Last Night’s TV – Octomom

by Lynn Connolly


Oh my… 14 kids and 8 of them delivered all at once. Nadya Suleman might’ve been better in a box under the stairs than in hospital, but I think even more weird than her being the – much vilified – mother to 14 kids, and nary a dad in sight, is that she’s turning her kids’ lives into a real life Truman Show.

And I’m not sure how to feel about that; on the one hand, at least she’s found a way to support her children, but on the other, it didn’t turn out to be the best thing in the world for Truman to be the subject of a lifetime TV series. And it must be a developmental psychologist’s wet dream of a programme.

Unlike Truman though, Nadya’s older children are fully aware that their lives are being played out in front of a TV audience, and some of them really don’t like it. One child, Elijah, even decided to lob a screwdriver at his mother in his frustration as he screamed “stop filming!”

Some good parenting in action there then.

And with the whole team of nannies on hand, maybe Nadya should wear a nametag so the kids will be able to distinguish her from the other ‘carers’. Apparently, each baby gets a few minutes a day with their mother to ‘bond’. So that’s ok then.

I suspect that Nadya had visions of being the Waltons or living a Little House on the Prarie sort of life, but the reality of her existence is primarily overwhelming noise. Crying, screaming, yelling, and that’s just Nadya’s mother.

One thing that I did find a tad tiresome – other than the wall of jarring sound – was Nadya’s voice; it was almost like a comedy voice in that it was little girlish and giggly. Ok for ten minutes or so but I’d rapidly tire of it thereafter, and in fact, did.

But the whole point of the programme, other than to pay for nappies, baby food and nannies, was to ask the question ’14 kids by IVF. Right or wrong?’ That and allowing us a chance to gawp at the circus like spectacle that is this family’s lives of course.

Well I guess for me, the answer would be ‘wrong’, as we know it is for millions of people worldwide, but the other question would be, is it any of my beeswax? No it isn’t. And while what Nadya’s done – and is doing – doesn’t include battering her kids, abusing them, neglecting them or any one of thousands of horror stories that are being played out in real people’s lives right this minute, it will remain none of my beeswax.

We only need to hear cases like the hideous Baby Peter case to know that if you’re an abuser or a horribly bad parent, it doesn’t matter whether it’s one or one dozen kids in your hands. So we might safely assume that it’s unlikely any of Nadya’s children will ever end up battered and abused like that poor little boy.

So again, is it so wrong? On a global scale of wrongs against children, is it really so dreadful to have 14 of them, raise them as a single parent and have your every move, every day, filmed?

I don’t know. Truthfully, only time will tell if there will be any emotional long-term damage to these kids and by then, it’s probably going to be too late to do anything about it. And again, unlike millions of other children, these children were all wanted. Maybe for the wrong reason, but they were.

What do you think? Was it wrong of Nadya to have so many children and is it wrong to have turned their lives into a TV show? Let us know your thoughts.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.