Thursday, November 9, 2006

A Confession: I'm Not Perfect

I was recently reading the comments to a post written by Les, at Smart Mama. An anonymous commenter there made the statement:

"I guess I'm a bit skeptical of the blog world - at least the small portion that I've seen. All it seems like is a way of saying "look at all of the things I can do" or "look at my beautiful home (insert other words here)." Generally speaking, everyone just wants a pat on the back and a comment that they're doing a great job."

I thought about this, and I think to an extent this is true. My husband always says that the blogging world is a big mutual admiration society. Well, yeah, and it's great! Okay, we may show off a bit sometimes. But, one of the nice things about blogging is that it is a place to share yourself and hope someone notices and supports your efforts.

You just can't do some of this in real life. People think you are a huge bore if you constantly show them cute pictures of your kids (unless they are grandparents), or your latest projects and creations. But, in the bloggy world, it doesn't matter. If someone isn't interested in your latest scrapbook pages or doesn't really think your kids are all that cute, they can just visit someone else's blog.

Maybe we don't always share our failures, or weaknesses, or the cluttered corners of our homes or lives. But, generally we beat ourselves up enough about them. We don't need to expose them for further critique. Maybe that presents a limited view of who we really are. And maybe we need to be braver and share some of that side of ourselves more. And some bloggers are much better at this than I. But, really, a blog is the person's who writes it, and she (and he) should just share whatever they want!

But, just in case I have inadvertently duped someone into thinking I am a perfect person (Bwaha Ha Ha!), because I have failed to share my shortcomings, I will come out on a limb here and share a few.

I am not a gardening expert. I am an enthusiastic gardener who tries many things, but that only means that I've also failed at quite a few, as well. Take my garden this year. These are the things that I planted that failed, or that I failed to do with what I had planned:

Beets (Never got around to pickling any yet. They sit in a big bag on my counter feeling ignored.)
Beans (leaves completely eaten by rabbits, no beans.)
Bell Pepper (two tiny peppers that never got big enough to harvest)
Jalepeno Pepper (2 peppers)
Pickling Cucumber (Produced fine, but I never got around to pickling any.)
Sweet Cucumber (succumbed to verticullum wilt, as usual)
Roma Tomato (Died as seedlings)
Jelly Bean Hybrid Tomato (Died as seedlings)
Cabbage (Never got around to planting it.)
Scarlet marigold (very few germinated)
Red Salvia (stunted when seedlings, barely produced any flowers)
Vinca (died as seedlings)
Blue Morning Glory (only had a couple blooms before frost killed it. Plagued by aphids.)
Scarlet Morning Glory (never germinated)
Giant White Moonflower (never germinated)

Also, the daffodils I transplanted failed to bloom, two new perennial plants did not survive the winter, and all of my lilies I planted last fall emerged, turned brown and died. I've also never successfully grown an ear of corn, and have had my tomatoes and cucurbits completely die some years before producing at all.

My thumb is not as green as I would like. It is, however, a very enthusiastic yellow-brown!

I, also, am not great at scrapbooking, quilting, cross stitching, or knitting. I tried to crochet snowflake Christmas ornaments one year. The two lop-sided ones I managed to finish adorn my tree each year, keeping me appropriately humble.

I have severely scorched two pans making dinner since I started blogging. (No, it is NOT related!) My toddler spends half her life wearing only a diaper, and none of my babies have slept through the night before a year. My kitchen floor always seems to need to be mopped. I find housework boring. I haven't washed my windows in 2 1/2 years, unless you count spraying a few down with the hose. Sunday, my family had chocolate chip cookies and popcorn for dinner because I was too lazy to make anything else. And I didn't get the Book of Mormon read by the end of last year. Finally, my "to file" drawer has multiplied into a teetering pile of boxes on top of the filing cabinet.

And, no, these weren't the worst of the things I could have shared about myself.

Are you just shocked?

PS. I can't help but wonder if the anonymous commenter felt just a bit jealous when she made her comment. After all, Smart Mama is an extremely talented, well traveled and smart woman, with a beautiful home and children. Heck, I'm sometimes jealous of her! But, someone once said, "If you compare yourself to others, you will either end up bitter or proud." I think this is probably something we all need to remember, in the blog world, as well as in real life.


  1. Sometimes I do get alittle jealous of what I see posted on blogs because it makes me feel inadequate. But I love to see what my sisters are doing with their families. I have learned more from these blogs then I would other wise. Plus I have always known that you have your short comings since I have known you so long. But I still love ya. :)

  2. What a great post! I think people look at them as shortcomings or weaknesses only when comparing. I prefer to see the imperfect parts of peoples lives as the "realness". If someone can't show me their realness, or makes me feel uncomfortable about sharing mine, we aren't going to be good friends. Sorry. That's just how it is. I'm always up for having new friends, but people can take me or leave me, I have enough friends that have been takers to get me through. *Hug* Thanks for showing us your realness. :O)

  3. P.S. I love your Sunday dinner menu. Sounds like my house. ;)

  4. Nettie- I am so glad you blog- because if you didn't I never would have met you! I real love blogs because I get to see peoples great abilities and thoughts (and I am just so darn proud of women who devote meaningful time and energy to their families! They get my standing ovation any day!) and you know what I think you are great for attempting your gardening feats-(we all have tons of "real" parts of our life--I don't doubt that we all have them- my anonymous commenter must have missed by divulging of detestable state of my basement clutter, or negligent parentign when I found my baby consuming a tube of paint!)But I say spend your time telling the world about the good, productive things you do and not beating yourself up- "better to shoot for the stars and land in a tree than shoot for a tree and land in the mud- or just start in the mud and lay there wallowing!

    And in my book there are lots of perfect moms- perfect moms are ones who get up and try- try to do what they think is, best try to be good parents, that doesn't mean everything gets done- but at the end of the day its all we can do!

  5. What a great post Nettie! You know what? After hearing your confessions, I still feel the same way about you!

    I love blogging because I live in a place where everyone is very similar. I've lived here all my life (Well, except for that one year in Rexburg, but honsestly, that's just like here.) It's so fun to get perspectives about other people in different places.

    I have a yellow-brown thumb too! :)

  6. Nettie, interesting thought provoking post. Some of my favorite posts are not the show and tell ones, I like those too because we are all so different and have different talents, but the ones where people do talk sincerly about their weaknesses or troubles with loved ones (especially kids) because it makes me feel like I am not alone.

    and what's wrong with patting each other on the back? I don't think we get enough of that, especially the SAHM group. We don't have bosses or clients or patients telling us thanks or that we are doing well. My kids sure don't tell me that enough, and Guapo does when I remind him that I need to hear it sometimes.

  7. Hear hear. I blog to keep my family current on what's going on in my life. It does not include the fact that my floors are continually filthy and etc. It's hard enough to stay motivated without focusing on the nasty details of my life.

  8. My sister got me started blogging so she could see pictures of my kids, not my dirty toilet.

    No one has a perfect life, we all have our faults. It's just not as fun to share our faults as it is our victories.

    I love blogging! I love having people comment on my blog. It makes me feel important or lifts me up on a bad day.

    Thanks for the post.

  9. Nettie, you're awesome! Thanks so much for this post!

  10. I missed the anonymous comment, dang it! It's gone!

    I love this post, Nettie! You said it so well... even without saying what some of your flaws are.

    Remember the blog home tour they did a few months back? I specifically didn't participate because my house is so flawed, small and much lower quality than those I've seen in the picture perfect blog world. Granted, I thouroughly enjoyed touring every one else's homes... I wasn't up for sharing mine.

  11. Nettie, I love it "an enthusiastic yellow-brown thumb". I finally have a definition to my gardening habit. ;) I love blogging because it helps me stay connected to some close friends, but also affords me time to make new ones through the blog world. I think us sharing what we can do inspires others to try things and improve themselves as well. Plus I do try to share the down side of being me, because it is nice to know that by sharing those things, I am not the only one going through them. Besides I have learned alot about myself just by reading through other women's blogs and their feelings toward life. It is like a great big sounding board and all are welcome.

  12. I love reading blogs to see people's unique experiences and talents. Each person has something to teach me. Sure I get a little green eyes over some talents I wish I had, but I realize I learn something from those feelings too. I love this little blogging world. It's an outlet for me.

  13. Nettie, I admit it. I admired your garden and your nursery and your clean and smiling kids, and I thought you had it all together. Now I know you only mostly have it together, I admire you even more.

  14. you may not be perfect, nettie, but you are dang ambitious! ;) tfs.

  15. I read as a lurker, I found you through Neighbor Jane Payne. I clicked on you tonight to find this blog and can I say... I LOVE IT! I feel like this so often and most of the time I can remind myself that I am OK, what I do is OK and all that I have is a blessing.

    You post is right on and I appreciate your honesty. I have felt it many times in my life. Thank you for the reminder to be grateful for what we have and what we do as individuals. Comparisons don't work because each of us is so unique.

    We are here to learn anyway, right? That is when your yellow-brown thumb will turn green.... after much learning!

  16. Thanks for your post on my site... and I like how you expressed yourself in this post re: "perfection." Although, if people want to see an imperfect life descibed in blog-form, they should come on over to my site - how can you be perfect when you're covered in vomit most of the day? Ha!

    Anyway, speaking of imperfection, I'm having a Photo Friday tomorrow with the theme of Christmas Card Reject Photos, if you would like to participate!

    Goodbye, SeaBird