Jon and Kate’s Final Curtain Call?
After her pilot husband became disabled a year ago, Guest Blogger Chris has recently begun working from home as a blogger/social media and advertising type with a graphic design career of 15 years she thought she had left behind. As a directionally-challenged (thank goodness for the foothills), stay-at-home mom of a tempestuous two-year-old in Aurora, she blogs about balancing working from home, motherhood and marriage while keeping a sense of humor all at the same time! Follow the chaos at Mama Bird’s Blog where a half-hatched role reversal takes flight on a wing and a prayer!
Yeah, I watched. But, I haven’t gone so far as to read any of the tabloids. I don’t know what the mystery woman looks like and I don’t care. What intrigued me as I watched the 5th season opener of Jon & Kate Plus 8 was how I could in an “Off-Broadway sense,” empathize with Kate, a woman who makes me cringe every time I see part of myself in her “Type-A Mom” personality. Intrigued, not because my husband has gone off and done something untoward (at least not in public) for which I can never forgive him (get over yourself, Kate), but because of the underlying role reversal challenges that the two of them hinted at, in between all of the innuendo of an alleged affair. Has anyone else caught on to this?
She’s now the breadwinner while he stays home with the kids and resents her for being away while wishing she’d stay away at the same time — loosely translated from Jon. Anyone else experiencing something similar who doesn’t also have eight kids, full-time staff and a major prime-time hit television show? Direct quote from my husband: “Men just weren’t made to do this.”
Now, before anyone takes offense to this, of course there are some terrific stay-at-home Dads out there who can run circles around many of us Moms. But, please, let’s be real. Most Dads when put to the test aren’t going to last long at cleaning up after pre-schooler playdates, preparing three square meals a day, activity schedules, bath-time and just the general noise level of it all. Then there’s the housekeeping, grocery shopping, cooking, doctor appointments and errand-running. Did I mention laundry? Now, most likely Jon doesn’t do much of this by himself; did I mention the full-time staff? But, he is used to being the provider, not the caregiver.
To me, it was detectable throughout the interview that Jon just wasn’t comfortable staying home while Kate traveled earning a paycheck on her book tour. He quit his job to stay home with the kids, because “Kate can write and he can’t.” Ergo, if he could provide in that way, he would choose that role. Don’t underestimate the sense of pride and accomplishment being the provider carries with it, most especially for men.
The challenge for Kate, is to not be overly critical of the job Jon is doing when she returns home. And, if you’ve ever watched the show, you can just imagine how this is playing out. Kate has decidedly defined for all of America what a “hen-pecked husband” truly looks like up close and in his own natural habitat. While I pray that my husband would never describe himself as a member of the hen house, I empathize with Kate’s challenge. I find myself biting my tongue a whole heck of a lot more than Danny probably realizes, because I know he really is doing the best job that he can do. While we haven’t chosen our new roles, the parts we play are similar to those of Jon and Kate in that they require perspective on what is important as a family, not on who does what.
Has Jon finally had enough? Many of us have wondered when Jon’s breaking point would be reached. Is it possible that now that Kate is no longer in charge of her castle, the scrutiny she inflicts on Jon combined with a general distaste for the life he gave up for her has upset that delicate balance they’ve maintained through four seasons of TV-dom? It was clear at the end of last season, Jon was no longer on board with a public life. Has he made his final stand? I hope that family wins out on this one. In the best interest of those eight precious young hearts, I pray that the curtain is never called on this marriage.