This Blog is Not a Reality Show, It’s a Best-of Video

If you think that I was always comfortable in the kitchen, then you must not have known me when I was 30. I cried on my honeymoon because I was afraid of the kitchen that awaited me.

I've come a long way

As I explained this week at Parentables, it took me years of trying and trying before I realized that I was trying too hard.  (You can read more of my cooking backstory here.)

JoAn’s joking comment to my post about simple cooking reminded me of the discussion going on at The Happiest Mom around the question, Do inspiring blogs make you feel bad about yourself?

I may often be trying to be a better person, but often I’m failing.  Too little about my mishaps make the editorial cuts, because I want to be helpful — not funny.  But I realize that sometimes we need more than just tips and numbered lists.  We need a friend who confesses to having a hard time.  We need honesty.

Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors, says that you have to know how to fail to teach people how to succeed.  As someone who likes to learn, I get that.  I don’t want to take advice from a person who was lucky enough to get it right the first time.  I want to learn from someone who has paid their admission to the carnival a bunch of times and has finally figured out how to hit that mallet and ring the bell.

I Am a Work in Progress

Me as a sophomore, a chubby unhappy phase that outlasted my college years.

When I give people a tour of my house, knowing they’ll see the curtain-less windows and the IKEA furniture that might have worked in our last apartment (but not here), I say, “It’s a work in progress.”  I too am a work in progress.

If my life looks good, that’s because you have happened to walk in after I’ve de-cluttered the entry and swept the kitchen floor.  Or maybe I’ve invited you over, so I cleaned the house and baked a pie for the occasion, because I want to treat you with respect and generosity.

This blog is kind-of like that, magnified.  Not only are you seeing the highlights of my week, you’re walking into the best part of my life.  You missed the college years, when the ‘Freshman 35′ was merely a continuation of my struggles with weight that started in high school and continued through my 20s.  You missed seeing how I was a goober in grade school, an emotional mess in my 20s, and an insecure mother in my 30s.

Only now, in my early 40s, I am hitting my stride.  I may have crow’s feet and callouses, but I’m a much happier person than I’ve ever been.  But I still have ups and downs, obviously. I still screw up, I have deep doubts, I take the wrong path, I do exactly what I said I wasn’t going to do.

Blogs are Real, But They’re Composed

Many mom bloggers today, myself included, feel the need to share more and more and more of our personal lives. That’s what sells: real life, up close and personal.

Reality show stars hope that the world will love them based on the force of their personality.  I don’t have that much confidence.  I’m only good at a few things, and I’m not always bubbly and gregarious.  In fact, I’m kind-of shy and self-doubting.  My pictures are not raw and my writing is not stream-of-consciousness; I’ve often labored for days to get my articles just right.

Frugal Mama is more about education than entertainment, and I feel the most helpful when I talk about what I do well. But if my blog posts are sometimes more irritating than inspiring, if this website is more disillusioning rather than empowering at times, I wanted to tell you about a few things that I don’t write about.

I’m still just as bad at sports as I was when I was always the last to be picked for kickball.  So you won’t see any pictures of me playing soccer with my kids.  I don’t pitch tents or go on mountain hikes because I prefer my nature tame and never too far away from a hot shower.  I love saving money so that I can have a good life, but I don’t understand bookkeeping and I’m not even good at basic calculations.  Missing a math gene, I guess.

Financial peace is important to me, but I dread calling the retirement advisor, I have no interest in investing, and I’m not good at business or making a good income.  And even though I champion all that is slow, natural, and inexpensive, I also happen to be passionate about New York City, roller coasters, armfuls of children, jet airplanes taking off, and decorating my house like a rock star (even if it takes me 20 years). And I love blogging which is, paradoxically, nothing but simple.

Domestic, not Go-Get-Em, is What I Do Well

If I were working for a living and I saw me cooking up garden-fresh meals with my kids, making hand-crafted gifts, and bringing home-made snacks to the park after school, I might be annoyed too.  I’m not on Facebook much, but I hear people saying that they start feeling like a dud after seeing update after update of smiling kids, exotic vacations, gorgeous art projects, trophy ceremonies, and laughy parties.

One of the commenters to Meagan Francis’ post about inspiring blogs shared this quote by Steven Furtick that I thought was brilliant:

“One reason we struggle with insecurity is that we are comparing our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

My behind-the-scenes is a lot of cleaning up smushed pasta and grapes (and cookie crumbs and orange juice and pear bits), changing diapers, coaxing kids into doing their chores, breaking up fights and sending people to the ‘thinking spot,’ packing lunches, cleaning toilets, and picking up toys (after they’ve already sprained my ankle).  It’s spending the weekend working in the yard and doing laundry, instead of going on day trips or going to baseball games

It’s staying up late proofreading when I’d rather read a magazine, or feeling guilty because I haven’t sent photos to grandparents when I’ve spent too long on Twitter.  It’s feeling shy because I’m new (again) and I don’t know anyone on the playground, or agonizing over a blog comment that I wrote because I said something this way and I should have said it that way.

Most of my friends work outside of the home, and while many of them made that decision out of choice, I wonder if they sometimes feel their domestic lives should look like mine. Yet domestic is what I do well, and that’s where I spend most of my time and energy, so it would be unfair to compare.

So if you’re busy hustling in the office until six, if you like jogging better than making dinner, or if you are better at heating up than pan-braising, I hope you won’t compare your slapdash dinners to what you see on film, or Pinterest, or blogs. That would be like comparing your outtakes to someone else’s promotional shots.

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56 comments

  • Sian Sloan January 17, 2014, 1:31 pm

    Hi Amy,
    I came across your blog when looking for healthy lunch ideas for my 8 year-daughter, but this post is what made me comment. As a single and divorced, part-time working mom that lives in an affluent suburb, trying not to torture myself with ‘keeping up with the Jones’s” thoughts is a full time job. However, I still enjoy style and the nice things, but not beating yourself up about ‘having it all’ is SO important. The most important thing, of course, is to love ourselves and our families. Thanks for the all- important message about ‘staged’ lives v. real life. It always bears repeating. I’m going to remind myself of this next time I go on Facebook and bemoan how much lamer I am than all the rich families surrounding me!
    Sian

    Reply
    • Amy January 17, 2014, 2:00 pm

      Hi Sian,
      Agreed — even though we might intellectually know that blog content is curated, it sometimes helps to see concrete examples of what didn’t make the cut.
      Wishing you joy in imperfection,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Jamie September 9, 2012, 1:12 am

    Amazing post! Exactly what I needed to read tonight! My 35th birthday is coming up, and I am feeling “like a dud” as you say… but when I read this post and more specifically this sentence: “You missed seeing how I was a goober in grade school, an emotional mess in my 20s, and an insecure mother in my 30s.” – I instantly felt a bit better! Knowing that I am not crazy, perhaps just a little insecure in my parenting right now! Thanks for your blog in general as well – I love it!

    Reply
    • Amy September 12, 2012, 1:10 pm

      Hi Jamie,

      I’m so glad that you found a little comfort in my expose’ of my very imperfect life and self. I think anyone who thinks about these kinds of things, like you, is most definitely not a dud. But sometimes it is hard not to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and think we should be too. Finding our own path (and losing it and finding it again) is a long and sometimes painful process, but I think it’s so worth it.

      Happy birthday,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Amara September 7, 2012, 11:52 pm

    Amy, I work full-time plus but I am a regular reader who has taken a lot of value out of your work and offerings here. In fact, my 3 kids (6,4,3) and I have been spending the week doing chore checklists, and adding smiley faces or x’s next to the item…all directly cribbed from you!
    The irony of this post is that the core of the lesson you share on your blog (as I perceive it) is: choice, and priorities. I see you doing things with your kids/family/house and because of your very writing am reminded that you have different priorities, and make different choices than I – so no need to get my panties in a jealous bunch. But we very much share the same priorities of simple family life, saving money on things that matter less to us, and spending big on things that matter more. This philosophy and reminders come shining through in your writing whether you are talking about doing something I would never do (remodel an old house and sort through several similar looking paint shades…shudder) or whether I copy you very directly (tracking daily spending, using your worksheet, on the fridge) And your practical, useful tips don’t hurt either (braised cabbage, holla!). Thanks for all you offer and share.

    Reply
    • Amy September 8, 2012, 10:21 pm

      Dear Amara,

      I loved reading your response to this post, I’m glad to hear that somehow my writing makes it clear that we all have different priorities and therefore make different choices.

      That’s great that you and your family are using the getting ready checklists and the spending chart. I’m glad that I was able to help out someone else beyond my own little family. Makes it all worth it.

      Take care and thanks for taking the time to write,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Melanie September 4, 2012, 12:28 am

    So well written, Amy. Your fabulous writing is what we should all envy most! :-)

    Reply
    • Amy September 5, 2012, 11:45 am

      You’re so sweet, Melanie. What a huge compliment!

      Amy

      Reply
  • Rachel September 3, 2012, 10:39 am

    Yes, yes and yes.
    I try to share my failings on my blog, the clutter that still accumulates, the (now rare) impulse purchase. There is no standard to live up to but the one you set for yourself.
    Thanks for writing this. :)

    Reply
    • Amy September 5, 2012, 12:40 pm

      Hi Rachel,

      I know, and I do appreciate how you keep it real and honest all the time on your blog by showing how hard it is for all of us — even we who create whole blogs around our philosophies — to adhere to our values. Staying true to our priorities and lifestyle choices requires constant vigilance, and we all make mistakes and get off track sometimes.

      Thank you for sharing in this experience,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Kristy August 30, 2012, 10:13 pm

    I LOVE this post! Thanks so much for opening your heart and life so that others may gain something. I found this blog after the WaPo story, and have been a follower since. I’m a fellow former-New Yorker and longtime Mark Bittman fan who also lives in DC, and it is so great to see how you are trying to be frugal and simple in a place where that can be so difficult. Thanks again for your kind words that remind us all to be gentle to ourselves.

    P.S. the sorbet recipe you shared earlier this summer rocks!! My boys and I now make “ice cream” several times a week with whatever frozen fruit we have on hand. So fun!

    Reply
    • Amy August 31, 2012, 8:26 pm

      Hi Kristy,

      So nice to ‘meet’ you! It’s great to know there are people out there (not too far away) that share the same loves and experiences. The Internet definitely has its dangers but it can be really wonderful in bringing like people together.

      I know, don’t you love the sorbet recipe? (http://www.frugal-mama.com/2012/05/make-your-own-sorbet-in-3-minutes/)

      Take care,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Sara Tetreault August 30, 2012, 6:26 pm

    So true, Amy. I just compared my photos on Pinterest to a magazine’s and I was promptly reminded that THAT is a loser’s game. Life on a blog always looks better because we’re behind the camera, hiding the piles of soccer cleats by the front door or clean towels that need folding from the picture. But, honestly, I don’t want to see other people’s behind the scenes stuff because I can look at that at my own home ; )

    Reply
    • Amy August 31, 2012, 8:20 pm

      Hi Sara,

      You have the unique perspective of a blogger, and how even we are comparing ourselves to other (bigger, fancier) bloggers. In some small sense, we are competing against magazines and huge corporations, which is pretty amazing when you think of it — and disheartening when you begin comparing.

      And you’re right: if blogs were full of clutter and crying kids, why would we be looking at them?

      Take care,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Deb August 30, 2012, 2:26 pm

    Hi Amy,
    Such a beautiful message. As a very wise person told me, quite some time ago, “Always be careful not to compare what is going on inside of you with someone else’s outside.” Pretty powerful stuff…we are all only human.

    Love your writing and I love your “Share the journey with me” tone. Very big “Atta girl!” many times over!:-)

    Deb in Alabama

    Reply
    • Amy August 31, 2012, 8:16 pm

      Hi Deb,

      I’m so glad you are with me on the journey. It’s so much more fun together, isn’t it?

      I love the inside-outside quote. Very wise indeed.

      Thank you.

      Amy

      Reply
  • Samara August 30, 2012, 1:25 pm

    Dear Amy,

    Thank you for such an honest post. I enjoy following your adventures, and it is inspiring to see you making a frugal lifestyle work in DC (I find that tough to handle at times when I look around the city). Though many of your posts sit in my mental inspirational inbox, we do try to live a similar lifestyle when we are conscious of it.

    Thank you, by the way, for the butter braised cabbage recipe. We eat it at least once a week, the kids love it, and guests rave about it. Who knew!

    Samara

    Reply
    • Amy August 31, 2012, 8:14 pm

      Hi Samara,

      I know what you mean. Big cities where there is a lot of wealth and conspicuous consumption are hard places to live a simple life. We sometimes feel in a different realm, however, I have to say, I keep finding kindred spirits — in my neighborhood, at our school, and even at the playground. I hope you do too.

      So glad your family loves the cabbage recipe as much as we do — so cool because cabbage is so cheap!

      (In case anyone else wants it: http://www.frugal-mama.com/2012/02/the-simplest-most-delicious-way-to-cook-cabbage/)

      Amy

      Reply
  • Melissa August 30, 2012, 1:20 pm

    what a lovely post. I have to say I really, really appreciate you writing about your flaws and outtakes because you DO make it seem so easy and polished, you are honestly beginning to remind me me of martha stewart — enviable, admirable, but beyond the reach of most mere mortals like me. I felt this piece brought you back to the ‘rest of us’ and was really lovely.

    I”m so proud of you for reaching out with honesty and humility while still inspiring everyone with your photos of your beautiful family and lovely life that you have put together with great care and love.

    Reply
    • Amy August 31, 2012, 8:09 pm

      Hi Melissa,

      Isn’t it funny that way? How experts and polished how-tos can sometimes take away the motivation to even try? I always love honest talk with my friends — the good, the bad, and the hard. It just feels to superficial to always talk about what’s going well.

      Thank you so much for your warm words — they keep me company when I too am feeling a little discouraged.

      Amy

      Reply
  • Ashley August 30, 2012, 11:42 am

    Hi Amy,
    I read this post a few days ago and I’ve been wanting to leave a comment, but I haven’t been able to figure out what to say. I just wanted you to know how much I love what you said, and I appreciate your honesty and humility. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months at least, and I have used so much of your advice already with my two young boys. You have a wonderful way of communicating with people, especially considering how many ‘voices’ there are to read online. I find your writing very refreshing and I hope you continue to write about the things that inspire you!
    Ashley

    Reply
    • Amy August 30, 2012, 2:44 pm

      Dear Ashley,

      I’m honored that you took the time, over several days, to think about this post and write back to me. Now it’s my turn to say that I appreciate your thoughtfulness and your dedication to communicating with people and ideas you believe in.

      I’m so glad you find this writing refreshing — I hope I can continue to go along that path!

      Amy

      Reply
  • Jacqueline August 30, 2012, 9:43 am

    Amy-
    Greetings from Madrid!

    I went from really liking your blog to loving it after this post. It is always so refreshing to read your thoughts.

    Thank you for continuing to inspire me!

    Reply
    • Amy August 30, 2012, 2:41 pm

      Hi Jacqueline,

      I’m glad you made it to Madrid safe and sound! And I’m so honored that you are still checking in with me, even with all the excitement and adventure of your new life.

      I hope you’ll stay in touch,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Reid August 29, 2012, 3:14 pm

    I appreciate the fact that you have found a dignified way to share your philosophy of frugality and some of what works for you in support of that philosophy. Some people online share too much–and they or their children may regret it later. By being circumspect and sharing the best of your life, you give others something to aspire to. It’s gracious of you to acknowledge your struggles to your readers and remind them that this is very selective reflection of your actual life.

    Reply
    • Amy August 30, 2012, 2:40 pm

      Dear Reid,

      I love how you can express in a couple sentences what it took me a whole blog post to convey. Thank you for helping me see the issue again through your eyes, and through your very capable words.

      Amy

      Reply
  • Alice August 29, 2012, 1:06 pm

    This is what life is all about…growing into one’s own skin. Age and experience definitely help if we pay attention. I think that’s why we feel this way when we are older. It gets even better as time goes on. All moments are not perfect, but you learn to enjoy and celebrate life in the middle of it.

    Reply
    • Amy August 30, 2012, 2:35 pm

      Hi Alice,

      I like the saying about growing into one’s skin. And I’m so happy you understand about how getting older can feel good.

      Glad to celebrate the little moments with you,
      Amy

      Reply
  • e. August 29, 2012, 9:36 am

    Well said my friend. I remind myself often, in our world full of “glamour-” reality (even the unglamourous is made to seem desirable some how), what people “publish,” put out there for others to see, is not anyones real; it is the edited version. And OUR edited versions would be just what we want them to be too (or closer at least than our snapshots…daily lives). Living day to day is more like a first run-through of a play (easy to stumble over the lines while you learn to take them to heart). But taking heart in what we do every day is key, even if it means putting the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher before going to bed later that night because you talked with the kids through breakfast before leaving the house for work… that works for me. I take heart in what matters in that scenario; and that is real life (not what I would show everyone, but what makes my heart warm none-the-less).

    Thanks for sharing some of your snapshot reality… I love that picture of you… reminds me of myself… the brooding… the self-doubt… Glad it worked out!

    I love reading your blog and always feel the effort behind it AND all you show us is inspiring!

    Best,
    e.

    Reply
    • Amy August 30, 2012, 2:34 pm

      Dear e.,

      I love how you compare everyday life to doing a run-through of a play. We usually only present ourselves to others when we’ve memorized the lines.

      And I also love that you talk about heart in everyday life. I can tell you are one of those fun moms that let the dishes pile up. Good for you for focusing on what matters.

      Love, Amy

      Reply
  • Lisa August 28, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Amy:

    Loved reading this post. Since I am 51 and now a grandmother, I have a good handle on the concept of facebook posts not being the picture of a person’s real life. That being said, I sure wish I had your fun and valuable information when my kids were little. But, my grandson (and his mother) live with us at this time, so I am passing tidbits onto my daughter and utilizing some great ideas myself. My grandson is 21 months and another one of my daughters will have a baby in January! So, again love getting your emails. Keep up the good work, and thank you for the insight into your wonderful, but not always perfect, life! No one’s is, but you can choose to make it the best life for you and your loved ones, as you have done.

    Reply
    • Amy August 30, 2012, 2:31 pm

      Dear Lisa,

      I love hearing from wise people, and especially wise grandmothers! Thank you for understanding that no one’s life is perfect, but that we can try to do our best.

      Gratefully,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Amy August 28, 2012, 11:29 am

    Amy, i love this post! It is so hard in life not to compare, compete or feel insecure…it was the perfect day for this post for me…take care!

    Reply
    • amy hammond September 5, 2012, 12:52 pm

      wow…i am the only one you did not respond to…should my feelings be hurt????

      Reply
      • Amy September 5, 2012, 1:10 pm

        Dearest Amy!

        I’m still trying to figure out how this happened! It was definitely not intentional. I was so touched to see a comment from you, and I thought I had gone back and responded to everyone. When I respond from the back end, the earlier comments get buried and it’s hard to see who has gotten a response. From now on, I will respond from the front end of the website, so I can see clearly. I’m sorry you had to be the one to teach me this lesson, because I truly did love to hear from you.

        I hope you can forgive me.

        Sending you a big hug,
        Amy

        Reply
  • Stefanie August 28, 2012, 10:29 am

    I love the quote “comparing our behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel” — so very true! And not something we usually think about. Thanks for opening up and being real in your writing, and your blog; I always learn something new when I visit here :)

    Reply
    • Amy August 28, 2012, 10:48 am

      Hi Stefanie,

      I’m glad you like that quote as much as I do. I appreciate hearing that it hit a chord with you.

      Take care,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Lindsay August 28, 2012, 12:29 am

    So comforted by your post – feeling very ‘new’ these days as we just move a few months ago with two little boys and I often feel so overwhelmed with domestic duties… Thanks for the inspiration – you have a beautiful family!!

    Reply
    • Amy August 28, 2012, 10:47 am

      Hi Lindsay,

      Being an at-home mother can be very isolating. There is so much to do at home, and taking children out and about can be more work than just staying in.

      Being new on top of it all makes it all the more lonely, I know. I hope that a brave friendly soul will come up to you at the park and say hello. If not, maybe you’ll be that soul. I think it was Meagan Francis, again, who said, If you want a friend, be a friend.

      Thanks for writing in — and hang in there. I’m sure you’re doing a great job; make sure you take care of your emotional self too.

      Amy

      Reply
  • Jenn August 27, 2012, 11:58 pm

    Most inspired honest piece of writing I have read in a long time. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Amy August 28, 2012, 10:44 am

      Hi Jenn,

      Wow, what an inspiring comment you gave me. Now it’s my turn to thank you! But really, as I mentioned before, I myself was inspired by Meagan Francis’ post about real life vs. blogs. She is an amazing woman and I continue to learn from her.

      Amy

      Reply
  • Rebecca August 27, 2012, 10:21 pm

    Great post! I know exactly what you mean about comparison. It’s definitely true with blogs, and it’s even true in real life. I always see people out in public and their kid is so well behaved and listens to his parents, while mine is throwing a giant temper tantrum and turning bright red from screaming. And I’m like, “Why can’t my kid be well behaved like that kid?” But you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. It just doesn’t do any good to compare. Just focus on what you’re good at and what makes you happy and leave the rest behind :)

    Reply
    • Amy August 28, 2012, 10:42 am

      Hi Rebecca,

      I know — I find comparisons in real life happen just as much. We think when we see other people’s kids at our house acting all polite and helpful and agreeable that this is the way they always are. But most of us — besides those tantrum-throwing toddlers! –are on our best behavior when we’re out. We let go when we’re at home with people who accept us as we are.

      Thanks for writing, Rebecca,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Rayna August 27, 2012, 9:34 pm

    This post is brilliant – heartfelt, sincere, real. Your writing has always appealed, Amy, but THIS.

    With gratitude,
    Rayna

    Reply
    • Amy August 27, 2012, 10:02 pm

      What a compliment, Rayna! The post was definitely heartfelt, but I can’t take credit for the concept since I was really just riffing off Meagan Francis’ post and the comments it inspired. But you are sweet to come over and be so appreciative. It means a lot.

      Thank you,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Jen @ Jen Spends August 27, 2012, 8:39 pm

    I loved this post, Amy! I think you strike the perfect tone in your writing–you never come across as preachy or showing off. Yes, your life looks fabulous and beautiful, but you also seem down-to-earth and you make me feel like I can achieve the same things if I want to. Not every blogger manages that.

    It’s funny that cooking wasn’t always your strong suit, because you have given me the confidence to make pizza and my own alfredo sauce (which appear regularly on our table now!). I’m relying much less on processed foods and restaurants. I guess some of the best advice comes from people who really know what it’s like to have struggled with something before they figured it out.

    Reply
    • Amy August 27, 2012, 9:57 pm

      Hi Jen,

      I’m honored that you have followed some of my cooking tips and that they have, in some small way, helped your quality of life. Funny that someone who knew zip about cooking is now publishing recipes and cooking tips.

      I’m glad you think the tone is right. I never want to take anything for granted. While I love the freedom and possibility of writing, it can be a lonely sport and one often never knows how the person on the other end is feeling.

      Thank you,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Kim August 27, 2012, 8:11 pm

    This seems to be a common theme on a few blogs I read this week. There must be a backstory or snarky comments floating around to warrant this topic which is a shame. I am a working mom who would love to be good at domestic but at this point for me satisfactory at domestic is where I’m at. I read your blog (and others like it) for inspiration and ideas that I can fit into my way of life. Is it feasible for me to change my front yard into a garden – not right now but I can have a few pots of herbs to teach my boys about where food comes from. I absolutely loved the recent post on cooking – there may be hope for me yet! Maybe since I am also hitting my stride in my 40s I don’t feel the need to compare my life to others highlight reels but to use those reels for inspiration to make something in my life easier or better or maybe just a little prettier. Keep up the writing, this working momma enjoys reading about someone different and not so different from me.

    Reply
    • Amy August 27, 2012, 8:22 pm

      Hi Kim,

      It sounds like you are very grounded and sure of yourself, which I love. I also love that you have the vision to take what works for you, and leave the rest. That’s really my desire; to help in what ever capacity people want or need.

      And you’re right: it is nice being in contact with people whose lives are woven differently, but with common threads.

      Thank you for writing,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Alison @ L is for Latte August 27, 2012, 4:54 pm

    I want to give you a big hug after reading this. Yes, inspiring blogs are often a love/hate thing for people (including myself), but that often says more about the reader than the writer. You have a wonderful writing voice and an often-unheard perspective on money, family life, and financial decisions, particularly for those of us living in big cities. And I think it’s easy for all of us to forget that people’s lives don’t just appear overnight–they develop over years of trial and error, and we are only seeing the end result, and as you pointed out, often just the very polished end result if we are seeing it on a blog or Pinterest.

    Reply
    • Amy August 27, 2012, 7:55 pm

      Dear Alison,

      I want to give you a hug too. :-) I think you are right about the emotions often coming from the reader or viewer. It’s our perspective that colors what we see. Some days we might feel great about ourselves and everyone else; other days someone else’s good news can totally destabilize us.

      As you say, we can’t compare ourselves in this moment to someone else in this moment, since our journey up to now has been completely different. We all make choices, we all have circumstances. It’s my job to be the best I can be given what I have — my personality, my relationships, my background.

      Thank you for joining the discussion, Alison,
      Amy

      Reply
  • Erin Deric August 27, 2012, 3:01 pm

    Amy,
    Thank you for this post. I am a working mom but I love to read your blog to give me ideas and try to slow down my life. I really enjoy your “high light” real. Keep up the good work.
    Best, Erin

    Reply
    • Amy August 27, 2012, 7:48 pm

      Hi Erin,

      It’s nice to hear from a working mom, and that what I write about is not unrelatable. Thank you for telling me so,

      Amy

      Reply

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