Our first glimpse of Kate Plus 8 Minus Jon.
Dr. Michelle Golland: It appears that Kate Gosselin is trying on a new attitude in the wake of her divorce from her husband, Jon. After watching Monday night's new episode, I was wondering what life would have been like in the Gosselin home had Kate been willing to try new things that she hadn't done before. She said, "I am not as ridiculous as I used to be" -- this was in regards to her controlling ways with the kids. I think Kate decreasing her anxiety and need for super control in her life is a positive step, for not only Kate, but also her kids.
The divorce has also brought in a new perspective for Kate. In thinking about the small things that used to annoy her so greatly -- for example, the kids' shoes not being in a certain place, or how to set a table correctly -- the divorce and the children coping with the absence of their father on their vacation seemed far more important than the trivial matters that would set her off before.
What we know about "control freaks" is that they truly feel chaotic inside, and therefore try to control as many things outside themselves as possible to hopefully create a sense of calm. What they quickly find out though is that this simply doesn't work, because the inside chaos is what truly must be dealt with to relieve the pressure that is being created. The divorce seems to have ushered in a new sense of calm and peace for Kate, possibly due to the fact that her worst fear, Jon leaving her, has actually occurred. She has discovered she actually can survive without him, and seems to be determined to change her anxiety-ridden ways.
I think Kate needs to adopt a new attitude about Ashley, the young lady who helps her with her children. In my therapy practice, I have worked with many moms who struggle with admitting that they need the help of a babysitter, nanny, or housekeeper. I have seen couples going down the road to divorce when what is at least partially needed is some relief and some help in their home.
Kate is the classic mother that wants to do it all by herself. Let's face it: there is not one mom who would fault Kate for wanting some help with her kids. But when she speaks about Ashley, she is so hesitant about her role. Kate also feels the need to list numerous concrete reasons why she needs Ashley, to justify her presence. Another new attitude shift for Kate would be to stop apologizing for wanting or needing help in her family's life. Simply own proudly the fact that she is wise enough to realize that her family is happier, healthier, and more peaceful with someone assisting her in their home.
At one point, Kate said something very telling and wise. She said, "I lost my ability to see the future, and now I am trying to live my life day by day, hour by hour, and sometimes minute by minute." I am happy to see Kate struggling to live in the present moment without trying to control so intensely her future, like she did in her marriage. I am hopeful that her relationship with her children is not headed for disaster like her relationship with their father so obviously was.
|Dr. Golland is a USC graduate and a licensed Clinical Psychologist (PSY#16974). She works with adults, teens and is an expert in the field of marriage and relationships. Dr. Golland has given her expert advice on CNN, HLN, MSNBC, ABC, and Fox news. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two wonderfully exhausting children.|