Issues Facing Women About Having Children Get Real on Reality TV


It wasn’t intentional, this thing I have about reality TV.  I started with one, and they multiplied like rabbits. I said there were certain ones I’d NEVER watch (talkin’ ’bout you, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) and wound up addicted nonetheless. This year, more than any other, issues related to babies, and the lack of them, seem to have come up in every show. Tears, bodaciousness and more GYN visits than the average cable series, for sure.

Don’t act like you don’t know. On Sunday, Dec. 9, broadcasts of RH Atlanta and Shahs of Sunset ranked Number 1 in their time periods for the most coveted demos: adults 18-49 and 25-54.

Example 1: The Atlanta Housewives were joined by Kenya Moore this season. A Former Miss USA, she admits she didn’t win Miss Congeniality for a reason.

In this clip, you only get a hint of her Prime Directive to have a baby. NOW. She’s bought the house, found the guy, and lets him know every flippin’ episode that she wants to get married and have babies. NOW. I’m all for speaking up for what you want, but, damn.

Example 2: From Real Housewives of Miami, meet former Playboy pin-up Lisa Hochstein

After 3 miscarriages, Lisa began acupuncture treatments last November to improve her fertility. A few months before, she said,

“People have asked us about adoption. I believe in adoption, but I feel like my husband and I should be able to have our own biological child. We’re still doing everything we can, so I’m going to keep trying that route.”

All good wishes to Lisa and her husband, but if dealing with infertility is hard, doing it in front of TV cameras is harder. Even the Kardashians know that.

Example 3: Last fall, Khloe K, 28, learned how real reality shows can get when cameras captured the moment she learned her body is failing to ovulate.

Some folks believe the whole thing is just another part of a scripted drama, but I believed Khloe when she told Good Morning America:

“I never knew all the difficulties with getting pregnant. I think that my mom has so many kids, and Kourtney pops them out like a PEZ dispenser, so you think it’s, like, so easy. You realize it’s not as easy as you might think.”

She invited America in, and now we all know about Khloe’s fertility treatments amid rumors that her marriage is on the rocks. Wow. I actually feel sorry for a Kardashian.

Example 4:, Carole Radziwill was the first in the Housewives family to declare a childless-by-choice lifestyle when she joined the New York cast in 2012. She made it clear she’s childfree in the very first episode, complaining about women who get together and talk about their kids. She thinks that if such chatter is boring to NotMoms like her, it’s probably just as dry for some of the Moms, too.

The big deal here is that Carole is the niece of Jacqueline Kenndy Onassis. At 28 she married into the royal family of Poland. (Hint: It didn’t last.)

NotMoms facing on-screen reproductive reality aren’t limited to TV, of course.  This month I finally got to see the Katy Perry concert-ography, Part of Me.  Unfortunately for her, the year she chose to be followed by cameras just happened to be when new husband Russell Brand reportedly became insistent to reproduce. Her marriage didn’t survive it.

The film shares Katy’s tears as she shares an often ignored fact:

“A baby can’t have a baby,” she said.

Reality wisdom.

For all the name-calling and weave/extension/wig-pulling, these ladies bare their very real lives, and surprise! Basic truths hold true. When it comes to having babies, no woman is guaranteed that experience. When it comes to not wanting babies, even princesses can get that ‘fish-out-of-water’ feeling. Say what you will about these shows, in this case, they let NotMoms know they’re not alone.


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