At home with Octomom

The inside story of being home alone with Octomom. How she treats her children, how her children behave and is she a good mother?

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle. A journalist for more than 20 years, he's been travelling the world since 2011.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Time Travel Turtle and has been travelling full time for a decade.


Nadya Suleman… aka Octomom

There’s one thing we need to get clear right from the start – Nadya Suleman is not a stupid woman.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, she’s nuttier than a squirrel’s diet. But the great revelation from spending some time with the woman known as Octomom is that, behind the deranged character that society has forced her to assume, there is a fascinating mind.

We’ve heard a lot about her life… in a superficial sense, at least.

We’ve seen the headlines and probably become involved in the gossipy tattling and ill-informed judgements. So to walk into the lair of the beast was a fascinating experience.

I was there as the producer for The Morning Show, with host Larry Emdur and camera crew in tow.

For a good part of her morning, Octomom let us in and showed us her life – complete with her 14 young children.

Octomom, Nadya Suleman

When we first arrived at her house, we weren’t even sure she was there.

Several layers of security, a doorbell ripped from its fittings and unanswered knocks at her door were later explained to be because of her fears from stalkers and death threats.

With a couple of phone calls, though, she came to the door to let us in.

The first impression of the house can’t even be properly described with the word ‘chaos’.

There were toys strewn across every room of the house; crayon drawings on walls everywhere; a strange odour lingering in the air; and, from every vantage-point, wide-eyed children peering out from doorways and staircases.

Then, of course, there was Octomom – a woman who personifies chaos with every word she utters and every action she makes. And during the time we were with her, there were a lot of words and a lot of actions.

This woman did not stop moving and talking for the entire time. There was an energy about her that was enviable (if not slightly terrifying).

As she talked to us, and explained the psychology of her decisions, she picked up toys, put clothes on children, cooked chicken lunch, rearranged furniture and – most of all – watched over her young like a sentry on crystal meth.

Octomom, Nadya Suleman

How hard it must be to keep track of them all.

The octuplets are now freely moving around the lower level of the house, able to walk into potential hazards at every turn.

Some of the older children have free reign of all the rooms.

Caleb, one of the 4-year-old twins, is kept in line by Nadya shouting “Caleb, say hi!” every ten minutes so his response can reassure her.

The whole time she talks – oh, how she talks!

Nadya studied psychology when she was younger and she likes to drop in references to cases or theories to explain and justify where she has ended up in life. The sentences roll from her so easily, you get the feeling she has rehearsed them many times in her mind, alone in the house with no adult companions to talk with.

She tells us about her parents and an unfulfilling childhood.

She reveals panic attacks that keep her from leaving the house… except, as we later discover, to go to the gym and the shops.

She even repeats her assertion that 99 per cent of men are potential paedophiles and that’s why she could never have a boyfriend and bring him into this house.

It’s a strange thing to say and you have to assume it’s either the product of an unstable mind or a calculated comment to create more media attention for herself.

The media has become a double-edged sword for Octomom.

The US networks and magazines will pay her a lot of money for interviews and access to the family and it’s basically how she makes a living these days. But then they’re very quick to misquote her or twist an answer into a tabloid headline.

She needs the media to feed the children, yet it seems every time she gives an interview she also gives away a bit of her soul and dignity.

At one point she joked (although, she may have actually been quite serious, in an oddly deluded way) that she wants half of her children to become doctors so the family can be wealthy.

Watching the interactions in the house, it’s hard not to think she should settle for them just growing up and having normal lives.

Octomom, Nadya Suleman

Lunch this day was chicken nuggets (heated in the microwave). Normally the kids get their own plate, she tells us, but today she just piles all the nuggets onto one paper plate (it saves on washing up) and puts it on the table for them to share.

They dive in like seagulls deprived of a decent meal for days.

When one of the children starts crying because he didn’t get his own plate, she grabs his face and repeated the world “control” until he’s quiet.

It’s slightly uncomfortable to watch the intensity with which she does this but, to her credit, it’s effective and he stops his wailing long enough to eat some more chicken nuggets.

After observing life in the house, there is no doubt that Nadya is a good mother in the sense that she has dedicated her life to them.

Every waking minute of her day is spent caring and providing for them and she clearly makes an effort to teach them discipline.

There is a great paradox, though, because no matter the effort, it must be impossible to give each child the attention they need when you have fourteen of them.

It was exhausting being there for just a short period of time. Just imagine what it’s going to be like to do this every waking minute for the next decade or more!

18 thoughts on “At home with Octomom”

  1. Thanks Turts…what an eye opener!!! Makes me feel a little inadequate for having days of not coping with 2 kids! Beautifully written (of course) 🙂 xx

  2. Don’t kid yourself, Octotrash is gone from the house most of the day. She is never home!! Notice she is always wearing her tasteless low cut tops. This is her uniform of the day, every day. She takes the time to care for herself. Notice the kids, these are neglected children. Never dressed, herded togethor, bathed occasionally. Octotrash was forced to put them into daycare because they are 2 1/2 and not talking. The little girl in the video Calyssa is 5 and just capable of grunts. 14 kids in the house, of those 14, 12 are NOT POTTY trained. Notice the way she drags Aiden (He Autistic) off the school bus, continues to drag him into his room, pulling the clothes off him. She keeps him down stairs, while she sleeps upstairs. If you think this is a dedicated Mother, you are freaking crazy!! Go back to the land of ROO’s and learn to analyze what you just saw. A filthy dirty house, with 14 neglected children. A Mother who acts Maternal when the camera is on, A woman who works the system so everyone else pays for her lifestyle. Research the her comments about the death threats, check with the Police Dept in LaHarbra. I’ll bet you “A Shrimp off the Barbie” there are none. Stop these fluff pieces !! Do some research!! There are 14 children in that pig sty who she use as an ATM. You TV people are nothing more than enablers.

  3. Very interesting that you would in any way, make the assumption that the US has painted her in such a negative light adding to the reason she is so disliked…uh, no…Video’s like YOURS are what does it for me! I am TERRIFIED for those kids more now than ever!

    • So, do you know her personally? Cause these are very intimate details that only a ‘friend’, or a social worker would be privy to. Which are you?

  4. Nadya has HELP it may not be PAID help but she has it….she isn’t doing it all herself.(Her kids are in daycare most of the day probably the only time they have positve inter-action)She gets government assistance too. This is all theater for the cameras…how much did she pay you to come film because in the US we are sick of her! And the last 2 attempts of her pushing herself in the US media has failed…..she brings nothing but negative responses because she LIES CONSTANTLY, changes her story contantly and still refuses to take responsibilty for her actions…she is now playing the victim!

    Don’t act like you know what is really going on just because you went to her house in a staged scene and PAID HER….do some research and maybe then you will realize the patheitc conditions those kids have to live in!

  5. Did you not noticed the holes in the doors in the house, clearly made by a hammer or other metal tool. There is a documentary where the eldest Elijah throws a screwdriver at mum’s face hard enough to cause a bleeding laceration. Grandma Angela has stated that Elijah chased her with a butcher knife and Nadya did nothing in order not to “provoke” him. He has also kicked Caleb in the head and lashed out violently against his siblings. Is this a good mother?
    She says 99% of the males are pedophiles. Nadya has 10 boys, so is she saying Elijah, JJ, Caleb, and six of the octuplet boys will be molesting their sisters as they get older. She repeats this claim in every interview, so why didn’t you ask her about her theory and which out of her 10 will be the only one not to grow up to be a sex offender?

  6. I can’t shake your “good mother” comment no matter what way you intended it. Let’s examine the facts:
    You see her dragging the poor autistic child through the house by the wrist, lets him drop to a filthy floor where she proceeds to rip his shoes off (w/o unfastening) only to expedite putting him to bed in the late afternoon in what looks to be a laundry room. check
    You say,”she grabs his face and repeated the world “control” until he’s quiet. It’s slightly uncomfortable to watch the intensity with which she does this, etc.” This was 1 of the 8 Octuplets. They ALL look terrified of her & frankly, I’ve seen more life in Romanian orphanes. It’s no wonder the close-ups show lots of bruises on their little militant faces. check
    Is the “strange odor” from unchanged pampers on all but 3 or 4 of the 14 kids? Sorry but she has shown the older ones (7,8, or 9) in diapers & a few with binkies. Disabilities or incredible laziness on her part, doesn’t matter bc it exposes more lies. check check
    You saw the holes. Is mom puching or kicking walls or is it the older kids? Either way, SOMEONE is out-of-control. Good mom?
    I could give you 50 more examples of why she is anything BUT a good mom & a pathalogical lier but, I don’t care to. Finally after 2 1/2 years she’s told so many monsterous lies that even she’s unable to keep them all straight. It’s becoming more clear that what she calls “Super human, above average, genetically perfect children” are many sadly disabled, unattached, terrified & very “behind” kids being raised by a lunitic.

  7. She claims to be a germaphobe. Just look at the filthy house. 99% of men are pedophiles? Why would she bring Tattoo (who has a police record) into her home to film a whippy video in her children`s playroom? Her actions refute anything she says. She`s talkin the talk, but unable to apply any of it to her daily life. I pity her 14 meal tickets.

    Dear Michael-TimeTravelerTurtle:
    Thanks for your somewhat tongue in cheek coverage of Octomom and her sad tribe. Contrary to what she said on your video, her lips are very familiar with fast food as some of us “OctoWatchers” (not haters) have observed. Feel free to take a peek at what’s been noted as one of strings of “contradictions” for the past 2.5 years on this forum:
    In your video clips from the Australian Morning show, she has her fridge open saying she doesn’t know what fast food tastes like! Here are some links to many photos debunking that. She has a habit of attempting to present herself in a much more favorable light than what the reality is:
    VIDEO (No kids are with her while she is holding the half eaten sandwich!)
    Here’s footage of her kids eating fastfood (at the 3 minut mark):
    Here she is at Arby’s with a bunch of kids:

    This is why Americans don’t believe much that comes from those lips.

  9. Mr. Turtle…I would suggest that Octomom’s ‘fascinating mind’… evolved from your fascination of her bilateral breast implants..
    It would have been preferable that a real mother, had interviewed this biological …but otherwise..’not a mother’.
    I am heartily sick of superficial, inaccurate journalism..whereby a fairytale is created….not substantiated by research…..and truth…
    It is a miscalculation on your part, that the general public is not ‘educuated’ as to the truth….of Suleman…You have succeeded
    in portraying both yourself, and your producers… as shallow imbeciles.
    You have been given a direct link to a Forum that presents Fact…I suggest that you use it…..and discover what real journalism is…..It is a sad reflection, when ‘Professional Journalism’…..Is outclassed by regular folk….
    As for hormones….erections are better served, in private……..

  10. I AM HORRIFIED FOR THOSE POOR KIDS! She is a psycho who is teaching her kids (who are mostly BOYS) that most men are sickos. I cannot even comment anymore, I just wish I’d never seen this because I’m HORRIFIED FOR THOSE KIDS! THIS is exactly why everyone hates this woman!

  11. What a crazy/interesting/unique experience, Turtle! I’m originally from Orange County and was living there when this story was dominating headlines. Cool to read such a different perspective.

  12. Am checking out Time Travel on the second year mark of the blog. Fun article. Some “great” comments 😀 (Barbwire and Erin in the first sentence)
    Mr. Turtle.. keep blogging!

  13. Thanks for some other wonderful post. Where by different could everyone have that kind of info in their normal great way of writing? I own a powerpoint presentation pursuing week, with this particular within the look for such information.


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