Sunday, May 31, 2009

Octomum's 'reality'...truth or spin?

I'm feeling a bit shouty today. Yesterday, I spent nearly eight hours in the emergency room with little Miss Sophia who was wheezing and coughing and generally not doing so well with the whole breathing thing. We knew that this was going to be situation normal for her as soon as winter hit given her dodgy premmie lungs - still, not fun.

So, the news that OctoMum has just signed on to star in her own new reality show irked me more than a little. As background, the plan is that "several events in the children's lives would be filmed in a documentary series. One of the events in the children's lives might be their first birthday.”

Why am I annoyed? Because this woman has eight premature babies (and six other children) at home and I will bet any money that the 'reality' of life in that situation is never allowed on our screens.

Life with a premmie is bloody hard work - I can't even imagine what life with eight must be like. When Sophia came home from hospital we had to give her five separate medications every day for four months just to keep her lungs working at acceptable levels. We still have to think twice about whether it's smart to take her certain places in case she picks up a bug, because a sniffle for a 'normal' kid could mean pneumonia for her.

But I'm sure that this 'reality series' will show none of that. Instead, it will undoubtedly be all sunshine and lollipops; the eight kids dressed in cutesy matching outfits and Octomum playing WonderMother as she swans around a spotless house effortlessly tending to her nanny-free flock. All intended to show the world that she wasn't crazy to do what she did.

If she had any integrity at all, she'd show life with 14 kids under eight years' old. Show the help she needs to cope with them. Show the mess, the chaos, the sheer relentlessness of motherhood, and the hard work involved in getting eight prems through their first year.

Now, that's a show I'd watch. Anything less is just spin.


Bells said...

ugh. you get shouty all you like. I've not lived through life with a premmie but I bet you're right, it's nothing like what the tv show will say it is. She's cheap.

Anonymous said...

I'm just as cynical as the next person but I can't help thinking she's probably doing this for the money actually. And she'll need all the money she can get raising those kids on her own.

My friend has a premmie little boy and she's told me so many stories about constant medical checks and being hyper vigilant about things that she takes for granted in her other children. This little boy is sick all the time and it's so hard.
My heart goes out to you guys.

Iris said...

That's one show I won't be watching. Cheap, indeed.

Even having just one, healthy baby seems to be disproportionately demanding some days...I'm impressed that you still manage to write coherent posts and cook amazing meals all while looking after your two little sweethearts!

Keep warm, you three (I've just sent P out to get a second heater, brrr) :-)

Kristin said...

The whole situation disgusts me and I won't tune in for a second. The dude had RSV this winter and the wheezing scared the crap out of me. My thoughts are with Miss Sophia.

Barb Fisher said...

I don't understand how she can be a good mother to 14 children full stop. There is simply not enough time in the day to give any of them the quality time and attention they deserve, as well as keep the household running efficiently. Surely television cameras in your face could only interfere with any hope you had of doing it successfully.

There is no way she has the welfare of any of her children in mind by agreeing to do this. The current controversy surrounding that other US reality show, 'John & Kate + 8' has raised all sorts of questions about children appearing on televsion and the fact that maybe new laws need to be introduced to govern this rapidly growing phenomenon. Child actors can only be on set for something like a maximum of six hours per day, two days per week. Having a camera shoved in your face in a 'reality' setting can be no less taxing than having to learn lines and put on a performance, and I definitely think similar guidelines need to be put in place for reality tv children. These children didn't choose this life or to have their childhood broadcast across the globe for the whole world to see. While it disgusts me that she may make money from using them in this manner, I do think at the very least a percentage of their earnings should be set aside in trust for them as there is no doubt they won't see a single cent of it when they might really need it otherwise.

Rowe said...

I just hope and pray those kids will feel loved whatever this woman does. I am not enamoured by her in any way, if the shows passes by my radar I will watch it out of curiosity, at least once, at least for 5 mins, but that all depends on the content, like you say, will it be real or just spin.

Mrs.P said...

If she had any kind of brains at all she never would have had that many kids!