Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Guest Blogger: Amanda Kane

Jon & Kate Plus 8...Plus Another 8 in the Camera Crew...

Lately, multiple births seem to turn unknown parents into instant celebrities, especially when the children number in the double digit range. Raising such a large brood must be incredibly challenging. As I'm sure you realize, bringing a single child into the lives of a couple has a significant impact. Children give their parents tremendous joy, but the addition of a new family member is an enormous change and also a stressor.

Couples cope with this stress in a variety of ways. Frequently the experience of child rearing further unites couples and increases intimacy. But sometimes additional stress (from any source, not necessarily children) is the straw that breaks the camel's back. Changing role expectations, less time for each other, and extreme fatigue are just a few of the factors that cause relationships to crack under pressure. The challenge of raising multiples is even more difficult.

It must be very seductive when a television producer knocks on your door and wants your family to star in a reality t.v. show. Decent income (health insurance?) and free perks (a tummy tuck!) must seem like the answer to many concrete worries. But living in the spotlight has its share of problems. Contractually obligating your family to be filmed and watched by thousands of people isn't exactly most people's reality. It also may create more problems than it solves.

If you are being filmed for a t.v. show, even a reality show, then you are performing to some degree. I feel like relationships lose some degree of authenticity when they are packaged for mass consumption. I imagine that romantic relationships may begin to feel like a bit of a business arrangement. (Let's not even get into how it affects the children!) And business arrangements are not usually sexy, intimate, or fun--some of the quantities of a great romantic relationship.

It is entirely possible--and increasingly likely--that you will be approached to star in your own reality show. But be forewarned! History has proven that reality shows do not strengthen relationships. One final thought: Newlyweds.

No comments: