I'm addicted to all those TLC and Discovery Health shows, especially the ones that have been featured recently about "amazing families". They recently did a show on the pregnant man (which, I'm sorry, still kinda freaks me out everytime I see pictures of his naked pregnant belly...AND he's pregnant AGAIN!), a female couple who have 2 sets of twins together and then, of course, there's always the Jon and Kate, Plus 8 shows that I can't help but watch.
I watch Kate Gosselin sometimes in complete awe...and sometimes she makes me feel encouraged and reminds me that children are a blessing, no matter how many you have (or how many came to you at one time!!). And sometimes I watch her as she cooks organic meals from scratch for her family (although it's been rumored that she has a personal chef who cooks for the family) and I feel completely inadequate, thinking to myself, "If she can cook organic meals from scratch for her EIGHT children, I should be able to do it for my FOUR children". Personally, I kind of like when she has meltdowns on the show or when she gets mad because one of the kids got paint on their shirt because it makes me realize that she is human. She's not perfect, as much as the tv shows sometimes reflects her to be.
The other night, there was a show on TLC called "Twins, Twins and Sextuplets". It was to air right after Jon and Kate, Plus 8 and I kept thinking it had to be a story about 3 different families. But no....it was about Eric and Betty Hayes who have 2 sets of twins and sextuplets. I can't imagine why I've never heard of them before....apparently, they've been all over the news and on major shows, like Oprah and Good Morning America.
Of course I had to watch it and I was immediately enamored with this family. Not only are all the kids fun-loving and adorable, but the parents have such a great sense of humor. They showed the family just hanging out at home and also running errands, like to the grocery store. They just seemed so....well, normal. Even with 10 kids....3 sets of multiples....they seemed so calm and in control. In the beginning, the mother talks about how she transitioned from having 2 sets of twins to having sextuplets and she said something like, "I just figured we had already done it twice....it really wasn't that bad". She never complained and she was able to make light of her situation, even during the stressful times. Her husband, at one point, said "shoot me" in a joking manner.
What really impressed me is that the father works outside the home while the mother stays home with the 10 kids. Some are in school and she spends that time during the day doing tons of laundry and cleaning...she said it's never ending. She seems very organized and makes it actually look kind of easy. I don't know if she has any outside help but they didn't mention any, except for the volunteers that came over initially and helped with feedings when the sextuplets had just been born.
Now, Kate Gosselin is pretty awesome in her own right but I somehow feel inadequate when comparing myself to her, which I know I shouldn't do. I think most mothers compare themselves to others...it's a way of testing ourselves to make sure we are measuring up, doing the best we can for our kids and not missing out on anything. I had to keep reminding myself that Kate Gosselin has tons of help...someone helping her with laundry, volunteers to help with the kids, someone to travel with them on vacations, and her husband now stays home and helps her because they are reportedly getting paid something like $65,000 per episode.
I guess, in the end, I could identify more with Betty Hayes than Kate Gosselin. Kate always seems to have an attitude, seems to have a "I'm better than you" quality about her. Maybe she's not like that in real life but they certainly portray her that way on the show.
As I watched the Hayes family go grocery shopping, and shoe shopping with all 10 kids, and all the while Betty is quizzing them in the car about what the colors of the traffic lights mean (instead of yelling at them to be quiet), they had earned my respect and admiration. From one fellow mom of multiple multiples to another (even though she outnumbers me by sextuplets...I could NOT even imagine what they must have felt when they found out they were having 6 more kids all at once), Betty Hayes is my new hero!