Brand new OutDaughtered TV series on TLC follows first ever girl Quintuplets in the US

Brand new OutDaughtered TV series on TLC follows first ever girl Quintuplets in the US - motherhooddiaries

Imagine you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a long time and then you finally conceive. You’re elated! You tell all your friends and family, you prepare your home for your precious bundle of joy and you start planning your life around your new baby. Now, imagine, you’re at the first scan and you find out that you’re pregnant with not just one or even two babies – but five babies! This is what happened to the Busbys from Texas, two years ago, when they went from a family of three to eight literally overnight.

Adam and Danielle Busby had struggled to conceive for a while, but finally got their baby girl, Blayke, who is now 5 years old. Four years later, the Busbys wanted to give their daughter a sibling and inadvertently ended up with quintuplet girls, officially becoming ‘outdaughtered’. It took a team of twelve doctors to deliver the first set of all-girl quintuplets in the US, in less than four minutes (the first since 1969). No doubt that this phenomenon has caused up quite a storm in the media, but the quints have arrived bearing gifts, one of which is a fly-on-the-wall series, aptly named ‘OutDaughtered’. The US series that is aired on TLC follows the Busby’s trials and tribulations with parenting quintuplet girls, as well as juggling nappies, sleepless nights and a whole load of poop!

I had the pleasure of previewing the second half of series two, which aired last Monday (24th July) at 9pm on TLC (you can watch the repeats every Sunday at 8 pm, either online, SKY channel 125, Virgin channel 167 or BT TV channel 323). Below are my thoughts on the show.

Second series of OutDaughtered on TLC

“Life with the quints has been a rollercoaster ride since the beginning”. Danielle Busby, mummy of 6

The episode starts with a bang and the Busbys’ first stop is at the trampoline park, with the parents’ intending to burn some much-needed toddler energy. The quints are now older and firmly within the phases of the terrible twos, just shy of their 2nd birthday, so life is becoming a little tougher for the Busbys, with the girls running rings around their mummy and daddy now.

We get to know the quints, Ava, Olivia, Riley, Parker and Hazel, as well as their older sister, Blayke, on a more personal level. Ava and Olivia are identical twins, with Ava being the ‘tubby’ baby (and a whole pound heavier than the other girls). Olivia is the goofy quint, who loves to dance around and make people laugh while Riley likes to antagonise the other girls, often enjoying taking their toys away or picking on them for no reason. There is a mini rivalry going on between Riley and Olivia, so they often need to be separated and Parker is the leader of the pack, who talks the most – and poops the most! Finally, Hazel or ‘Hazel Basil’ as daddy calls her, is a sweet and innocent baby with an evident eye condition called Nystagmus, where the eyes constantly move without control. In the last series, Hazel had an operation to strengthen the control over her eye muscles, however, it becomes apparent in this series that Hazel is squinting, possibly due to the eye muscles being too tight, meaning that she may need further surgery, much to the Busby’s horror. In the show, Adam shines a prescribed light at Hazel to encourage eye muscle strengthening, but his frequent questioning about the future of Hazel’s eyesight has clearly become a sore subject between Adam and Danielle, where Danielle dismisses it as negativity and jumping to conclusions without listening to the doctor’s advice at their follow-up appointment.

With underlying tension and frustration at not just parenting five busy toddlers, but the constant concern over Hazel’s eye condition, Blayke fits into her role as the older sister majestically and adores looking after her little sisters. One often wonders throughout the show how mum and dad would cope without Blayke, who seems to have matured faster than her age has intended, due to the extra responsibility bestowed upon her. But, who can blame Danielle? It’s stressful enough for us mere folk, trying to tend to our one, two, three or even four children while our partners are at work. But for Danielle, it is a daily uphill with five toddlers and one school aged child. Danielle needs to be on-the-ball all the time and perhaps she just doesn’t have any more emotional energy left to discuss Hazel’s condition with Adam.

The show digs further into the emotional aspect of parenting multiples, with dad often feeling the financial pressure of feeding a family of eight. A clip of the episode shows a financial advisor dropping a rather large bombshell about the girls’ college costing the Busbys close to $2 million, and with Adam responding rather wearily that he must make more money.

The financial pressure rears its ugly head again when Danielle tried to organise Valentine’s Day dinner (more on that below), but Adam had to work late and missed most of the evening. It often feels like Adam is being pulled apart in opposite directions, on one hand needing to work late to provide for his large family while being called to help during the witching hour, so that Danielle has an extra pair of hands to look after the kids while she can cook. One cannot blame Adam for seemingly suffering from a bout of depression. The pressure must be exhausting!

Danielle Busby – Mummy of 6

Danielle often talks about the challenges she faces when taking the quints out and about to places, especially if there is nothing for them to do. I may groan at the thought of taking my two boys out to the local supermarket (thank goodness for online shopping!), but Danielle needs two eyes on six children all the time. How, do you wonder, can that even be done, especially when the children are scuttling around like ants according to Danielle when they visited Mimi’s (Danielle’s mum’s) house for the first time and Hazel managed to lock herself in the closet. This kind of situation would send my stress levels soaring, trying to fathom how I would cope at attempting to keep six children alive – I’d be wanting a glass of wine like Danielle too!

Adam Busby – Daddy of 6

We get to know a little more about Adam who seems to be a regular gym goer. As work has been stressful for the dad of six lately, the gym is a welcome place to blow off steam, release some stress and have some ‘me’ time. I feel like that about yoga in the morning (even though I am terrible at keeping up with it), but I wonder whether Danielle has any space left to fit in some ‘me’ time for herself…

Husband and wife

Despite their continuous daily struggles, it is nice to see that the Busbys take Valentine’s Day seriously, which is around the corner on the show. Of course, having a large family might mean that fitting in some mummy and daddy time is rare to non-existent. But, at this point, one wonders how she fits in a dinner date after a full day with six kids. It soon becomes apparent that Danielle has implemented a strict routine very early on and tries with vigour to stick to it. For when ‘witching hour’ comes around, even a delay of 30 minutes to the schedule will have you saying bye-bye to your ‘me’ time slot faster than you can say bedtime!

Witching hour

Witching hour, as Danielle expertly describes it, is typically from 5 pm to 7 pm, where the kids are hungry, tired and cranky, just like it is in our household of just two boys and, I bet, in most family homes too. I also don’t think I am alone in dreading witching hour every day because of the sheer amount of tasks you need to check off during that two-hour window, i.e, dinner must be cooked and on the table, kids must be bathed, then, subsequently, changed into PJs and read a book before they are tucked into bed. It’s hard to get the dinner done on time when two boys are running around me, but watching Danielle calmly try to control five toddlers who are ransacking the kitchen area with Tupperware when she’s trying to cook, should be a scene shown to teenagers as a form of contraception. Not to say that Danielle is not dealing with it all well – on the contrary in fact! Her calm and firm nature is both inspirational and astounding. I can imagine even the most patient of mums would slowly morph into Medusa at this point, as the cortisol levels rise and the witching hour gloatingly ticks on. The mum of six resorts to keeping the kids occupied with arts and crafts, at the same time monitoring and protecting them while she cooks the dinner – it is amazing how she stays so sane throughout it all!

Amidst the turmoil, I can’t help but feel sympathetic towards Danielle, watching her deal with six kids during the witching hour alone. It is no secret that Danielle wants Adam around to help and even craves a little role reversal so that Adam can feel the full effect of how much harder it is to deal with the quints now and how much witching hour takes it out of mums in general, let alone a mum of six. However, it seems that Adam is in a catch-22 position, needing to provide financial support for his family, but feeling obliged to be at home to help look after the kids during the witching hour.

It is often an unwritten, but universal issue that the partner who comes home from work is on a very different mood level to the partner who stays at home and looks after the kids full-time. Both are mentally and physically exhausting, but, in this instance, Adam hasn’t seen the kids all day and, of course, he misses them and wants to play with them. But, even if you have one child or six children, stay-at-home mums are in ‘go mode’ and need the witching hour routine to be on point. So, Danielle’s greeting to Adam as he walks through the door after work, “Just in time for bathroom and clean up disaster” can’t be mocked or sniped at. And, even Adam’s response, “When I come home, I’m either a busboy or a diaper changer” is a fair point too.  But, the day doesn’t end with the children in bed, there is still stuff to prepare for the next day. For the Busbys, Blayke still needs to go to bed and the parents need to prepare for tomorrow’s drama, as Danielle calls it.

However, Adam decides it would be better to put some music on, while Danielle is thinking only about the music that will follow afterwards – fussy, tired babies. Adam’s response?

“Sometimes you just have to dance.” Thankfully, Danielle has a sense of humour. Not sure I would be the same towards hubby…

OutDaughtered reminds us of how blessed we are with our own families

OutDaughtered allows us to gain an insight into a family with multiples and the first port of call to get through it all is to have a strong family support network who are hands on to help with the full-time job of looking after a large brood. With all that screaming, running, fighting and playing – five-fold – it is a testament to the Busbys for staying so calm throughout it all. I wonder whether they are as calm off camera…

Yet, the communication stream between Adam and Danielle is constant and inspirational. They work well as a team and expertly pull their resources together to parent six girls. Adam is a hard working, emotional and sensitive dad, who acknowledges Danielle’s hardship and his role as the financial provider. He even finds time to read Blayke a bedtime story and acknowledges their one-on-one time together. We experience a brief sadness in Blayke, when the family’s beloved dog, Maggie, passed away. His idea to get a new dog for the family, however, wasn’t very well received by Danielle, who has enough on her plate anyway! But, as a testament to her attitude, she doesn’t shoot him down, instead agreeing to talk about it at a later date. If hubby had asked for a puppy during the witching hour, I probably would have put him in a kennel! All jokes aside, it is hard to see things objectively when you are deep in the throes of house mess and diaper changes, but the Busby’s calm and communicative approach encourages you to take a step back and question the way you are towards your partner, as well as your control over your family situation. Danielle has the kids very well trained, and even during one scene, gets 21-month-old Riley to clean up her milk mess after she sits in time out – very impressive.

We learn during OutDaughtered that the Busbys are missing their family time in the evenings. Both parents want the same thing, but Adam is stuck in a constant lose-lose situation and can’t give enough time to either side. It is a challenge to keep the marriage a priority, but Danielle and Adam love each other, that’s plain to see. At least, they still have a smidgen of a sex life as the end of the episode still suggests!

OutDaughtered is eye-opening, comedic, adorable and emotional. If you want to experience what life might be like with quintuplets – or even multiples – then this is the show to watch. New episodes air every Monday at 9 pm on TLC online, SKY channel 125, Virgin channel 167 or BT TV channel 323, with repeats showing again the following Sunday at 8 pm.

*This post is sponsored by TLC’

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Leyla Preston (465 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked!You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another:

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