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. Sarah says

    What a lovely & refreshing post. I try to do fun & interesting things with the kids, but there are also times when I need to do something less engaging (a household chore, something for work) & they watch a TV show or do something equally mundane. Nice to hear reinforcements that this struggle (balancing educational, exciting & fun activities with everyday other stuff) is universal. Much appreciated!

  2. Maria Albanese says

    Thank you for your honesty! You could have depicted the picture of a Martha Stewart mother, instead you corrected the compliment and in doing so warmed the hearts of all the mothers who read this blog. It is sooo refreshing to hear because many times you come across these successful mom blogs and they don’t admit that they need to send their kid to daycare to get things done- I know I do! Or that when you are trying to get work done while they are at home, your only option sometimes is TV or the iPad or whatever else will keep them quiet for longer than 10 minutes, so that you can accomplish something and not always in the late hours when you are EXHAUSTED! Anyways, thank you so much again. Your activity ideas are awesome too.

  3. MrsP says

    I love it! An honest woman! I run a day care (27 years now) and try to do at least – at least – one project a week BUT the problem is – I have all boys and most times they really aren’t interested in doing anything for more that 2 minutes lol Almost every project takes me longer to set up than the amount of time that THEY want to devote to it. It is what it is. That’s life :)

  4. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. So many times I just feel guilty for not doing enough with my kid after reading some blogs even that Deep deep down I do know life doesn’t really look like that. But still actually reading that someone else’s life is as hectic an unperfect as mine makes it all so much easier.

    I do get this urge to post new ideas every day. Same thing with my blog I have about food for kids. I feel like constantly I have to post something new and interesting when in fact we could have same thing for dinner three days in a row.

    You are an inspiration for me so thank you

  5. imogen says

    Thank you so much for this post! I have 2 boys. The eldest has been very high needs from birth and as such I haven’t managed to do many activities with him because it’s such a frustrating process. He’s now nearly 4 and been in full time daycare/ preschool since he was 1. I recently made the decision to become a stay at home mum and had been excited about spending some quality time with him but we have been really struggling with a lot of behavior issues. Your website is exactly what I need but I was getting very sad reading through it and I realized how much we have missed out on together. That is, until I read this post, and it stopped me from feeling envious and putting myself down and instead made me resolve anew to connect with my kids through some really fun sensory and creative play. Thank you for this and your fabulous website!!

    • says

      I really don’t want you to feel sad in any way – we all have our ups and downs and never seem to talk about the downs — which leads us all to view everyone else from the picture perfect window — and I have yet to actually meet anyone that lives that way. Have fun enjoying your kids!!

  6. Michelle says

    Just wanted to Thank You for this post. I am a SAHM of 2 girls with my youngest (9 months) being fairly high maintenance and exhausting me daily. I just want to zone out most of the time even though I can’t. As a result, I don’t do as many activities with them that I would like. But this post, and posts like these by moms, are refreshing and inspiring. So, I thank you for your candidness. It is much appreciated.

  7. says

    I loved this so much. I often do think y’all must be doing tons of activities all the time and I get frustrated that my 18 month old “ruins” them or after the prep turns out they would rather play with their books or something. And I have been debating a day of daycare but just thought somehow I shouldn’t. Just loved this post!

  8. Amy Lipinski says

    Thank you so much for this. I actually teared up reading it because more than anything in the world I want to be a good mom, but I have to constantly remind myself that perfect isn’t an option. Your willingness to be real to your readers makes you an even better blogger, and I already thought you were awesome! Thanks so much for your honestly!

  9. T says

    I follow your blog and I really love seeing the things you come up with. I only have on 2.5 year old, but I don’t typically start her on an activity. I leave them laying around and kind of let her discover them. My job to provide the materials, her job to do something with them. After all, all of this is for their benefit or enjoyment. You mentioned not being able to come up with something for your son. Maybe those are the times when they can take over. Where you can sit and say, ” I know you can come up with something really neat”. For me, it really takes the pressure off. Because part of their job as kids is to explore and discover and create their own things too. I love seeing parents get involved and want to participate with their kids, and I love doing it myself too. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with not feeling it sometimes and having them take over. I think it’s really really great you shared this.
    I hope my comment made sense. I

  10. says

    Thank you for being so honest. I feel like a crappy mom most of the time, with full-time work and all (and lately, I’ve been rendering long hours on weekdays and even have to go back on weekends). I barely have the time and energy to do anything fun with my daughter which is why we always look forward to once-a-month out-of-town excursions as a family.

  11. Kristin Folkerts says

    Thank you so much for your honesty! I have tried to do a “crafty” activity everyday and felt like a failure when I don’t. I also was trying to blog about all things family from birth to death essentially and had to give it up because of the pressure I was putting on myself to produce more often than I really had time for. Thank you for being a great example!

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