Nadya Suleman (now known as Natalie Suleman) rose to fame in 2008 when the media found out that she had successfully been impregnated via in vitro fertilization and was due to give birth to octuplets in late January 2009. She was dubbed “Octomom” by the media and immediately received negative attention and criticism for having six other children (also born via IVF) and not having the monetary means to care for all of these (soon to be fourteen, total) children.
Her seeming obsession with being compared to actress Angelina Jolie and her desire to be an actress only helped to fuel the fire in the court of public opinion. Now the octuplets are nine years old (where does the time go?) and seem to be doing very well. We’re glad that Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariyah (sometimes spelled as Nariah), Jonah, Makai (sometimes spelled as Macai), Josiah and Jeremiah are in good health and smiling but we couldn’t help but wonder if Suleman has any interesting rules that she makes her fourteen children follow. So we looked around the internet and found these fifteen rules that Octomom must make her giant brood follow based on her outrageous history.
15 Forgive And Forget Mom’s Past
Suleman claims that she has explained some of the elements of her rather scandalous past to her children and she insists that they are understanding about their mother’s reasons for why she chose to participate in some of the questionable stunts. Some of these actions that have landed her in the news include accepting $5,000 from animal rights organization, PETA, to put a sign on her property that encouraged people to spay and neuter their animal companions so their dogs and cats don’t become animal versions of “Octomom” aka herself.
Once, she accepted a phone interview for a San Diego radio station and when asked to recite all of the names of the octuplets, the new mother said that she was really tired and it was too early to do so. These are just some of the many cringe-worthy actions that Octomom claims her children forgive her for. Forgive and forget! (Source: PETA)
14 Don’t Tell Outsiders Anything Or Respond To The Public About “Octomom”
Suleman’s stories have changed several times throughout the years and it only stands to reason that when there are more people added into the mix, there is a higher chance of other conflicting angles to stories coming out. In Suleman’s case, there are fourteen chances of the media getting fourteen possibly differing opinions on their mother’s stories.
So it just seems natural that Suleman would instruct her children not to talk to media about anything personal or to answer any direct questions. She most likely would not want her older children to answer any questions or to give their personal opinions about elements of the things she has said in the past. Her older children include the eldest child, Elijah, 17, daughter Amerah, 16, Joshua, 15 and Aidan, 14. Her other children excluding the octuplets include 12-year-old twins, Caleb and Calyssa. (Source: DailyMail)
13 Don’t Ask About Dad
But wait! Yet another contender enters the ring. Suleman was married to Marco Gutierrez from 1996 to 2008. Rumor has it that the reason for their divorce was largely due to the fact that they were not able to conceive children together. Gutierrez, a produce manager, has made it abundantly clear to the media that he is not the biological father, or a father figure in any way, to any of Suleman’s children but he has expressed that he sincerely wishes her the best with her life.
So who’s the real dad? We’re not exactly sure! The best policy for the kids: don’t ask! (Source: USAToday)
12 Be On Your Best Behavior When “Opportunity Knocks”
It’s got to be weird to grow up as a kid whose parents are involved in reality TV or if they are, as Suleman is described, an “American media personality.” Imagine it, photos of you from babyhood to current day, are circulating through the deepest recesses of the Internet and every few years or so, people are suddenly very interested in what you look like now.
So it only stands to reason that Suleman has taught her brood well and by that, we mean making sure that all of her fourteen children know that when they are asked to do a TV show or make another public appearance, they smile and behave well. And behave well they did when they appeared on an episode of The Doctors alongside their mother. The kids all walked in a single file line and were extremely polite and charming.
11 Don’t Ever Read “Octomom” Articles
This is one of those scenarios in which it’s probably just best to ignore, ignore, ignore. According to Suleman’s own words, she has made “poor choices” in the past. She even admitted on The Doctors that she is still in the process of pulling her “self-worth out of the toilet.” She has even admitted that Octomom was a character and no one hated that character more than her!
So of course, her own admittance means that whatever the media says about her must be even worse. No child needs to read anything like that about their mother. Even if her children do grow up to be well-adjusted individuals, it still has to hurt to read disparaging things about your mother’s life, especially while she was pregnant with or soon after she gave birth to you. We’ve got to agree with this rule! Just say no to old magazines when your mother’s name is mentioned, kids!
10 Keep Up With Changes (It’s Mama Natalie Now, Not Mama Nadya)
Suleman has tried to revamp her public image several times. It seems that, for a while there, she got caught up in a pattern of “going dormant” for a couple of years before popping back up with an attempt to reinvent herself. But reinventing yourself can be hard and Suleman should now understand that better than anyone. It is especially hard to get the public to rethink their initial opinions about you once they have been cemented with a pretty consistent stream of negativity through multiple media outlets.
Suleman decided to try to ditch her past by legally changing her first name from Nadya to Natalie a few years ago. It’s a not a huge change but it’s definitely different and that could take some getting used to for her children. Of course, they call her “Mom” but correctly answering the question, “What is your mom’s name?” at school could take a while. (Source: DailyMail)
9 Smile For The Camera At All Times And Be Ready For Photo Ops
Sometimes kids just have bad days. Or bad hours or even bad minutes! It’s just part of being a kid. Children don’t have the capability or emotional toolkit to deal with their emotions the way that adults do. So if something slightly upsetting happens, it’s not too hard to believe that kids feel upset in that moment. Typically speaking, kids are also usually easily influenced by other kids and especially their siblings.
So it’s only natural that kids might not always be in the mood to smile when a camera points in their direction. But Suleman’s kids are always grinning in photos, from posed shots that Suleman posts on social media to pictures that professional photographers take for magazines or online articles as well as random photos that are taken when the Suleman gang is out and about. We have to assume that Suleman has a rule for her kids anytime a camera is near: ABS. Always be smiling!
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8 Don’t Question Last Names
Of course, Nadya-now-Natalie’s last name is Suleman. This might sound confusing but Suleman and her children do not have the same last name but rather a very similar one. The last name of all of her children is Solomon. David Solomon, Suleman claims, is the sperm donor that was chosen for all of her children. Is it just a coincidence that Solomon and Suleman sound so incredibly similar?
When we heard that Suleman was changing her name from Nadya to Natalie, we assumed that she was going to change her last name from Suleman to Solomon to match her children but perhaps she decided to keep her last name as a way to pay homage to her parents, who help care for her children. Suleman’s father is an Iraqi war veteran and it’s been said that her parents work hard to help support their fourteen grandchildren. That’s a lot of birthday and Christmas presents to buy every year! (Source: USAToday)
7 Nevermind The Trophy
In 2013, Suleman won an award at the AVN Awards for a tape that she released which had been entered. Many people find this disturbing mostly because the title of the film included the name that she received for carrying eight babies. Using the name “Octomom” along with the tape, many people felt, was exploiting her children in a way. Out of Suleman’s fourteen children, four of those are girls, Amerah, Calyssa, Nariyah, and Maliyah.
Knowing that their mother won a trophy for her “acting skills” would not only be traumatic for her ten sons but to her four daughters as well as they look up to their mother as a role model. One of the octuplets, Nariyah, said that she loved her mom and that she was the greatest mom and The Doctors. Suleman has said that she made “poor choices” so that she could get off of public assistance but for whatever reason, we hope that her children never find out about this. (Source: EOnline)
6 Stay Inside And Don’t Talk To The Neighbors Or Parents Of Friends
It would make sense that Suleman keeps a close eye on her children and the relationships that they develop with people outside of the large family circle. People have been quick to judge the mom of fourteen about the choices that she has made and if anyone has been roasted in the public eye, it’s Suleman. In 2009, the octuplets were born and Suleman found herself at the height of her fame.
She also found out that residents of Southern California easily found out where she lived thanks to media exposure and Suleman was treated to a view of protesters with signs marching outside of her home in La Habra. The signs read “Get ur tubes tied”, “Stop using ur kids for money!”, “Stop having kids if you can’t afford them”, “Give the babies a good home” and “Go back to Whittier.” Ouch. There’s a price to pay for fame and part of the price is privacy. (Source: LATimesBlog)
5 Don’t Talk To The Media. Ever.
One rather important rule for Suleman’s kids would be not speaking with the media. Doing appearances is fine and dandy when all that the kids are required to do is smile and answer a few simple and innocent questions but actually speaking to the media and answering probing inquiries about anything personal that goes on in their family and behind closed doors would definitely be a no-no.
Especially now that Suleman has teenagers in the home, having a tabloid reporter somehow getting ahold of one of her teens on a day when they are upset or emotional about something could be very dangerous for the family’s well-being, especially if the words were to be misconstrued and taken out of context – crazier things have happened before!
Before doing appearances (which are rare these days), we can imagine Suleman having a chat with the kids about what are good things to say and what kinds of things should be avoided altogether.
4 Never Google Mommy’s Name For Any Reason
There are plenty of reasons why Suleman would want her name to be considered “off-limits” in the Google search bar at home. Whether it’s the comment that she once made, declaring that “the babies disgust me” referring to the octuplets or shamelessly comparing herself to actress Angelina Jolie or desperately trying to find a network to sign her on for a reality show, Suleman wouldn’t want her kids to see her as the Internet sees her.
It’s pretty hard to escape a persona assigned by the world of keyboard warriors, bloggers, and commenters. Suleman seems like she is in a much more stable headspace now that she was earlier so keeping her children away from her name online would be a good thing in order to keep the peace at home. Children crave stability which is what they seem to be getting now. Reading about Suleman online would bring them anything but peace. (Source: Parents)
3 The “Do As I Say, Not As I Do” Rule
Even Suleman has admitted that when it comes to making healthy choices, she hasn’t done the best job. But she insists that ever poor choice was made with the best of intentions for her family in mind. Basically, making money was of the utmost importance to Suleman in order to support herself and her fourteen children. After a variety of PR stunts such as dating a much younger bodybuilder and trying to shop a reality show, Suleman realized that it was time for the madness to end.
“There was definitely a catalyst — my girls, particularly my oldest daughter Amerah. She was about 10, and she started integrating my traits and behaviors,” Suleman said. “After I had observed my daughter beginning to emulate me, I saw her going down that same potentially destructive path, and I realized at that moment I’d rather be homeless in my van with all 14 kids than continuing down this path. It was not what I wanted for my children.” (Source: People)
2 When Mommy Is Locked In The Bathroom, Go Away!
In one interview, Suleman admitted to having a problem with a substance soon after the babies were born. She said that she would sit on the floor of her bathroom because of the only place she could be alone and she would eat and cry. She said that she even mixed things, and used the combination as a way to cope with the chaos of taking care of fourteen children.
Her son, Aidan, is disabled and her daughter, Calyssa (twin to brother, Caleb) is autistic which only added to the overwhelming responsibility that Suleman was dealing with. Until the octuplets were about two years old, Suleman had the help of nannies who offered their services to her or were being paid for by concerned citizens and good Samaritans. Suleman claims to be completely sober now but says that using Xanax, alcohol and locking herself in the bathroom used to be her only way to deal with life for a period of time. (Source: TheFix)
1 Must Connect With Mom – That’s Why You’re Here!
In an interview with Oprah, Suleman said, “I was caught up with my own childish desires to compensate” when she was asked about her decision to go ahead with implanting so many fertilized eggs when she already had six children. She went on to explain to Oprah that she grew up in a “dysfunctional family” and that she hoped the babies would fill a “deep need to connect.” Deeply connecting with her babies, Suleman explained, would help to heal some of the hurt that she had suffered in the past and help to fill the void that she felt in her heart.
We think it’s pretty unfair anytime children are brought into this world with a ready “job” such as making their parents happy. Hopefully, Suleman’s kids truly are healthy in every way and honestly, that’s the best outcome that we can hope for in this situation. We wish all of her children the very best!
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