Parenting is Like Being on a Reality TV Show

The other day I caught a recap of a reality show that hit me as an all too familiar scene in my life.  When Padma from Top Chef tells one of the contestants to pack their knives and go I started to laugh because I was thinking about my own struggles with my kids and their opinions years of what I make for dinner.

We have three boys - ages 4 to 12, and no matter how well we've brought them up to appreciate what they have, keep the complaining to a minimum, and applied the you'll eat what I made or you'll not eat at all hardball approach, they are still just kids, and therefore entitled to their opinions, right?  So I was thinking that I, too, have some pint-size celebrity judges on my panel every evening and it hit me that being a parent eerily resembles that of several different reality shows.

Let's just start with Top Chef.

Before, during and after dinner, I hear little comments trickling in here and there.  What's that smell? Chicken - ? Again?  Is something burning? I hope that's not broccoli in the pan.    I imagine myself, at the end of the 30 minute-time frame that I have to make dinner (on a good night), exhausted, disheveled, nerves shot and sweaty - standing before a panel of three boys ready to tell me what I've done wrong with the fried chicken.

Boy 1:  It seemed a bit greasy and left my hands feeling oily and disgusting.

Boy 2:  It wasn't as crunchy as KFC's.

Boy 3:  It was too hard to chew.

Overall Consensus:    Please pack your knives, and go.

The Amazing Race

Don't you love when your kids have different sports practices at the same time at 2 different locations across town?  How about different Open Houses at different schools at exactly 5:00 pm?   So you need to rush home early from work, get them ready, fly out the door - show up too early for one, too late for another and no matter how hard you tried or that you just moved heaven and earth to pull it together, you still look like an asshole at both places.  Don't you sometimes feel like you're on an episode of the Amazing Race and you're running like a madwoman against the clock - you're never going to make it! GO GO GOOOOO!  Detour - Roadblock - U-turn - NO forgot something - you'll never make it !  ARRRRRRGH...Someone always ends up crying on the Amazing Race too- but in my life, it's usually me.  How are we supposed to be in 2 places at the same time?  MISSION - IMPOSSIBLE!  I'M JUST DOING THE BEST I CAN DAMMIT!

Consensus:  DG-- sorry to tell you, you are the last parent to arrive...and you have been eliminated from the race.

Pawn Stars - You finally decide to take that expensive high chair that was barely used to a Children's second hand store.  You walk in with confidence that your chair will bring in big money as it retails for triple digits and is in pristine shape.  They offer you $10 cash on the spot.  You ask for $50.  They counteroffer $11 -  you sell and walk out with your pride and $11 in your hand.

Consensus:  This thing is a piece of junk.  Had you left the original seat cushion it would be worth $200.  Take the $11 or get out of our shop.

Survivor - Outwit-Outplay-Outlast We play this one daily don't we?  Isn't parenting a game of outwitting, outlasting and outplaying?  Beware of siblings forging alliances and blindsiding you at Tribal Council or you'll be the one whose torch gets snuffed out at the end of a long day.

Consensus - The tribe has spoken - we are going to Funspot to play arcade games for the day.

Beware of children with strong alliances - they will Outwit you after a long week of working and you'll end up in an arcade and you won't even know how you got there.

The Biggest Loser -   Remember your vow to start eating healthier and exercising?  After a long week of shuffling everyone around every which way, you've not given 100% to your workouts - you've made some bad food choices.  When it comes time to get up on that big ol' scale to see how you did - you can hear almost hear Jillian's loud, disapproving exhale at your number.  YOU'RE NOT DOIN' THE WORK AND I'M TIRED OF YOUR EXCUSES!  Then - Allie's voice in the back of your head as you step off that scale....

Consensus - DG, I'm sorry to tell you, unless you count the fact that all you lost this week are your keys, your grocery list and part of your mind, you are not the Biggest Loser - and it's time for you to go.

Real Housewives of ____________    Umm no. No part of our lives resembles this show.  Next?

The Apprentice - -   Bake Sale items needed by Friday, Pajama day on Thursday, PTO meeting before school Friday morning....? Top it off with the need to play tooth fairy tonight and it sure seems like too many things to remember - and it is.  Imagine a Kindergarten-sized, messed up haired- mini Donald Trump coming home from school and yelling at your for forgetting it was Jammie day and basically telling you that he was the only one who showed up in regular clothes - or even worse, waking up and looking all through his sheets to see if he could find the dollar from the tooth fairy while you scramble to pretend it fell under the bed and save your skin with 2 seconds to spare.

Consensus:  Your organization skills need work, you're a sloppy team leader and you dropped the ball on pajama day which is one of the deadly sins in the eyes of a Kindergartner. You had several  things to remember, you screwed it up - they  have no choice but to tell you -  You're Fired (at least for a few minutes anyways!)


The Bachelorette - -

Like I said before, with three boys ages 4 to 12 so it's safe to say that there are only so many activities we can do for so long before someone starts vying for my attention.  One wants to play football outside, one wants me to work on Legos, and one wants me to read a book.  They all want to spend time with me alone.  They all want to get in my bed at night (ok, just the two little ones - the 13 year old not so much!).  I wish I could say I can balance all three of them like a professional juggler all the time but I can't.  Sometimes it seems I just don't have enough roses to go around and someone ends up in tears.  I try to give them each special attention but it doesn't always work.

Consensus:  Someone is always left without a rose (or in this case,  a Lego?)  I'm left feeling awful and trying to make up for it in another way.  Having three requires lots of time, patience and love - luckily I have lots of all three - and when I don't, I still pretend that I do.

That's the end of my analogy.  No matter how hard this gig is, I am blessed beyond words - I love these kids with everything I have - and love being the star of my very own reality show.  Thank God there are no cameras around though!

What reality show best describes your life??
Love and Hugs -
PS - - - Have you entered my Easter toy giveaway?  YOU HAVEN'T? What are you waiting for - it's easy - and who doesn't want free toys???  Click here to enter.. Good Luck!


  1. Oh, I am so on board with all of these, and some days, I'd add Fear Factor, because I am pretty convinced that there are days when no sane person would ever have signed on for this.

  2. OMG this made me laugh till the coffee came out of my nose! Thank you!

  3. I think I am on "Are you Smarter than a 5th grader" every day during homework! Great post --so good to start the day with a laugh! ~Stacy

  4. Oh, this is so true! I love it! Spring feels like the Amazing race, and my kids totally hate anything I cook, except once they eat it, they love it. Better go to bed at pit stop of March before it takes over! Fabulous analogies!

  5. Fabulous!!!! I will never see dinner the same way again. Glad I'm not alone on this crazy game show we call life.


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