I’m roughly the same age as the girls on Teen Mom OG. I’ve watched the show since about season two, I think? At 26, I’m mildly embarrassed to still be watching the show, especially because almost all other MTV shows feel so childish to me now…but oh well.
I’ve noticed the last season or so that Catelynn and Tyler are getting a lot more ‘hate’ from people online. For a long time they were viewed as one of the more successful couples. The last few seasons have shown them struggling somewhat with adapting to parenting while managing Butch’s addiction which has come back, and Catelynn’s depression and anxiety.
The majority of the hate seems to come from Catelynn being “lazy”. People talk about how she should get off the couch, get out of the house and then her depression would go away, and they think she would then be a better mom. When comparing her to other mom’s on Teen Mom and Teen Mom OG, I still think she’s one of the better ones. I have noticed that she doesn’t get filmed being particularly ‘engaged’ with Nova – you don’t see her sitting down and playing with toys with her, for example. However, I think it’s sort of a social or cultural thing for many people. I didn’t grow up seeing adults play toys with their kids. Tickle them or maybe a board game here or there? Sure. But sitting down for 45 minutes to play dollies or legos? Not really.
Tyler seems to be very stable emotionally and in his career choices. He is active in renovating their house, and is running a clothing business as well. I think that Cate gets looked down on by comparison because she seems lazier than him. However, I always feel like people forget the kind of lives these people came from. It’s truly mind-blowing to me that Tyler does as well as he does, given that his father was a crackhead. However, he has a GREAT mother.
Cate also had to deal with an addicted parent, but it was her mother – and her father moved out of state when she was 12, essentially abandoning her with her only remaining parent being an addict who did a terrible choice of choosing men. I mean, at some point she chose Butch – Tyler’s crack-head father. When you learn about resilience, it’s all about having a close connection with a healthy person. I suspect that Tyler’s mom largely ‘saved’ him. I don’t think Catelynn had that close of a strong figure in her life, so I think that is why she struggles more.
Farrah, Jenelle and Amber all seem to be ‘worse’ than her at least in certain ways, and as far as I can tell, their parents were roughly as screwed up as Catelynn’s. Catelynn did well to not become a drug addict or to get with an abusive guy herself. I think Jenelle and Amber’s childhood trauma showed up as self-hatred in the form of addiction and choosing gross men. Catelynn avoided those, but her self-hatred from her traumas is there – its just in the form of self-loathing depression.
I also think we forget how difficult it must be to be a 20-something mom who gets hated on so heavily on social media all the time. In a recent episode where Cate said she was considering leaving social media apps off of her phone, I found myself wishing she would really stick to that. One of her biggest fears is abandonment, and on social media people are constantly saying Tyler should leave Cate, or even that they think he will eventually. I’ve seen this said about them for years, and I think a lot of it is people who ultimately judge her for her weight, and think that because she is overweight while Tyler isn’t, that he ‘settled’ or something – as if everyone should judge their partner simply based on their weight.
I hope Cate is able to find some relief from her depression and anxiety issues, and find coping methods she can use at home. I do think Nova would benefit a bit if Cate were more involved with playing with her and engaging her on that 3-year-old level. I think she could use parenting classes or therapy of some kind to help her understand that even at 3, Nova has ver real feelings. It feels like she sort of gets ‘cold’ when Nova is emotional, but I suspect she just ‘shuts down’ when Nova is emotional because she doesn’t have the tools to face it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it brings up her own feelings of guilt and depression when Nova is emotional. I don’t understand at all why people hate her so much as to be convinced Tyler should leave her. I think she’s still done well given where she came from, and I think Nova will be much better off in the long run if the are able to stick together to help Cate get through her issues with mental illness and to resolve her childhood traumas.