The Real Reality

Nothing like rising in the morning and encountering big pile of s____, as in the Newfie mother lode, on the indoor/outdoor runner. Fortunately our Newfs now overnight in the mudroom. I quickly tired of their heavy panting, nocturnal wanderings and occasional morning surprises—as in a pile of poop. One of them had a major case of diarrhea last night.

Of course it was I who cleaned it up. My 19-year-old son, you know, the one who is quite independent, passed through the mudroom just minutes before me. The evidence was present –> unlocked mudroom door by which he exited the house and the double–locked service door through which he didn’t. Yeah, yeah, yeah… He was on his way to work, likely rolling out of bed directly into the car. Yes, he left the dogs in. And, gosh, he left me that nice pile to deal with. I waved good-bye to him as he backed out of the driveway. No smile.

He and I will discuss this later…

This occurrence, like so many others in the daily fabric of our lives, underscores why I made my decision. I get a lot of requests—for interviews, to do book reviews, to be featured on this or that. But I was contacted about something else, so fascinating I had to read through the email several times and investigate the source, assess if it was the real deal before responding. It was.

Reality TV. As in a possible series. An offer to audition. The entire family. Can you imagine?!  “an outgoing, dynamic family comprised of interesting characters… this generation’s wilder, more entertaining Brady Bunch… all family members must have big personalities, be comfortable speaking on camera…” Trust me; we have this in spades.

I had a fleeting tug of  “Why not?” and experienced the thrill of  “fame” before true realization set in:

  • Reality TV exists for entertainment, ratings and consumption, all = money for the networks and mega-conglomerates.
  • Reality TV distorts “real” life, promotes moronic and negative societal expectations. Shows often feature the basest of human behavior. They fuel half-truths and risk.
  • One could argue that much of Reality TV perpetuates “dumbing down.” Dangerous stuff, folks. Think of your daughters and sons: education, critical thinking, taking responsibility for action, being held accountable, compassion for others, etc. The mind isn’t a terrible thing to use. Intelligence and values aren’t overrated.


  • My kids are not bridges, other than from their childhoods to their adulthoods.
  • Adoption continues to be misunderstood, and misrepresented, and  Reality TV is not the vehicle for “righting” the truths.

My kiddos and hubby we’re none too pleased with me, citing many weekend moments with, “See mom! This would make a great episode!”

I’ve emailed my response, and my counteroffer, back to the casting agent. While I eagerly wait in anticipation of hearing back (now I’m being snarky), I think we’ll focus on spending our summer together as we usually do—out of the glare of lights, camera and action—as a family.


Filed under Family, Multicultural Families, Multiracial Families, Parenting, The International Mom

6 responses to “The Real Reality

  1. Way to go, Judy. You made the right choice and your kids will thank you for it–one day. A precious few reality TV “stars” come out with their integrity and their image intact. And I can only imagine how a camera crew would turn family life upside-down.

    • The further I move past it, the more sure I am that i made the right decision. The family is getting over the fact that I turned it down.

  2. Sharon

    Thank you so much for not doing the “reality” show.
    Your heart, your “snarkiness” and your love for your kids are all you need. I, too, am the mother of international adoptees. My kids (like yours) would make beautiful, interesting characters – but real life is what our family is about, not entertainment for others.
    Love your blog.

  3. Chris LS

    You know it takes a bit of guts not to mention temerity and some sanity to say ‘No’ to all that glitters must be gold! While I might enjoy seeing your family on TV (such a good looking and fun bunch if there ever was, despite the pooping dogs, but then that is real life), never the less, REALITY TV is not reality, it is what the networks and filmographers make them do and gloss over the worst that happens. I have personally become soured on REALITY shows, because they usually are mean-spirited, the people on them are clearly out of control or are out of their flipping minds and maybe the cameras in their faces causes some of that madness, but mostly I find these folks disgusting and poor examples of how people should be living. UGH!
    And I don’t know about you or others, but I seriously don’t need to be in the heads, bathrooms, or bedrooms of these folks, nor watch them so that I may live vicariously in their shoes. So Mama Miller, my dear friend I applaud you and your choice not to take that step into the REALITY ZONE, because believe me, all that good work just might be undone and you will find yourself perhaps living in the TWILIGHT ZONE of a life you didn’t want and had not expected or needed. So there you have it. Bon Chance, there will be other platforms and opportunities to get your message out.

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