Nadya Suleman, better known as “Octomom,” has been at the center of a media frenzy since giving birth to octuplets, six boys and two girls, on January 26th, 2009. She is a controversial figure, but the mom everyone loves to hate is still a mom. We were curious about how she sees herself as a mom, and what she has learned. So we asked her. Here’s what she had to say. – Anita Tedaldi
What’s your parenting philosophy?
Love with some boundaries and rules. I try to be firm but also attuned to my kids’ needs. I think religion is important. So are good manners, good role models and a good education. I try to be present for each one of my children and give them love and attention to the best of my ability. I also try not to judge other parents.
If you could teach your children one life lesson what would it be?
To work hard for what they want and stay the course. Never give up, don’t get distracted or worry about what others think of you. Don’t let anyone else determine who you are and what you want to accomplish. Hopefully, I can help my children achieve their goals no matter what they are.
How do you manage a public tantrum?
For me it would be more like managing many tantrums at once! I try my best to calm the kids and if I can’t do it I’ll leave the store. I try not to feel pressure to have everything under control because all parents have been there.
What shocked you the most about parenting?
The intensity and fierceness with which I love my children.
What’s off limits in your house?
Foul language and disrespectful manners, from the older kids especially. They need to do what I ask them and show respect for adults. I’m there to read stories and play, but when it’s time to clean up and get ready to go out, go to school or go to bed they have to follow my instructions. Mutiny is not an option in my house!
Your favorite dinner recipe/meal?
Mac and Cheese, turkey and homemade baby food.