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Keeping up with the Joneses

in Life Lessons, Parenting

Photo by roym on

My daughter was recognized for her character last week at her elementary school’s pep rally. My son was incredibly jealous of her getting to go on stage. When we got home, he was surprised to learn that my daughter was happy to have that award, but she wondered why she did not get ANOTHER award too because one of her friends received two.

My kids just met the Joneses.

The Joneses are everywhere. Whether it is in the amount of money in your bank account, the size of your house, how soft your couch is, someone else is always better or has more. We are always struggling to try to meet or beat our peers.

After having some heart-t0-hearts with friends over the last week though, I realized that I am not just someone trying to keep up with the Joneses… I am perceived to BE the Joneses sometimes too. I guess we are all probably the Joneses to someone.

As I offer advice and words of wisdom from my experiences in this chaotic life, it may sometimes come across as someone who appears to have it all figured out if you don’t know the real me very well. So here’s my confession… I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, honestly. I’m just doing the best I can with what I’ve got.

I am like every other wife, mother, writer, and homeowner. My kids still throw tantrums, my laundry is very rarely caught up, my floor is rarely mopped, I get more rejection letters than acceptance letters, I still have flab around my midsection, I still forget to change my home’s air filter, I have fallen asleep on the couch in the middle of the day, my family has run out of toilet paper, and I have gone an entire week without fresh fruit in my house.

I’m not perfect, and you know what… neither is anyone else.

The celebrities do not roll out of bed looking the way they do on the cover of the magazines and Martha Stewart has done some serious prison time.

I don’t think that I can raise my kids to NOT chase the Jones mentality if I am constantly trying to be someone else myself. “Do as I say not as I do” is a pretty crappy parenting mantra, in my opinion.

While I don’t necessarily like to share my imperfections (except when they bring out laughter), I do try to be real. I don’t want to be a Jones. I’m pretty happy being Jamie Anne Melton-Richardson. I’m the only one like me I know. I’m not cocky that I am the best, but I am confident that I am being the best that I can be. That’s all anyone can ask for.


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