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I am a Hudson Valley Parent: Roxanne Ferber

Talking about parenthood’s messier moments

i am a hudson valley parent roxanne ferber

As a parenting blogger and mother of 5-year-old twins, Roxanne Ferber sums up her life as follows: Do what it takes to get through the day.

“I call it the ‘Whatever Mom’ philosophy,” the Saugerties resident says. “Some days Plan A doesn’t work. So you say ‘Ok, I’ll go to Plan B, ok that’s not working either – I’m going to Plan C. And if Plan C means feeding your kids Cheerios for dinner so that you can have just five minutes of peace, that’s fine.”

That philosophy may seem at odds with the Pinterest-polished perfection that many parenting blogs seem to push, but for Ferber, that’s the point.

Humble beginnings

She started blogging almost three years ago as a way of simply keeping friends and family in the loop as to what was going on in the lives of her daughters, Nora and Camille. After some of her friends noted that they would never try the messier crafting projects she wrote about, she realized that only a few other blogs were willing to show what the day-to-day reality of parenting was actually like. “Messy things really happen in life,” she says. “It’s not pretty and it’s not perfect.”

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Ferber isn’t afraid to write about the emotionally messy side of parenting either. “I have kids who have meltdowns and tantrums in public just like you,” she says. “This is how I deal with it: I do whatever works to get us through that moment, I get home, and life goes on.”

The good with the bad

Ferber knew she was taking a risk by sharing the uncomfortable realities of parenting on her blog.

“A lot of my blogging…had just been about sharing all the fun stuff that we had done together,” she says. “I was expecting a kind of backlash once I started writing about being out in public and having a child meltdown to the point where they’re just so completely out of control and people are looking at you like you’re a horrible parent – sharing that really uncomfortable feeling. But instead, there was a lot of support from people who said ‘I’ve been there, I’ve done that, it’s really hard.’ So sharing that story with people turned out to be a way to really open myself up.”

As Ferber continued to share what she refers to as “the darker side of parenting,” she found that her style of parenting was changing as well.

“I’m a strong Type A personality and I like things to go exactly as I envision them. That type of thinking does not fit in with parenting,” she says.

But instead of stressing out and trying to make things look perfect or like what all of the other moms she knew were posting about on Facebook, it was a lot healthier to take a good, long look at her own skill sets – and what she could realistically accomplish in a day.

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“Sometimes when you try to get it all done and it doesn’t work, you feel like you’ve failed in some way,” she says. “I think that there are a lot more moms that are feeling that way than are willing to talk about it.” 

Making adjustments

Adopting her philosophy has helped her to let go of a lot of stress and anxiety that came with trying to present a perfect vision of parenting to the world. 

“Parenting is different for every single person and not everyone has access to the same resources,” she adds. “Today a lot of parents don’t live near family, so they don’t have somebody round the corner who will come and sit with their kids for five minutes and give them some peace.” 

Or give them time to write. As a stay-at-home mom, Ferber has to balance her three blog posts a week with two kids who are home with her all day and don’t really understand why Mommy has to spend so much time at the computer. But Ferber knows how to make it work.

“I type two sentences, go make a sandwich, type two more sentences, change the channel, type two more sentences, break up a fight, rinse, lather, repeat,” she says. “That’s pretty much my day.”


Brian PJ Cronin is a freelance writer. His work appears throughout the Hudson Valley.

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