Is my little guy eating dirt? Why yes. Yes he is.
Sometimes in the blogosphere it feels like you can’t quite show your human side. Choose the wrong word and you’ll hear about it in the comments section. Admit to making mistakes and you risk losing your credibility. Mention you actually fed your kids something that didn’t grow in your own back yard and who knows, someone might call DCFS. But cautious blogging has also fed this Pinterest-induced fantasy that there are actually perfect people out there.
It’s not true. In fact, I’ve been writing an entire series about how not true it is.
As I wrote in the introduction of my ebook, I’ve long been leery about being called a “parenting expert”. I’m much more comfortable as a child development specialist.
Much of what I write about parenting, I write to myself. Reminders, corrections, thoughts on how to be better tomorrow than I was today. I don’t write because I’m doing it all perfectly, I write because I need so badly to improve.
But I am careful in my writing and I’m very serious about my professional work. But I’m also very, very human. Exceptionally fallible, quirky, and out-right goofy.
So since I’ve been feeling oh so human this week, I thought I’d share a bit of that with you. Just keepin’ it real.
You know that mom who asks her kids which fruit or vegetable they’d like with their lunches — because you HAVE to have a fruit or a vegetable with your lunch — who then snitches hot fudge by the spoonful while preparing the aforementioned healthy lunches?
Yeah. I’m THAT mom.
That mom who was walking around, heaven-only-knows- how-long, with a dried stream of baby spit up down her riding boots?
Yup. That would be me.
The mom whose kitchen floor is usually covered with enough crumbs someone could bread chicken fillets simply by rolling pieces from one end of the room to the other?
What about that mom who let her son stay home “sick” from school, when she was really quite sure he wasn’t actually sick, just because she thought the kid could use a break? Oh, who happens to be the same mom who sent the same son to school after he seemed to be feigning a stomachache, only to get a phone call a short time later because her son threw up?
That mom who RSVP’d to the scouting event, then promptly wrote it down on the wrong date, leaving only a dark, locked house when the leaders came by to give the young scout a ride?
Yeah. That would be this gal, who ironically writes for The Organized Parent.
The mom who poured the dearly departed goldfish into the toilet bowl in preparation for a few tender words, only to realize mid-pour that the contents of the bucket were enough to automatically and unceremoniously flush the toilet, along with the precious fish, while the pint-sized mourners stood by, screaming in horror?
Yes. Rookie mistake.
How about that mom who headed to the freezer for a cold pack to sooth her son’s latest wounds only to be caught by her patient with chocolate breath upon her urgent return? Can I help it if the chocolate chips are stored right next to the ice packs?
OK. Yes on both counts.
The stylish mom (you know, with spit-up on her boots) who could at any moment be sporting a light saber on her belt loop because she is either a) in character, b) tired of holding it for Luke Skywalker who has now moved to another area of the playground, or c) completely unaware it’s been put there?
Definitely me….unless it’s one of my boy-mom friends.
That mom who often blames herself when her kids get hurt, not just because she could have prevented the accident with better supervision, but also because she’s sure she has passed along a very strong and genetic lack of all grace and coordination.
Mm hm. This goofy gal.
And that mom who gave in and let her boys eat chocolate bundt cake with their breakfasts, rationalizing that it’s basically the same as a chocolate muffin from Costco?
Oh yeah. Me. (Has anyone noticed a chocolate theme here?)
And that mom who loves her kids so much it breaks her heart? The mom who lays down each night (or in the wee hours of the morning) wondering if she did enough? That mom who worries about whether or not she’s getting it all right?
Like you, that’s also me.
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Great post. My favorite anecdote is the fish story. I could totally picture it in my mind. Oh, and I’m with you on the chocolate theme. 🙂 xoxo
awesome list! I’m pretty sure I’ve done pretty much the equivalent to all of those.
My favorite moment this morning was when I woke up to find my son eating chocolate covered almonds that he had foraged from the top shelf of the cupboard before I woke up. I told him he needed to eat something healthier for breakfast . .. and then snuck a few for myself on their way back to the shelf.
Hands Free Mama says
Oh my gosh! I am laughing out loud and crying, too. I loved you before, but now I REALLY love you. Just keepin’ it real. And to me real is beautiful. It’s connective. It’s supportive. It’s human. It’s forgiving. We could all do ourselves a favor by just keepin’ it real and eating a little more chocolate. You’ve got both areas covered. THANK YOU!!! You rock.
jackie Brandwood says
This is such a wonderful article, kudos to you. I would always put a couple of candies in their pockets and said they were to only open them when they were outside playing. I think we forget sometimes that they are kids only once, so lets enjoy it. We all deserve a little pat on the back. I don’t think there is a perfect parent out there. Let’s keep it real, and the conversation goes on for ever.
THANK YOU! I loved this article. I smiled when you served bundt cake…my son had a brownie for breakfast yesterday ;).
Wonderful! Thanks for keeping it real! I purposely avoid FB and Pinterest and other sites for the very unreal facet it portrays…but I’m tempted nonetheless to join some of them. 🙂 And the treat snitching while telling the kids to stop begging for it…totally me!
This is one of the many reasons why I read your blog…you keep it real and I value authenticity. I’m more likely to follow a blog when I can see their personality in their writing.
Love this! Just yesterday, I put on my shoes, noticed dried spit up and forgot to wipe it off before I left the house… oh well : )
Thanks for keeping it real.
This was one of the best articles EVER!
I love everything about this post! Thanks for keeping it real. I can absolutely relate!
Mrs P says
You always inspire me to try to do better!
I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one pushing the fruit and veg bandwagon on the kids while sneaking chocolate into my big trap!
As always, thanks for keeping it real and realistic 🙂
Thanks for your series of real posts. This has made me laugh and has reminded me that I have to laugh at myself and to relax from time to time. I can’t be perfect and I don’t want my children to think I want them to be perfect.
By the way, I’ve also been caught with a chocolate smelling breath a few times!!
I could kiss you – I’m that mum – although I would love the riding boots I’m more likely to have it smeared over my black sweater.
I love this.
Being a great mom doesn’t mean being perfect and I am just shooting for “not completely at fault for all my kids therapy in college” title as a parent. Even that seems hard some days.
I am the mom who begs her husband not to buy junk food and then wakes too late for her son to have a healthy lunch and gives in to his request for another school lunch. At least that is who I am this week. Next week I will have some other goof up or perceived failing.
Bravo & thank you!! 🙂
Very refreshing! Great blog!
Oh my goodness….! it’s official.
I have a mum (Australian spelling) crush on you.
Cheers to always striving to be the best parent we can be and enjoying ourselves because we’re not. Because our kids aren’t perfect and what a great thing to model that that’s ok.
Love from down under.
thank you. i love it. and it comes in exactly the same week that i blogged about fearing failure as a mum. i don’t have many followers but the silence in the comments was deafening. there’s a couple now but if i feared writing it in the first place, i now feel positively like a crazy woman for saying it aloud (so to speak).
Can we clone you? Thanks for another great post! ~ Marnie
Although I believe it takes a large helping of humble pie to fess up, which I believe you have done -I kept waiting for you to speak about “loosing it.” Beyond the perfectly imperfect, we all need to talk about the times that are beyond harmless; the times that we yell, the times that a sarcastic remark leaves our lips, the time we turn our backs because we have lost the plot and can’t give the much needed hug. It is those memories that raise shame and self-disappointment that we all need to talk about more, because those are the times when we need the most help, or love, or support. Moreover, it brings the conversation around to those who may not have awareness around the power of words or withdraw of love in their parenting.
Regardless, I enjoyed your humble pie.
Oh I can so relate!
When I write about parenting topics I worry that I am coming across as ‘holier than thou’ or that there is only ‘one right way’ when really I am writing about it try and sort out how to deal with it, for me, for my kids… I hope that it may help others but I also hope others may help me!
And I am so far from perfect in every goofy way possible!
oh. if only those kinds of cute, quirky, innocent mistakes were the worst ones i could summon.
Awesomely refreshed my mind 🙂 Thanks for the great post 🙂
Thanks for “keepin’ it real”. It’s so nice to know that I’m not the only goofball parent out there that makes mistakes. It’s hard to not compare my worst days with the perfect lives that people craft on facebook and pinterest. It’s refreshing to hear someone say, “It’s not all tickle fests and rainbows.” Sometimes there are meltdowns. And when those meltdowns happen, Mama needs some chocolate.
With you on the kitchen floor!!! (And the chocolate theme!)
From one imperfect mom to another … so nice to really meet you. : )
REALLY needed to hear this, especially this week! It’s OKAY to NOT be perfect! We all set such high expectations for ourselves and I know I always feel very disappointed and like a failure when I can’t live up to them… It’s ok to let go sometimes. Thank you for sharing your “human side” and for your blog, in general – always relateable, honest and inspiring!
Great post! Your blog always renews my confidence in myself.
I love this post so much I want to marry it. Thank you, thank you, thank you! xo
Thank you!! Pinterest and perfect blogs drive me crazy! When I try to use the kitchen table for a photo shoot for the blog I often debate: realistic table or blogworthy table?! Since we all have our own messes we like to fantasize that other people always have clean kitchens! p.s. my kids are always catching me with chocolate breath…
I can relate to this on so many levels… Most of all that I love my kids so much it breaks my heart!
I could very much relate to this post. And being a mom, an aspiring blogger and a child, family, and adolescent counselor, I think this is exactly what I needed to hear. I hesitate to write about parenting because I often feel the same way. Who am I to give advice? But this does “keep it real.” It’s nice knowing that even the “experts” don’t have it all together. Encouraging:)
I think cautious blogging is just as prevalent as endlessly self deprecating blogging and both are equally harmful and dis-empowering. We all have legitimately perfect and imperfect moments and should be able to celebrate and/or testify to both. In the grand scheme of things our children will be the ones who decide if we got it right nor not, not other moms. Sanitizing our experience of motherhood either way is harmful. I appreciate the spirit of this post but it still misses the mark.
Yeah, I agree. They were all fun and cute to read and we could all relate. BUT, how about yelling at your two year old at the top of your lungs and roughly cleaning him up after he had an “accident”…then crying in the shower for 10 minutes afterward. Yup. Me. How about telling your 3 year old to stop putting sprinkles on the cookies you are baking because he’s putting too much on and he looks at you and says “only big brother can?”. Yeah, me again, and I still wince 20 years later thinking of that horribly insensitive moment. (of course after he said that I gave him free reign, but the original damage was done) There are other examples like that that I am loath to remember, but they happened. When my kids were growing up there were no blogs, but I had friends and co-workers who would ask me for advice, citing they thought I was such a good mom. I aways told them examples such as these, to keep it real, I never wanted anyone to think I was perfect. Yes, I think I was a good mom, but I was always very hard on myself (and we should always be evaluating ourselves so we can improve). My 3 sons are all grown up and are wonderful young men. Though not perfect, I think I did pretty good!
Oh the chocolate breath!!! I started laughing when I read this. And the crumby floors! That is us!
Aunt Annie's Childcare says
Hahahahaha! Hahahahaha! That is me still laughing about the goldfish. Sorry. Hahahahahaha!
This post reminds me of the time I confessed in my blog to losing the plot in the supermarket and walking two aisles away from my son, who was screaming in the trolley seat… boy did I get some motherly disapproval for that. We are all fallible. Good on you. Oh, and… hahahahaha!
Thanks for reminding us we’re all human.
I’m guilty of justifying having chocolate cake for breakfast – after all they have all day to burn it off if they have it in the morning rather that after dinner
very touching. the end made me cry.
Love this article probably because these are things I do! I absolutely agree that it’s so easy to get that impression that everyone else does a perfect job of parenting just by reading blogs/pinterest, etc. Thanks for sharing!
Susan Call Hutchison (ReadAloudReadAlong.com) says
Oh, so true. Makes me feel a little foolish for feeling ABNORMAL for doing such normal, human things. As a mom of girls who are now 33 and 26, I can promise you that your kids will remember the flushing goldfish. But they’ll remember because you respected their mourning, and not just because of the flub. Loved the post!
Amy Jane says
I love this!! I was cracking up and had to call my husband in to read him the goldfish one! …with all due respect for his sweet fishy life! We still have a frozen goldfish in our freezer from 2 years ago waiting for burial. I should’ve done the flushing ritual…
Umm…WITH their breakfast?!! You are better than me! Try INSTEAD!!! LOL