Ok, so I have to start with a disclaimer…I am writing right now with a bit of a ‘bad taste in my mouth’. May as well put it out there – I’m in ‘a mood’ because I made the error in judgment to turn on ‘E!’ whilst tidying up the tornado the triplets left behind in our family room today. Anyway, ‘E!’ was featuring a special – ‘Jon & Kate – Separate Lives’. I know, I know…but again, mindless background chatter to decompress to after a long weekend.
Bottom line – I was appalled. (And that is not a word often found in my vocabulary!) The show was obviously focused around the couple’s recent marital troubles, including suspicions of infidelity on Jon Gosselin’s part. Now, regardless of what your opinion is of:
A) the show itself
B) Kate & her personality
C) their decision to expose their children to a reality show
D) Kate’s hairstyle or WHATEVER!
…they are human beings. They are parents with the task & responsibility of raising EIGHT human beings. As I do not find myself in that particular situation, I choose to reserve judgment. The media (and many others) however, apparently feel quite justified not only in chasing these people down, but quite harshly & presumptuously judging their lives, their choices, and their audacity to “overwhelm” the employees of a jewelry store by bringing their “entourage” in so that the kids could make their own jewelry! The nerve! Next time, Kate, keep your “entourage” at home, behind closed doors. Don’t you know that you have no right to lead a normal family life??
I know – maybe you’re rolling your eyes & talking aloud to your screens right now, reminding me that they signed up for this – the celebrity, the spotlight. Trust me, I’m not saying that their choices align with mine either, but do they have to?
This is the thing. It’s somewhat raw for me because it’s all just a little too close to home; especially this weekend. No, not the mansion on fifty acres or whatever it is, not the book tours and box seats to Phillies games. It’s the attention and the assumptions. It’s the judgment and the lack of consideration when people choose to speak – to speak about a situation about which they have no clue.
Now that the triplets are no longer diggin’ spending their days surrounded by toys in their corral, we try to get them out fairly regularly. (Admittedly sometimes more for my sanity than theirs.)
This weekend we were on the move more than usual. The itinerary included a local carnival, our son’s seventh b’day party (seven is both his age and the number of parties I think he had this year…) and a Father’s Day outing to IHOP and the park.
Now, I get it – triplets are not ‘common’, and triplets ‘plus one’ is, well – even more! But seriously, I just don’t think we’re the side show everyone makes us out to be. There was the usual:
“So do triplets run in the family?” (aka – Did you do IVF?)
“Boy do you have your hands full!” (Yes, do you have any to spare? Because one of my kids is getting away as I take the time to acknowledge the biggest understatement of the century.)
“Wow – you must be busy!” (Yes, yes I am. Appreciate the insight.)
But what irked me this weekend were the less frequent, more insidious ones like:
“We only have two; I’d kill myself if I were you.”
“Wow – I feel really sorry for you.”
And “You come out (to the carnival, to IHOP, etc) with ALL of them?”
Believe it or not, that last one really got me. It’s not as often as we’d like and it takes much longer to get out the door than we’d hope, but yes, we do go out! It takes more work, more patience, more prep time and more equipment, but what’s the alternative? Our family may not be typical, but we are ‘normal’ in terms of needing to get out, experience new things and enjoy living life together. So what is it about seeing a family with multiples that suddenly robs others of social graces & good judgment?
Alright, so maybe I’m projecting a bit on J&K+8. Maybe they don’t mind the attention and scrutiny quite as much as I do. Maybe it’s just growing pains on my part as a MoM. Maybe all of the attention and the comments just start to fade into the background with each passing outing? Well, here’s to hoping! (Us MoMs are good at that!)