A Multiple Mom’s Thoughts on J&K

Submitted for publication via email by Mommy of Triplets + 2

There are many ways in which I, and many mothers of multiples, can relate to Jon and Kate. I am a mommy of triplets +2. They are all aged 4 and under, so things are stressful. Money is tight, and really... multiples are HARD. Especially as babies. I came up with a small list of things I could not be upset at Kate for: ...continued

45 comments:

Serena said...

A MULTIPLE MOM'S THOUGHTS ON J&K

Submitted for publication via email by Mommy of Triplets + 2

There are many ways in which I, and many mothers of multiples, can relate to Jon and Kate. I am a mommy of triplets + 2. They are all aged 4 and under, so things are stressful. Money is tight, and really... multiples are HARD. Especially as babies. I came up with a small list of things I could not be upset at Kate for:

#1. The tummy tuck. When I was pregnant with the triplets my abdominal muscles separated. The ONLY way to repair this is with a tummy tuck with muscle repair. It’s not covered under most insurance plans, and I would JUMP at the chance to have mine repaired for free! My abdomen is a mess, I can’t IMAGINE what Kate’s looked like.

#2. The baby nurse (kind of). The first weeks at home are crazy. Remember that we are dealing with premature babies, and they MUST be fed often. Feeding 6 babies every 2-3 hours is just not possible. One of my BIG preemies took 45 minutes to suck down 2 ounces! Now, if they had additional help (and I know they did)... then that’s another story. It’s also my *humble* opinion that all babies should be held for feedings. Not all mom’s of multiples do that, so take that with a grain of salt.

#3. Freebies from companies. The triplets cost us $697 a month in just formula, food and diapers. Double that for the sextuplets. This does not include clothing, baby soap, and laundry soap. I wish some companies would offer me free stuff (and ALL moms of higher order multiples)!

Where did Jon and Kate draw the line? Greed & Lies.

Exploitation of your children for money should be a crime. Disguised as a reality show those children live under the lens of a camera. They are filmed showering, and using the potty... basic privacies that everyone should be allowed.

Lying to the public about freebies, money, and funds that have been given to you and your children should also be a crime. The line has been drawn. There is NO excuse for this.

I don’t agree with Kate’s parenting practices. I am a love and logic kind of a mom, and that includes a lot of accidents. Especially with food, and juice. Our kids have stains on their clothes, there are stains on our carpets, crayon on the walls, and stickers under the kitchen table. I digress. The point is that I am about as 180 from Kate as possible, but I have seen women LIKE Kate raise children. They almost all grow up with a distaste for their moms.

I would like to step out and say that the characteristics you see in Kate are not those of most moms of higher order multiples. We are a bunch of hard working people who are usually too exhausted to finish a sentence. Most of us live with no help, including financial help. We realize that our babies are just that... OUR babies. We raise them, we pay for them, and we LOVE them. A lot of us are infertile and coveted babies for years and years before we had a chance to finally hold our own. Many of us had spontaneous multiples, and realized how blessed were to have such a wonderful responsibility bestowed upon us.

I hate blasting Kate, because we moms of multiples KNOW what it’s like to go for days without sleep, to go to the grocery store and cause so much commotion that it takes 45 minutes to get to the milk, to go without a shower for a week and not even realize it, and when we do get a shower we often eat at the same time because we had to choose between lunch and a shower. We have a tight bond because of these very situations... but now we realize that Kate never had to suffer this initiation into the club of higher order multiples, and I don’t feel so bad saying what I have to say.

SOMEONE needs to speak for these precious 6 babies. Their parents certainly are not.

Anonymous said...

I would certainly agree that Jon and Kate needed help when the babies were just that, babies. But now they are big enough to help out themselves. She doesn't need help, she wants it. She is lazy as all get out, and does absolutely nothing for her children!

Carolina said...

I can't begrudge her the tummy tuck - it was free, she always said it was free, and Lord help us, her stomach was insane after the birth of the tups. To be fair, it's not until recently that I became outright disgusted at the freebies and obvious lies, because it seems like at some point in late 2007 Jon and Kate decided to pimp their kids for cash.

I just watched one of my dearest friends struggle to conceive for three years, give birth last week, and now her child is clinging to life with an infection in one hospital while she is in surgery at another one. I look at what she went through, and how humble and grateful she is simply to have gone through pregnancy. Then I look at Jon and Kate and their insistence that the world "owes" them for their own decision to birth six children.. it disgusts me on such a higher level now.

I have to wonder if they pay attention to their own show, if they realize how horribly they treat Joel and Mady. I wonder if they see that they are causing irreparable psychological damage to these children, or if they think it's okay because they'll get corporate sponsorship from a shrink?

Hats off to not only moms of multiples, but moms everywhere who take good and attentive care of your children. You have both the hardest and most rewarding job in the world.

ThreeFarmers said...

I thought your post was thoughtful and well written and I enjoyed hearing from another mother of multiples. My question for you is: If the show was about your family and as a result, your income, at least temporarily, was significantly increased, in what ways would you change the way you live? I'm not asking this because I want you to say you wouldn't change anything. I would just like to compare and contrast your choices as compared to J&K.

This morning, they showed the first special and Jon and Kate both said that they want a "basic and simple life." They've gotten so far away from that.

They need to re-edit that episode to say, we want a "basic and simple life with hairplugs, whiter teeth, a nanny, and a career on the lecture circuit."

SmartyQ said...

Mommy of Triplets + 2 wrote: this initiation into the club of higher order multiples

I don't mean to ridicule you, but I had the silliest mental image of the initiation rites into the Club of HOM. The image involved intoning 'Hommmmmmm Mommmmmmm.' Never mind. We Qs are silly. :)

I don't think anyone resents Kate's tummy tuck, and I hope you can convince your insurance company that you need one. (It's not my highest hope for you, which is health and happiness for you and your family, but it would be a nice treat.) As one who has dealt with insurance companies a lot, I've found that persistance pays. You're probably too tired to be a squeaky wheel just yet, but keep it in mind. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

I don't begrudge Kate the tummy tuck - but I do think it could have waited until the kids were a bit older for her to go away from them for a week.

Same thing with the hairplugs.

The issue is that Kate and Jon makes themselves a priority over their kids for things that are not of an urgent nature.

Thank you for this post. I learned a few things!

Anonymous said...

"I don't begrudge Kate the tummy tuck - but I do think it could have waited until the kids were a bit older for her to go away from them for a week."

If she had waited until the kids were a bit older she would not have gotten the tummy tuck for free.

Anonymous said...

If she had waited until the kids were a bit older she would not have gotten the tummy tuck for free.
__________________________________

Well, now Kate could have paid for the tummy tuck herself from all the "love offerings".

randibisme said...

I became a mother of multiples at the age of 23, and I too agree with this post. I agree and support Kate for many things, but I do feel she has become superficial due to the show about things she initially didn't want to become superficial about. "A simple and basic life:" a tv show does not provide that.
Initiation into the multiples club- sounds funny, but multiples are hard... people have come up to me and say "I had it harder than you. I did it the hard way. I had three back to back." Ummm... it was your choice to have those precious babies back to back. Life with multiples is just more intense (everything that goes with one baby mulitiplied a few times).

Anonymous said...

I had spontaneous quads close to 30 years ago (agh, am I really that old?). Our original baby split into frat. twins that then became ID trip boys and a singleton girl.

Yes, this was a big deal in my small city, but aside from the one interview we did the first night all 4 of the kids were home, that was that. That one interview was agreed on with the stipulation that we would say something in exchange for our privacy being respected from there on out.

At the time there was a Healthtex (kids clothes, remember them?) factory here, and they did donate quite a bit when the kids were toddlers. A diaper service offered us two years, we gratefully accepted.

Given our location there are several local dairies that still delivered, and it was not unusual to find extra in our order: not only several gallons of milk, but a few dozen eggs.

The parochial school I attended as a child allowed the kids to attend w/out paying tuition (back then the tuition was only something like $100 a year if you were members of the parish). The first year they were split up 2/2 - 2 in the am class, 2 in the pm. From there to 8th grade there was no choice but to keep them all in one class. Always I was on committees and did volunteer work to show my gratitude.

My husband and I both worked outside the home. A lot of families then had 4 kids, but not all had 4 attending prom at the same time or 4 going on the same field trips.
The boys all attended the parochial boys HS on a work study program, we did cover our daughter's girl's school tuition - a whopping 300 a year at the time. She wore a uniform, so that went somewhat to the tuition/school clothes trade off.

Our daughter worked a part time job during HS - the boys too were working, but in the work study program that covered their HS tuition. We did not ask her to over expenses we were picking up for the boys because we considered her paycheck an unfair advantage she had over them.

Yes, the kids could have attended public schools, but our towns public hs at the time did not exactly carry a ranking to be proud of. The boys school was an excellent prep school, and we did have scholarships to consider. While we did manage to save some for their educations, all the kids did well and chose to remain in state, so we ended up only having to pay for one child's freshman year.

The major killer was insurance for 4 teenaged drivers.

My boys all played sports, but each excelled in one: M in football, C in basketball, N in baseball. They were always on the same team, though, but each held a different position.

All 4 kids attended in state colleges, one the local campus, one the furthest north campus (his choice because of athletics), and two (b/g) mid-state campus. Their campus choices were made on the strength each held for their chosen majors, aside from my son who wanted to play college basketball. He was on full athletic scholarship, two of the others on full academic all four years, the 4th full academic the last three years. The one who stayed local did so because his hs sweetheart did, which did not thrill us at the time, but they are happily married with two kids of their own and a house in the country now.

All four kids were expected to be contributing members of the family from an early age, and each developed an ethic that carried them through college and into careers.

We never called our kids "the quads". We tried to keep everything low key.

If our sons were not identical I honestly don't think anyone would even realize today that they were all born together.

I know I was not perfect, and would often rant about the logistics of getting this kid here when that kid had to be there, but I was always glad they had different interests so they would not seem like a freak show.

My grandfather was a triplet (though the only one to survive beyond infancy), my daughter is the mother of 2 year old twins. Two of my sons have two each, all singletons, while the third and his wife are trying to conceive.
I have two sets of twin cousins on the same side as the trip gf. It would seem that there is just something in our genes that triggers multiples. My son and daughter in law are worried, given the frequency of multiples in the family, that fertility treatments would result in HOM; they have only been trying for about 6 months and have decided at the year mark they will start the ball rolling on adoption.

Oddly enough, my kids are the second set of spontaneous quads in a very small area (born 12 years apart). Both sets have very happily and very successfully flown under the radar. Neither set is listed on any of the databases I can find online that list multiples.

I don't think I was a perfect mom, but I know I took time to have fun with my kids. Yes, Kate, it was exhausting, and I only had half as many as you, but guess what? They really do grow up in the blink of an eye.

For now I am choosing to post anonymously. Maybe somewhere down the line I will change that. I guess years of letting my kids be kids rather than curiosities is in my veins.

Nat said...

"If she had waited until the kids were a bit older she would not have gotten the tummy tuck for free."

Why not?

Anonymous said...

While I totally respect parents with multiples, Kate especially grates on me because she acts as though she is owed some great cosmic "THANK YOU KATE GOSSESLIN FOR BEING A MOTHER OF SEXTUPLETS". If she worked as hard at raising amazing kids as she does at exploiting and criticizing her family, then maybe she would be owed some gratitude. But if these kids grow up to be as grating and demanding on society as she is, then she's done nothing to earn her self-appointed throne.

Anonymous said...

I agree with number 1, I think that a tummy tuck was needed. Now the also asking for breast surgery was tacky but the tummy tuck was great.

#2 She did need assistance but they had PLENTY of volunteers who were willing to be trained to care for newborns. They seem to only like employees and not friends/family helping them. The state shouldn't have to pay for help when it wasn't "needed" since they did have willing help.

#3 I don't think baby companies owe any mulitple families anything. I think they started out by giving a few celebrity families gifts and it is now expected. I often see HOM families complain about they lack of donations. I think that if you are unable to support a HOM family then you shouldn't use fertility meds at all. Yes multiples are expensive but if someone is going to use fertility meds they need to be prepared for all possible outcomes. I don't blame anyone for taking formula and diaper donations if they are offered but I get annoyed when I see people complain about not getting donations. But the freebies that Jon and Kate are getting now aren't really freebies, they are being paid to make their children walking advertisements and I don't agree with that.

Anonymous said...

I agree that accepting a free tummy tuck after having sextuplets is not a big deal, but there's no way I would have left my babies like Kate did. This wasn't a medically necessary procedure. It was cosmetic. It could have waited until the children were older.

As for the donations, if donations of formula and diapers were offered to me, yes, I'd take them, especially if I had sextuplets. I would not SEEK OUT free stuff though. A family with quints lives in my area, and I was disgusted by the media coverage of the babies' births and how the family kept mentioning everything they needed - including a huge van - and even went so far as to specify that clothes, blankets, bottles, etc. needed to be color-coded since the parents had assigned each child a color (pink, blue, yellow, etc.)

I hate, hate, HATE how so many families with high order multiples seem to expect the donations and the volunteer help.

Anonymous said...

"While I totally respect parents with multiples, Kate especially grates on me because she acts as though she is owed some great"

I think the Governor of PA did a huge injustice by presenting J & K in the same reference as historical landmarks , notorious accomplished atheletes, and political figures. IMO, he instigated the overwhelming sense of entitlement that we see in J & K present day. By referring to the Gosselin children as , 'state treasures' as if it were the people of the community's responsibility to provide for and maintain their legacy. I think his statement was insulting to all hard working American families who equally struggle with the rising costs of raising a family. It has been less than five years since the PA Govenor made his statement and the Gosselin family have acquired and experienced more monetarily and otherwise than the average working class family accomplishes in a life time!

TPA said...

"I had spontaneous quads close to 30 years ago (agh, am I really that old?). Our original baby split into frat. twins that then became ID trip boys and a singleton girl."

Dear lady that I dont know but have wheelbarrels full of respect for: Some things I am not sure you have ever been told. Frat. twins do not split, they are formed by two seperate eggs being fertalized by two seperate sperm. Identical twins can only split in two they can not split three ways, so in your case you would have had to have the same egg spit twice forming four identical babies and to form identical triplets you must have lost one of your identical quads and at the same time relised another egg to form your frat. daughter, I am very sorry if I am the first to tell you that you must have been carring 5 babies at some point.

You can tell your son (the one that has not had kids) to rest easy, multiples are ALWAYS determanded by the woman because it is the release of two eggs or the egg spliting, the man has no impact on the whatsoever. But if your sons have daughters they are very very likely that they will have multipes.

I am the mom of two sets of twins, sadly we lost our oldest sons twin (frat.) at 15 weeks into the pregancy. Then we were blessed again with a set of identical twins. They were born at 29 weeks and one of my sons was given 24 hours to live, he is now 2 1/2. I did recive some help, I got lots of coupons and a couple of packs of free diapers and I got all my forula for free through my doc. office (they saved up all there free samples). I had a lady that came in 5 days a week for a few months for 2 hours in the morning (a family friend and my forever angel) to hold the babies and do one cuddle feed with me. My husband worked 12-14 hours a day 6 days a week so I was on my own most of the time so feeding the babies one at a time was not an option so I use to place them both on a pillow and get as close as i could to them and hold both bottles well talking soothing to them. I had an 18 month old son at the time, so yes it was hard. But the best thing I ever did (and am doing) I love being a multiple mom. Hats off to all great moms out there, if your kids came as package deals or one at a time.

adri said...

I totally give Kate a pass on the tummy tuck. I had an emergency C section with my daughter, and I have lived with an abdominal wall separation for years. If someone offered me a tummy tuck, which is the only thing that will fix it, I would take it.

I don't really begrudge the family the freebies; I just wish they would be more honest about them. They have stated a few, and I appreciate that, but if you're going to "allow people to look in your windows" at least give them the courtesy of being open & honest. If it means less in love offerings, at least you can sleep at night knowing you were honest.

What does annoy me is that they seem to "cry poverty" when it doesn't take a genius to see they're far from poor. To me this is misleading, at best; fraud at worst.

I cannot imagine how hard things were for them in the early days with the 'tups, and I certainly won't say that help wasn't needed. But if Kate was as picky & non appreciative about donations as we're hearing, then they couldn't have been too hard up, even then.

TPA said...

Sorry I forgot to say on my last post that No I did not have fert. treatments (not that it matters) and there was no history of multiples in our family so having two sets of twins was very shocking for us all.

Anonymous said...

I have four kids, one set of twins, and being a mom of multiples is hard. However, I don't think it is twice as hard as a singleton, at least in my experience, although I may be fortunate to have relatively happy babies. No matter how you cut it, being a parent is hard, whether you have one baby or six. And Kate has enough help that I do not believe that her life is 8 times harder than most moms. In fact, I can't really figure out what it is that Kate does, other than feed them lunch and sit on a chair barking orders at everyone. How many people with kids or no kids have the luxury of doing so little? Seems to me that her life has actually gotten easier since she had the sextuplets since she doesn't have to do any work anymore.

I never got any help with my babies, no family nearby, no friends who don't work, and my church never once offered to help, even when I was on bedrest. Kate was very fortunate to have so many people willing to help, even as the babies got older and she really didn't need so much to be done. It astonishes me how ungrateful and demanding she is on the people who are just trying to make things easier for her.

Somewhere along the way, Kate got it in her head that being a mom of sextuplets was all that should ever be required of her, but she forgot what being a mom involves. Kids don't care about hairplugs, white teeth, or matching clothes from Gymboree or the Gap. What they do care about is having security, a safe haven from the world, and hug and a kind word along the way from people that they can count on to be there for them.

Anonymous said...

"Dear lady that I dont know but have wheelbarrels full of respect for: Some things I am not sure you have ever been told. Frat. twins do not split, they are formed by two seperate eggs being fertalized by two seperate sperm. Identical twins can only split in two they can not split three ways, so in your case you would have had to have the same egg spit twice forming four identical babies and to form identical triplets you must have lost one of your identical quads and at the same time relised another egg to form your frat. daughter, I am very sorry if I am the first to tell you that you must have been carring 5 babies at some point."

I think you misunderstood her. She started with a set of fraternal twins - a boy and a girl. The boy twin then split into identical triplets. This is absolutely possible as the cells don't necessarily have to split evenly - one can split into 3 just as it can split into 2. Hope this clears it up for you!

Anonymous said...

To tpa:
Some more accurate information regarding identical triplets.
"It is rare for triplets to be completely monozygotic, meaning that all three children formed from a single egg that split three ways, or split into two and then one of the two split again, ultimately resulting in three embryos with the same general DNA characteristics. Some monozygotic triplets are actually quadruplets where one embryo has vanished or been reabsorbed."

I know this is getting off topic but I hate to see inaccurate information out there.

TPA said...

I am sorry about my last post and thank you for clearing that up, though the embryo can only split into two at one time, one of the two could have split again, without them both spliting again. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that going a WEEK without a shower is what every mother of multiples experiences. I don't personally know any mother who has gone a week without a shower because of how many small children she has.

randibisme said...

One thing to keep in mind for a few posters- not all twins or higher order multiples are conceived through fertility treatment. With my multiples, my husband and I became pregnant after one month of trying.
I do not expect freebies, but yes, right now, it is harder and more expensive as what my friends who only have one child are experiencing. If I get a freebie, I'm thrilled, but I don't really care to. I'm a tough broad, I'll make sure my kids receive what they need and more.
A happy childhood goes a long way!

Anonymous said...

I, too, am a mom of multiples. I think what many moms of singles don't realize is having many children close in age is not the same as having a few at once. There is no learning curve of adding a new child each year and having a year to adjust to one more at a time. I've had singles and multiples and there are so many differences for the mom/dad emotionally. I can easily see how easy it is to become overwhelmed having six at once. Six to hit each stage at the same time. That's a lot to deal with. I know that many hear are quick to criticize but, having multiples espeically six at a time means you will parent differently than you would have to a single child. It's just how it is. This has nothing to do with the show that is a separate issue but, the Gosselins do work hard to do neat things with their children. Living near them I know they tried to do many things before they had the finances to do so. They may not be perfect but, as parents who went from 2 to 8 I think they are trying and learning as they go. For that I give them credit. Choosing to do the show....I'm on the fence. I can see that it means losing privacy for the kids and that's a hard choice. It also gives them a ton of fun family trips and two parents at home and the ability to afford a new home with more space for all of them. It's a double edged sword and like most things I am guessing the answer lies somewhere in the middle not firmly on one side or the other.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize how it all worked regarding the splitting of fertilized eggs. I don't think at the time I would have thought to ask how this happened, I don't remember feeling anything but numb.

My one set of twin cousins are late 40's now, and my aunt was told when they were born that they were fraternal. Physically they were so identical their parents never believed this. They had them tested when they were near adults to confirm their suspicions that the boys were ID. This was not an option (as far as I know) when they were much younger.

I am eternally grateful that I had my kids before selective reduction was an option, I cannot imagine having been asked that. I hear about it now and I think "which one would not have made the cut?"

My heart goes out to every parent who is faced with that decision.

When my kids were little the options for outside activities were a lot more reasonable than today There were still drive in movies where you paid by the carload, we had just the one amusement park that was not hugely over the top, we live very near the ocean with many lakes close by (and relatives with a lakefront camp that we got to use for a week every summer). The world was a safer place, with neighborhood schools with playgrounds perfect for rollerskating on weekends. Kids still went trick or treating.

I cannot imagine how it would be today, with everything so over the top. What were once simple kid pleasures are now major productions. Roller skating rinks, expensive roller blades. How long has it been since a kid skated on the sidewalk with those metal skates you fit over your shoes and sized down with that key you hung around your neck on a string?

There were roller rinks then, but those were mostly frequented by teens. There was no indoor ice skating rink, but a pond in the park. Birthday parties were at home, not the extravaganzas at specific places like today. My daughter however does do the bowling alley thing for b-day parties, she says it saves her sanity and is worth the price in what she is not dealing with for prep and clean up!

Anonymous said...

It also gives them a ton of fun family trips and two parents at home and the ability to afford a new home with more space for all of them.

I understand that having six children at once is a difficult situation. But I think I have to disagree about the "fun family trips." I'm actually not sure how much the kids enjoy these trips. I see the children herded from place to place - whether they want to go or it's age appropriate or not. And they have to re-do the trip if it's not good film -- for example the two zoo trips. It's one outing after another because Figure 8 needs a new episode. So they go to Disneyworld - and Kate melts down over ice cream. Now let's even assume that young memories might forget a mother who fell apart at dripping ice cream - but that memory will be fresh because it's on a constant replay loop in the bedroom.

What good will all these free trips do if the end result is that the children have a miserable childhood?

Anonymous said...

"Dear lady that I dont know but have wheelbarrels full of respect for: Some things I am not sure you have ever been told. Frat. twins do not split, they are formed by two seperate eggs being fertalized by two seperate sperm. Identical twins can only split in two they can not split three ways, so in your case you would have had to have the same egg spit twice forming four identical babies and to form identical triplets you must have lost one of your identical quads and at the same time relised another egg to form your frat."


Although you are right about fraternal twins coming from two seperate eggs, it is possible to have identical triplets; after the egg splits into identical twins, and although it is very rare, it is possible for one of those halves to split again, resulting in identical triplets.

Anonymous said...

I understand that having six children at once is a difficult situation. But I think I have to disagree about the "fun family trips." I'm actually not sure how much the kids enjoy these trips. I see the children herded from place to place - whether they want to go or it's age appropriate or not. And they have to re-do the trip if it's not good film -- for example the two zoo trips. It's one outing after another because Figure 8 needs a new episode. So they go to Disneyworld - and Kate melts down over ice cream. Now let's even assume that young memories might forget a mother who fell apart at dripping ice cream - but that memory will be fresh because it's on a constant replay loop in the bedroom.

What good will all these free trips do if the end result is that the children have a miserable childhood?

I think the kids have fun on the trips. Have your kids never melted down on vacation? Mine have and when we talk about the vacation later they never remember the moment they cried and were so angry they had to get out of the pool or couldn't get a second ice cream. Kate is going to melt down about stains on the clothes at home or at Disney so I don't think that has much to do with it. She has an issue there, yes. I think it's silly to think the kids aren't enjoying these things though. We live very near them and my kids have done most of the things on the show. They have a great time and I think they would even if I was in a bad mood that day. My point is that the show isn't necessarily a great thing for the kids but, there are some perks for them. The kids also seem to really know and like the crew. They get a lot of trips/vacations that would be hard with eight children to pay for. They have two parents home with them. I'm not in any way saying the show is great for them but, pointing out that there are some positives to it. It could be that Jon and Kate realize there are some negatives but, right now feel the positives outweigh them.

Anonymous said...

Have your kids never melted down on vacation?

You're absolutely rightf. I have said repeatedly in this blog that everyone - adults and kids - have meltdowns. You don't have to be a multiple or a Gosselin to fall apart.

But, and this is the important part, I don't support my family based on the drama created by my kids emotions. And essentially that is what J&K do. They take these outings, put the kids in no-win situations that are likely to provoke meltdowns, and Figure 8 captures every gory moment - which J&K think should be on DVDs in their kids bedrooms!

Kate takes the kids to Crayola, tells them they can't use the markers, is clearly agitated at the noise and mess - snaps at Jon and the kids - then is surprised that Mady and Cara have a meltdown.

Jon and Kate take 8 kids to a furniture store - even though one child has complained he doesn't feel well. The child weeps and is inconsolable because he's so uncomfortable. Kate passes him off on his father because she MUST study the brochure for beds. This drama concludes in the parking lot with a voiceover of Jon detailing how he used a plastic bag to deal with Colin's impacted bowel. Now yes, they got some very nice bedroom furniture that might have been out of their price range - but what was the cost to Colin? Will he remember that day? Maybe - and in case he forgets - not to worry, all he has to do is catch Bedrooms and Babies and he can catch up!

I know everyone, regardless of age, has bad days -- but it's when this manufactured drama is the basis for the family income that I make a distinction.

Anonymous said...

Freebies are fine for people who need them. But the Gosselins are wealthy people now. No way should they being getting anything free. Juice, hair plugs, a house. There are so many people in such need in the world. The Gosselins can pay their own way now. And they should.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I wrote the article...and I have been away from the computer for awhile. A couple of things.....

A comment was made about the Tummy Tuck is a cosmetic issue, and Kate should not have left her small children.

Unless you have had diastasis recti, you can't understand *why* it is necessary to repair it. It's very uncomfortable, and no matter how much weight you lose you will always look about 5 months pregnant. The linea albea (which connects the 2 abdominal muscles) actually rips apart. This is a condition that is not limited to moms of multiples, but pregnant moms of multiples definitely suffer from this more often than not. When we go for a "Tummy Tuck" it SOUNDS VERY cosmetic, but in fact it is because of a very uncomfortable medical condition.

It was also stated by "Anonymous" that everyone is tired of mom's of multiples whining for free stuff. We should have thought about how to pay for them before taking fertility drugs. Fair enough.

My reply: My triplets are 2 identical girls, and a fraternal brother. Meaning that they were from 2 eggs, and one egg split into identical twin girls. I was on the smallest dose of Clomid available (25mg's). I was monitored very closely, and when ovulation neared they told me that I had one very nice egg ready to ovulate, and another very small egg that was "too small" to develop in time for ovulation. Well, 2 eggs obviously developed, and I ended up with triplets.

I don't even take a WIC check because I don't believe that it is the public's responsibility to pay for the children that we wanted. That said...it IS nice when companies give discounts to us. Simple things like buying a crib sheet turn from a $15.00 purchase to a $45.00 purchase. It adds up.

The way I feel about fertility drugs:

The REASON why we have sextuplets and septuplets in the first place is because of insurance. Instead of seeing the big picture, they refuse to pay for rounds of IVF. When faced with paying $10000 for IVF, or $2000 for a round of injectable meds many opt for the meds. The problem is that many women (like Kate) become hyperstimulated and end up with supertwins (triplets or more). Then the insurance company is burdened with paying thousands, and possibly millions of dollars to NICU's. If they had paid for the rounds of IVF, it could have been avoided, as most reproductive endocrinologists usually transfer a maximum of 3 eggs back into the mother.

I guess it depends on how you look at it. If you are super religious you could say that God has cursed women like me with infertility, and I should suffer all the days of my life. Or maybe you believe that women who end up with supertwins "deserve what they got for messing with nature". I look at is like this....Part of my body was not functioning properly. I turned to a physician to help me, and he did. I was "cured" with a pregnancy (3 pregnancies total, and only one of them was a multiple pregnancy). If I had cancer, I would also seek medical attention. When a part of your body is not working, you should be able to seek medical attention without judgement. In my opinion.

If Kate KNEW she was hyperstimulated and had sex anyway....SHAME on her. She could have died during that pregnancy. People don't understand how risky carrying supertwins can be. (www.MOST.com)

Also, when I was on Clomid I was told that the risk of TWINS was about 2% (at the dose I was on). If the forcast calls for a 2% chance of rain, are you going to stay indoors?

All of this said, I LOVE my triplets, and would not take them back for anything in the world. It's exhausting, but it's awesome. I get triple the love of any mom of a singleton. Oh, and to the person who chided me on my comment about not showering for a week. Try taking care of 1 week old triplets ALONE. I can guarantee that you will be so exhausted that you won't know what day it is, let alone when the last time you showered was. It's different now that they are older. I get to shower most mornings while they sleep, and I get alone time now....but in the beginning, it's HARD.

Anonymous said...

Blogger ThreeFarmers said...

I thought your post was thoughtful and well written and I enjoyed hearing from another mother of multiples. My question for you is: If the show was about your family and as a result, your income, at least temporarily, was significantly increased, in what ways would you change the way you live? I'm not asking this because I want you to say you wouldn't change anything. I would just like to compare and contrast your choices as compared to J&K.


Thanks! First, I would never allow a film crew to video my children in the bathroom, and the bedrooms would be off limits.

The big changes we would make (and I asked my husband the same question...he answered the same) are these:
#1, We would fund our children's education with the money first. They are the ones earning the money. Had PA set up a funded TAP account for us (they have not, but if we were in the Gosselin's shoes....)we would open trust funds for each child and deposit 80% of the money from the show into the trusts. The additional 20% would go to buying a larger van (which we need, but can't afford), and eventually an addition onto our exhisting house (1 more bedroom and bathroom). We are currently living in a beautiful 1525sf house (7 people), and while it's tight...we really don't need too much more.

One of our many jobs as parents is to make the make sure that the next generation is better off than our generation.

I wonder how much of the Gosselins millions is going toward the kids?!?!?

Katherine said...

Most people are more than happy to watch freebies and "blessings" go to those who really need them. Why do you think the media LOVES the feel-good stories of the one's who are down on their luck suddenly hit the lotto?

I think the majority of people on this board were turned off when they saw that J&K were no longer in need and REFUSE to give back to the ones who are less fortunate than they are now!

Garage sales? Consignment stores? 30% markdown off retail? If Kate had been this shrewd in business, then perhaps she would have her own business now, rather than living off the dynamic of her family caught on tape!

Do you watch her kids make thank you cards for ANY of those hundreds of viewers who send them gifts? Do they collect the prestine clothing they no longer need or the surplus of toys they have to bring them to church or charities in order to benefit less fortunate boys and girls?

It's not just the hired help, the free vacations or the tummy tucks that steam people. It's the blatant greed and rudeness these two ADULTS exemplify! They are the reason why people are hesitant to give to the needy. They are the reason why so many children DON'T end up with a toy to open during the holidays or much-needed jackets or clothing to keep them warm. Freebies and charity are being funneled to a family who is NO LONGER IN NEED of them!!

This is what makes me and many other viewers angry. Do you know how many children her outgrown outfits would have clothed? I would tell Ellen, Dr. Phil and anyone else who are quick to "give", to take a lesson from Oprah: Make sure you give to the needy and not the greedy!

bigsis88 said...

I second the comment that it's important to realize that not all HOMs come from fertility drugs. My parents were trying for a boy and got triplet girls instead. (A lot of people are astounded that they are natural! and Black!) Besides 1 set of twins on my mom's side way back (I think my grandmother's uncles or something) there's no history of multiples in our family. For the record, we never received any freebies, discounts, etc. I think these things depend on whether a family "shops" their story, the size of the town they live in, and how much publicity they garner (intentionally or unintentionally).

Seti said...

Bigsis88 said: My parents were trying for a boy and got triplet girls instead. (A lot of people are astounded that they are natural! and Black!)

This cracked me up. Thanks bigsis. The media's facination with multiples has been varied as of late. Indian families, biracial J&K's kids, etc. But it's true; I haven't seen Black multiples on TV ever. Strange phenomenon that.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a difference between freebies and product placement. I have no problem if a company chooses to donate diapers, for example, to a family in need - whether because there are HOM or simply financial need. A one-time mention in a news article, for example, that a diaper service has given a family a year's worth of diapers - that seems fine to me.

But the Gosselins aren't getting freebies - they're selling ad space in their children's lives. Those kids have WORKED for every piece of clothing, bike, trip, etc. The cost to these kids for all these "freebies" was high.

Natasha said...

"...I am very sorry if I am the first to tell you that you must have been carring 5 babies at some point."

Not necessarily. It is possible to release 3 eggs, one of which splits into identical twins and the other two stay single. Same way as natural fraternal triplets without the one split.

As I said in a comment on a previous post, I don't begrudge Kate the tummy tuck AT ALL, especially since it was offered rather than asked for. And when I consider how nice it must have been for Jon and Kate to get all those freebies when the babies were born, that is countered with the thought of how hard it must have been (before the "fame") on days they didn't have help, freebies or not.

I just picture the day when the twins or sextuplets will ask for the show to stop, and Kate telling them, "But just think of all this nice stuff you'll miss out on!"---the million-dollar estate, the trips, the clothes, gourmet food, etc. Trying to wheedle them into wanting to give up what childhood they have left.

bigsis88 said...

Seti,
My funniest memory of said fascination happened when my family drove me up to college freshman year (a majority white Catholic University). As we tried to skip out of the (very long) greeting ceremony, some guy (I know he works for the university, but I have no idea what his job is) stopped us and proceeded to tell us how phenomenal it was to see Black! Triplets!

Anonymous said...

I have triplet 2 year olds resulting from fertility treatments. I never tell people, not even my family knows, that I underwent treatment(although I'll bet they suspect it)because its none of their business, I paid for it myself (and boy was it expensive), and I never wanted "infertility" or IVF to become an identity for me or my children. We received 2 cases of formula through our pediatrician, some gift cards from some wonderful people at our church, and the rest of our gifts came from friends and immediate family,amounting to what most mothers of singletons would receive. I am grateful for everything I have ever received, but I was happy to settle into a budget when the gifts stopped trickling in and I could plan based on our income. I wouldn't feel comfortable as a habit continually taking freebies from companies and people that I don't even know, or even from family in any great quantity. We live on the money my husband earns through his job, the way it ought to be. I can relate to getting 2 hours of sleep per night for 4 months straight-without caffeine(I too believed in holding each child and feeding them one at a time). And its true that premies have to eat more often because they're skinny, can't hold as much, and just can't wait as long, until they're 4 or 5 months old- then they can sleep 5 or 6 hours straight at night and mom can sleep longer.
I don't begrudge Kate the tummy tuck, or the freebies, or anything else frankly because she has sold something in order to "purchase" everything she gets, and believe me- she pays a higher price for everything than us ordinary folks do, its just that her bill will not be totaled up until years from now. I want my kids to be as normal as everyone else's, and I don't ever want them to think they are different (in an unusual way, anyway).

Anonymous said...

This is probably horrible of me to admit, but I had my 4 when breast feeding was out of fashion. Looking back on that, it was a life saver, since caffeine played a very prominent part in my survival.

It took a couple of months to figure out that by laying in bed, two on each side, with me being the prop for the bottle, I could have two arms that cradled 4 kids.

A lot you just serendipitously figure out.

As for Kate's "nanas", neither my mother or mother in law lived to see these babies, but our very short street was made up mostly of retirees who were a godsend.

Hawkeye95 said...

Mommy of Triplets + 2 wrote: this initiation into the club of higher order multiples

SmartyQ: I don't mean to ridicule you, but I had the silliest mental image of the initiation rites into the Club of HOM. The image involved intoning 'Hommmmmmm Mommmmmmm.' Never mind. We Qs are silly. :)
-------------------------------
I 'just' have 1 + twins (7.5 year old boy and 9 month old twin boys). I know I am not worthy to join the club, but can I at least park cars at the events? lol. I imagine the meetings involving discussions of what drinks have the most caffiene and effective power napping. lol

A little of my story: I was a fan of the show, but whole supermultiple issue really really bothered me. I thought the dr was extremely irresponsible to proceed with an iui if they knew she had hyperovulated. Well, thank you ladies for this board. I know the HIPPA legislation won't allow the dr to speak out, but I wish he/she would. I wonder if Kon misrepresented themselves to the dr to get treatments. I know I had to wait a year before I could get help, and I was 36 at the time!

I had my twins after iui treatments. I wanted a baby girl, got twin boys. How is that for karma? My RE gave me a drug with a lower incidence of multiples than clomid (not mentioning the name, the use of the drug for ovulation induction is 'off-label'). Imagine our suprise to see 2 blobs on the 8 week ultrasound! I thought the RE was going to have a heart attack, but seeing that they were identical, it wasn't the drug's fault. Our families don't know that we went through fertility treatments.

I don't fault Kate at all for the tummy tuck. We can all agree she looked pretty bad. I asked the dr's during my c-section "well, while you have me open, why don't you do a liposuction and a tummy tuck?". They erupted in laughter, but no tummy tuck ;-) I am a big blob, but I put my sons first and my appearance is waaaaay down on the priority list. I may be in desperate need of a haircut and a new winter coat, but I will spend the money on things for my kids before spending it on myself. I am a mom, first and foremost.

I think J&K going away for the freebie hairplugs while all the kids were sick was sickening. My first trip for work was when my then year-old son got sick, not bad though, just kind of under the weather. I called when I got to my destination to find out that he spiked a high fever and was very very sick. I was a wreck. We didn't have cell phones, so at every break during my workday I was at the payphone calling home. I cried at night because I felt my duty should be at home, but I was 1,000 miles away. I never saw any concern for their kids during that episode.

Like others have mentioned, I didn't get freebies when we had the twins either, nor did I expect them. I received two cases of formula and that was it. We did not have a baby shower, and we were grateful for all the gifts we did receive. I wonder if Kate ever wrote thank you notes to the people who helped or donated to her family? WE did. Even to the family friends to came over to watch babies while we could take a few hour nap or run errands. I am soooo grateful for our family for helping us. My husband quit his job last summer so he could start a business out of the home so he could also watch the kids; as opposed to Jon, he ACTUALLY WORKS! His old job didn't have insurance benefits; I make more and have very good insurance (they completely covered the twins' synagis shots- one shot could have cost us $1k!!!).

I guess my point is that there are a lot of people out there with multiples, and these families get by fine without the handouts and love offerings. They hold down jobs. They don't go on expensive vacations. They don't have assistants to run errands or chefs to prepare meals. They don't have designer clothes. They don't go to private schools. They don't have multi-million dollar homes. But what these families have that J&K don't seem to show is an overabundance of love.

MomOfThree said...

Let's face it...raising children is hard work whether you have one or 10, whether they come one at a time or in pairs or more. I have "only" three, in a space of four years, but all parents can relate. I do not begrudge the G's anything they get free of charge. What ticks me off is that they are so ungrateful, greedy and downright sneaky about it. THAT is what bothers me. That and the fact that they take it a step further by seeking out "speaking engagements" and selling pictures of the kids, to boot. The picture thing is downright wrong in so many ways. The public sees enough of the kids on TV. The thought that some pedophile could be drooling over an 8 x 10 glossy of one of those kids (autographed and sold to him by their parents) is beyond disgusting! Is TLC not offering J & K enough money that they feel the need to exploit the family even further? And how in the world can there be a market for their public appearances? Who would want to hear them speak and, for goodness sake, why? Even Kate has said that they are a "fer-tility nightmare". They're certainly not experts in the field of childrearing. We're all familiar with their story by now; what is left for them to speak about? I, for one, would never go to see them in person. They could be appearing free at my neighber- hood playground down the road and I wouldn't go. But getting back to their "freebies"...if a company wants to give them free any/every-
thing, so be it. That's the decision of the "JuiceyJuice",
"Gymboree", "Sesame Place", etc executives. Ditto for the tummy tuck, hair plugs, teeth whiting, spas, etc. If TLC wants to re-locate them, build them a house, whatever...again, so be it. But, for goodness sake, be up front about it. In fact, maybe give the public a "freebie" now and then; make a public appearance without charging anyone. I'm sure many churches would love to host them. Let J & K make a "love offering" to the church's Sunday School program or whatever the need be. Donate those never-dirtied, worn-once outfits to the church families. All churches have (or know of) young families who would be greatful for hand-me-downs. Spread the good fortune a little. Pay it forward.

MomOfThree said...

The Gosselin family is getting many services provided to them free of charge. Whether we like it or not, that is a fact. My comment is this. J & K are no longer doing the mundane day to day running of their home. They have services that do their housecleaning, their cooking, their errands, their laundry--washing, drying, folding, putting-away, ironing, etc--, their child wrangling, and heaven knows what else. I would be lying (and so would most parents--come on--be honest!) if I said that I wouldn't love this help from time to time, too. In my case, I would love to be relieved of my household duties so I could spend that time with my kids. Yet, Kate is ALWAYS too
"exhausted" to really enjoy being engaged with the kids. Except for the time in the ceramic studio, I have never seen Kate actually be relaxed and seem to enjoy the company of these children. I can't ever remember seeing her read to them or get down on the floor and play dolls, cars, Barbies, house, etc. The little girls have beautiful wooden "kit-
chen appliances" in their room (I recognize these from a "Pottery Barn Kids" catalog, very $$$) and the boys have wooden train sets in their rooms, but I've never seen J & K engaged in any type of play with the kids (except the "dress-up" show). Mady and Cara especially are crying/begging for some parental attention/affection/interest. Their outbursts and tantrums are a direct result of frustration at not being heard. With all the free-time these parents have on their hands, those 8 kids should be the most well-read, well-spoken, well-behaved children on the planet.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice last nights epi about the nicu. Mady had a "evil" look on her face in the hallway as they were leaving. Seriously it spoke volumes. If I was her mom I would stop it there as soon as I saw that look.

Also, it's sweet they want to make memories at 4, but..... just a thought. My son was "7" when my parents took him on 3 vacations that year. Washington DC, Disney and then to Colorado one summer. Our son who is now 23 and enjoyed many, many vacations with his grandparents since remembers hardly nothing about those trips.
It was really more for my parents than him. They still talk about it.