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Welcome to my musings on pop culture and parenting. I am the Pop Mama and this is a safe place to steal away from your screaming child and get your fix on what's up with Beyonce and great poop stain remover tips.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I like my TV families supersized...

My baby will not sleep through the night yet and I am going nuts. I have been following the "Baby Wise" schedule and it has not delivered the promised results. My mother assures me that every baby is different and that most breast fed babies don't sleep through the night for a very long time. So, instead of quitting the program and switching to formula in order to save my sanity, I am taking the ol' one day at a time approach and trying not to anticipate my son's every move. Needless to say, my Type A self is still feeling hopelessly out of control. So this is parenting, eh?

When I am up feeding my baby in the middle of the night I try to remember that thousands (if not millions) of other women are doing the same thing around the world. In imagining all of the other half asleep women sitting in recliners with a baby attached to them, my thoughts seems to come around to one woman in particular -- Michelle Duggar. For those of you not familiar with the TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting, Michelle Duggar is the matriarch of an extremely large family - 19 children (hence the show title). She has given birth to every single one of them and has breast fed them all. WHAT? Yes, she has been breastfeeding with very few breaks for approximately 21 years.

Although I don't mind breastfeeding right now and I like the concept that it is something that only I can do for my child, the idea of breastfeeding 19 children seems like cruel and unusual punishment. The thought of having a child attached to my nipple for the next 20 years seems ridiculous and insane. I worry what my breasts and nipples are going to look like after breastfeeding one child and I cannot imagine the damage that 19 hungry babies could do. Yikes. Calling Dr. 90210...

The new season of 19 Kids and Counting begins next Tuesday on TLC and I am looking forward to it. I have an obsession with big families. I also have an obsession with people that take things to the extreme. Thus, the Duggars are like a drug for me. There are 19 children and the family is extreme conservative Christians of the long skirts and no dancing ilk. Oh, and did I mention that all the children are home schooled? Awesome. Michelle and Jim Bob (yes, his name is actually Jim Bob) are part of a conservative Christian movement called Quiverfull. Quiverfull eschews birth control and promotes procreation as God's will and blessing. Families adhering to Quiverfull often homeschool their children and believe that having large families is a mission in populating the world with Christians. I had never heard of this movement until I stalked the Duggars and checked out their family website. Thoughts?

Their way of life is soooo foreign to me that I cannot tear myself away. My experiences in college, traveling and dating gave me such perspective and I think that by home schooling and not encouraging the type of independence that comes with going away to college the Duggars are doing their children a disservice. I admire their tight knit clan, the wholesome values and their work ethic, but I just think of all the real world things that the kids are missing by being so sheltered.

Being the big family voyeur that I am I was also at one time very into Jon & Kate Plus 8. Families with multiples are so interesting to me -- even more so now that I have my own child. I feel pulled in several different directions with just one child and I cannot imagine how a mother of multiples does it. One thing I loved about Kate Gosselin was how organized she was...talk about obsessive! As vigilant and shrill as she was about keeping an organized house, a schedule and order with her eight children, I can understand the need for control amidst chaos. I have one child, a husband and a dog and I get super agitated when the house is a mess and my son is off of his schedule -- know why? Because I am the one that pays. So, if I can head off the minor disasters and baby melt downs, then I do it.

I don't like the new Kate Plus 8 because it is BORING. First of all, Kate is totally different than she used to be and a large part of that is now she doesn't have to worry as much about money and she has a fair amount of help -- not to mention that she doesn't have a beat down husband to boss around. Second, the kids are getting older and just aren't as funny as they once were. Sure, they are still pretty cute, but we've already seen all of their firsts and family adventures. I really cannot bear to watch ANOTHER Gosselin family vacation. So you travel with 8 kids, we get it already. I don't even know what happened to Jon -- he seems to have fallen off the map -- or at least out of the news. The last I heard about him was that he got a new tattoo of a gigantic dragon to symbolize his "rebirth." Ummm...okay.

Big families seem to be a big business for the reality TV world and I have an idea for a show -- how about one about a polygamist family? Again, it marries (no pun intended) my love for overgrown families and the extreme. Of course, there may be problems with chronicling an actual polygamist family considering that it is illegal, but Big Love is on hiatus right now and I need my fix of sisterwife drama!

Off to watch Toddlers and Tiaras, which always gives me parenting nightmares.

1 comment:

  1. I tried Baby WIse - didn't work. I also breast fed for 11 months. It wasn't until I switched to formula at that point that T actually slept through the night. You may be sleep deprived but give yourslef kudos for trying. On avaerage, mothers who breast feed raise their child's IQ by 10 points. When you glance down at what will soon to be saggier breasts from this ordeal, take pride it that you just contributed towards baby W's future college scholarship or the elusive "Dr" in front of his name. Its kind of like a 401(k)...smart baby = better mommy retirement all thanks to your time, body sacrifice and of course, milk.