I recently got the highest form of compliment I could have ever expected to receive in an email with a reader.
She told me:
“I do love your blog and all the great ideas you share! You’re like the Oprah of motherhood in my book.”
How could I ever be compared to Oprah?
And then I realized… she doesn’t see what I see here in my home. Or all the doubts in my head.
The photos that are shown are hand-selected out of 100’s that I take with every activity. And usually only 3-6 make it into a post that you see.
They’re not showing all the messes just outside of the camera shots of every activity we do. Because I normally do a quick clean sweep of the area that we’re working in so it has the appearance of clean, at least in the photos.
In reality… it just got shoved to the side.
And it doesn’t show that I send my kids to daycare twice a week. Even though I’m supposed to be a stay at home mom. But I love this blogging thing too much that I decided to make it a job.
Or that you can’t hear the crying that Louis is doing sometimes while I’m trying to do activities with the older two and just need to get another photo of them.
Or that he’s often on my hip while we’re doing activities so that he’s ‘included’ but not ‘ruining’ the activity by doing what toddlers do best, getting in the middle of it all.
Or Louis is probably getting into something he shouldn’t be… but I let it go because its distracting him and he’s happy while we do our activity…
And probably the biggest misconception:
It appears that I’m doing activities with my kids nonstop. Because I share them constantly here.
I’m not. Really, really, I’m not. I’d love to be doing 2-3 activities a day with the kids. I just can’t muster up the energy to do it. I sit them in front of the TV far more than I’d like to admit in public like this.
Heck, I’d love to honestly be doing 2-3 activities a week with my kids. But its hardly even that sometimes. Some days we do 3 activities in a row because we’re all in the mood (ever notice the same shirt a few posts in a row?) and I have ideas flowing out of me.
Other days, and likely, most days… not so much. George asks me for an activity far more often than I can provide something new to try. That’s something I’m working on myself. It doesn’t always have to be something new.
I realize this is a problem specific to me writing this blog. I want to inspire you all to do these creative things with your kids, and I feel like I fail when I don’t provide something new and original. I spiral in circles in and out of this. Which is probably why you’ll often see a post saying its “getting me back to the classics” because I realized that I need to do these with my kids too. It doesn’t need to be original all the time. It just needs to be fun.
Also, the other way around… my kids don’t just love every activity I present. Its not like this is drilled into them. They are boys that have better things to do a lot of the times. Activities are hit or miss with them many times. And sometimes activities end in hysterics… sometimes from me even.
This email from this reader happened after I shared a spin off of my post Its Okay to Not Do Activities with the Kids in the weekly newsletter. It was perfect timing for her to see me in this not-so-perfect light. I realized that I need everyone to know that not-so-perfect me too. I’m just you. No different. I struggle with parenting. I struggle with doing activities with my kids, too. I struggle with it all. And I get frustrated too.
It happens to me too.
I have the moments. I’m assuming it happens to all moms. But I, too, have the same doubts that I’m the only one that does parenting ‘like this’. I often think I’m the worst mom in the world.
So I go back to that email and wonder how in the world could I be thought of as the Oprah of Motherhood to this reader?
In reality I’m not the Oprah of Motherhood. As much of a compliment as that is to me and puts the biggest smile on my face, I’m really, really not.
You don’t have to be a “super parent” or the Oprah of Motherhood to be the parent your kids need you to be. Sign up to start a 7 day challenge of activities here.