Be Real — 28 Comments

  1. Love, love, love this! You put to words what I think so often, especially with the advent of FB. It’s so easy to compare to all of the successes you see on there because no one wants to share the hard. And so I make the effort to not be on there too much because I find myself falling into the comparison trap. How sad that people connect artificially on FB, but not in real life. It is challenging to find people who are really willing to share their struggles and I have had a more than a few look at me funny when I try to be honest about mine. However, there are some I have found that are drawn to being real and those are the friendships I treasure! It’s a breath of fresh air. Thanks for sharing this, Michelle. Your thoughts on your blog encourage me often. Blessings from one family of ten to another. :)

    • Melanie, it is hard in this age of FB and Pinterest to not get caught up in comparing ourselves to others! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  2. This was just what I needed this week!! Thank you so much for this. As a mom who doesn’t know any “real life” homeschool mom’s, all of my information on this subject comes from blogs. I often have a pretty unreal idea of what my life, my home, kids and everything else should be like. Yes…I do often have the tendency to compare my mothering to Mrs. Duggar. The part you wrote about what is going on in your head is just what I think pretty much all the time. God has been encouraging me lately not to think like this. Lately I have been trying really hard to focus my thoughts on: how would Jesus react to this, what would His attitude be like. This has been super helpful. But knowing that you feel this way sometimes too…really encourages me!! Thank you.

  3. THIS…. is very, very true. Thank you so much for sharing! Do you have encouragement for how one can avoid discouragement and the feeling of being a complete failure after those encounters with the mom-who-does-it-all-better? There just seems to be so much competition and comparison between mommies… As a stay-at-home homeschool mom, my whole identity seems to be wrapped up in my kids (although I know that how Christ views me is my real identity). And I can feel threatened so easily.

    • I’m so sorry, Gina! It is hard to avoid discouragement! You are so right that our identity is in Christ, but it’s easy to try to find it in our families. For me it is a constant need to pray and take my thoughts captive, sometimes speaking the truth out loud to myself.

  4. I am all for being real, and I love safe places to share my struggles, but one thing to consider is that maybe she truly didn’t share the same struggle you did. I’m sure she has struggles, we all do, but we aren’t all the same. I wouldn’t write off a friendship just because she didn’t instantly open up about whatever her struggles are, they may be deeply personal and the kind of thing that would take time to share. Just a thought.

    • Good thoughts, Stacey, and I agree with you. As I hope I made clear in the post, we should celebrate successes of others and I wouldn’t begrudge someone for not having the same struggles as me. But that isn’t what was going on here. Without going into specifics, this case was atypical and it was a definite insult in response to my small moment of transparency.

      As I said in the post, I am not angry with her. I had all but forgotten about it, and only remembered as I was deleting old post drafts that I had never gotten around to publishing. This one was drafted almost two years ago and almost got deleted! :) I do not consider this woman an enemy by any means, but I could not see myself opening up to her again after that. Self-protection mechanism and all that. :)

      The post is more about taking off the masks that we tend to wear, in trying to appear perfect to others. Creating a false image of perfection is not healthy for us, and it can hurt those around us too.

  5. This is such a good post. I had always been that person who never talked about my faults or the bad things happening with my family. Not that I wanted to appear perfect, I just didn’t want to be negative either. Anyway, a couple of years ago my family started down a very difficult and hurtful journey. A couple of people in our small community used this time to bring more grief to our family. It has been through this that I’ve learned to be transparent. We’ve done nothing to bring on this difficult time, so I can speak without any guilt and I’ve learned to not feel shame bc again, it’s not my fault. What I have found is that others are more open to talk to me about their issues now. So many people have contacted me and shared their hearts. It’s amazing! We’re able to walk through these dark times and pray for each other and hold each other up. I’m no longer the perfect (homeschool) mom, but the real mom, with real problems who’s trusting in God to get past each day.

    • Oh wow, Tammy! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I have found exactly the same thing in my life. There was a time when I tried to wear a mask and wanted people to think I was a perfect mom. As God has humbled me and helped me to be a bit more transparent, I too have found people are more open. I’m learning it isn’t about me and what I’m comfortable with, but it’s about how God can use me to serve and encourage others.

  6. I SOOOOO enjoy your blog.. you come across very humble and real and I think it is such a wonderful thing you are doing by sharing with the rest of us all you have learned.. I know I really do appreciate it!

  7. I read this post a while ago, and wanted to comment, but didn’t have the time just then. I just want to encourage you as well. I have continued to read your blog for the help and encouragement I receive. Your logistics tips are so helpful. I have never felt that you come across as anything but humble and wanting to share how this or that has worked for your family. You certainly have many successes with your children, but you have never presented anything in a way that would make others think that you have arrived or got it all figured out. Keep being led by the spirit, he shines through your words!

  8. Hi Michelle,

    I’ve been reading your blog over the past couple of years and have really been encouraged by you. I just want to tell you that the way you have come across on this blog is exactly the way that you said you hope you’ve come across, if that makes sense. :) And the thing that sticks out to me the most about your family is that you LOVE each other, and ENJOY being together. I really want to strive for that in my kids as well. You and your family are beautiful!

    Rachel – wife, and mommy of 5 little ones :)

  9. I am finding be real, and helpful a challenge when writing my own blog. Thank you for sharing – I so understand your thought of” if I only” . .was more organized, thoughtful, listened better, prayed more, slept less. . .we are ever learning, in our walk with the Lord. So thankful He is patient with me. Blessings as you learn and teach with your family!

  10. Well said! I appreciate your heart and your taking the time share with others. I will come back and read more!