In Reality I’m Not The Oprah of Motherhood

ParentingAll Ages44 Comments

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.


Just wow.

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.

Along with a few other bloggers, we want you to see our real side in honor of Mother’s Day. Because often, we realize that our blog make us appear much more perfect than we really are. Click around the blogs below to see all of our real sides of motherhood.

And Next Comes L | 3 Dinosaurs | Hands On: As we Grow | Kids Play Space | Life Over C’s | Makeovers & Motherhood | Not Just Cute | One Time Through | Play DrMom | Southern Girl Ramblings | Still Playing School | Teaching Mama | The Chaos and The Clutter | The Craft Train | The Educators’ Spin On It | The Measured Mom | The Mommy Talks | Third Stop on the Right | This Reading Mama

5 weekly plans of activities for each one year olds, two year olds, and preschoolers (plus a learning one too!)

discover+play+engage+learn-bundleThe DISCOVER + PLAY + ENGAGE + LEARN eBooks have a combined 20 weeks of activities that are perfect for the early years. Fun ways to get kids moving, work on fine motor, do arts and craft projects and have fun as a family! Each weekly plan includes a handy supply list and activities broken down to know exactly what to do in a simple sentence or two.

Get your weekly activity plans here.


Ready for fun with your kids?

Plan the fun with the free kids activities planner! And receive activities every week!

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  1. Megan says

    Thank you so much for writing this! I try to do creative fun activities and have had some misses e.g daughter refuse to touch the goop – who knew she hates slimy textures? This post is just what I needed to hear.

  2. Jessica says

    It’s sooooooooooo nice to hear that!!!! I feel lazy when I can’t muster up the energy for an activity after I just did a pile of dishes, fed them lunch, ate lunch, did a load of laundry, changed a diaper, gotten drinks and by now a snack, settled an argument, took out the trash, answered an email, called the doctor, sat for a minute to breathe…and the list goes on!!!!! :). We are not perfect and they are still going to turn out okay, even if Oprah isn’t their Mom. We are good enough, great actually…and it’s nice to hear another Mom admit they’re day isn’t all neat & tidy and full of learning and creative Pinterest-worthy activities!!! Thank you!!

  3. kari says

    Thank you so much for this post. It does feel like I’m the only mother who is hanging on by threads sometimes. When it is all you have time to do to get the kids fed, dressed, and safe – while I bought a while wardrobe that could double as pjs so it wouldn’t be obvious if I didn’t get dressed! But my kids are cleaned and dressed almost every day. Your activities are inspiring and I have used them as inspiration with my own kids many times (no blog – I already spend too much time online!) Thank you for taking the time to share your life.

  4. says

    Thank you for writing this. It’s so refreshing. As much as my husband tells me to stop comparing myself to other people, I still get caught up in all that. I’ve tried so many sensory activities & my son wants nothing to do with them. Then I see all these kids in these Pinterest posts looking all happy & interested in the activity & I wonder why my son won’t do the same. Thanks for sharing that it doesn’t always work out. It’s just easy to get caught up in comparing, even when we don’t mean to.

  5. says

    I think your Louis and my 15-month old daughter should get together…they seem to have a lot in common! Seriously, I think the picture of him climbing inside the entertainment cabinet is my all-time favorite! Thanks for sharing the details behind the scenes!

  6. says

    such a lovely post, Jamie. It’s so close to my heart. Thank you for being such a kind person and making all moms feel a little better about themselves since it’s so easy to believe that we bloggers get it all together all the time.

  7. says

    Wish you lived next door to me. Ryan & Louis would be quite a pair. I have similar photos from when we are doing blogging projects. You are rocking motherhood & blogging despite what you may think. I hope you had a Happy Mother’s Day!

  8. says

    I’ve been following your blog and recommending it to all the moms I know because it’s a great resource so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. I love this honest post and it blessed me as a mom trying to balance mothering and blogging. My 2 yo goes to childcare twice a week too!

  9. says

    I so resonate with this post, Jamie. And I always feel better when you say that you’re trying to do 2-3 activities a week (versus daily) because that is definitely where we’re at here. And I so understand getting that little guy out of the way or just letting him get into something so the older two can do an activity. As for doing a bunch of activities in a row… yeah, I do that too. Sometimes I think I should have the boys push up their sleeves so people don’t see the same clothes in the next post, lol! I think our boys are similar ages (2y4m, 3y11m, 5y8m) so it’s fun to see what you’re doing at your house. I am always amazed by your creative play ideas and your amazingly written sponsored posts. I love learning from you, and KBN is the best thing that’s happened to me, blogging-wise.

  10. Carolyn says

    Great post! I appreciate that you can share that side of you! I love your blog and your ideas. I hope you, and other mom bloggers, don’t take this the wrong way – but if you are as real as the rest of us, and these things don’t come super easy to you too- why not show that in your blog and make it real? Show the messes- the hits, the misses. Why does every picture have to be perfect? I’m not a stay-at-home mom so I do the best I can in the evenings and on weekends with my daughter. We have lots of misses right now and a few hits on various activities and I laugh about it mostly. But i did go through a time where I did feel like a horrible mom because of all these “perfect” blogs with these “perfect” moms and their “perfect” activities and their “perfect” kids. I LOVE the ideas you share- and I think motherhood and childhood is perfectly messy and chaotic and I wish that side of it all was reflected more than the “perfect” Oprah-like and Martha Stewart-like facades. Again- I hope it’s not taken the wrong way- I ABSOLUTELY LOVE your blog and ideas…. just my own thoughts. Thank you again for sharing your behind the scenes!

  11. says

    Great article, Jamie! I’ve seen a few bloggers coming out with articles like this and it is so refreshing for moms to read. It reminds me of the saying “There’s a million ways to be a good mom” (and I don’t know that any of them include having a perfectly clean house while doing activities all day :). You’re a great mom! Thanks for sharing your creative ideas with us!

  12. Juale says

    Thank you for this blog and for being so honest about your perceived shortcomings. You’ll never know how many stay at home moms needed this blog. FYI, no I’ve never met her, but because she is human, Oprah probably has her side messes as well. No one is a superhero in all if this. Thanks so much for your inspirational activities.

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