I Will Not Watch an Octomom Documentary by child grower Annita Woz.




Octomom signs a book deal, a documentary deal and finalizes plans for a line of diapers while seeking to trademark the word “Octomom”. (imagine TM here if this trademark is obtained…)

Sounds like she’s got it covered, right?

‘Cept Not!

I have no interest in Ms. Suleman. I don’t even want to click on articles written about her lest the web record my click and count it as proof that the world really does want to know what Ms. Suleman’s life is like.

What can it be like?

Why is it any different than any other mom who is repeating the colic, the diapering, the crazy hours of cuddling in the wee hours, the spit up, the diapering, (again!?) and the endless laundry, dirty dishes and dreaded circles around our eyes? We are all walking, blabbering, mental health cases when our children are under the age of one.

I don’t want to read about the challenges of mothering x 8.  She might even have it easier, getting all of the hard work of the first 5 years over with without stretching it out over 18 or 20.  Heck, I might be a little bit jealous.  She’s got Grandma and Grandpa and endorsements and fame and fortune…right?

Seriously, what kind of person is going to watch Nadya Suleman reality show about raising her children? We’ve got that in John and Kate plus 8 all rolled into the dating drama, body guard, dance club entertainment piece.  They just moved into a large house, that voyeurs must have paid for and we’ve never even heard what John does for a living. Nadya Suleman’s got a new house and she didn’t even add two puppies who poop on the carpet. What’s she got?

Documentaries have already been done in the last year about the two families who had so many children that they knew just what to do.  Remember 17 and Counting? They now have 18.  The family hand-built a new home while the girls were all dressed in jean skirts and looking just like mom.   Boys and girls, hammers in hand, went to work and installed a commercial kitchen, laundry and generally built a bed and breakfast just for their family.  They same year, tv crews filmed a show of them shopping at the local grocery for enough food to feed a small army. When they got home the kids willingly helped unload the groceries, stacked the pantry shelves neatly and no one even pushed or shoved!  Either some careful editing was done or there is something rare and admirable going on in that family. Competitive mothers everywhere are startled to even ponder how this family managed this feat.

Who is watching the 18 going on yawn?  No one. Not enough drama. Mom and Dad are too nice and have it too together.  Isn’t that strange that good parenting IS NOT INTERESTING! That’s a shame.

Suleman? What  is her life going to offer? Oh yeah, a glimpse into the real mental health lapses that all parents have?  The media, the viewers, the click counters on my favorite news and or celebrity websites don’t want to see Nadya Suleman calmly rounding up her children or happily making home made meatballs for them.  They don’t want to see her succeed.  They want to see collapse, remorse, confessions, failure.  They are hoping to see her try to hold on to her sanity, and moms out there, we know how hard it is to do that in the privacy of our own play rooms. 

Try. And fail.

What I’d like to see is Super Nanny swoop in on the media contractors and television viewers.   A good ol’ dose of SuperNanny where she rounds up unsuspecting viewers and camera men and sits their behinds down in the naughty chair for making this woman a spectacle and then capitalizing on her brood and her moods.  Imagine Super Nanny swooping into their homes and turning the camera on them! Now that I would watch!

Mom of one, mom of eight. Babies are a handful and mothering is a J-O-B.  If mothering really paid out what it is worth to all the regular moms out there who do their best every day and who get not even as much as a line on a resume to show the investment of time and wisdom that it takes to be a good mom to a child, then we’d have a documentary to make.

Good Luck Nadya. May your service to your children be loving, kind and rewarding. May your audience be forgiving.  May your load be lightened. May you look back upon this roller coaster and learn from it and grow stronger from it if you can.

I will not watch your documentary. I will not buy your book. But I will root for you and for your extended family and I will honor your work by letting it go  unseen and measure your success by the smile on your face when they report that your children are grown and pursuing the dreams they have for themselves.

Only then will I care enough to catch up with you and share a cup of coffee over discussion about what it means to want and to raise children, the fragile balance between motherhood and insanity and the gratitude for making it through the parenting messes we make while we struggle to just do our best.

### by child grower Annita Woz June 1, 2009.

A revised and shortened version of this article runs on www.EmpoweringParents.com Check out my parent blog post on EP and weigh in on your issues with parenting in the unreal Reality TV world…


2 Responses

  1. Amen…………this is a sad state of affairs that we have entered into with these t.v. Octomoms. Funny how there isn’t one yet of a mom who works out of the home in some office someplace. I suppose its just a matter of time……………

    • Hey, now theres a show idea… : ) Thanks for visiting the blog…by the way, I checked out bridget’s blog and it was very inspiring. Thanks for suggesting it.

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