There are times when many of us put up a front. We like to think that we’re honest, that we’re truthful. And yet there are secrets and insecurities buried so deeply down inside that perhaps no one will ever see them.

Some of us will carry this to our grave, solid on the outside but broken to bits in 0ur hearts. Others will confide in friends–and hope / pray that the friend will not betray our confidence. Perhaps we’ll share with our spouse or beloved family member.

One thing is true, I am exactly who people think I am. But then again, I’m not.

Yes, I speak honestly, sometimes to my detriment. This has caused problems for me plenty of times, for when people ask for the truth, they usually don’t want the whole truth but instead the truth as they see fit.

Paul tells me that people are intimidated by me, and that’s always made me laugh. Why on earth would anyone be mentally overwhelmed by me?

I cry, a lot. My feelings get hurt. I cry for other people’s pain, for their happiness.

Apparently what people see is not me in my wholeness, but what I allow them to see. They see me as a mom of 8 relatively well adjusted, well behaved and polite kids.

They view me as a successful business person, having been self-employed for 17 years and as one who teaches well, as an instructor who trains others and travels throughout the US and into a couple of other countries.

Or they’re impressed at my smoothie photos that I post on Instagram all the time. “Holy cow!” they proclaim, “I could never do that every day! You are amazing!”

How I torture the kids with nutrition each morning

How I torture the kids with nutrition each morning

And then there are the ones who can’t believe I am pretty much the same size I’ve been most of my adult life, despite having had 7 pregnancies (one with twins).

Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Mabelline.

This is all true, and yet it’s a shallow facade. It’s not “me”. It’s only what I let you see. Because, frankly, who wants to talk about the fights their kids have, how selfish an offspring is, how you unintentionally made a student cry?

Maybe you’d like to hear about the kids who can’t stand to wake up to the sound of the blender and who “accidentally forget” to drink their smoothie.

I could show you my little blub of belly that overhangs my pants–it looks rather like someone threw clumps of pasty white dough on my stomach, and there it sits.

We compare ourselves to everyone we see–are we as smart? Fashionable? Successful? Do our family photos look like they came out of a magazine? Or you have at least one kid who insists on making bunny ears behind someone’s head, rolls eyes or makes faces despite the penalty of sure death? (These would be our photos).

Fredette family

So people seem to compare themselves to me, which seems totally silly to me. Yet others might wonder why I compare myself to them. I’m not particularly clever, stylish or even good sometimes. I am painfully flawed, but it’s not often that people see that. Heaven forbid anyone realize that I’m human.

That, my friends, is why you can see I am definitely not all I’m cracked up to be.

Not What I'm Cracked Up to Be

Not What I’m Cracked Up to Be

This is Elijah, who kindly allowed me to photograph him so I could break his face without hurting my hand.