Note from Cara: This just went out to my email list, but based on the response I got I think there’s a need for me to share this publicly as well.
The idea of only showing your ‘good self’ isn’t anything new, our parents did it via picture-perfect Christmas cards sent to distant friends and relatives, and by never talking about the shameful or bad stuff on long distance phone calls.
But with the immediate gratification of social media, so much of our days have very picture perfect lives right in our face. It’s easy to feel like everyone has their lives together, and we’re the only ones who can’t seem to manage it.
Blogging can amplify this even more, because we really want to connect with you as a real person- I’m real, I have a real family, real kitchen, and we have seen real results of the lifestyle I encourage here. But this is a very specific version of my life that I’m presenting to you.
Without airing all my dirty laundry, I’ll give you a glimpse into my reality.
Confessions & Real Life
I have a hard time balancing being public online with my life and not being fake. I even tell my ‘in real life’ friends not to follow my blog, because they’ll get an unrealistic picture of what my reality is.
In the back of your mind you all know this – I record my videos when I’m having a good hair day and not feeling bloated, I don’t post the 50%+ of new recipes that flop (you should have seen my first 2 attempts at homemade RX Bars… they weren’t even edible!), and when my kids are yelling in the background of a video that I’m recording, I mute that out and put some soft uplifting music there instead.
Struggle is a part of life, and it’s not something that we see in others unless they’re our really close friends. The truth is that we all struggle with our attitudes, boredom, feeling like we don’t do enough.
And of course those conversations in our head that we’d rather be doing anything else than scrubbing an unidentified substance off the wall in the kids room and maybe nobody will notice and we can put it off for a day or two. Later. We’ll do it later.
It’s safer to only post the good stuff, posting the bad stuff opens us up to criticism and being kicked while we’re down (which hurts so much more). But it’s also damaging to YOU, my friends, if you only see the good stuff. Here are some quick facts about my life right now that hopefully will provide some balance.
- When I’m finishing up a project for work (like the Freezer Cooking Class) my housework goes out the window. When you’re emailing thousands of people at once, any technology issue needs to be addressed immediately because every thing that doesn’t work wastes hundreds or thousands of people’s time. So it means that laundry, housework, and paperwork get ignored while I deal with whatever I need to deal with right now. I also have been known to allow the toddler to shred paper with little safety scissors, empty the bookshelf, and mix up all the games in the game cabinet just to get the last 20 minutes needed to finish up a project in time.
- While we’re on that subject, I do work full time on my blog/classes/consults and I also have a 3-year-old at home. I’m a morning person, so I get up early (I aim for 3-4 am a few times a week) so I can get uninterrupted work in before the kids get up. This is great, I enjoy my work, I really like watching the sun rise most mornings. But then I. am. grumpy. by the time the older kids get out of school. So grumpy. So tired. And counting down to bedtime. I absolutely am not serving a creative dinner that night. It’s usually leftovers.
- This is my job. I make an income from my blog (if you want to also, you can get started here), most bloggers that are blogging every week do. Do not compare yourselves with us, just take what you can use from what we do (really- we are trying to make this easier for you, not make you feel bad). I get comments and emails from you saying that you wish you had all the creativity in the kitchen, or the organization to pull all this off. This pays my bills, that’s why I have time to do this. If I had a different full time job, there is no way I could blog like this.
- Also- I outsource my kids’ laundry. A professional service comes to my house, picks it up every Monday, washes and folds it for me and then brings it back to me the next day. This frees up so much mental space knowing that the kids always have clean clothes. If I’m behind on my laundry I just progressively start wearing more dressy clothes until I can catch back up, but having the kids’ stuff done is huge and essential.
- I do weird stuff to get creativity. I love having this creative outlet, but there are many times that I get writer’s block. I’ll whine to my friend that everything is boring, food is boring, my pictures look unappetizing, and I don’t want to write one more word about gut health. So I take a break. The mountains are my happy place, and road trips (read: Boredom of driving I-15 for hours and hours) get me out of a a rut.
- I’m better at providing for the physical needs for my family than then emotional ones. Food/shelter/clothing? I’ve got it covered. Feelings/validation/emotions? I struggle. I’m constantly working on self improvement in this area, but again, I’m only showing you the stuff I’m good at. I’m also a full time single parent (this isn’t new- I’ve been divorced since 2011) so it’s up to me and only me to figure all this stuff out.
- Last one ? I love the cheesecakes at Costco. I know. I allow myself to buy one a month, when I’m PMSing and grumpy/starving/falling apart. Last month I bought a bag of organic mangos (the dried mangos in the snack isle? They’re like crack) instead, and I was pretty pleased with myself. So there ya have it :)
Back to that good stuff that I like to post (and you like to read)- it may not be an accurate picture of the exact day that you see it. When you see that email come through? I may have written it on a peaceful Tuesday morning, to be sent to you later that week. But the day it actually comes through to your inbox I could be dealing with 3 kids with the stomach flu… a car battery that won’t start… or a toilet that overflowed. So please, have grace if I don’t respond to your emails, comments, or customer service requests right away, I’m trying, I promise :)