Jon and Kate’s Final Curtain Call?

May 28, 2009 at 3:07 am 9 comments

kateonpeopleYeah, I watched. But, I haven’t gone so far as to read any of the tabloids. I don’t know what the mystery woman looks like and I don’t care. What intrigued me as I watched the 5th season opener of Jon & Kate Plus 8 was how I could in an “Off-Broadway sense,” empathize with Kate, a woman who makes me cringe every time I see part of myself in her “Type-A Mom” personality. Intrigued, not because my husband has gone off and done something untoward (at least not in public) for which I can never forgive him (get over yourself, Kate), but because of the underlying role reversal challenges that the two of them hinted at, in between all of the innuendo of an alleged affair. Has anyone else caught on to this?

She’s now the breadwinner while he stays home with the kids and resents her for being away while wishing she’d stay away at the same time — loosely translated from Jon. Anyone else experiencing something similar who doesn’t also have eight kids, full-time staff and a major prime-time hit television show? Direct quote from my husband: “Men just weren’t made to do this.

Now, before anyone takes offense to this, of course there are some terrific stay-at-home Dads out there who can run circles around many of us Moms. But, please, let’s be real. Most Dads when put to the test aren’t going to last long at cleaning up after pre-schooler playdates, preparing three square meals a day, activity schedules, bath-time and just the general noise level of it all. Then there’s the housekeeping, grocery shopping, cooking, Dr. appointments and errand-running. Did I mention laundry? Now, most likely Jon doesn’t do much of this by himself; did I mention the full-time staff? But, he is used to being the provider, not the caregiver. To me, it was detectable throughout the interview that Jon just wasn’t comfortable staying home while Kate traveled earning a paycheck on her book tour. He quit his job to stay home with the kids, because “Kate can write and he can’t.” Ergo, if he could provide in that way, he would choose that role. Don’t underestimate the sense of pride and accomplishment being the provider carries with it, most especially for men.

The challenge for Kate, is to not be overly critical of the job Jon is doing when she returns home. And, if you’ve ever watched the show, you can just imagine how this is playing out. Kate has decidedly defined for all of America what a “hen-pecked husband” truly looks like up close and in his own natural habitat. While I pray that my husband would never describe himself as a member of the hen house, I empathize with Kate’s challenge. I find myself biting my tongue a whole heck of a lot more than Danny probably realizes, because I know he really is doing the best job that he can do. While we haven’t chosen our new roles, the parts we play are similar to those of Jon and Kate in that they require perspective on what is important as a family, not on who does what.

Has Jon finally had enough? Many of us have wondered when Jon’s breaking point would be reached. Is it possible that now that Kate is no longer in charge of her castle, the scrutiny she inflicts on Jon combined with a general distaste for the life he gave up for her has upset that delicate balance they’ve maintained through four seasons of TV-dom? It was clear at the end of last season, Jon was no longer on board with a public life. Has he made his final stand? I hope that family wins out on this one. In the best interest of those eight precious young hearts, I pray that the curtain is never called on this marriage.

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Entry filed under: Career, Jon & Kate, Marriage, Mr. Mom, Working from Home. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

So How’s Working From Home Going? Balancing Life Online and in Reality

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. territerri  |  May 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    I have always wondered, in spite of all the perks of being reality t.v. stars, what are the underlying repercussions? Obviously, Jon & Kate’s problems can’t be attributed completely to the fact that their lives are on display for the world to see. But I’m sure it is a big factor.

    Reply
    • 2. Mama Bird  |  May 28, 2009 at 4:23 pm

      Completely agree, Terri. As Kate pointed out, they already had the cards stacked against them as parents of multiples (I can’t imagine), but then bringing reality TV into the mix? Appears to have been a recipe for disaster.

      As Reality TV is still a relatively new cultural phenomenon that continues to take on different forms, I wonder if this will be one of the greatest lessons learned for future couples/families who may be approached to do a show of their own?

      Reply
  • 3. Lori in Denver  |  May 29, 2009 at 8:05 am

    I hope you’re right, too. I can’t say much more without having seen the show, but I hope they turn their energies back INTO the marriage and their children.

    Reply
    • 4. Mama Bird  |  May 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm

      I think that’s probably the only answer, otherwise it may end up being “Jon & Kate minus 9” as I friend of mine so cleverly refers to it. 😉

      Reply
  • 5. Alisa  |  June 2, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I haven’t read/llistened to any of their story, until now (thanks Chris!)…but a great couple resources to on the biological makeup of men and women are “for her only” and “for him only” by husband-wife duo, jeff & shaunti feldhauhn. you get a price break when you buy the set!

    Reply
  • 6. Sue Brown  |  June 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I have been a fan since the beginning. Loved it but wished Kate were nicer to Jon. Now I am realizing I was taken in by the “reality” of TV manipulation. The truth seems to be that the money and fame went to their heads, well, Kate’s for sure. I don’t normally believe in rumors or accusations, but with her own family and news reporters, video, etc coming out, it’s fairly obvious that what began as a one-time documentary -turned-into-reality show of a nice young couple is now like watching any other sordid ratings-hype scandal. I want no part of it. I think it’s awful that Kate writes her books (I bought both of them) including Scripture to tell her story. I feel sad for their children and Jon who admits he never wanted any of this. Kate, why not leave the kids to Jon and you go on and have your time in the spotlight, but at least admit the truth! Quit using them to further your so-called career, and especially quit using God and family values. What a pretense! I won’t watch your show again……what you pretend to be is a joke I won’t be audience to.

    Reply
    • 7. Mama Bird  |  June 2, 2009 at 10:39 pm

      Great references, Alisa! Thanks!

      Sue, I think you’re right about the change that has happened. Haven’t read either of Kate’s books, but she is definitely tapping into her market by quoting scripture. I can’t say that I believe she’s using her children, I just think she maybe got caught up in all the celebrity and lost track of her priorities. They say it happens to the best of us.

      Reply
  • 8. Jon & Kate Take the Easy Way Out « MaMa Bird’s Blog  |  June 23, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    […] he has felt since becoming a stay-at-home-Dad and seeing his wife in the limelight (see prior post here), there is no excuse for walking away from a ten-year marriage and eight kids because you feel […]

    Reply
  • […] the world than the daily tabloid spectacle of Jon and Kate Gosselin’s messy divorce. Though, even I have been known to get caught up in all the drama. But, I […]

    Reply

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A half-hatched role-reversal takes flight on a wing and a prayer.

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