Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Jon & Kate Plus 8

Over the last year or so I have seen quite a few episodes of J&K+8 and now I am following their lives in US Weekly. Last night I watched the premier and it was difficult to watch. No one has asked my opinion but I'm dying to hear what others think so I'm going to throw my opinion out there.

Jon and Kate got married very, very young (he was 22). They had the twins quickly and a couple of years later the sextuplets. Kate was in charge and Jon probably liked that. He went off to his IT job and she arranged an army of help, counted pennies to keep the kids fed and clothed, cleaned, cooked, etc. Basically she did the lion share and certainly hen-pecked him in the process. But when I was a stay-at-home mom for 6 months I could see how quickly that happens. You feel like it is all up to you - all the problems, the housework. Your spouse does what you tell him but you have to tell him. It drives you crazy.

Fast forward 3 years and she has written a book and arranged for a TV show. They start making money and Jon quits his job. That is where things fall apart. He doesn't have his identity outside the kids whereas Kate was fine to have hers subsumed by the kids. She is off traveling for her book and the show and he is home with the kids (with help but still...). He realizes how hard it is, how he isn't Jon but Jon with 8 kids and he suddenly realizes he's barely 30 and his whole life has been about the kids.

I agree Kate has been hard on him but she has been holding the family together when they were poor and raised what seem to be a pretty good bunch of kids. Leave aside their choice to have 8 kids she has done the hard work to get them to this point. I don't discount Jon - we wouldn't like the family so much if we didn't empathize with a guy whose wife nags him all the time.

But the short and long of it is that I can see why this happened and how it happens all the time to families. I wish Jon would go back to his job and that they would do marriage counseling but I don't think that will happen and divorce is likely in their future (the poor kids). What do you think of the Jon & Kate scandal?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I think the one problem is Hollywood and allowing this ridiculous reality show be allowed to even happen....and then when the money starts flowing in hand over fist....greed sets in and priorities are all screwed up. Where would this family be today if TV cameras were never in the home? It is hard enough to raise a family and stay married let alone let the circus arrive.

T. said...

I have never seen the show, but I think this is what happens when you sell your family on TV. I have zero sympathy.

Stacey said...

Great minds...my post will go live shortly. I definitely sympathize more with Kate than Jon. It is hard to see a marriage fall apart on TV especially because unlike the majority of reality shows this one really is unscripted...in their defense they probably really needed the money when the show started and will have a lot more advantages now for the kids.

LauraC said...

I think the issue is, and always was, breakdown in communication between the spouses. That is why I stopped watching the show.

Jon and I said some crappy things to each other in the heat of the moment during those early days. But after the moment was over and we had some time to think, we would ALWAYS talk about it. We talked about how to improve our relationship, help each other through the stress, and come out well on the other end.

I can not imagine the stress of having 6 preemies and only one income. I know they were exhausted, but the fights & bickering that drove me over the edge was when their sextuplets were 3-4.

Goddess in Progress said...

Interesting. I can't really say that I have more sympathy for or place more blame on one or the other. They both have their issues, but they both made their choices one way or another. Sucky situation, for sure, and the show-as-job-and-life seems to have gotten way out of hand. I didn't watch the premiere, and I'm glad I didn't. I'm done with that show, for sure. I would just watch and feel way too badly for those kids. A hard thing to go through under any circumstances, but to have to do it with your face on the cover of the entertainment magazines? Yuck. Yes, they chose this life to a large extent, but still... it sucks.

almostima said...

I side with Kate. Jon seems evasive and selfish.

The two were poor communicators. But they had a chance to see themselves on camera for 4 years and didn't seem to mind how they were communicating with each other.

So, for people to now blame Kate for the end of the marriage (and it does seem like they've both given up hope) seems entirely unfair.

Shelley said...

I watched it and the whole thing just makes me sad. I'm sad for the kids and sad that Jon and Kate have made decisions that have brought them to this point. Now they live in a 1.5 million dollar house. Could they even afford to stop the show and go back to regular jobs? Money got the best of them and it's at the expense of the kids. It almost felt wrong watching this part of their lives play out on tv. They need to suck it up, turn the cameras off and work this out on their own. I got the feeling that Jon feels the same way, but is locked into doing the show, so he forced himself to go through the motions in the interview chair. The whole thing is just depressing.

Just Kristen said...

I got around to watching it last night...very sad. I think I agree with you...if John had taken a day job a few years back and they had started marriage counseling maybe they would have pulled through...but now...I didn't hear a single "we" or "us". I guess I just don't know if you can come back from that. Having twins has been a huge change in our relationship...I definitely remember laughing at the book "how to baby proof your marriage" but I can see now what a huge transformation it's been adding twins...I can't even imagine adding sextuplets!

krueth said...

It was such a sad episode. My heart broke when the little girl went up to Jon and said, I don't like it when you go away, Just so sad. They both need to own up to there shortcomings and get some counseling, but I wonder if its too late, I sure hope not. It seems that the show was more about Kate too, and she had to be the center of attention, Just plain made me so sad for them all.

Abby said...

Call me unsympathetic but I kind of think craziness is having 6 kids at one time in the first place. But that's me. That said, I did watch the premiere and I have to say that I think Jon was acting like some kind of victim, as if doing the show was not his choice and making it sound like he was dragged into it, kicking and screaming. Come on -- you're an adult, you made decisions and you need to man up to them. You could have said "no." But as he told E-Weekly, the material benefits have been good. And I understand they need to provide for their family, but I sort of agree with T. that selling your family on TV might not have been the best way. And of course, you need to consider carefully how you will support 8 children before you go through with having them. (Or is that just me again?) Yes, Kate can kind of be a shrew, but Jon can be an infant. The two of them seem to have profited a lot in all the wrong ways from the show, and it's those kids who will suffer. It's a shame, and the whole show is kind of a sad commentary on our society and the things we will watch...because I admit, I mainly watched the premiere to relish the fall. And I'd bet I'm not alone.

Sotorrific Twins said...

Personally, I think they got greedy (or she did???) and the show went on too long. They went past the point of "We're are making some money for our family and documenting our lives and how great is this, yay!" Now, its a job and its also their life. They can't separate the two and its like they are stuck with this show and this life and can't make the changes necessary to save their marriage/family.

And I agree with a lot of other people that Jon has lost his identity, being a stay-at-home dad, of sorts. Not to be sexist, but I think women have an easier time with the stay-at-home-parent role than men do. There are exceptions on both sides but there is a reason (beyond breastfeeding and earning less) why its usually the mom at home. I think women assume that if we can do it (be at home and be happy, most of the time) then men should be able to do it, too. But that's simply not the case. So many men have their identity wrapped up in their career. That's what our society expects of them and that's what they grow up assuming they will be - career man providing for their families. None of this excuses Jon's behavior or erases his responsibility, but I think its worth noting.

Donna said...

Never saw the show, don't care about. I never even knew what it was really about until he started all the antics and that was published in Entertainment weekly.