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A Dysfunctional Family Confessional

There are lots of things that come with having a large family with kids between the ages of 5 and 15- a big grocery bill, an abundance of sports equipment to trip over, a lack of sleep, a very busy schedule….and a whole lot of dysfunctional family confessions. No family is perfect, we all have stuff we deal with but that’s what makes life interesting and fun. Where’s the fun in perfection? That just seems really stressful to me; trying to live up to an ideal that is unrealistic and unattainable. I’d rather be flawed and happy. And boy are we flawed. 


If you’ve ever looked around your house and thought about how your family didn’t measure up to the ideal of the perfect family, or wondered why you couldn’t get it all together like other moms, or felt guilty for sending your kid to school wearing mis-matched socks and shorts that might have come from the dirty laundry pile….well, allow me to help you feel much better about yourself with a few of our family’s honest confessions.

1- We fight the daily hygiene battle with the 8 year old and it gets tiring and frustrating. Sometimes it’s easier to just spray him down with the teenager’s Axe spray and call it a day before sending him off to school. I’d tell you I feel guilty for letting him skip a shower at night a few times a week but I’d be lying. I don’t feel guilty at all. Besides- it is nearly impossible for 5 kids to bathe consecutively at night without running out of hot water. That’s a good excuse, right?

2- We have assigned chores in our house for all of the kids. Unfortunately sometimes those chores go really wrong and it ends up making more work for mom than it would have been to just do the original chore myself. I think the kids do this on purpose but I can’t bring myself to care. So mom ends up with most of the chores and the kids are playing. Pro tip: dish soap cannot be substituted for dishwasher detergent….ever. 

3- We established a homework hierarchy in our house. We pay the 15 year old to help the 11 year old and we pay the 11 year old to help the 8 year old. I’ve tried to convince myself that this system helps teach the older kids responsibility. But honestly we do it just to avoid the parental units having to learn how to do common core math. They all have good grades and I’m not driven to alcoholism trying to figure out what a number bond is and what exactly it has to do with math. I’m counting that as a win.  


I am really excited about a new show coming to ABC, The Real O’Neals, starring beloved Martha Plimpton as Eileen, is a fresh take on a seemingly perfect family whose lives take an unexpected turn when surprising truths are revealed. Instead of ruining their family, the honesty triggers a new, messier chapter where everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real.  When Kenny decided to come out as a teenager, he didn’t think it meant outing the secrets of the entire family, and we’re along for the ride as The O’Neals ‘come out’ through Kenny’s coming of age story. The common denominator for the whole family is the journey of self-discovery and growth they each embark on as a result of Kenny coming out. They’ll be better off than before, even though it may not always be pretty. The O’Neals will fit in perfectly with the funny families of primetime while also adding a unique perspective.  Find out more, watch trailers, and see behind the scenes of the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #LetsGetReal. 

The Real O’Neals. New Episode Tuesday 8:30|7:30c.

Tell us about your funny family stories using #LetsGetReal for a chance to win a $100 Visa giftcard!

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This sweepstakes runs from 2/25/16-3/8/16.


Share This

  • bellows22

    Family get togethers are always lots of fun -there is lots of fun and laughter #LetsGetReal #SweepstakesEntry

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Angel Jacklyn

    My cousins laugh just makes everybody laugh so going to the movies and watching a comedy is always a good time!!! afjackly@oakland.edu

  • Faith Jacklyn

    I think it was the last day the pool is open at our park everyone in the family just started pushing each other and although half of us didn’t think it was funny that other half thought it was hilarious faithjacklynsweeps@gmail.com

  • Shawn Gallagher

    #LetsGetReal I always have trouble getting my kids to eat their veggies so Im always dicing them up, adding spices and combining them in their other foods. You should see their faces sometimes after they take a bite lol. shawn92379@gmail.com

  • lifeskit

    #LetsGetReal the first time I combed my daughter’s hair, it didn’t come out too well. I was a first time mom!

  • Tabathia

    #LetsGetReal When I decided to cook on the grill for the first time and failed to move it from the townhouse we were living in at the time and it melted the siding

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  • Thomas Murphy

    My funny family story is my brother always tries to steal everyone’s
    desserts on the holidays and hide them for him self. #LetsGetReal

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

  • AngelaLilly

    #LetsGetReal I remember a story from when I was a kid and my mom first started dating my stepdad. He took off his shoes and looked at me over his nose all silly like and, while wiggling his toes, said, “Don’t I have pretty feet?” I looked at them and looked at him and said, “look like feet to me, albeit hairy.” We laugh about this exchange to this day. I was 13.


    14earth at gmail dot com

  • Kristin G

    #LetsGetReal My mom got my sister and I a pinata for one of our bday parties growing up. All of our friends took turns swinging at it with a stick. Someone finally busted it open and nothing came out! My mom didn’t realize that you had to stuff the candy inside of it yourself.

  • Annette

    Nobody told me they were doing a line test in my neighborhood, to determine if there were any leaks (my dad was president of the neighborhood group responsible for this test). So when I woke up to find clouds of smoke inside my house I panicked, called my dad, called the fire department, then loaded all my cats into my car. When my dad arrived I had a half dozen fire trucks in my yard with twice as many firemen. ​Kind of embarrassing that his own daughter never got the memo. All the neighbors were standing around wanting to know where the fire was. No fire, just smoke from the chemical that was released to show leaks. #LetsGetReal

  • slehan

    The story I remember was on a vacation to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in 1959. We were camped in our little 15 foot trailer. One night the trailer started shaking and my dad said it was a bear scratching his back. In the morning we went up to the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone for breakfast. All everyone could talk about was there had been an earthquake that closed the road past Old Faithful. Guess there wasn’t a bear… #LetsGetReal
    Thanks for the contest.
    slehan at juno dot com

  • latanya t

    When I was little, my sister and I just keep arguing until my mom made us sit us outside on the porch at night holding hands until we stopped arguing. Of course, that lasted about a minute, before we shut our mouths.

    dlatany at gmail dot com

  • Whitney Lynn Bellows

    #LetsGetReal #SweepstakesEntry – My funny story is when we got my dog percival. He would always howl and we would think he was so mad but no — he is just saying hello!

    wlbellows at gmail dot com

  • Kathryn C

    #SweepstakesEntry- comment

    #LetsGetReal – We always fondly recall Christmas Day a few years ago when, despite weather warnings we all met at my mom’s house for gifts & food & then a snowstorm hit, the power went out- everyone was stranded and we had no power- So we heated up the food using bunson burners and had to wait for the snow to die down- a few of us ended up sleeping over camping-style -x


  • Linda C

    My Mom was not a very good cook. Lots of funny stories there. She forgot to take out the bag inside the Turkey for three years in a row. #LetsGetReal

  • Natalie

    My funny family story was we played an April Fool’s joke on my mom by putting Vaseline all over the toilet seat. She went to the bathroom during the night and slipped right off! #LetsGetReal yarbr012@gmail.com

  • erica best

    my 3 year niece found do some pink pep med and thought it was strawberry milk so u went and got a glass and was about to add to milk before i catch her #LetsGetReal

  • Lisa Brown

    My funny family story for #LetsGetReal was the time when two of my uncles, my dad, and husband went fly fishing (not me, of course) and when they came back, one of my uncles was not with them. They completely forgot about my uncle and returned home without him, silly

    men 🙂

  • Jeffrey Lammers

    We had a pool put in last year and before it was totally finished we went swimming, in like 2 feet of water. The weather was so ridiculously hot that we couldn’t take having a pool and not being able to use it! #LetsGetReal
    jlammers002 at woh dot rr dot com

  • My funny family story- My brother is 2 years older, so when he got his license he used to drive us all around and we wouldn’t tell my parents where we were going. He drove my friend and I to NYC and I think we told them we were just going locally for the day! #LetsGetReal


  • jalapenomama

    Our funniest family story is when bringing a yellow and white cockatiel home our youngest said look we have a chicken! #LetsGetReal
    thank you

    barbara dot montyj at gmail dot com

  • sandra

    my son likes to roam the house a except for his bathrobe

  • Anne

    #LetsGetReal about balancing a father’s desire to have a cool car with the needs of a family: The compromise was a sedan big enough to fit three kids in the back seat, but it was a convertible. One particularly funny scene I remember is driving home from a trip to the beach, with all three of us kids on the floor in the back because it was so windy and cold with the top down, with our parents oblivious in the relative calm and warmth of the front seat!
    [notheranneother {at} gmail {dot} com]

  • Elle

    #LetsGetReal When your child thinks it’s a good idea to color on someone else’s walls during a playdate. Yeah.
    prettyinhotpink6 at gmail dot com

  • Susan Smith

    My funny family story was when my daughter put some fake dog poo on my Mom’s couch and said told her that one of her dogs must have has an accident. My Mom was freaking out until she discovered it was fake. #LetsGetReal

    s2s2 at cox dot net

  • #LetsGetReal It was many years ago when I still lived with my parents and my brother just moved out with his girlfriend. He wasn’t quite on his own yet as whenever he visited, he would raid the pantry and fridge and took things and food he needed in his apartment without telling mom and dad. My parents had been wondered for a long time why things were mysteriously disappearing around the house! LOL

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  • My funny family story happens every day with 2 kids that are 5 and under! #LetsGetReal


  • JessieC

    Holiday get-together are always fun and memorable in my family since you can hear at least six different languages in the same conversation if everyone participates at the same time. #LetsGetReal
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  • Elena

    My funny story happened when my mom dropped our cooked Thanksgiving turkey in our pool and then my dog jumped in the pool to get the turkey #LetsGetReal

    elena150980 at yahoo dot com

  • We have some road trip stories that are legendary in our family. We drove once in a minivan from Chicago to St. Petersburg FL and my little sister played “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on her little Fisher Price recorder the WHOLE DRIVE. Painful!

  • bellagirl07

    One of our funny family stories #LetsGetReal was when the kids put gold fish crackers in the fish tank thinking the crackers were real fish too. heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

  • Julie Wood

    My funny family #LetsGetReal story is when my son went to school with his shirt on backwards, and with a pair of his big brothers shoes on that did not fit him. He tripped all day! ! I was in so much of a hurry, that I did not pay attention. He stayed like that all day!


  • mami2jcn

    I think the funniest things in our family are my mother-in-law’s catchphrases. We all get a laugh out of them. #LetsGetReal English is her 2nd language and she has an accent that my husband imitates. When she’s tired, she says she’s “burnt out” and it sounds really funny to us. When my brother-in-law was going to participate in an Occupy Wall Street protest, she kept telling him to “stay away from the front line!”. We all laughed at that one. I think she imagined he was going off to war.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  • Will Griesmer

    When I first moved out of my parents house I hosted a get together at my apartment. Someone came to my door to complain about the noise. i was distraught and a little out of my element and ended up tripping over several pizza boxes. #LetsGetReal