Octomom’s kids are growing up fast

There are certain celebrities who are basically pop-culture meteors — they have a brief, very major moment in the spotlight, but, just as quickly, they inexplicably fade out of public consciousness. They’re the names you hear and think, “Oh yeah, I remember them… What ever happened there?” Well, Octomom definitely fits that description. Nearly 11 years ago, Natalie “Nadya” Suleman gave birth to octuplets, solidifying her short-lived, yet undeniable spot in pop-culture history. However, even though she got her 15 seconds, Octomom’s time in the spotlight wasn’t all that pleasant. In fact, in a 2009 interview with Suleman, former NBC anchor Ann Curry described her as “the most vilified mother in America.” 

While the world was fascinated by her pregnancy (and her resemblance to Angelina Jolie), Suleman pretty much dropped off the radar in recent years — but not without a few scandals along the way. So let’s take a look at what she’s been up to this past decade (including moving past the “Octomom” label) and just how much her kids have grown up.

The Octomom's kids are already in 5th grade

If you’re wondering what the Octomom’s children look like now, you’re in luck. Natalie Suleman regularly updates her Instagram with pictures of her kids. In August 2019, she posted about the octuplets starting fifth grade, writing, “I love you, each and every one of you, unconditionally. You are all becoming some of the most kind, selfless, caring human beings I have ever known.” It’s also worth noting the octuplets aren’t Suleman’s only children — she’s actually a mother of 14.

In a 2018 New York Times profile, author Adam Popescu reflected on how Octomom’s kids — Noah, Maliyah, Isaiah, Nariyah, Jonah, Makai, Josiah, and Jeremiah — have grown up. Popescu wrote, “The octuplets are small for their age, but they’re polite, they cook, they’re vegan, they read two books a month and do their homework without being prompted.” The piece paints a picture of their simultaneously chaotic yet in-sync home life. “They’re the only surviving eight octuplets in the history of mankind. I’ve raised them to be wide-awake,” Suleman proudly told the paper.

Natalie Sulemon has left her Octomom "caricature" behind

In her New York Times interview, Natalie Suleman explained that she played into the media’s extreme image of her, but has since left it behind. “I was pretending to be a fake, a caricature… and I was doing it out of desperation and scarcity so I could provide for my family.” She expressed a similar sentiment on Instagram in June 2019, claiming, “I only (shamefully) embraced the media made up ‘octomom’ out of DESPERATION to survive. By March 2013, I renounced and rejected ‘celebrityhood’ and FINALLY took my life back; the life that was hijacked by mainstream media.” 

Over the years, Octomom has faced her share rough patches, including allegations of welfare fraud (she pleaded no contest, per CBS) and backlash for being a single, unemployed mom-of-six when expecting her octuplets. But it’s actually because of her kids that she reinvented herself, telling People in 2016, “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.” She relocated the family to California and resumed work as a counselor, per People.

In that same interview, Suleman said, “I devote my whole life to my family and that’s the least I could do, because there’s only one me and 14 of them.” If you’re intrigued and want to keep up with the family’s future adventures, you can always follow along on Instagram.

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