be with my kids and do things for them. When my head hits the pillow, I want to be remembering all the same things my kids are remembering as they fall asleep, all the things we did together. I don't want someone else helping my kids with their homework, that is my job. It is my honor.

Let me not fail to mention that since all of our kids were in school, when our next to youngest went to Kindergarten, I went back to school. I raised six kids and got a Bachelors Degree in four years (that's a full time college student to those keeping track at home.) When I graduated in December of '07 I was six months pregnant. Just in time to be able to stay home and start over. So it is not that I stay home because I have to, because I am uneducated, because I cannot work. It is a choice, just as it is a choice for Kate. I just don't believe we should complain so very much about things we choose to do (such as quitting her job while having six children in addition to the two she already had during a time of unemployment for the bread winner of the household). The show is obviously more than taking care of their monetary needs, but is there such a need to flaunt it in our faces? Such a need to show it all off? Such a need to complain so, so much?

I just don't know how many more gigantic beach houses, huge ski mansions, Disney World, Hawaii, theme park, shopping carts full of equipment crap I can watch! And it is not that I am jealous - I'm not. We, for the most part, are comfortable. My kids, for the most part, do not want for much. But I budget religiously, I save, I pay for everything we ever get, and I miss that Kate. The Kate who was showing me and many other moms how it can be done, how what we were doing was possible. Now I just see her and her family as another rich TV family and I simply cannot relate anymore. And then to hear on the one hand how many helpers she has day in and day out, yet watch her complain in every. single. episode. how exhausted she is, well, it is exhausting!

So to those of you who want to excuse her behavior because she has EIGHT KIDS (!!!!!!!) - it doesn't work. It just simply does not work. It isn't that difficult. It is doable, it is very doable, and it is doable without helpers and freebies and millions of dollars. It is doable without having a completely crappy attitude about it. It is doable without being exhausted, grouchy, and out of control. And while I realize she has six who are the same age, mine are 17, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, and our baby 5 months. Those five in the middle are one right after the other. I didn't have time to catch my breath!!!

Thanks for reading! Lovin My Seven in California


Nina Bell said...

Thanks Misty for your submission and sharing your story. I grew up in a time where the average number of children in a family was 8 or 10 and quite a few families would have 12 or 14 children. I even knew one family with 18. Of course, that was the 60's and it was a farming community. I don't know how mothers like you do it but I applaud you.

I also have to give Kate some credit raising six children all of the same age. That has to be tough. Our family, like yours, had children of varying ages so we assisted my mother and father in quite a bit of the household duties. By no means do I want to take away from what my mother did or you are doing on a daily basis. I just think six at one age, especially when they are infants and toddlers has to be tough.

Also kudos to you for getting your degree while raising your children. That had to be very challenging. Many years ago I went back to school to finish post graduate school with two very young children and two jobs so I understand somewhat how hard that is.

Again, thanks for sharing your perspective and best wishes to you and your family. They are fortunate to have a mother like you!

Guinevere said...

Misty, it sounds like you do a lot, and for that I commend you. It also sounds like you are an extraordinary person, and you should be quite proud of yourself.

That said, a few things:

People are different - your constitution and experiences have made you the person you are. The same is true of Kate, of me, of anyone. I don't think that just because you have been able to come to the dinner table each and every night with a smile on your face, that you don't ever yell or lose control - which again, is commendable - that Kate owes it to the world to do the same.

I have never said that all of Kate's issues can be excused by the number of her children. I think she'd be pretty much the same person if she had stopped at Cara and Mady. She is who she is. You are who you are.

I don't have a problem with people passing judgment - to a degree. We all do it. I think it's the level of judgment and anger towards Kate Gosselin that some of us take issue with. I also don't understand being angry because you appear to handle your circumstances better than she does hers, at least by your own accounts. You deserve credit, of course. But I don't agree that it's fair to say that just because you've done it, anyone can.

Finally, you mention "choice" in your entry, and I would just point out that it's your choice to watch the show. Kate is really, really not "flaunting" what she has in your face. You are turning the tv on and watching it every week. It sounds like maybe you'd be happier if you stopped.

AgainAnonymous said...


It sounds like you're doing an amazing job with your family. I commend you for rejoicing in your job as "mom".

I, too, believe, as Guin mentioned above, that we have to allow for differences among mothers. What you may embrace and handle with grace with 7 kids may take another woman's white-knuckled determination to do with much fewer children.

Does that mean we, or Kate, love our kids less if we don't approach the job the same way you do? I can only speak for myself, but I can assure you that's not the case.

Does that mean people that make more money than you or I do don't scrimp and save for their children's education, immediate needs, vacations or their own retirement? I think there's only a small percentage of the population who can say they don't.
What one parent saves for may be different than what another parent might save for, but we have to allow for those differences as well.

Some people are more stoic. Some people approach life with a glass-half-full attitude and others with a glass-half-empty attitude. Some people just vocalize their emotions when others wouldn't and it comes off as complaining.

This thought just occurred to me:

How come it's complaining when Kate expresses her feelings and "venting" when a blogger does the same thing? Symantics.

Back to the discussion:

I can also appreciate the fact that not every viewer feels the Gosselins' lifestyle matches their own anymore. But somehow going on free trips or accepting freebies or discounts has been characterized as a form of betrayal by the Gosselins to their audience that I don't get. She doesn't do things like "you" (this is a collective you, not just Misty) do anymore, so somehow that's offensive?

I won't argue about the statements the Gosseins make about not doing any of these things if they had to pay for it themselves because of other financial obligations (paraphrasing). It's impossible to argue whether they would have or wouldn't have. No one really knows for sure what their financial situation as been over the last couple years, and I don't think that's our business.

I'm aware that human nature will always cause us, especially as mothers, to compare ourselves to each other. Comparing is fine. I just think there needs to be more acceptance for the differences.

AgainAnonymous said...

Sorry...meant to write "our" own retirement.

Anonymous said...

I do not think everyone is so amazed that she has eight children, just at the fact that she has six children who are the same age and twins. They are a unique family. I still get amazed at the fact that some mothers feel the need to explain how much better they are at parenting than Kate. Why do some people need so much praise?

Misty said...

First, Guin, I clearly stated that I DO get frustrated, that I DO sometimes want to get in my car and keep on driving. I never said I come to the dinner table every night with a smile... that would clearly be a fabrication.

I am not asking for credit, praise, accolades, or even acknowledgement. I think everyone can agree that a lot of people have said Kate should be excused for a lot of her behavior BECAUSE she has eight kids. If you read boards, no one can deny that is a very common statement. That "you" (the collective you) do not understand Kate's life because "you" do not have eight kids. I was simply pointing out a different viewpoint - from a mother who has a large family.

I did not enter this blog for praise. I do not want it, and for certain will receive negative comments. I am sure I will be called jealous. And that is not it. I just simply wanted people to know that there is a way it can be done without having to be, for lack of a better term, ugly. I feel Kate is ugly a lot and uses exhaustion as an excuse.

Kate does not have to do it my way, nor does anyone else. The last thing I want is to make other people feel that I in some way feel superior to others because I raise my large family and don't have help or gobs of money. I am writing for those other women like me, who once found Kate as the person they looked up to and now that role model is gone. I do not feel Kate let me down, or deserted me or betrayed me. It was a statement - that once I could relate to her and now I cannot.

I also never said, anon 8:56, that I was a better parent than Kate. I do not even feel that my blog entry implied that. Again, I am letting people know that having 8 kids, in and of itself, is not an excuse to act the way I have seen Kate act. Especially with the level of help that Kate has.

I opened myself up to critism, and I have been reading this blog long enough to know that it would come if I submitted my "anti-gosselin" prose. And I am okay with it. But seriously, please read, really READ, what I wrote before you comment and state that I think I am a better parent than Kate, or that my way is best, that I love my kids more than Kate (or other wealthy people). I feel that I gave my story, and it is unique to me just as Kate's is to her and yours is to you. I was not belittling IMHO.

Thank you for reading!!

Nina Bell said...


I think I know where you are coming from and this statement to me points that out.

" But I budget religiously, I save, I pay for everything we ever get, and I miss that Kate. The Kate who was showing me and many other moms how it can be done, how what we were doing was possible. Now I just see her and her family as another rich TV family and I simply cannot relate anymore."

You previously enjoyed watching the show because you could relate to a real mother in somewhat similar circumstances and that has changed for you. The show has changed and Kate has changed in my opinion.

Somehow, given the circumstances that Kate has now found herself in, I think that is inevitable.

Baby Mama said...

It is important to realize that everyone has different personalities and different parenting skills. Whether its one kid or eight, parents somehow feel better commenting on Kate and the way she handles her kids. Her personality, bad or good, is the reason most watch the show. There are those like Kate that have 1 kid. There are women here I know who are the exact same way. I go on and I do not have 8 either. My point is, the issues lie with Kate no longer being relate able as as wealthy woman not and not so much that she complains about 8 kids. I just wish people could get over that and enjoy the show and not be so concerned with all the trips they get to do and all they get for free. Because no matter how you slice it, thats the main issue to everyone apparently.

madalainef said...

There really isn't any show to enjoy. The show isn't about a real family. It's about a manufactured family for television. I don't care if she is wealthy, but let's not make a "poor me, however does she cope?" show out of it. Jon and Kate belong on the "HOusewives of PA"- there she can flaunt her wealth and not feel obligated to go on and on about how God provides. I think she'd feel better for being honest and there would (maybe) less criticism of her.

Baby Mama said...

See comments like that are what drive me nuts. How is she flaunting her wealth? That is an opinion. I don't think she is at all. I think that with eight kids she has every right ot gripe, regardless if another person with 8 kids doesn't think so. Everyone with a family from 1-20 feel their lives are stressful at one point. I think too many people who once liked the show read that horrible hate blog and were pulled to bad conclusions regarding this woman. She isn't duping anyone, no one should feel the need to seek "truth". This is a TV show! About one persons family life. God does provide, but if you don't feel that way then go out there and get it (wealth, happiness etc.) for yourself. This is not a manufactured family. This is a family living their lives and getting money out of allowing people to watch them do whatever TLC tells them to do.

Mom said...

Misty -

Thanks for sharing your story. Those 5 one after the other - I'm not certain how you do it, but you do, and for that my hats off to you!

I believe it IS doable too. Some moms will do it better than others. If you took the show, money, freebies, etc. away, the G's could and can do it. I can't get into how they could do it, because everyone is so different.

I had my first child at 38. I have a career that I love and although my family does come first, I like working. It's something for me. I was very fortunate to come back to work with 2 of my 5 days from home. My DH is a police officer. We have a moderate household income.

I'm exhausted every day. Motherhood has been the biggest challenge in my life thus far - it's difficult, but I love it. I wouldn't change anything for the world.

I only have one and I have come to the realization that I cannot do it all myself and be the mom and wife I want to be. I have a cleaning lady who comes twice a month to help. My DH does make my coffee every morning and does most of the grocery shopping. I have a babysitter two of the three days that I work and my DH has the little one the third day.

My little one goes to bed between 7-8 pm. Some nights I'm up doing laundry or ridding the kitchen tile of puppy prints, drool (dog), mac-n-cheese and dried up, God knows whats. Other nights I'm in bed within 15 minutes of my son.

Why am I babbling? Just to say that for some moms, things are more challenging. Does this make me less of a good mom? I don't think so. Reaching out and asking for help has made me a better mom and wife, I believe whole-heartedly.

I do agree with you that the show isn't what it used to be. I liked the episodes of coupon cutting and shopping at Sam's Club. I could relate to those too!

Thanks again for sharing your insight.

anya said...

Misty, I thank you for sharing your story. Even though you indicate you are not looking for accolades, I got to give them to you. You are a good reminder to many of us who feel overwhelmed with less responsibility that we often can do more and having a good attitude or least attempting to keep things in perspective is helpful to not only those around us, but to ourselves.

I do agree with most of what has been said by others in terms of Kate being Kate and the anxious and controlling behavior she exbibits probably would still be there whether she had 2 or 8. And I understand how the change in Kate is more noticable to those of you who were more like her in the beginning - SAHM's, multiple children, living on a tight budget, etc. I don't fall into that category exactly (one child, work full-time, etc.) so I think the change in the Gosselins living circumstances hasn't been as much of an issue for me.

Anyway, I think your have written a very thoughtful piece that really, in my opinion, gets at the heart of why many woman take issue with Kate Gosselin. Because I have not walked the same path as you all, I am a little slower to comprehend what all the fuss is about. And I have probably been too quick to put labels on Kate detractors, when of course, it's a bit more complicated than that - you know?

That said, I am going to continue to give Kate empathy. She is being watched and critiqued by us all (her choice, I know). She clearly has some areas that she needs to work on, as we all do. I can totally understand viewers who no longer identify with her and turn the channel, however. The show is definately different from the one most of started watching.

Take care, Misty.

nomoredrama said...

All I can say is Kudos! I cannot imagine having that many children so close in age. And now they're mostly teenagers.

This is completely off topic, but I bet there is a lot of fight over clothing :-) Especially if any of the older ones are girls.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I do miss the more "simple life" episodes the Gosselins used to have. I'm getting a little tired of seeing all the special trips all the time. I do wonder if this isn't done in part to keep footage out of their home as much. I may be totally wrong about that, but perhaps it's not only fun to do special things, but it's less fodder for critics to examine about their daily life.

I have always admired larger families, and appreciate your honesty about how you make it work. I feel like Kate would be this whiney and needy no matter what - she seems to be wired that way.

Thanks for the thoughtful piece of writing!

anya said...

"Again Anonymous said..."This thought just occurred to me:

How come it's complaining when Kate expresses her feelings and "venting" when a blogger does the same thing? Symantics."

I wrote a longer response to this. My cat stepped on the keyboard and I think it went bye-bye so I just say I think this is an important and very valid point I wish some people would take the time to think about....

lurkeyhere said...

Well Misty, thanks for making me feel totally inadequate! Just kidding ( mostly). I had two kids and babysat another two the same ages during the early years. I was exhausted a lot too. I can't guarantee I wouldn't have been a lot like Kate if I were in her shoes. I don't give her a pass, I just think that's the way she is.

I watch the show mainly because my daughter does, so we watch together. And we try to guess what people are going to complain about each week.

I never expected their lives to be like mine. I don't know that they ever claimed to be a "how to" show. They only say that it is "their" life, and that HAS changed a lot. They are making more money and getting trips and material things because the show is popular and is making money. They aren't getting these things just because they have eight kids.

They may not have the financial worries, but they still have the eight kids. No matter how much help they have they are still the parents and have to raise them and provide guidance and emotional support, which is sometimes the hardest part.

Misty said...

No more drama - Only 1 girl in the bunch!!! So my boys 12, 11, and 10 pretty much share everything!!! :) And the girl doesn't have to worry - she is taking MY stuff now! Haha!!

Linda said...

Wow Misty. Congratulations! That is a fabulous accomplishment.

I'm the youngest of 8 children who were kind of stair-stepped like yours. Especially since I've had my own children, I realize even more what she did for all of us in terms of sacrifice and hard work.

Anonymous said...

I want to chime in a little something here...

I have no children but I thoroughly enjoy watching the Gosselin family for a couple of reasons. The children are adorable, the parents are real, and finally I am a preschool teacher. I find it facinating that Kate literally has a "class" everyday all day long. I only have my children for 3 hours a morning and I am exhausted after just that. I certainly would never say one parent is better than another because parenting is the hardest job in the world. No two children are alike and no two sets of parents are alike. Kate however gets a bit of a pass from me sometimes because as a childless person I totally can relate to her as a teacher.

My gripe is how everyone says they (the Gosselin's) can't go anywhere without help. Well, honestly they simpley cannot....I know when I have my class it is mandatory that I have 3 children to every adult when we are out of the school. This for obvious safety reasons. Also, just the fact that she is at home (or at one time was) alone with all 8 children alone is more than I can say...State regulations say I can only have a 6:1 teacher to student ratio of children that age.

Also regarding naps...I am so tired of hearing people say she is lazy and that is why they nap. I have a full class 3 hours in the morning and they a few students stay for the afternoon. Every single one of them nap, ages 4 and 5. Yes, they need at least some sort of a quiet rest. Quite frankly, I need that too.

Anyway, I commend all you parents out there because we all know you are working as hard as you can for your children!

Linda said...

Actually, my mom "made" us take naps in the afternoon after our morning kindergarten.

My older son took naps (and NEEDED THEM) until he was in kindergartnen. God love him, he could wake up from his afternoon nap around 4:30 and then we'd eat dinner around 5:30. By about 7 p.m. we'd start getting ready for his 8 p.m. bed time.

My younger son was completely different. We had to eliminate his naps around 3 because any afternoon sleepy time would push his bedtime later.

My younger son took them until he was 3 years old.

MCB said...

There is a reason I have the amount of kids that I do (which is MUCH less than eight). I hate to admit it, but if I had seven or eight, I think I would be more like Kate on her bad days. Grumpy, exhausted, snappy...I'm not long on patience. I thank jesus for birth control on a daily basis. :) Yes, I think someone upstairs knew what they were doing when they made me a mom of few rather than many. Maybe that's why I give Kate a pass when she acts the way she does. I know that if I were in her position, I wouldn't be perfect, either (and probably bitching about being exhausted on a regular basis).

anya said...

I appreciate those chiming in about naps. By the time my daughter turned 4, I felt kind of guilty making her nap when she didn't want to. I felt like I was just doing it for me.

In hindsight, I think having a 4 or 5 year old nap makes sense for most. Even if they don't sleep, the kids get some "down time" and we parents get a break.

The way the Gosselins handle it seems reasonable too. (Not forcing those who don't seem to need the naps as much - Leah and Hannah - to lay down).

nomoredrama said...

I'm all for the "You don't have to sleep but you need to play quietly in your room"

I also think that the under 5 crew generally benefit from naps. I know parents do :-) And a happy mom breeds a happy child, LOL!

Guinevere said...

I did not enter this blog for praise. I do not want it, and for certain will receive negative comments. I am sure I will be called jealous. And that is not it. I just simply wanted people to know that there is a way it can be done without having to be, for lack of a better term, ugly. I feel Kate is ugly a lot and uses exhaustion as an excuse.

I did not mean to criticize you. There are certain things I disagree with you on, and I was trying to put them diplomatically, but it was late and I was tired, so maybe I did not do as good of a job as I could have. I apologize for that.

I think you are very sincere in what you wrote, and I believe you when you say you aren't jealous. But there is something in the things you wrote...maybe a better word, rather than jealousy, is resentment. There seems to be resentment from some people about what Kate has, how she's gotten it, and whether she appreciates it sufficiently.

I'm sure that it is possible to have a big family and not act like Kate does. I just don't know that Kate's capable of it. And that's not meant as a knock on her; she is who she is, and like anyone she has her good points and bad points. I'm not saying she's not capable of change, or that we're all not capable of growing - I'd like to think we are. But I also think change basic personaliy traits is hard, hard work, and not that a lot of people have long-term success with.

momofabunch said...

Misty makes a very good point that I think a lot of people are just not thinking about. I too LOVED the show, back when they were doing more parenting. Doing the chores, handling the kids, cooking, cleaning, running about. For me, as a Mom of a lot of kids - the whole connection to Kate was just that ... someone else who was trying to make ends meet, and who had a lot of kids. That was the whole attraction for me, personally. Then, ya ... it changed. Little by little. More perks, more free stuff, more trips, more time away from the kids, and a whole lot less of what I originally liked about the show. If they would just bring all that back ---- I'm in! Now it's about a family that ya, has a lot of kids the same age, but also ... it's about a privilaged family, that has a lot of kids the same age. That was NOT the original idea of the show. This is why some people are upset with what's going on there. The premise doesn't make sense anymore. It's something else now. For a great many of us it's just a big disapointment about what the show has evolved into. Yes, turn the TV off ... I get it... but truly, it's upsetting because at one time I really DID like this show and family.

Misty said...

momofabunch - thank you. I do agree - that a large part of things is that the show is not what it started out as and the entire premise has changed completely. I doubt anyone could argue with that. And how she has handled said change is something I think a lot of people take issue with.

Anonymous said...

But somehow going on free trips or accepting freebies or discounts has been characterized as a form of betrayal by the Gosselins to their audience that I don't get.

Because the "freebies, trips, et al." are not explained by "thanks to the show" - the audience is misled to believe that everything is a rare treat and the special things are attributed to "we can only afford to this once a year" and "we save".

Anonymous said...

do agree - that a large part of things is that the show is not what it started out as and the entire premise has changed completely. I doubt anyone could argue with that. And how she has handled said change is something I think a lot of people take issue with

Exactly. People started watching for a show with a "regular" family with not so normal circumstances who shopped at Costco or Sam's Club and clipped coupons and did normal things. Now it's what big trip or shopping splurge or expensive thing they can get. The premise has shifted, the "characters" aren't as likeable. Kate has let her true self out and it isn't very pretty and to many the kids are turning out to not be the most delightful to watch either.

As I heard Friday over half the people who used to watch the show and we talked about it every other week, have stopped watching and the rest are considering it. Their comments were that it's boring now, Kate is just too bitchy, or who wants to listen to the kids scream.

Kuromi said...

Misty, thanks for your insight as someone who sort of is in the Gosselins' shoes! Your philosophy towards parenting reminds me of a book series I adored as a child--the Betsy-Tacy novels. The "Tacy" character comes from an Irish-American family with 10 kids, whose mother was "as gentle and anxious as a dove." The mom once told Betsy that she never scolded her children because "if I had to scold 10, I'd be scolding all the time."

Anon 4:40PM, I agree.

Guinevere said...

Because the "freebies, trips, et al." are not explained by "thanks to the show" - the audience is misled to believe that everything is a rare treat and the special things are attributed to "we can only afford to this once a year" and "we save".

I don't recall the Gosselins saying anything that would constitute misleading the audience in that way. Furthermore, I would think (hope?) that most viewers would be savvy enough to understand that many of the perks the Gosselins get are either paid for by the show or a result of being on the show (or of being famous for having twins and sextuplets).

I don't think I'm ever going to understand why people care so much about this stuff. Some people are going to have more than you and some are going to have less. Most people living in the U.S. have a much better standard of living than many, many people born in other parts of the world. We never think that *we* are undeserving, do we? Yet just by virtue of where we were born, and for many of us, the class we were born into, we have been given so much more than probably the majority of people in the world would ever have the chance to get. Stop worrying about the freebies the Gosselins get and count your own blessings.

AgainAnonymous said...


Thank you for expounding on the point I was trying to make about not "getting" the outrage shown over what the Gosselins do or don't get for free, or the rampant speculation that they don't save for anything anymore, or that a "special treat" isn't really a "special treat" if the TV show pays for it.

As far as people tuning into the show expecting trips to Wal-Mart and Costco perpetually, well, SNOOZE.

So they don't "have" to clip coupons anymore to get by. SO????? I haven't heard them mention coupons in over a year.

I haven't (even during the time the coupon-clipping episode aired) thought they looked like they were surviving hand-to-mouth.

They got excited about saving money on their grocery bill. Frankly, some of the wealthiest people I know are painfully aware of every penny they spend...probably why they're wealthy.

I guess I don't get the "we're being lied to" argument because I've never felt lied to. People apparently watch the marathons where two-year-old episodes are re-run and then a newe episode and then scream about "inconsistencies". I'm sure there are *some* things any given person said a year ago that wouldn't be true today.

I just can't see how anyone watching the show would be confused about their present financial situation and need to be "saved" or "protected".

The complaining about their financial largess on the show is useless as far as I'm concerned. The show pays for everything now. SO WHAT? Let's take that as a given and either watch it for what it is NOW or don't watch.

Look, I don't think the Gosselins are paragons of virtue. I didn't put them up on a pedestal in the first place, so, for me, their bad behavior four years ago or today doesn't constitute a "fall from grace."

I think they're human and real. And, while I don't like everything I see and hear them do, I still LIKE them.

By the way, I love PM's comment that her husband wonders if G supporters think Kate will somehow "pay them back." I'm not sure who thinks that way...maybe some supporters do. But I think I can LIKE the Gosselins without getting emotionally invested in their success or downfall.

I'm mostly just disgusted with the need to tear J&K down as parents, or make fun of the kids under the banner of hating child exploitation.

I can see that instituting basic child labor laws for children on reality TV shows would be a good thing (hours worked and money put aside for them). But I don't see that J&K are putting their kids in an exploitative situation without any regard for their wellbeing.

anya said...

Stop worrying about the freebies the Gosselins get and count your own blessings.


If this blog were ever to have a "mission" - and I don't think that will ever happen :-) - this statement is what I would like it to be.

GLO said...

You hit the nail head on the head when you said, "maybe a better word, rather than jealousy, is resentment. There seems to be resentment from some people about what Kate has, how she's gotten it, and whether she appreciates it sufficiently."
I think a lot of the people who say they aren't jealous, really aren't, but they are resentful of all of the perks and freebies J&K receive, especially since many of these same people perceive it as getting them by exploiting their children.
I, personally, don't begrudge J&K anything they receive, but I can understand how others can feel that way.

anya said...

GLO said...
"I think a lot of the people who say they aren't jealous, really aren't, but they are resentful of all of the perks and freebies J&K receive, especially since many of these same people perceive it as getting them by exploiting their children."

Well said, Glo. When the concern is honestly stated this way, I can wrap my mind around why people would feel this way and I can respect this viewpoint.

The problem for me is there is there is so much extraneous b.s. that is thrown at the Gosselins that this valid perspective gots totally mixed with the garbage (Kate's hair or the meals she prepares, Jon's lack of a 9-5 job, etc.) that I just tune out....

tintin said...

How admirable, Misty! Although I think you need to rope in your kids to help around the house :).

I saw an episode where the Gosselin kids were being bathed, there in all their naked glory ...a perfect way to show off the Johnson & Johnson product placement.

It really disturbed me. This was before I stumbled upon any anti-Gosselin website. I've only been watching for a few months and I'm stopping.

My concern is this, and this tops the list : the kids are there for everyone's viewing pleasure, with no taking into account THEIR privacy.

Who needs to show their kids naked in a shower so you can show off your sponsor's product? I don't get a sense that it is the kids' well-being that is topmost in this family's list.

"Stuff" and money is nice, but more important are family (which by all accounts of people who claim to actually know them and aren't just fans, there are none; all are estranged). Another thing important are the kids' privacy, to protect them from deranged perverts, for one. Cara and Mady are at school where I can just imagine the teasing Mady gets from the behavior broadcast on TV.

From the books, to the love offerings, to the photos beings sold at $20/pop, to the show showing these poor kids naked in baths or potty, to the potential trauma for the school-aged kids. I think they have enough money, and can safely rest on their laurels and put the kids safety and feelings first.