“What’s a mother of 14 to do when times get tough?” asks the NY Daily News of “Octomom” Nadya Suleman. “Anything, apparently.”
But just what is “anything” for Octomom? With limited resources, outsized fame and an overwhelming demand on her time by her kids, could Nadya Suleman really hold down a job in the real world or is taking her clothes off for cash the best decision she ever made as a parent?
This week it was announced that Suleman will be appearing for a brief engagement at the Palm Beach, Florida strip club T’s Lounge, which has hosted other quasi-celebrities in the past, including the Long Island Lolita Amy Fisher, Tiger Woods’ mistress Joslyn James and Michelle “Bombshell” McGee.
While it hasn’t been reported how much the mega-mama will be paid, Forbes contributor Susannah Breslin pointed me in the direction of an exotic dancer, Bubbles, who says $10,000 is the high end of the earning spectrum. “It could be anywhere from $1500-$10000,” says Bubbles, who blogs by day and dances by night. “Certainly not, say, Playboy centerfold money.”
Last month, after filing for bankruptcy, Suleman filmed an adult movie, a gig that earned her upwards of $10,000. “Any job I’m fortunate enough to get is for the kids,” Suleman said at the time. “If I had no kids, I’d be in school trying to get my Ph.D. right now.”
Problem is, she does have kids: 14 of them under the age of 10. Meaning that, even if Suleman put her bachelor’s degree to work and found employment in early childhood education, she’d have to look for a hell of a babysitter. and in America childcare doesn’t come cheap; the Census average is $138 per week. With 14 kids enrolled, even with a considerable discount, that’s a cost of more than $1,000 a week for the Suleman kids. No, daycare just isn’t an option in their household. Flexible hours are a must.
Still, we want her to have a normal job—one that doesn’t involve nudity. She could be a bartender, of course, but the BLS reports that the mean annual salary peaks at $21,550. She could become an off-hours home health aide and her salary could jump to $21,820. or she could even be a blackjack dealer at the local casino (there are plenty within an hour of her La Habra, California home) and pull in $21,930 annually.
When Suleman filed for bankruptcy last month I reached out to family attorney Carmen Eiker, a partner at the Family Law firm of McCurley Orsinger McCurley Nelson & Downing to see where the law stands on what a mother should (or shouldn’t) do to provide for her children. “Going forward we’ll see if she’s learned from this experience,” Eiker told me, suggesting that Suleman seek financial counseling to rectify her financial situation. “We hope she gets some sound advice and starts making good financial choices for her family,” she said.
Judgments of propriety aside, no one can debate the fact that earning in five nights what she might otherwise earn in six months isn’t a good financial choice for her family. Eiker agrees that how she makes her money is less important than that she make it. “As long as her activity is in fact legal—even if it’s not something society looks upon favorably—those are her decisions to make as a mother.”