In the blink of an eye, I went from storyteller to being the story.
Blythe Newsome: In late June of 2007, my co-host and I were interviewing the casting director from ABC's "Supernanny" for our radio show. The conversation suddenly took a turn when my co-host suggested that my six children and I be featured on "Supernanny."
Things started to move very quickly, and the next thing I knew, a crew had showed up, and my reality suddenly was going to be open for the world to see.
My thoughts raced.
"How will I ever get my house to look perfect when there are days when I barely have time to take a shower?"
"I want people to watch this and think, 'Wow, that mom is amazing and her house is so clean and orderly!' "
I made a list of what I needed to do -- everything from finally putting up some of the pictures that were still in moving boxes to putting matching sheets on all the beds and making sure that every inch of the tile in the bathroom would shine.
None of that got done.
The day the cameras showed up, my shower flooded into the laundry room, and I used the pots from my kitchen to catch the water pouring out all over the floor. Finn had wet the bed and the sheets were being washed, so I had to cover his mattress with a pink-flowered comforter. And the little ones had decided that toothpaste would make great fingerpaint.
The day that Supernanny Jo Frost came to my door, there were shoes pouring out of the shoe basket, backpacks from the first day of school spilling out onto the floor, and kids yelling for me to fill out their school forms. There were lunches to be packed for the next day and dinner to be made.
One of the first things Frost did was pick up a couch cushion and cringe.
When she lifted the cushion, my 9-year-old son's face lit up as he reached down to victoriously grab his treasure.
"Here's the sandwich I lost!" I swallowed hard and thought, "this is going to be a long week."
At that very moment, my 5-year-old decided to yell her first cuss word, and my 3-year-old decided to use the Supernanny's head for target practice.
I never thought I would be so glad he has bad aim. The block bounced off the crystal bowl I had placed on the table when I actually thought I could pull off the Martha Stewart routine.
Should I have opened the door when she came knocking -- or just hidden in the shoe basket? Cameras were placed in every room, and there were cameramen to follow us around. There was a sound guy following us with a microphone in addition to the microphones strapped to us.
Within days, we all started to forget about the cameras, and the crew became a part of our family.
The older children and I learned to signal one another when we needed to have a private meeting -- in the walk-in closet. That didn't last long. We stepped into the closet one day to find a camera mounted on the wall.
On the radio show, I have always been very open and honest about my life -- that it is messy and moving, full of ups and downs. But this was different. This was not just opening a microphone each morning to share my story. This was opening my home with all of its imperfections and letting everyone see that -- as much as I like to think that I have it together -- I am really like most of us, just trying to get through the day while juggling the daily tasks of motherhood.
During the past two years, I have become a single mom, moved from the home I loved, and lost one of the most wonderful people I have ever known to breast cancer.
For 15 days, my family's life became an open book. From this experience I was able to see that I have lots of imperfections, lots of weaknesses as a parent and as a woman. I also learned that I am stronger than I have ever given myself credit for being. By opening my home and my heart to the "Supernanny," maybe we will all learn a little something.
But, please, if you are ever at my house -- do not look under the cushions.
Now the big question is, if given the opportunity to let the world see "where we are now" ... would we, as a family, agree to do it all again???? Find out our answer very soon.
|Blythe Newsome is a single mother of six children and host of a morning radio show. Featured on an episode of the Supernanny, her life and what hides underneath her couch cushions have been seen by many. Flirting with Forty is the journey of how she takes her life back.|