Jon and Kate, formerly reality TV's power couple, are splitting up.
Single Mom Seeking and Dr. Leah: At first, both of us were fascinated by these eight adorable kids, one hapless dad, and a dominating, super-organized mom. But now that we've watched this reality TV family's pain become real, we're concerned.
By now, you've heard Jon's announcement, made last night: "Kate and I have decided to separate."
Single parenthood can be daunting -- especially when you willingly live your life in the media glare. We'd love to offer Jon and Kate some advice as they go their separate ways:
• Mean it when you say, "The kids come first." Both of you have said and done some incredibly insensitive and thoughtless things. Jon, apparently you are apartment-shopping in Manhattan. Say what? Why would you choose to live so far from your kids? Please focus on what's best for your kids.
• Rethink your life priorities. This is a big part of the single parent experience. It's time for both of you to start thinking about "our kids." Kate, we've heard you say often, "My kids." This is not helpful. Please tone it down and allow Jon an equal parental role. Your kids need all the love, support, and guidance you can offer.
• Save for your kids' futures. You live off the work of your kids. Jon was quoted in People: "Every time a season renewal comes up, we always have a family discussion. Our kids are 80 percent of our family, and if they don't want to film, we're not filming." So, your eight kids sit at a family meeting and get 80% of the vote on the financial future of your family? Get real. Make sure your kids have ample funds tucked away for their future needs, like college.
• Be responsible parents. Both of you have provided ample evidence that you've cheated on each other. How embarrassing and confusing for your kids to see all the headline tabloid speculation about your alleged infidelities. Everything is archived on the Internet. If the kids don't know now, they surely will know later. All single parents deserve a private life, but responsible parenting comes first. You've chosen a public life. Accept the situation you've created and strive for discretion and privacy for your kids' sake.
• Work to co-parent together. You employ a small army of nannies, production assistants, and publicity agents. Forget the guest shot on Dr. Phil. Commit to working with qualified psychologists and get busy with the hard work of co-parenting. Clearly, communication will be your greatest challenge.
We'd love to know: what advice can you offer Jon and Kate?
|Rachel Sarah, a.k.a. "Single Mom Seeking" blogs at SingleMomSeeking.com and co-founded SingleMommyHood.com, the first-ever website to offer "a whole new way to think about life."|