Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…
Dear GWBW — Ok my circle of friends includes men and women and we can’t agree on the Kate Gosselin on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ thing. Should any primary caregiver spend so much time away from their kids? — Dances With Guilt
Dear Dances With Guilt,
Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Kate was working to support her kids via this show, not simply raising her celebrity or party time. Given that, I am not one who subscribes to the notion that what qualifies primary caregivers is only lots of face time with growing, developing kids. Quality counts. Also among primary caregivers’ responsibilities to children, is ensuring their kids’ circle of trustworthy, accountable adult guides/-ance is as wide as (relatively) possible. I don’t believe mommy (or daddy) at home is the only way to raise healthy, happy kids — now or even during Donna Reed daze.
Parenting is individual, but from the viewpoint of a former child whose mother loved working outside of the home, and then alternated having to stay home for a couple years with previously having a nanny, it’s not about the number of hours spent with kids, but consistency and structure of foundation of the family vision/mission— the kind of consistency I’m talking about, from a kids’ point of view, extends to when the parents are home or out of the house. This builds a true Northstar that kids can understand and rely on. Personally, when I think of “mommy at home” my first image is of mine crying out of frustration (no judgments!, she also baked cookies and played with us quite un-conflicted). The consistency and love in our home and family let me know undoubtedly that I was loved and wanted, but also that my mother was frustrated by her bubble with low to no daily adult stimulation. I Got how happy her work fulfillment made her, and how much easier and happier we were as a family unit when those things were in place. I was 6, the same age the Gosselin sextuplets are, I wasn’t confused (and doubt my brother was, either); kids are smart. Yep. Love, and happiness- and esteem-building are the consistency I’m talking about.
Did you ever watch their 5-season reality show (Jon & Kate Plus 8)? That mama ain’t no angel! But I’d love to get your take after your group debates what impact the actions of their “too-famous-to-get-a-job” dad who left them to have his mid-life crisis, then banned the show (the family’s primary income) from being produced without him, might have on their childhood development.
UPDATE: Cosmic unintended timing notes – Congratulations Nicole Scherzinger DWTS winner. R.I.P. Gary Coleman.
Dear Dances with Guilt,
What?! So we have kids and then we’re suppose to hang up our dancing shoes forever? I think that’s how we end up with Texas Cheerleading Moms who live through their kids to a super-unhealthy degree.
As I heard it, she had a dance studio built in her basement, practiced there and then traveled to tape the show. So, is she not suppose to work on her career because she;s needed at home wiping noses? Isn’t that why God created babysitters? After all, how is she suppose to support said kids if she ends up as a reality TV footnote? “*Was married to a putz. Had 8 kids and a short run reality TV show on TLC.”
As a mother, you do not push out a kid, sign the birth certificate and turn in your juju so you can be a capri-wearing-cropped-bobbed-hairdo-having-lunch-box-stuffing mother and nothing else. Kate Gosselin spoke up, said she wanted to be on Dancing with the Stars She got her chance and worked hard to make the most of her dream. Now people want to judge her for reaching her dream while having the nerve to have kids? Really, if folks spent more time worrying about doing what is necessary to achieve their own dreams, there’d be a lot less hate and envy in the world.
I, too, am a single mom reaching for her dreams. I work full time and have extra curricular activities that do not include my children. However, I am in constant touch with my kids’ teachers, a member of the PTA, a cupcake baker, play date host and easy-listening my door and my arms are always open kind of mom. I believe showing my children the example of a hard-working, loving mom who knows how to multi-task and go after her dreams is one of the most potent gifts I can give my two girls.
Kate may not be the best dancer, but juggling rehearsals, performance and parenthood, I give her a 10!
More Mojo for All,
Image: ABC, Adam Larkey
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