Is This the End for Jon and Kate?

Season premiere looked pretty gloomy for the parents of eight

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Is This The End for Jon and Kate?

Season premiere looked pretty gloomy for the parents of eight

-Stephanie Elliot

I’ve never been a Jon and Kate Plus 8 viewer, not because I wasn’t interested, but because I never really had the time to invest in a series about a mother going through a metamorphosis and a father who was more like a ninth child. But after a Memorial Day weekend marathon on TLC, where I couldn’t peel my eyes from the fiascos of the Gosselin family, I think I’m hooked.

Not only did I watch Kate Gosselin‘s “front butt”(her words, not mine) liposuction and tummy-tuck episode and Jon’s hair transplant episode, I watched plenty of footage on the adorable children, including episodes of birthday after birthday, the tantrums (the children’s AND Kate’s), cute toddler antics, trips to the park and the corner for time-outs, Monkey-Munch making, visits to TV shows for interviews and magazine photo shoots.

Then I wonder about all these great things the kids get to do like visit the Crayola Factory. Does the Gosselin family show up with their crew, and do they get their admittance fee waived since they are there promoting the factory? And at first thought, I wondered, ‘how in a world could a mother deprive her little children the chance to use a marker (a washable one at that) at The Crayola Factory?’ … just because she feared messy clothing. But, then the rational motherly side of me said, “Well, yeah, eight outfits to clean marker from would not be a fun way to spend an afternoon.”

The girls paint pottery while the boys go golfing (does anyone really think 3-year-olds have the skills to go out and play 18 holes of golf?). At the Phillies game, does Jon pay for all of the food and souvenirs he gets for the kids? Does the family have to pay for the carriage rides they take in Central Park? I’m curious, are they going through life getting all these freebies just because they are Jon and Kate Plus 8?

I am trying to think like Kate and Jon. And now I just can’t stop thinking about them and the family, which I guess is the draw to the show. I watched the season premiere Monday night and paid special attention to the interactions between the parents, who are the subject of many recent tabloid rumors. Much of the context from the show led me to believe they are separated. He was barely shown in their new home; Kate mentioned he needed a weekend off, and he went out of town; he didn’t help with any of the party planning for the sextuplet’s fifth birthday; he shows up in quite the sporty car to the event, and doesn’t sit with his wife. Jon and Kate didn’t look at one another; they didn’t share in the work; they barely interacted at their children’s fifth birthday party. Jon looked out of place and uncomfortable. Kate, as always, looked as if the show must go on. I have been to birthday parties where the parents of the child had been divorced. Jon and Kate acted like many of these couples who want nothing to do with one another.

I guess Kate has always been domineering, but to run a tight ship of eight children I imagine I would have to be pretty tough too. She orders her staff around; she orders her husband around. When he offered to help light the birthday candles, she didn’t want to give up the control. She didn’t want Jon helping with the piñatas. And when the family took what might very well be their last family photograph, Kate demanded, “Jon, take off your sunglasses.”

And they all smiled like everything was perfect in the world.

The interview portion of the show, for the most part, was conducted with Jon and Kate separate from one another. Jon seemed bitter, aloof and, frankly, over the whole thing. He admitted he was tired of being “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” and said he cannot be just Jon. And who can blame him. Everyone is busy worrying about what he’s doing with his life, if he’s having an affair, if he’s leaving the family. Both parents said they are in this for the kids. Neither stated whether they wanted their marriage to work, that they were willing to find out what has gone wrong.

I imagine eight kids might put some stress upon any marriage – cameras or no cameras. I imagine a demanding, bossy, busy wife who is finally a little bit free from the stay-at-home mom activities of having eight children and now gets to travel might put some stress on the situation. I imagine rumors of a husband being unfaithful might cause some tension too.

Even with the cameras on full-time, the only people who know the full story are Jon and Kate, and they are dealing with what has been dealt to them by their own choice. They asked for it by allowing the world into their home, and now they have to defend themselves to that same world.

Whose side am I on? The obvious answer is the children’s. Of course, anyone would want what’s in the best interest for the children, but is having two parents in a home who can’t stand the sight of one another the best for the kids? Maybe there’s something to Octomom and her crazy ideas that she doesn’t need a father for her brood?

Jon and Kate made the bed they are laying in. Although my guess is they are now laying in separate beds. I’ve also been wondering if the show might need a title change: Kate Plus 8 Looking for a New Mate?

What are your thoughts? Is there anyone to blame? Do you feel sorry for Jon and Kate?  Read one Betty’s opinion in Jon and Kate: Who Do You Berate?

Stephanie Elliot is a contributing editor at Betty, and she also answers your parenting questions at Just Another Manic Mommy. Visit her at or

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0 thoughts on “Is This the End for Jon and Kate?

  1. I have just began watching too although I have friends and family who have been faithful followers. My concern was that they are still focused on the kids during a time when they need to focus on each other. I hope they stop and do that and get some help. It is their choice.

  2. It’s hard for me to feel compassion for a couple who has chosen (or one has chosen and forced the other into agreeing?) to exploit their family situation in favor of free trips, goodies, wardrobes, etc, etc, etc, galore. This stopped being ‘reality’ a long, long time ago. They need to kick the cameras out and *actually* focus on their family, instead of sitting in front of a camera and declaring that they are.

  3. I feel so bad for both of them. I admit I have looked at Kate and thought, “What a bitch!” But watching the shows over the weekened I realize she has changed a lot. She didn’t treat him like she used to, and she actually laughed and had fun. Maybe it was too little too late but I agree that Jon seemed over the whole thing and didn’t give a rat’s ass how Kate felt. She looks broken hearted and sad, and yes, those kids are her life and I admire her so much for that. I would lose my mind if I were her but she keeps it all together and I LOVE the saying she uses; “You get what you get and you don’t get upset”.

    I hope they can work it out. I really, reallly do. And NOT just for the kids, but for themselves as well.

  4. I agree that Kate probably pushed John into this, but it is still sad that they are mulling divorce. As a mother of twins, I know how hard it can be for everyone involved, and I can not imagine what it would be like to have two sets of multiples – so much pressure, and no down time – EVER!

  5. I agree w/ the fact that no one but John & Kate know the facts. What really aggravated me during the season premier was how they kept complaining about the “paparazzi” and how they just wanted to be left alone. They made a choice to open their lives and their homes to the media and now that it isn’t so much fun anymore, you can’t just shut it off or get angry w/ the people who made you famous. I feel for the children, and hope that no matter what happens between J&K, they put them first and do all they can to give them the happy lives they deserve.

  6. Kate sometimes is harsh with Jon, but while watching the marathon, I noticed, he had his share of comments to her as well over the last 4 years.

    I feel sad for her as a single mom. I only have 1 child who has a dad that takes many “weekends off”. She has a long road ahead of her. Jon needs to step up to the plate and realizes that he helped make those children as well.

    It is financially tough being a single mom of 1, I can’t imagine having 8. I hear a lot of flack for Kate wanting to continue the show. That she is only in it for the money? Well I gues so, it would be quite expensive to send 8 to college, 8 cars, insurance for 8 teenagers and 3 will be boys. I can’t imagine the expense to come! So as far as I can see, they would have a difficult time providing what 8 teenagers and young adults need. Not to mention 8 weddings (5 of them for girls). I am on her side to continue that show. A nurse and insurance agent can only make so much. So more power to Kate. And may God continue to bless her efforts.

  7. I don’t understand people who are angry at J&K for “free things” they receive. Obviously, they aren’t free. In order to have them, they must let the whole world watch their family life. I applaud them for trying to support their very large family in a very tough economy. TV is certainly a lucrative business and why not have regular people make something off of it instead of actors and producers? But now their life has turned very sad and as a person who’s going thru a divorce, it’s no fun to watch. I hope they get the help their family needs.

  8. Many people are not expecting that after 10 years of being together, the Hollywood couple Kate and Jon Gosselin will file for divorce. This is just one of the rumors that keep on arising these days. Kate Gosselin just appeared on the Today Show, hawking the program that features her, her ex-husband Jon, and their children. Kate Gosselin went on to say that the marriage was doomed, and would have failed anyway, cameras rolling or no. At any rate, the ratings of the show have fallen off since they resumed filming, and Kate has insisted that she isn’t exploiting her children

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