The Beautiful Disaster

A friend of mine used to work at the fanciest hotel downtown where, among other things, he saw really big name bloggers come to attend conferences.

From my friend, I learned that these bloggers with the carefully curated blogs detailing their charming and beautiful lives are exactly as I mentally expected they might be.

They do things like stage photo shoots where they jump on posh hotel beds with each other. Look at how silly and spontaneous we are! (Never mind that it’s staged and someone was compelled to take the professional-looking snaps.) We are spunky, etc! Joie de vivre leaps from our Instagram posts into your face!

Another real-life thing famous mom bloggers do is take pictures of their feet, while wearing pointy-toed heels (generally patent-leather red, bright yellow, or suede animal-print), with their toes turned slightly inward. You know, because it’s girlishly sassy.

“What’s her beef with bloggers?” you may be asking yourself as you read this.

Well, nothing really. I do not mean to be such a pill (okay, yes I do). There is no real beef, except that I don’t understand them. Or rather, I do not get the collective fascination with them.

Outfits of the day. Their children’s eclectic, boutique wardrobes. Shots of their bikini bods at the beach. Shots of their workouts. Pics of the amazing raw dinners they are sculpting in their white, glossy kitchens. Close ups of their gorgeous faces and perfect hair with a caption about how they cleaned up a pee-pee mess on the bathroom floor that one time and it’s hard to be a mom on days like that.

So life for some folks appears essentially glorious. Slow claps for those fashionable bloggers. I salute them for achieving so much beauty everyday.

“But aren’t you a mom blogger yourself?” you may be thinking, astutely.

I am a mom and I do indeed blog….about my daily life raising children with disabilities. Same medium, different style and content. My life couldn’t be more different from the glamorous blogger’s aesthetic life. How do you make a Code Brown, psychotic episodes, and being on the phone with the psychiatrist and the special-needs school every day look pretty?

There is no choice but to tell it like it is. The ugly truth. The real deal. The beautiful disaster.

I do not mean to disparage the famous mom blogger. Clearly, she’s good at what she does. People follow her because they like something about the vision that her blog projects. While, I do not share the desire to peek inside one woman’s idea of a perfect world, I do admire anyone who can arrange the elements of their lives to appear so effortlessly amazing. Famous bloggers have their gifts, which include:

*Being good at self-promotion.

*Funding a photogenic lifestyle from an income-generating commercial blog.

*Being avant-garde in the style department.

*Consistently delivering their schtick.

They are successful for a reason. The real question, I suppose, is, why are so many us of enamored with this sort of blog?

I keep asking myself if I am writing from a place of envy. I don’t feel envious of what famous bloggers do. I wouldn’t mind the income of a fancy pants blog, and I seriously wouldn’t mind the trips they seem to always be taking to the tropics.

But raising children with disabilities, particularly a severely disabled child, renders me incapable of joining this chic and sexy blog world. I could no more be one of them than I could expect Jack to stop playing with vacuums and come help me craft a whimsical miniature village from paper, felt, and glitter. That life is completely out of reach for me, 100% off my radar.

I do not mourn this, but I startle at the striking differences between this life and the curated presentation of practically perfect ones.

I blog from a place of desperation. Writing down the weird, wild things that happen to us transposes some of the burden from my shoulders to the web, where people can read it when they experience beautiful blog fatigue. Please don’t see this as a cry for validation, honestly.

If the big name mom bloggers are the cool kids drinking green smoothies at the popular table in the school lunchroom, I suppose I am the girl sitting at a table in the corner with her two best friends, enjoying her PBJ while we make each other laugh about what happened that day in Honors’ English.

I like my friends, and my corner table, and my PBJ, and laughing.

I’d rather be me.





  10 comments for “The Beautiful Disaster

  1. Missy Poppenger
    January 23, 2015 at 10:26 am

    I’m happy your you, and I’m especially happy for your truth. Because it is real. Multiple trips to the tropics and/or Greece are nothing compared to yours or my life. Our lives are real, they are honest and they are honorable. Truth be told those who write from their fantasy worlds aren’t real or truthful. They are living in a fictionalized world of perfection. Give me your words everyday over any others. They are true and meaningful. And even in the midst of the storms we find ourselves in we find a way to rise above and go on our way a better person then some can even come close to or pertain to be. Just my thoughts this morning.

  2. Karen Johnson
    January 23, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I’ll take a real Megan blog over a glossed-over, best foot forward blog any day of the week!

  3. Suzy
    January 23, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Those so called beautiful blogs freak me out and leave me feeling depressed and inadequate. Your writing always encourages me to look inward and reflect on the most important things in this life. I gain insight and understanding from your blog. Plus I love me some snark and sass 😉

  4. Marianne
    January 23, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I read the beginning and thought, “I’m supposed to be pointing my feet inward when posting my shoes?” I’m never going to be able to remember that. I post my shoes because sometimes they’re the only good part of my day and there’s no one around to actually take a decent photo. That’s what I always wonder about people with perfect pictured lives… Who’s taking the pictures of them?

  5. Kerri
    January 23, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I see those blogs as a kind of fictional fairy world that can be enjoyed in the same way I might enjoy reading a really silly beach book. I suppose I have, as you have, mostly accepted the reality of my non-ideal world. Mostly. Not always. There are those days that I would like to trade my world for a prettier one, but then I remember something that you have helped me learn: my mess is where I’m intended to be and when I partner with God, it’s where I will become who I need to be for whatever stage is next. You are awesome.

  6. Kerri
    January 23, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Oh, but the desire to be 10 pounds thinner with a much cleaner house? That’s something I haven’t been able to shed yet. Maybe something for my 50s?

  7. January 23, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    So, my Aunt Bethany has a son that is autistic and downs. She tries very, very hard to present her life as put together, clean, calm, and wearing pretty little shoes with her toes pointed in. Thanks to your honesty and giving me a glimpse of the life of a Mom of a kid (or two) with disabilities, I feel like I know this little secret about Bethany’s real life. You have taught me how to love and support her more, working with a 30-year old son with the capabilities of a 3-year old.

    At least, those are my thoughts as I read this again today. Thanks for teaching me this perspective.

  8. Julie
    January 24, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Can I please join you at your table in the corner? I’ll bring my own PB&J. And enough donuts to share with any other “Honors English” Moms that care to join us. It’ll be our own little secret society. 🙂

  9. Lynne
    January 26, 2015 at 9:15 am

    All I can say is, “Amen, sister!!!” 😉

    I really dislike the famous got-it-all-together mom blogs – they aren’t real (for me). And with 2+ ADHD kids, my life will never, ever be like theirs. I live in a completely different reality.

  10. Mary
    February 16, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    This post made me laugh out loud. Like you, I just cannot read the mommy blogs. I know a “mommy” who started a sweet, innocent blog several years ago. Slowly I watched her blog turn into one of faked reality and self-promotion (although to the tune of a six figures per year income) and I just had to stop reading it. Good for her for finding out a way to afford rooms worth of clothing and multiple overseas vacations per year (and I am not being sarcastic – good for her.) However, I just can’t follow along. I find myself trading in new clothing budgets for expensive meds and exotic vacations for psychiatrist appointments for my son. With the reality of my life, I just can’t get on the bandwagon of a blog that declares that I simply MUST have the latest chevron patterned sweater wrap, or I am a failure as a mother if my child’s birthday party does not consist of perfect hand-made décor, favors, and treats. My kids are lucky to get plain chocolate cupcakes from a box. And guess what! They are always happy with them and still have fun on their birthdays. I have learned that just not following along with those blogs or getting too wrapped up in pinteresty, crafty lives makes me happier (and, really, as long as I always have a good book to read I am fine).

    Also, I just spent the last hour catching up on your blog instead of cleaning my kitchen, folding laundry, and vacuuming floors as I should have been doing. And guess what! I do not feel any guilt (or not much anyway) like I usually do for wasting time online. Instead, I feel uplifted and like maybe we are not all as alone on this journey as we might sometimes feel. So thank you for that!

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