Weekly Column: 3 Ring Circus

©Stephenie Freeman

As a columnist rarely do I get requests, but a recent bit of motherhood pop-culture has changed that.

“I can’t believe that you haven’t written about her yet.”

“I bet you could write something really funny about her.”

“So are you going to write a column about that whole nightmare?”

People keep asking me when I’m going to write about the Octomom. And for the past several weeks I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it.

Until now. Oh, but where to begin.

So much has already been said and written about Octomom, Nadya Suleman, that I’m just not sure that I have anything new to add. I don’t think that I can come up with a new description or narrative that hasn’t already been used to describe her. But today thanks to my own chaos, I think I finally thought of one: a three-ring circus.

Today was just one of those days. I had more things to accomplish than I had time in the day. I not only had the regular daily routine to deal with, I also cleaned up a vacuum bag that had spilled all over the newly cleaned kitchen floor, ordered two dozen balloons for a birthday party this weekend, and tried my best to explain to my almost 7-year-old why holding up your middle finger all by itself is not a good thing.

“My friend at school said that when you do it, it means something,” my son told me. “Mom? What does it mean,” he asked while flipping me off.

I took a deep breath. Explaining this one was going to take a while.

When my children were babies they consumed my days. Everything I did revolved around them and their needs. I remember looking forward to the time when my daily life wouldn’t be driven by their feeding and napping schedules. I kept thinking about how my life would be so much easier when I didn’t have to worry about breast feeding in the middle of Target.

I was clueless. Children are never as easy as when they are immobile and unable to speak. My kids’ schedules have only gotten worse now that they include things like carpool and homework. They make bigger messes, have more opinions, and are constantly asking questions. Mom will you? Mom can you? Mom can I? It starts every morning when they ask for their first waffle and doesn’t end until they ask for their last drink of water at night.

I recently asked my own mother when my kids would stop needing me so much. She just laughed as she handed me the box of laundry soap that I asked her to pick up for me.

My kids fight for my attention while I’m fighting with the washing machine. They need me to find missing LEGOS while I need to be paying monthly bills. They want to sit in my lap while I’m trying to do sit-ups. It’s never ending and apparently, it never will be.

My kids will always need me—need my time, my attention, and my love. But I’m lucky. I only have two who need my time and attention. Octomom has seven times the neediness that I do which brings me back to the Big Top.

“In this ring, ladies and gentlemen, we have six previous children brought into the world by the now famous Octomom. Some have special needs; all need lots of love, a happy home, and individualized attention from their mom.”

“And in this ring, ladies and gentleman, we have eight new babies. They are fighting for life and costing the taxpayers a fortune in medical expenses. They will need just as much love as their older brothers and sisters and just as much time from their already overscheduled, overbooked mom.”

“And finally, we come to the final ring where we find the mother to all of these beautiful children. Along beside her you will find Dr. Phil, the paparazzi, and even an indecent offer from the porn industry. She has no plan, no home, no job, and no help. She has fourteen children who will need her every day, all day for the next…well, forever.”

Yes, a needy three-ring circus indeed.


  1. Anonymous

    You did it! You wrote about the octomom from a new perspective and made it fun and entertaining to read! Good job, as usual.Mom

  2. jjofar

    i can relate in so many ways! our youngest is about to walk and with that comes a whole new world of chasing him 🙂 you do motherhood such justice with your words!! thanks!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.