Review Multiple Bles8ings
Title: Multiple Blessings
Author: Jon & Kate Gosselin and Beth Carson
What's it about?
Multiple Blessings shares what is essentially the origin story of the Gosselin family. This book takes us through the early days of Jon and Kate's relationship, their first pregnancy and adjusting to life as a family of four. It then continues through the onset of baby fever, their choice for just one more baby, pregnancy with six growing babies, the arrival of the famous sextuplets before moving on to adjusting to finding a normality in being a family of 10.
Favorite "character": I know this is going to shock you, but the babies. I know they don't really do much as they are all pretty little in this book, even the twins, but I liked seeing them develop and getting to see their little personalities along the way. There's just something really neat about getting to see their relationships and interactions with one another and how, even though they call came from the same parents, and many of them came at the same time, they are all so different and unique!
Least favorite character: This may be a very unpopular opinion, but my least favorite people are those who offer an excessive amount of judgment toward this family. I know that the members of this family don't always make the best decisions or handle situations in a way that we think we would, but I couldn't help thinking about how must stress and how emotional these times were for the family and how I can't even begin to imagine what I would do if I were in their place. I know we could argue this point all day long,but at the end of the day, unless we are in their shoes, we can't possibly understand and I think that counts for something.
Favorite Part: My favorite part was the feeling of commodity. I'll talk about this more later, but I found this reminder that, while our experiences as mothers and parents are as unique as we are and as our children are, there are some universal experiences that we all have to find our way through. We all have a surge of hormones missed with sleepless nights. We aren't alone, even when we feel like we are.
Least favorite part: This book was written by Kate and Jon (though the voice that is heard seems to be far more Kate then Jon) and I respect their personal beliefs, and their religious convictions are pretty predominate in this story. However, personally, I could have done with out that. With that being said, I think it does have some great importance as it is their religious beliefs that provide strength and perseverance through some difficult times as well as help them to make decisions that were right for them, even when others may think it crazy.
I was raised as a single child. I think that's why I've found a fascination with large families and an odd affection for multiples. As a child, I dreamed of having a large family of my own complete with multiples. Because of this, I gravitated to the TLC show Jon and Kate plus 8. It was during this time that I read this book for the first time (which, as you may have guessed was years ago). I remember feeling like I was "in the know" with inside information to a topic that was relevant to me at the time. This read through yielded a little different responses.
While I still hold a fascination for big families and multiple births, I no longer felt as if I was getting inside information to a very relevant topic, as the show is not no longer airing regularly as it once was. However, I did find relevance in another area, one that was kind of unexpected.
As I read about Kate's struggles with sleepless nights and days held together with an endless string of feedings, cleaning bottles, preparing bottles, changing diapers and screaming babies, I realized that that is absolutely relatable. Sure, I wasn't trying to prepare bottles for six babies at a time and I didn't have to somehow win a life sized game of Tetris in which the pieces dropping were rectangles the size of cribs, circles the size of saucers and squares the size of baby gates times six but I did have to mother infants along with older kids while keeping a house running on next to no sleep atop a pile of dirty diapers, bottles and formula cans. And, somehow, watching a woman who I respected for a number of reasons, at the very least keeping 8 children alive and in one piece when, between the eight of them, there was only two different ages, struggle with the same things. I don't mean to say me parenting one infant at a time is the same as the Gosselin parents, but it's not entirely different either. It reminded me that, as parents, we may all have completely unique experiences, but there are those common threads that can hold us all together if we only let it. And I found comfort in being reminded that that thread is a reality.