I'll totally admit that I watch reality television on a regular basis and that there's something so interesting about this documentary-style genre. Sometimes you can forget that the cameras are filming real people with real lives because there are dramatic storylines straight out of something fictional. From The Real Housewives to anything on TLC or the E! network, there are countless shows to choose from when you want something that will always be entertaining.
There are many reality TV moms who have become super famous. Some of their kids are just as well-known as they are and some of them aren't at all because their mothers have decided to keep them far away from the cameras. It's easy to see both sides because just like anything that has to do with parenting, deciding if you want your children to be on your reality show is just as personal or subjective. Some moms would rather keep their kids private and others see no problem with putting them front and center. Who knows what we would do if we were faced with that kind of question?
Here are 10 moms whose kids are really famous and 10 moms who kept their kids out of the limelight.
20 June Shannon - The Most Famous Reality Show Kid
It seems like everyone would agree that Alana Thompson is the most famous kid who has been on a reality series. In fact, she has been on two shows. Her mom, June Shannon (also called Mama June), put Alana on two shows: Toddlers and Tiaras and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
Whatever we think of these shows or putting such a young kid in the spotlight, June told Us Weekly that her wish for Alana is to "love herself no matter what."
That's a message that all moms can get behind, right?
Now, Alana is 13 years old and competing on Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.
19 Teresa Guidice - Jersey Girls
On The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa Guidice's daughters are always filmed and part of the show, and anyone who has seen it feels like they know them very well. Fans know that the girls are super cute and very sweet, and that their family moments are very relatable.
While some moms choose not to have their children be part of the show that they star on, these girls are very much part of pretty much every episode. Whether they are supporting each other after the death of their grandma and Teresa's mom or cooking together in the kitchen, these girls are adorable.
18 Kate Gosselin - 8 Kids
Kate Gosselin and her children starred on the reality show Jon and Kate Plus 8 which many of us have seen. The series premiered in April 2007 and ended in July 2017.
The show followed Kate and her husband, Jon, their sextuplets Collin, Alexis, Leah, Hannah, Joel, and Aaden, and their daughters Mady and Cara.
After Kate and Jon got divorced, she and the kids were featured on the spin-off Kate Plus 8.
More recently, according to Good Housekeeping, the former couple has been in the news because of their custody agreement. Some reports say that Kate has full custody of all of the children and others say that Jon has custody of one kid, Hannah.
17 Michelle Duggar - These Are Some Famous Kids
Michelle Duggar is another mom who has had her children featured on her reality show. Of course, this is none other than 19 Kids And Counting, the TLC reality series which aired from September 2009 until May 2015.
Many of us couldn't imagine having 19 children, which is completely understandable. It's easy to see that was the appeal of the show.
When it comes to parenting advice, especially when you've just had a newborn, Michelle told Parenting.com, "Try to get a nap in when the baby takes a nap, especially while you're breastfeeding the baby. You can see everything that needs to be done around the house. You need to catch up on laundry; you need to do some cleaning; you want to do some ironing—whatever. But just take that break and sleep, even if it's just an hour while the baby is sleeping."
16 Kris Jenner - You Know This Momager
We all know Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the Kardashian-Jenner family, and she and her family star on the long-running reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
The show started in October 2007 and is still on the air today.
As The New York Times reported, Kris Jenner met with Ryan Seacrest in 2007 and knew that her family would be great on a show.
She said, "“Like, there’s the little girls, and there’s the older girls, and then there’s my son. Everybody thinks that they could create a bunch of drama in their lives, but it’s something that I felt I didn’t even have to think about. It would be natural.”
15 Danielle Busby - That's A Lot Of Daughters
Danielle Busby and her family star on the reality show OutDaughtered (which is such a great name for a show, don't we think?!).
Danielle and her husband, Adam, have a daughter named Blayke Louise and quintuplet daughters so, in total, they have six daughters.
She told Country Living, "I started to fall in love with [Adam] when I realized how much joy he had for kids, just like I did." She also told the publication about the trouble that they had conceiving. She tried intrauterine insemination (IUI) six times and the last time, she learned she was expecting her first daughter, Blayke. She had her five other daughters after taking Femara, which infertile women can take.
14 Sharon Osbourne - Talk About A Throwback
Remember the reality show, The Osbournes?
Before the Kardashians were on our TV all the time, this famous clan was.
Sharon Osbourne and her family appeared on this MTV show which ran for four seasons from March 2002 until March 2005. The show followed Sharon and her husband, the famous rock star Ozzy Osbourne, along with their son Jack and daughter Kelly. Of course, we know this show because almost every word seemed to be bleeped out.
In June 2018, Jack told People magazine that Ozzy wasn't the biggest fan of being on the show: "After The Osbournes, he just hated reality TV. He hated the experience, he hated the way he was portrayed. He was like, ‘It’s not what I do. I’m a musician.'”
13 Farrah Abraham - Everyone Knows This Teen Mom
Another famous reality TV mom is Farrah Abraham. We first saw Farrah on the MTV reality series 16 And Pregnant and the spin-off, Teen Mom.
While now there is some drama surrounding Farrah leaving Teen Mom and there being two other moms in her place, she has always shared her parenting story with her fans, on the show and also through social media. Sophia has been in many of the episodes and we often see the two of them hanging out, whether it's just them or Farrah's mom and dad are there, too. It makes sense that since Sophia is part of Farrah's story, she would have her kid appear on the show, too.
12 Dina Lohan - Living It Up (Or Not)
We all know Lindsay Lohan, but did we know that her mom, Dina Lohan, was on a reality show?
The show, Living Lohan, didn't last very long.
Only nine episodes aired on the E! network. It was about Dina and her family, specifically her daughter and Lindsay's sister Ali and Ali working to become a singer.
The family has been in the news quite a bit for some of their struggles, particularly when to comes to Dina's relationship with her ex-husband and the father of her daughters, Michael Lohan. In January 2018, according to Us Weekly, Lindsay appeared on The Wendy Williams Show and said of her parents," And we all have a great relationship now so it’s nice . . . it’s much simpler that way.”
11 Tori Spelling - True Story
Tori Spelling has many reality shows that include her children, especially True Tori which focused on the rough times that her family went through.
True Tori is a Lifetime reality series which premiered in the spring of 2014 and lasted for two seasons. After Tori's husband and the father of her children, Dean McDermott, had an affair and spent some time in rehab, Tori wanted to piece her family back together.
The couple have five children: daughters Hattie and Stella and sons Liam, Finn and Beau (which is the youngest). According to People magazine, the couple might expand their family even more and have a sixth child.
10 Bethenny Frankel - New York Minute
One of the greatest reality shows ever is The Real Housewives of New York (just my humble opinion). It's got tons of drama, the beautiful and chic background of NYC, and it always delivers lots of entertainment.
One staple of the show is Bethenny Frankel, the entrepreneur behind the Skinnygirl brand.
Although Bethenny Frankel has appeared on The Real Housewives of New York for several seasons, she doesn't have her daughter, Bryn, filmed.
Bethenny told People magazine, “My daughter is not on the show for a couple of reasons. A child with a microphone on them, with a mic pack on them, is not really natural. That’s kind of like working. You have to be somewhere and you’ll have a microphone on you and it’s being filmed."
9 Kristin Cavallari - No Kids Here
Many of us enjoyed watching Laguna Beach and The Hills back in the day. Those were definitely some early reality shows that were so much fun to watch.
Kristin Cavallari is a mom now, and she also stars on another reality show, this time about her, her husband, and her job, called Very Cavallari.
She decided not to have her three children on the show. According to E online, she said, "I don't even really show my kids on social media. They're 5, 4 and 2. When they're old enough to make that decision, that's one thing. For right now, I just want to keep them kids."
8 Nicole Richie - That's So Candid (And Cool)
Nicole Richie may be known for appearing on The Simple Life back in 2003-2007, along with Paris Hilton, but these days she's a mom and a fashion and jewelry designer.
She has starred on another reality show more recently: Candidly Nicole. She likes to keep her children out of the spotlight.
When she was asked about that in an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, she said, "They haven't asked to be. They are humans, they're individuals, and it's their choice. This is what I do for a living but it's not what they do for a living. It's very important for me that they get to live their childhood in the fullest of way."
7 Lauren Conrad - Stylish Mama
We know Lauren Conrad from Laguna Beach and The Hills and if we follow her on Instagram, we know that she's got a gorgeous account and always posts amazing stuff.
Now, she's a mom but she doesn't put her son in the spotlight at all. She has never had a reality show focusing on her, her family, and her kid. According to Entertainment Weekly, Lauren was going to have another reality show on MTV that would focus on her fashion line, but it didn't end up working out. As she said, "We agreed going into the project that this show would be an aspirational one, focusing on my career and my goals and not my personal relationships."
She is fairly private about her family life (she does post some photos of her son but that's about it) and mostly shares herself and her fashion endeavors.
6 Joanna Gaines - A Beautiful Family
Chip and Joanna Gaines have five children but they were never the focus or subject of their famous reality show, Fixer Upper. It was all about their home renovation and design company and the houses that they were working on.
As People magazine has reported, they don't want their kids to be famous and keep that private.
That's really refreshing to see, and it makes us love this family even more. Also, they're extremely skilled when it comes to renovating and designing beautiful houses, so that's another reason that we're big fans. Can't we all live in a Chip and Joanna Gaines house?!
5 Lisa Vanderpump - Vanderpump Definitely Rules
If we love The Real Housewives Of New York then chances are good that we have seen some of the other cities in this franchise. And if we have, then we know and love The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and we especially adore Lisa Vanderpump.
How can we not when she's so fabulous (and when pink is her fave color so everything in her amazing mansion is pink)? Lisa Vanderpump has two kids but she has never used them for fame. Her reality shows (she's on the spin-off Vanderpump Rules, too) are always about her, her restaurants and businesses, and her friendships and her husband, Ken.
4 Kylie Jenner - This Might Be Surprising
When we learned that Kylie Jenner was pregnant with her first child, some of us might have expected her to chronicle her pregnancy journey and her parenting journey on her family's reality show, Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
But, honestly, it doesn't seem like Kylie Jenner wants her daughter, Stormi, to be in the limelight as much as she has been.
A source said to Us Weekly, "She is extremely protective and she is very focused on trying to keep motherhood private for right now. She used to love being in the limelight, but that has totally changed... All Kylie wants is for her privacy to be protected right now and is pretty demanding about that at this time.”
3 Sonja Morgan - A Fabulous Mom
Fans of The Real Housewives Of New York know that it's a great show to curl up with when you're having a terrible day or just need something entertaining. Those of us who watch this show know Sonja Morgan, who has been on it since the very beginning.
Sonja is funny and charming and always the life of the party. She's also a mom and has a daughter named Quincy Morgan Adams... but we have never once seen her daughter onscreen. Sonja talks about her a lot but has chosen to keep her out of the limelight, and that's something that many moms would choose to do as well.
2 Snooki - Jersey Mama
We know Snooki more for being on Jersey Shore along with the latest Jersey Shore vacation spin-off than for being a mom, but she does have two kids.
She doesn't seem like she's using her kids for fame at all.
When we think of Snooki, we think of her amazing and fabulous name, her hilarious and dramatic antics, and the Jersey Shore in general.
She and her husband, Jionni Lavelle, two children, a six-year-old boy named Lorenzo Dominic LaValle and a four-year-old girl named Giovanna Marie LaValle. Even Snooki's hubby stays out of the spotlight: In Touch Weekly reported that he said on Instagram, "My wife is filming a scene packing up and leaving for her new show and I AM CHOOSING TO NOT be on TV because I simply DO NOT like it."
1 Brandi Glanville - A Mom In Beverly Hills
Brandi Glanville was on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and we knew she was a mom but her storylines were mainly about her and her friendships and love life and her divorce. She didn't seem like she was using her kids for fame, either.
Anyone who has gotten divorced and who has children knows that it's a very tough time. According to Momtastic, Brandi has said about coparenting with her ex, "Ultimately, as you know, you have to coparent. This person is going to be in your life for the rest of your life. It's not like you didn't have kids and could walk away and never talk to them again, which would be great. I love my children. I'm just saying."
Sources: Usmagazine.com, Parenting.com, Goodhousekeeping.com, Nytimes.com, Countryliving.com, Countryliving.com, People.com, People.com, Usmagazine.com, Cosmopolitan.com, Eonline.com, Intouchweeky.com, Ca.momtastic.com, Ew.com