Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I watched the premiere of Jon & Kate + 8 last night. I don't know what I expected to see, but whatever it was, it wasn't what I saw.

I've been a sporadic viewer of the show, never a faithful watcher, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that I've never cared for Kate very much. I thought she was self centered, controlling, mean spirited, and yes, a bitch. I used to think, poor Jon, how does he put up with her?

What I saw last night was a Kate that is human and vulnerable. A wife, a mom, who is watching her family crumble around her and has no clue how to put it back together. What I saw was Jon, who was there only in the physical sense. Emotionally he's "checked out".

What I saw, and realized for the first time, was myself. Why I dislike Kate so much, is because she reminds me all too much of myself. I don't have eight kids. I only have one, and at times, just caring for Ava is overwhelming and exhausting. I find myself snapping at my husband because I need his help and I don't know how to ask because I'm in over my head. Being a control freak makes it hard to let go and let someone else take the reins, even though a part of you is screaming to do that very thing.

For twenty years, I've had to be the responsible one, the one in charge. That happened the day my dad died and I was 16. My mom just couldn't handle things anymore and at that moment, I became the adult. My husband tells me all the time "lighten up". But it's hard when you feel like if you do, if for one second, you are not standing there with your guard up, watching for the next thing you will have to fix, the world will crumble around you.

Maybe that's how Kate feels. Maybe that's why she comes off the way she does. I don't know. The rest of us don't either. All we see are carefully selected bits of footage designed to create drama so we'll keep coming back to watch. The only two people who know how they got to where they are now are Jon and Kate. I hope for their sake, and the sake of those beautiful, sweet children they find a way to put it back together.


  1. i also blogged about my unexpected response to the series premier. thank you for writing such an honest post...during a time when it's "cool" to hate kate. i didn't expect to feel any empathy for her...but i do. i want to give her a big hug. her emotions seem very real to me.

    we have triplets and it terrifies me when i hear the divorce stats for parents of high order multiples. seeing what has happened to their family underscores that fear.

    i just hope, like you, that they are able to rise above this.

  2. what a killer post! i love your candor, and i too saw what you see. today, i'm "so over" talking about jon & kate, but your post really was great about shedding light on them in a different way.

    well done.

  3. I watched it last night too. It was sad. It was heartbreaking to see that they were already doing "visitation" weekends where Jon was "off." You can tell they both have checked out. I think Jon wants to end the show and Kate just can't give it up. It's sad and I really, really, really hope it is not staged like some have said. But those feelings looked real last night. Kate was not her typical self but appeared to be "acting" more because her life is crumbling all around and everyone is watching. So sad.

  4. I didn't get to watch the show, I've only seen little snippets. I totally agree with what you saw, a human Kate who is just trying to figure how to put her family back together. I've always loved this show, even though Kate sometimes got on my nerves. I hope they figure it out.

  5. It was nice to see a human Kate! I feel horrible for the both of them and hope that they can indeed put their family back together. I think the only way it's going to happen is through professional help. There's got to be a lot of compromise.

    Your post was very well written, and sheds a whole new light on the "Hate Kate" mentality that so many people have.