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The Truth About Mama June’s Relationship with Her Daughters

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June “Mama June” Shannon and her daughter, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, attracted the producer’s attention as the entertaining mother-daughter duo during child beauty pageants shown in the TLC’s documentary series “Toddlers & Tiaras.” While things seemed innocent when the show aired for two years in the early 2010s, the truth about a complicated family dynamic surfaced eventually.

Although allowed to make amends in 2017, Mama June squandered the opportunity, and returned to her lousy old habits for a while. Thankfully, June turned her life around in late 2022 and seems to be on the right path in 2023 with her four daughters by her side, who seemingly forgave her. We’ve analyzed what happened over the years, and how she reconnected with her family.

Mama June had several toxic relationships

Fans who know a bit about the family quickly concluded that nearly all problems Mama June caused stem from dating bad guys. For example, all daughters have different fathers, and most were accused of misdeeds, from child molestation to drug involvement. One almost ruined her TV career; after people accused Mama June of dating someone she shouldn’t, Phil McGraw, the host of “Dr. Phil,” invited her onto his reality TV show to explain the situation, and TLC quickly cut all ties and canceled the show.

The absence of her daughters’ fathers from TV screens is reasonable, since they may prefer a private life. However, the distance from their daughters’ lives became apparent several times, for example, not applying for child custody of Alana when her mother faced problems, pushing her daughter “Pumpkin” to step up. Luckily, Mama June eventually entered a healthy relationship, married quickly, and since 2022 is atoning for the previous poor treatment of her daughters.

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Mama June was a bad influence

Although viewers noticed the many ways that Mama June mistreated her daughters throughout the show, some were inadvertent. We mentioned not providing a stable, positively influential father figure in their lives as a significant one; others were much more subtle. For one, she made the wrong choices, and let her habits cause drastic weight gain. Consequently, she didn’t care about her daughters’ well-being, and by setting a bad example, they struggled with obesity too.

She changed that several years ago, when she embarked on a weight loss journey through operations, personal training, and diet. Consequently, in 2017, WE TV granted her a new show, “Mama June: From Not To Hot,” which showed her losing more than 300lbs or 136kgs, and getting down to size 4. However, Mama June was arrested in March 2019, alongside her then-boyfriend Eugene “Geno” Doak, and almost ended up in prison, while he got 16 months, ruining all her positive progress. They dated in 2015 but made it official in 2017, but she accused him of being abusive throughout their relationship.

During a 2019 incident, they argued at an Alabama gas station, he allegedly threatening to kill her. Police officers who responded to the disturbance call found a glass pipe with white residue and a green pill bottle in the glove compartment. Mama June admitted it was crack cocaine, and revealed in 2021 that they spent over $1 million per year, about $4000 daily on drugs.

Anna was the most affected

Anna “Chickadee,” Cardwell, née Shannon,  is June’s eldest daughter and the one people thought would never be on good terms with her mother. She was born in August 1994, and not much is known about her father, David Dunn because he never appeared in the show, however, he had a criminal history of stealing a handgun in 1995 and cigarettes in 1998. Anna claimed that she never knew much about him because June forbade him from seeing her. June wasn’t too thrilled about Anna, either; Janice Shannon, who was married to Jimmy Shannon, June’s brother, revealed that she was asked to care for Anna, but that adoption never happened. Instead, Anna lived between her mother’s and grandmother’s homes until seven, when June made her permanently live with her mother, Sandra Hale, so that she, June could move into a trailer with a boyfriend. Another source alleged that June paid Anna $500 to move back into the family home in 2012, because it would make for a good storyline in the show.

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Anna’s biological father abused her

However, the real culprit was Mama June’s ex-boyfriend, Mark McDaniel, whom she dated while Anna was a kid. He allegedly molested Anna aged eight, and after she told her teacher, who alerted the authorities, Mama June refused to believe her. Although the court indicted him on charges related to abuse against her, the judge dismissed the case. However, Anna’s claims were somewhat proven when Mark got 10 years in prison after admitting to aggravated child molestation.

Mark wreaked havoc again in 2014, when it was reported that Mama June reunited with him. Anna told Radar Online that she was hurt, and that the relationship with her mother may as well be over. In a November 2014 appearance in a “Dr. Phil” episode, she claimed that she’d met Mark but claimed that she wasn’t dating him or anyone else. Nonetheless, TLC promptly canceled “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and released a statement that declared, ‘Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the children’s ongoing comfort and well-being.’

Anna recently forgave her mother

Another reason for the strained relationship is that Anna followed in her mother’s footsteps, became a teen mom, and had issues similar to hers. She gave birth to her daughter, Kaitlyn Elizabeth, in June 2012, from an unknown father. Caleb Clark claimed to be Kaitlyn’s dad, but Mama June blocked his requests for a DNA test. Anna requested that he appear in the show if he wanted a paternity test, and according to Clark, admitted to cheating on him in an email. Anna married Michael Cardwell in 2014, around when the McDaniel news broke out, and the couple welcomed their first daughter, Kylee Madison, the following year. However, they split in 2017, and Anna’s later relationships, if any, are undisclosed.

Things were mostly quiet, except that Anna remarked that her mother ‘tried to avoid her and was unwilling to communicate’ since she moved back into the family home in 2012. Additionally, she sued her mother in 2015 for $300,000 in damages for unpaid appearances of her and her daughter Kaitlyn in the show. They seemingly put their differences aside before her mother’s ceremonial wedding, signifying that they came together as a family, at least temporarily.

However, TMZ reported that Anna received a stage four adrenal carcinoma diagnosis in January 2023, after complaining of stomach pains. Journalists also discovered that her cancer had spread to her lungs, liver and kidney, that she had her first round of chemotherapy that January, and Mama June has been by her side ever since. An insider stated that the mother and daughter began working on their relationship in early 2021.

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Jessica’s relationship seemed the least affected

Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, born in October 1996, didn’t have many issues with her mother. However, she has the same bad-boy father history; her father, Michael Anthony Ford, only dated Mama June for a few months before she told him that she was pregnant. He was arrested and spent two years in prison for the sexual exploitation of a minor online, after he was caught by the “To Catch a Predator” host Chris Hansen in 2005. Besides being a registered sex offender, Michael allegedly shoplifted at Walmart, and wrote checks that bounced. Although he claimed that he paid $300 per month for years, Michael noted that June never let him see his daughter, and would get him arrested for harassment if he tried.

However, things seem very positive otherwise. Jessica didn’t become a teen mom and had no reported history of abuse. Additionally, after battling weight issues, she had multiple procedures done in March 2020 with her sister Anna. They spent over $80,000 on liposuction, gastric balloon, veneers, highlights, and other interventions. After praising how life-changing the operations were, she revealed that she’d been dating a single mom, Shyann McCant since 2022, and the two seem happy in infrequent photos Jessica posts on Instagram.

Lauryn also had early struggles

Mama June’s third daughter, Lauryn “Pumpkin,” Efird née Shannon, was born in June 2000. Her mom swore that her father was Michael Anthony Ford; however, a family source stated that the father is likely someone else, or that not even Mama June knows who he is.

Her father’s identity aside, Lauryn followed in her mother’s footsteps and became a teen mom, welcoming her first child, Ella Grace, at 17, with Joshua Efird. However, she chose well; she married him the following year in Las Vegas, and they welcomed three more children: son Bentley Jameson in June 2022, and a boy and a girl twins, Sylus Ray and Stella Renae, in May 2022.

Moreover, Lauryn was the responsible daughter, and signed up to be her younger sister’s legal guardian when her mom had troubles with the law. After getting temporary guardianship in August 20199, with the approval of Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson she won full custody of Alana around April 2022. Shortly after, Mama June’s life was on the upswing; she got a new home, had been sober for over two years, was dating Justin, and stated that the only thing missing was Alana in her home.

However, Lauryn stated that ‘she would do whatever she had to, financially or physically, to keep Alana with her.’ According to her, Mama June treated her like crap, and threw her to the side like a stray dog for men in her life. Mama June eventually relented, and agreed to pay $800 monthly in child support until August 2023, when her famous daughter turns 18, and must request visitation from Lauryn. She also noted how proud she was that her daughter was there, saying, ‘I’m very grateful Pumpkin stepped up because it could have turned into a bad situation. I couldn’t even take care of myself, let alone more or less take care of anybody else.’

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Alana was relieved to finish filming

Alana Francis “Honey Boo Boo” is Mama June’s most famous daughter, born in August 2005 from a relationship with Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson. Similarly to other fathers, he served five years in prison from 1988 for robbing hunting camps, and setting fire to at least one camper; he also admitted to cheating on her with both sexes. Mama June later admitted that he’d been physically and emotionally abusive, and even caused Lauryn’s eye buckle problem.

All those revelations fit well with insiders’ claims that Mama June didn’t love him. Instead, to get CPS (Child Protective Services) off her back, she needed a stable boyfriend who would move in.

For the most part, Alana seemed to have fun while the cameras were on. However, she resented her mother behind the scenes, saying in 2014, ‘When we stopped filming the show, I was kinda happy about that, and at the same time, I was sad. So, I guess I was sa-happy.’

Alana was mistreated as a child

There was much evidence of Alana’s mistreatment off- and on-screen. For instance, TLC almost canceled the show in 2012, after a YouTube video was discovered of Alana dancing in a dimly lit bar for money. The Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services immediately barged into the family home, concerned with many things, including Alana’s nutrition, from drinking Mountain Dew and Red Bull Go-Go Juice cocktails to eating roadkill, events TLC filmed.

Although nothing came of it, an indirect confirmation was Mama June’s statement that she ‘had danced in a college bar, not a sleazy one,’ suggesting she saw nothing wrong or illegal in exploiting her daughter in that way. Finally, during an episode of “Mama June: From Not to Hot,” Alana said, ‘I don’t even know who she is anymore. As long as Geno is around, he will keep manipulating Mama and everybody else.’ That signified the crash of their relationship as mother and daughter.

After living with Lauryn since 2019, Alana chose to stay in her half-sister’s custody, despite her mother’s health and behavioral improvement. Mama June gave in and explained that Alana was old enough to choose her environment. She described their relationship like this, ‘I do talk to her. I do see her. We communicate. The only difference is she’s not sitting right here beside me in my home every day.”

Alana has since moved on from seeing her mother daily, lost weight, started dating boyfriend Dralin Carswell in 2021, and is experimenting with careers in rap music under the name “Big Lana”, and stand-up comedy. Her boyfriend was arrested on 28 February 2023 for driving under the influence (DUI), fleeing police with Alana as the passenger, and outstanding warrants.

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Mama June’s wanted to redeem herself since 2017

Mama June treated her daughters poorly over the years, primarily because she focused on toxic men that she dated. Luckily, her daughters are grown up and lead separate lives with significant others or husbands. Their mother made the most prominent attempt to reconnect when in 2017, WE granted her a TV show, “Mama June: From Not to Hot,”. She inspired them to begin their weight loss journeys, and two daughters also visited a plastic surgeon and were operated on. Moreover, the family had group therapy sessions to discuss their problems in the TV show.

Unfortunately, Mama June failed to grasp that opportunity, and returned to a toxic boyfriend. She was then irresponsible with money, emotionally unavailable, and was arrested, thus ruining her home life with Alana and the bonds she ‘d built with the other daughters.

Additionally, because of an eye operation for untreated cataracts, she was inactive during recovery, and gained some weight that she lost, giving her daughters another example of a setback. Thankfully, her daughters got past her problems, at least publicly. All four came to her formal wedding to Alabama mechanic Justin Stroud in February 2023, and were supportive since he affected their mother positively, despite being initially stand-offish toward him.

Things are looking up for the Shannons

Based on current information, it looks like Mama June has healed; she’s married a stable and well-off boyfriend, and Justin works in real estate and construction. Additionally, he didn’t watch reality TV or know who she was beforehand; hence he’s not looking for 15 minutes of fame. Most importantly, Mama June stated that her daughters have no problems with him, and only grew closer to him after taking several family trips.

Although Alana and Anna made similar mistakes thanks to the lack of parenting and good father figures, both have better influences today. None of the daughters are living with Mama June, and based on her history of prioritizing men over children, that’s how it should have been from the start.

As the Managing Editor at The Legit, I direct a dynamic team dedicated to creating rich content that profiles the lives and accomplishments of influential figures. My commitment to detail and storytelling drives the production of biographies that truly engage our audience. I manage all aspects of the editorial process, from conducting thorough research to crafting vivid narratives, all while ensuring the accuracy and quality of our work. At The Legit, our goal is to offer our readers comprehensive profiles that provide deep insights into the realms of business, entertainment, and more. Through diligent research and engaging storytelling, we highlight the exceptional journeys and achievements of those who both inspire and intrigue us.

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How is “Bringing Up Bates” doing in 2023?

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UPtv disappointed many viewers by canceling the family reality TV show “Bringing Up Bates” after 10 seasons. Although there were some controversies, the family didn’t leave the show. Instead, the media network explained on 19 January 2022 that the reason was ‘a change in programming that year, and a focus on movies and scripted series.’ However, that explanation didn’t sit well with over 200,000 fans who follow the show on Facebook, and thousands more who tuned in for each episode. We are equally mesmerized by the mega family, so we investigated how their lives unfolded in 2023.

Most fans are still interested in the family

What angered most people was that UPtv confirmed that the TV show would return in a September 2021 update, and set the premiere date for 10 February 2022. Then, a month before the first episode was set to air, they cut ties with the Bates family. It was even more infuriating that they only uploaded  one post on the family’s social media accounts.

The family was equally vague, and only released a joint statement, saying, ‘As the next year begins, our family will be experiencing many new changes. One of the biggest was that the network would not renew a contract to film new “Bringing Up Bates” episodes.’ They cited the same programming-related reasons, and added, ‘God’s timing is always perfect.’

However, many fans think that the racist social media post from Carlin forced the company’s hand. Regardless of the cause, the family still has a large following, and is expanding. Some married or welcomed their first children, while others followed in their parent’s footsteps, and are becoming parents again this year.

Many fans blame Carlin and Evan

Carlin Bates married Evan Stewart in May 2019 and welcomed their first child, daughter Layla Rae, in January 2020. Evan and Carlin announced their second pregnancy in August 2021, and she gave birth to Zade Patrick in late March 2022.

However, her Instagram story video, posted in November 2021, likely led to the show’s cancelation. It showed her children playing charades with other Bates kids. When one card required them to act “hunting,” Lawson mimicked shooting one of his younger brothers with a bow and arrow. However, another brother in the background yelled, ‘George Floyd!’ as a guess. That sparked outrage, and many viewers saw it as racist or a mockery of an undeserved murder.

Katie Joy, the blogger for the “Without A Crystal Ball” website, also pointed out that all Bates kids know the Duggar kids, and that both families have nearly 20 children and successful TV shows. That was important, because Josh Duggar, who was arrested in a child pornography case, mentioned Carlin in one text, allegedly telling Evan that he was bringing her a Fitbit Versa smartwatch. It’s reasonable to assume that UPtv didn’t want any scandal, mainly because his message’s timestamp allegedly matches with one instance of Josh reportedly downloading some illegal material.

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Carlin and Evan welcomed a son

Despite accusations, the couple seems unbothered, and prioritizes their online presence as an income source. They post on social media, primarily Instagram accounts @carlinbates98, and @evanpstewart16, and on a joint YouTube channel, The Stewart Family, which they created on 1 January 2020. Their channel picked up steam in 2022, and they posted more often at the beginning of 2023 – they reached almost 180,000 subscribers, who they call “The Stew Crew members,” in early May.

Evan and Carlin also manage Instagram accounts for their children under the handles @laylaraestewart and @zadepatrickstewart, and in January, they used those channels to answer the concerns that they weren’t caring for Zade since he had eyebags and trouble sleeping in December 2022. They announced that they took him to urgent care, where the doctors diagnosed him with a cold or an allergy. Evan and Carlin promptly applied an ointment to clear his pink eye infection and continued administering the respiratory treatments that doctors prescribed for a previous illness.

Moreover, they celebrated the second birthday of their family dog, Izzy, in January. The following month, Carlin and her mom Kelly Jo went to New Jersey to support Katie, whose due date was approaching. She calmed her sister down during her contractions and took her shopping to take her mind off the challenging period. After Hailey’s birth, Carlin said that she was ‘getting the baby fever again.’ Carlin and Evan also went to New York City in March, and she sported a new hairstyle around that time, including blonde highlights in her dark brown hair. The young couple then embarked on their first cruise, to the Bahamas with their best friends, and left their two children with Evan’s parents. On 27 March 2023, they celebrated Zade turning one, and styled the party with blue, brown and white balloons, bear-shaped cookies, and bear stuffed animals, because it was his ‘beary first’ birthday, a wordplay for “very first.”

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Carlin was also open about her seizures, which started in May 2022, and revealed that she was visiting the neurologist and testing different medications. In early 2023, she struggled with medication that made her energy crash by 3 p.m., forcing her ‘to become a coffee girl,’ but she reiterated that she would continue experimenting. They also revealed that Evan quit his job due to Carlin’s seizures, and would now work with her for Bates Sisters Boutique alongside Whitney and Zach, and help design and sell maternity-friendly dresses and clothing for children. They also celebrated the boutique’s fourth birthday in late April, and organized a $1000 giveaway for two lucky followers. Then on 2 May, the couple announced that Zade had taken his first steps.

Kelly Jo and Gil are still madly in love

While they enjoy caring for their children and grandchildren, the couple continues to set aside some down time. They married in 1987 after meeting while attending the same college, Anderson University in South Carolina, and still live on the large family property in Nashville in 2023, and encourage all their children to live in Eastern Tennessee, to see each other often; nearly all of them listened. Moreover, they built a church for their evangelical Christian faith in 2019, and Gil is giving sermons since then, which tends to tie them to the location.

They celebrated Valentine’s Day this year, which they call the “I Love You Day” holiday, and exchanged gifts with family members. Once again, they didn’t exchange gifts the previous Christmas ,because they thought that gift-giving twice in a short period would diminish the excitement and impact. Their joint Instagram account, @thebatesfam, shows the couple consistently praising each other, describing their love, and ensuring not to take each other for granted after celebrating 35 years of marriage in January, and Gil’s 58th birthday shortly after.

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Their strength was tested multiple times; in December 2022, Kelly Jo’s mom Peggy went to the ER with respiratory syncytial virus- RSV – and passed away in the hospital surrounded by the family. Then in April, they had to bury Craig Fleming, the husband of Gil’s sister Jenifer, who passed away suddenly at 55. Although it was heartwarming, the entire family, save a few members who might have been there but weren’t in the picture, gathered to bid the final farewell, showing how close they are despite some members living in other states, traveling, or expecting.

Outside of those traumatic events, Gil and Kelly Jo continuously post birthday celebrations of their youngest children, who prefer or are advised to stay off social media. The matriarch and patriarch celebrated Isaiah’s birthday in October 2022, and Jeb’s 11th and Addallee’s 17th birthday in February.

They also shared fun moments, such as when Jeb imitated Lydia in April, or when they unintentionally showed that Warden, who rarely appears online nowadays, may have got a wrist and forearm tattoo a month before. However, fans will have to wait for Warden’s birthday celebration in late May to get a closer look. Although Kelly Jo and Gil have yet to celebrate the birthdays of Judson, Callie and Ellie, the family posted a picture of them inside their church in April, and captioned the image with an announcement that four family members were learning sign language, presumably for Addallee, who had hearing loss.

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Katie and Travis became parents

Katie Bates and Travis Clark, who married in December 2021, were the first Bates family members to welcome a child in 2023. After announcing that they were expecting a girl in 2022, they clarified that her name would be Hailey James, and that the due date was 4 March 2023. However, Hailey was born earlier, on 17 February at 10.29 p.m., at a bit over 6lbs or 2.5kgs, measuring 19ins or 48cms. The couple also posted videos on Katie’s Instagram account, @kgbates200, of them bringing their daughter into the nursery they built in their New Jersey home. Both new parents continued to share images of her firsts, such as taking her to the beach, bathing her, and celebrating their first Easter with her.

They also stated that their Goldendoodle sleeps with her, and protects her. Finally, the couple began collaborating with jewelry and clothing brands such as Pandora and Lalabu Baby to supplement their income. However, the post-pregnancy recovery wasn’t uneventful; Katie passed out in the shower in late February, which was one of the reasons Carlin visited. After a thorough examination, doctors had to give her blood transfusions because her iron level was low. Although recovered, Katie began discussing post-partum hair loss to sell a product in April 2023. Her advertisement drew fans’ ire – they thought that she was scamming her followers because such post-partum symptoms would disappear by that point.

Alyssa gave birth to her fifth child

Katie’s sister Alyssa Bates helped expand the family when she announced that she and her husband, John Webster, had a son named Rhett in March 2023. They’ve welcomed four children, Allie, Lexi, Zoey and Maci Jo since they started dating in 2013. Additionally, they are among the rare siblings who left Eastern Tennessee and now live in Florida, as John works for Webster Air Conditioning & Heating, his father’s company based in Orlando.

Alyssa also shared some political news. In January, John’s younger brother Michael Clark was running for a position in the fourth legislative district of New Jersey’s state assembly. John’s father, Daniel, was also a US representative for Florida’s 11th congressional district.

Chad and Erin’s daughter is growing up

Chad and Erin, like Alyssa and John, relocated to Florida after the show’s filming wrapped up. Eris Bates is still a musician, but her role as a mother occupies most of her time. After she married Chad Paine in 2013, they’ve welcomed four children, Carson, Brooklyn, Everly and Holland.

However, doctors thought that she would have to stop there because of medical problems. In the past, Erin announced that she had a ruptured cyst and underwent three operations. Additionally, she had an ovary removed during the operation in February 2021.

Luckily, the couple announced in August 2021 that they were expecting their fifth child, and in January 2022, they welcomed their daughter Finley Marie, whom they dubbed ‘a miracle child’. Unfortunately, while fans could previously follow their lives via a joint Instagram account, @chad_erinpaine, the couple deleted it this year.

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Whitney and Zach will soon have five children

Zach and Whitney, who married in 2013, will give Trace and Lydia’s daughter someone to play with by also becoming parents for the fifth time. Their four children, Bradley, Kaci, Khloé and Jadon, were excited to meet their baby sister this year, since the parents announced that the due date is August. The couple is also awaiting their ninth anniversary on 14 December, but mourning the loss of Whitney’s father, JC Perkins, who passed away last year from septic shock in the Intensive Care Unit after an operation.

As for their professional life, Zach and Whitney are actively working at Bates Sisters Boutique. Additionally, Whitney proved her statement to Us Weekly from February 2021, when she said that they would ‘have a few more kids, but certainly not 15 more like Zach’s parents.’ That means we could expect a sixth child next year. Unfortunately, Zach deleted his Instagram account, @zachnwhitbates, around early 2022, which makes it hard to stay in the loop.

Bobby and Tori are raising their family

Tori married Bobby Smith in 2017, and they had two sons, Kade and Kolter Gray, before announcing that their daughter, Charlotte Raine, was due to be born in June 2021. They stayed silent during the family show drama in the following months, but revealed on Mother’s Day that they were awaiting the birth of their fourth child,  and Tori gave birth to Cambree Layne Smith on 2 August 2022, and revealed that Cambree and her mother now share a middle name. However, the couple went silent on social media again after December 2022. Their last post was an image of them celebrating their fifth marriage anniversary on their joint Instagram account @bobby_torilayne_smith.

Nathan and Esther Keyes had Kenna

Nathan Bates previously worked as a flight instructor, and bonded with his girlfriend over having a big family; Esther Keyes has 13 siblings. and the two got engaged in May 2021 after dating since December of the previous year. They married in a 350-person wedding in October of that year, but things remained quiet until almost a year later, when they welcomed their first daughter, Kenna Joy, in October 2022. However, Nate deleted his Instagram account, @natebates93, in March of this year.

Thankfully, before he did, Nate revealed that he was working with the Medic Corps non-profit organization, and that he collected funds and donated items and money to help the victims of the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. He previously helped rescue refugees from Ukraine, and has likely done so this year. Esther’s account, @estherbates97, is the only source of news for the fans of the family. She used it this year to show Kenna’s firsts, such as a beach vacation, photoshoot, and colorful headband, describe her personality, and praise her husband.

Trace and Lydia are expecting

Trace is one of the rare siblings without a child, but that will change. After he married Lydia Romeike in early October 2022, the fans briefly waited for the big news. They announced that Lydia was pregnant on 5 March, and that the due date for their first child is September 2023. They also hosted a gender reveal party in April, followed by a YouTube video, when they revealed that their unborn child is a boy.

They then celebrated Lydia’s 25th birthday in April, and went to other people’s weddings. Throughout the year, on his Instagram account, Trace demonstrated his passion for skeet shooting or shooting clay pigeons, horse-riding, and snowboarding. Trace seemingly still works as a police officer, and nurtures his previous interests in skydiving, scuba diving, and carpentry. Lydia also used social media in early May to express concern after she started blacking out whenever she got up quickly or exercised. Luckily, the doctor told her that she had a low blood count, and she bounced back thanks to electrolytes and extra salt in her diet.

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Jackson proposed in March

Kelly Jo and Gil announced on the family’s Instagram account that their son, Jackson, became engaged to his girlfriend, Emerson Wells, in March. They didn’t specify whether the couple was expecting a child, but after captioning one image with ‘counting down the days…,’ the couple shared a link to The Knot website, which stated that their wedding was scheduled for 14 October of this year. Additionally, they revealed that they moved to Florida like some of Jackson’s siblings.

Furthermore, Emerson, who previously had a private one, started using his Instagram account @jacksonbates in mid-March, after they had a joint account @jack_n_emy. Unfortunately, they disabled both accounts in early May.

Lawson could expand his family soon

Lawson Bates married Tiffany Espensen in May 2022 in San Diego, California. Since then, he’s relocated to Nashville to work on his music career as a singer and songwriter, and has released several songs as a recording artist on his YouTube channels, Lawson Bates and LawsonBatesVEVO, most notably albums “What Country Means to Me” and “Freedom Sure Ain’t Free”, and a single with a music video recorded in Italy, entitled “Crazy Love,” in March 2022. Tiffany was an actress for Disney and MCU, but has since committed to a family life. In light of that, the couple sparked rumors that they were expecting. Lawson stated that they focused on traveling and developing their professional life in a video, “WHERE IN THE WORLD HAVE WE BEEN?” from March of this year. In other videos, they teased moving to California. Furthermore, in the “ADOPTION Q&A! ANSWERING YOUR MOST ASKED QUESTIONS!” video uploaded on 16 April, the couple revealed that they want to have children but haven’t decided when. Additionally, they stated that they are open to adopting one because Tiffany was adopted.

Moreover, fans thought the couple was planning something after organizing a beach photoshoot in late April, and asking Lawson’s sister-in-law Lydia, who is expecting, to take pictures. When fans commented that they expected an announcement after such a professional set of images, Tiffany replied with a winking face emoji and a heart. That led to speculations that she caught the baby fever, because they’d recently spent a weekend with the entire family. Their followers also noticed that Tiffany was more emotional in vlogs, and that she mentioned wanting a baby girl someday.

Josie Balka and Kelton are now absent from social media

Josie and Kelton, who married in 2018, posted online about their family life with daughters Willow and Hazel over the years. However, several pictures from the airport they published in January were noteworthy. On the same day, other family members, including Lawson, Jackson, Nathan and Esther, Lydia and Trace, and Warden, posted similar pictures via Instagram stories. Moreover, Alyssa mentioned that John would join some of the trip but that she couldn’t due to her pregnancy.

After fans pieced all the information, it became clear that several siblings were going on a skiing trip to Keystone, Colorado, likely to Keystone Ski Resort. Unfortunately, Josie deleted her Instagram account, @josie_balka, at some point afterwards, thus preventing fans from following her family’s life. However, previous posts showed the family going on dinners and vacationing in Arizona. Josie still sells hair accessories and other items on her online store, The Effortless Beauty Co Shop.

Michaela had a miscarriage

Michael goes by Michaela because she dislikes her masculine birth name. She married her partner, Brandon Keilen, on 15 August 2015 and moved away from the family home. They had troubles with conception, and she did fertility tests and bloodwork in early 2017 before undergoing a hysterosalpingogram, an X-ray of the fallopian tubes and the uterus to eliminate any problems. Although they were open about that, the couple never revealed the results. However, they reiterated how much they loved their family, nephews, and each other, and that they trusted God and wouldn’t let infertility isolate them from their nieces and nephews.

Although the couple deleted the joint Instagram account @brandon_michael_jn15 sometime this year, they mentioned in one Instagram story in February that they ‘have a daughter in Heaven’ and showed a picture of them holding an ultrasound image. However, they elaborated on the miscarriage, and admitted that the pain was there, meaning that it could be recent. Luckily, their fans could see them in a group family picture when they gathered for Craig’s funeral in April. Their business, Keilen Corner, which sells gifts, swaddles, baby blankets and more, is also active.

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The family follows the path they set

After analyzing how the Bates family developed since early 2022, we can safely conclude that disappearing from TV screens did not hurt their reputation or popularity. Kelly Jo and Gil are still the same, upholding the values they preach through their religion, and hitting their family goals. They’ve raised their children to do the same, and their parenting works; no one’s divorced or been involved in a scandal. Instead, most of them met their partners after a courtship, became engaged within a few months, then married and welcomed one or multiple children.

Those who did not, such as Michaela and Lawson, were not pressured to do so, but were encouraged to trust in God and wait for the right moment. All Bates family members are hard-working, come together in times of need, and are resourceful away from the spotlight. Some work for their father’s tree service company, or have started another business, while others leveraged their media popularity to become influencers. Therefore, their fans can expect more excellent news this year.

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“Sweet Home Sextuplets” has been canceled, and will not be returning for Season 4

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Sweet Home Sextuplets

The TLC reality series “Sweet Home Sextuplets” debuted in September 2018 and starred Eric and Courtney Waldrop, a couple living in Alabama who birthed a rare set of 3-3 sextuplets. Over the course of three seasons and 24 episodes, Eric, Courtney, and their vast brood of nine children allowed viewers to experience life in a large – and at times chaotic – family.

Eric and Courtney were born in 1981 and 1982 respectively. Their first son, Saylor, was born in 2009. When the couple began struggling with infertility, they took medication to welcome twins Bridge Rayner and Wales Tucker to the world in 2012. In 2017, Courtney miraculously became pregnant with sextuplets after another round of fertility medications, delivered via C-section after 30 weeks of gestation. The boys are named Layke Bryars, Blu Wellington and Tag Bricker; the girls are named Rawlings McCaine, Rayne McCoy and Rivers McCall.

Each Season spanned several months in the life of the Waldrop family. In the second episode of season one, Layke was diagnosed with ventricular septal defect and the sextuplets came home after a lengthy stint in the natal intensive care unit (NICU). Over the next few episodes, the sextuplets made their first public appearance at the family church, Layke and Rivers were attended to by a cardiologist, and Eric and Courtney purchased a van to drive the whole family around.

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In season two, the sextuplets celebrated their first birthday while the Waldrops considered moving out of their home, which was becoming too small to accommodate them all. Eric and Courtney were also spread thin, trying to give their older children the attention they deserved without neglecting the little ones. Chaos descended when the whole household became ill with flu, and things got even worse when construction on the Waldrops’ new home was put on hold after a series of blunders.

Season three was the most challenging yet, as the sextuplets grew out of the baby phase and became demanding toddlers. From undertaking zoo and restaurant outings to enrolling the sextuplets in preschool, each episode was jam-packed with activities and milestones. In episode four of the season, the Waldrops moved into a mobile home as they waited to finish the construction work on their new home.

Naturally, Courtney was finding it almost impossible to juggle dozens of daily tasks with the other aspects of parenthood that include birthday planning, so much so that she considered throwing a huge joint party for all nine of her children. If that wasn’t enough, tornado season passed through Alabama and the coronavirus crisis meant that the Waldrops had to film themselves, as production shut down. In the last episode, “Survival Mode”, the family moved back into their home – but Eric and Courtney didn’t have a bedroom, and were forced to sleep on the couch.

After months of speculation regarding the show’s fate, Eric and Courtney took to YouTube in July 2021 to give their followers the bad news. Unsurprisingly, they had decided not to continue with the show, having ended filming in July 2020.

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TLC had approached the Waldrops just a week after they announced that they were expecting sextuplets. According to Courtney, she and Eric, who are both religious, prayed about it before deciding to go ahead with the series. “We’ll give it a shot, and if it ever becomes something that is hard on our family or hard on our kids, then we’ll stop,” she reasoned.

In fall 2020, TLC asked the parents of nine if they wanted to film season four. At first, Eric and Courtney were all game, despite recognizing how challenging it would be to keep up with their childrens’ demands, and a jam-packed filming schedule. “There are only so many hours in a day, and it was honestly just too difficult,” Eric claimed.

While the couple were mulling over their decision, TLC decided to cancel “Sweet Home Sextuplets”. However, that doesn’t mean the Waldrops faded into obscurity; to this day, Courtney regularly posts her adorable kids on social media, keeping her almost 620,000 followers up to date with their antics, no matter how banal.

Obviously, the odd social media sponsorship is nowhere near enough on which to raise nine children in today’s economy. Eric and Courtney have since created their own “brand”, “God’s Divine Nine”, and even sell merchandise on their website, although there is nothing available to purchase at the moment. Despite receiving criticism from some netizens for their parenting style, the Waldrops appear to be raising well-rounded children in a tight-knit family unit.

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Similar Shows

Despite the cancellation of “Sweet Home Sextuplets”, it’s no secret that TLC loves shows about large families. Similar series on their roster include “Out Daughtered”, which premiered in 2016 and follows the Busby family, who went from having one daughter to six after wife Danielle became pregnant with quintuplets.

The controversial Duggar clan were also stars of the network for several years following the 2008 premiere of “17 and Counting”. As America’s largest family, the Duggars were inevitably vilified by some and praised by others. When the original show was cancelled due to Josh Duggar’s molestation accusations scandal, TLC quickly worked on a spin-off named “Counting On”. Unfortunately, Josh once again landed himself in hot water, after being arrested on child pornography charges, and the Duggars have since disappeared from the small screen.

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“My Five Wives” premiered in 2013, and chronicled the lives of polygamist Brady Williams, his spouses, and his 24 children. Although the show only ran for two seasons, viewers were intrigued to see how the unconventional family raised the two dozen youngsters, and manage the dynamics of a plural marriage. It remains unclear why the show was cancelled.

Lastly, “Jon & Kate Plus 8” was household viewing in the mid-2000s. Echoing the Waldrop’s experience, the reality series saw Jon and Kate Gosselin raise their twins and sextuplets while trying to maintain a well-balanced household. The series was one of TLC’s highest-rated programs during its run, with almost ten million viewers tuning in to the season five premiere.

Although the Waldrops are no longer part of TLC, the network will continue to provide its loyal viewers with plenty of entertaining series and specials that show the lives of all sorts of families.

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What happened to Melody Thomas Scott, aka Nikki Newman in “Y&R”?

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Melody Thomas Scott

Melody Thomas Scott was born in Los Angeles, California, USA, in April 1956, and is a household name thanks to her role as Nikki Newman in “The Young and the Restless” (“Y&R”). The former child actress’s first film credit was in the 1964 Alfred Hitchcock classic “Marnie”, and over the next decade, the blonde had roles in a handful of TV shows and movies until she began taking parts in night-time series including “Charlie’s Angels” and “The Rockford Files”.

Aged 23, Melody left her recurring role in “The Waltons” to play Nikki Reed in “Y&R”, replacing the former actress, who had lasted just six months. Originally, Nikki Reed was a poor girl from the rough side of town, until she married Victor Newman and became an integral part of Genoa City society. Of the role, Melody previously said: “It’s a miracle for an actor to have a job last 35 years. I am so blessed.”

“Y&R” aired a stand-alone episode in February 2019 to commemorate Melody’s 40th year in the role. As of 2023, she is the longest tenured actress in the show and a firm fan favorite.

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Details of Melody’s personal life are somewhat cloudy; although we can confirm that she married and divorced her first husband, Lindy Davis, in 1979, it’s unknown when her marriage to second husband Bob Shield ended. Melody would meet her third husband, Edward J. Scott, on the set of “Y&R”, as he happened to be the executive producer. It remains unclear if Melody remained married to Bob when she pursued a romance with Edward in the 1980s; whatever the case, she exchanged her vows for the third time in 1985.

Melody and Edward share a daughter named Elizabeth. When the couple married, Melody already shared daughter Alexandra Danielle with make-up artist Carlos Yeaggy. Melody and Carlos had also met on the set of “Y&R”. Meanwhile, Edward had a daughter named Jennifer from a previous marriage. As of 2023, the family lives in Beverly Hills; Melody became a grandmother for the first time when Jennifer birthed twins in May 2011.

The soap opera vet had a health scare in 2014, following an adverse reaction to prescription meds she had been taking for a sinus infection. The actress took to Twitter to inform her fanbase of the drug’s side effects, adding: “Have just returned to work after six weeks of misery, a brief hospital stay, and have turned to alternative remedies, as the medical community had nothing to offer me.”

In early 2023, morbid rumors of Melody suffering from cancer began circulating online. Although the actress neither confirmed nor denied the rumors, it’s possible that the confusion stemmed from her role in “Y&R”, as her character was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2022. Melody spoke of Nikki’s diagnosis in an interview, saying: “Fans on Twitter are already thinking Nikki’s gonna die what with all these mysterious symptoms she’s been having. They thought it was maybe going to be cancer or something.”

Luckily, Melody hasn’t had any more health problems since that reaction in 2014.

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Nikki Newman

Moving on to Melody’s role as Nikki Newman, the socialite is one of the leading characters in Genoa City with a decidedly rich history. Her marriages to Victor Newman and Jack Abbott, as well as her friendship with Katherine Chancellor Murphy, and feuds with Jill Abott Fenmore and Sharon Newman, have made Nikki an unforgettable part of “Y&R” for years.

Nikki had a harrowing adolescence and frequently suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her father. Shortly after becoming a stripper, she was introduced to Victor, who would later become the love of her life, and who taught her everything she needed to know about high society, and showed a clear interest in the blue-eyed blonde; however, Nikki was jealous of his feelings towards Ashley Abbott, and went on to have an affair with Ashley’s brother, Jack.

When Nikki was diagnosed with an incurable disease, Victor forgot about Ashley and returned to her; despite their ups and downs, the couple married and had two children named Victoria and Nicholas Newman. Nevertheless, Nikki and Victor divorced, with Jack subsequently coming back into Nikki’s life and ruining her fledging romance with Dr. Scott Grainger.

Years passed and Nikki married Jack, who loved her but also hoped to use her as leverage against Victor when the latter became interested in Jabot Cosmetics. Jack stayed by Nikki’s side as she battled her alcohol and painkiller addiction following a crippling back injury; unfortunately, their marriage disintegrated when Nikki miscarried their son, potentially John Abbott III.

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Despite hoping to remarry Victor, Nikki was disappointed to see him walk down the aisle and have a child with Hope Adams. After a failed romance, Nikki married Dr. Joshua Landers; his wife, Veronica, who had been presumed dead, soon infiltrated herself into the couple’s home, pretending to be a maid. When Joshua caught Veronica, she killed him and shot Nikki. During another memorable incident, Veronica tried to kill Nikki for the second time, but died after falling on a pitchfork.

Over the next few years, Nikki and Victor’s turbulent romance was one of the most important storylines on “Y&R”. From Victor’s epilepsy diagnosis and brain surgery, to a private jet accident, the couple went through practically everything together, but ultimately divorced for a second time, despite supposedly remaining inseparable.

After four decades in “Y&R”, which is no small feat, Nikki’s character has overcome more than almost anyone else in Genoa City. Despite no longer being the focus of the show, Nikki is still a prominent figure as part of the illustrious Newman clan.

Surprisingly, Melody doesn’t make as much from the show as many fans might think, with online sources claiming that the actress pulls in just $3,000 per episode; her net worth is estimated at over $7 million as of mid-2023. However, she’s spoken positively of the show in her memoirs, “Always Young and Restless: My Life On and Off America’s #1 Daytime Drama”.

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The actress, who has 85,000 Instagram followers, rarely posts on social media unless it’s work-related. However, she has shared the odd snap with her daughter or husband in the past. Although the Californian rarely gives interviews, she was front and center at the soap opera’s 50th anniversary party, and happily answered reporters’ questions. The show is currently on its 50th season and will remain on air for the foreseeable future.

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