The Perfect Family

As summer was winding down and two of my children were about to fly the nest, my husband set our camera up and got this shot of our family.

I immediately posted the picture on Facebook and Instagram.  Friends and family members complimented the photo and kept marveling at how perfect our family looked, including our sweet dog posing for the camera.  Those comments made me laugh, because no one knew what happened just before the pictures were taken.

Throughout that day, I told my children that I wanted a family picture prior to going out to dinner with their grandparents.  I set the photo time for 5:30 p.m.  At 5:25 my husband, the dog and I went out to the yard to prepare for the shot.  We took some goofy pictures and then I noticed that it was 5:35 and my kids were not yet outside. We had to get to dinner by 6:00 p.m.  I opened the back door and screamed through the house for my children to get outside.

Why are you yelling?

My oldest son staggered out and said, “Why are you yelling?”  A few minutes passed and still my youngest two children were not outside. I went back in the house, stood at the bottom of the stairs, and started yelling again.  My daughter finally responds and says, “You woke me up.  Why are you yelling?”  She came downstairs with a pillow indentation on the side of her face and a snarly attitude.  My youngest son finally came downstairs and said, “I hate when you yell.  Why are you yelling?”

Needless to say, I yelled at them to tell them that I wasn’t yelling.  Now we had about five minutes left to take the pictures. Here are a couple of examples of what we came up with.




Here’s the bottom line…we aren’t a perfect family. We don’t always take perfect pictures. We yell, we fight, and our dog is usually poorly behaved.  We love each other, and then on some days we don’t even like each other.

Social media can lead us to believe that others are living perfect lives.  Photo editing can lead us to think that others are flawless in every way. For some of us that will feel terrible, because we don’t think we are equal to that.  I’ve looked at the pictures of others and thought, “That family must not have any struggles” when I know that that isn’t ever the truth.  There is no such thing as a perfect family or flawless people.

Families grow from challenges and those challenges make the easier times even sweeter. Click To Tweet

Why are so many of us pursuing perfection? Why is flawless the goal? What if perfection actually came because of the imperfections?  What if flawed was actually flawless?  What if we all started to find joy and happiness in the imperfections? Growth and change comes from the struggle.  Families grow from challenges and those challenges make the easier times even sweeter.  Accepting imperfections and learning from them is at the heart of a joyful, well-lived life.

It’s easy to live a life in which we spend time pretending that everything is picture perfect.  But isn’t it more fun to live a life that feels more authentic and genuine?  Isn’t it more exciting to acknowledge the imperfections and to even enjoy them?  Aren’t candid and messy photos so much more fun anyway?  For my family and me , we are enjoying being perfectly imperfect.  Oh, and that sweet dog of mine?  Imperfection is clearly her middle name.


Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC

Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. PCC

p.s. Don’t miss a thing! Click here to keep updated with what’s happening at Smart Women Inspired Lives.


Smart Women, Inspired Lives: How to Be Happy & Confident

by Dr. Lisa Kaplin
Do you long for more energy? Do you wish you could walk into any room and feel happy and confident? Do you simply want to enjoy your life more – personally and professionally? You can. Too many women today are doing more, but feeling less satisfied. Life doesn’t have to be that way. With small tweaks and simple strategies, you can enjoy a great life with soaring self-confidence, a good sense of well-being, and plenty of laughter. This easy-to-read yet profoundly impactful book will be all you need to join the tribe of smart women living inspired lives. Your life gets better right now.

About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, PCC

headshot of Lisa KaplinCertified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.

I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.


mother kneeling down next to and hugging her daughter

Feel More Confident as a Parent

Let’s face it, parenting can be really hard. Sometimes we aren’t sure how to handle really tough situations or really tough kids. Lisa has worked with parents since she started her training as a psychologist and has helped so many of them learn the best tools to relate better to their children, handle difficult decisions, and how to assess whether their child needs more help than just parenting.

If you are ready to change the relationship with your children and feel more confident in your role as a parent, Lisa’s parent coaching is right for you. She does parent coaching either with you or with you and a parenting partner.

Click Through to Learn More


The Fourteen-Year Pain Lesson Faith
The Fourteen-Year Pain Lesson

Comments to “The Perfect Family”

  1. Great article!!!


    • Thank you!