Photo by: Little People, Big World/TLC
I wish Amy Roloff lived next door to me! After I interviewed Amy Roloff two weeks ago, I began wishing she was my neighbor! She's so easy to talk to, wise and very funny. Her down-to-earth approach to motherhood is refreshing.
The Roloff's family life is shown to millions of people every week on TLC's Little People Big World. Amy and husband Matt have a busy life without a camera crew following them around! Between four children, work, a 34 acre farm and Matt's remodeling, the Roloffs have a family life that lots of moms relate to.
I'm a fan of the show but one of my best friends is the mom of a little person. I'm really glad the Roloffs have brought awareness about little people to the mainstream.
EB: How did Little People Big World begin?
AR: A producer came to us with the idea of showing our every day life. Previous documentaries about little people were focused on some of the problems. We were nervous about having cameras around so much and the impact on the kids.
Matt and I finally decided to try the show. We thought if the show helped one person, it was worth it. Little People, Big World doesn't have a heavy message and we're not trying to speak for all little people. I think by just following our family's daily life, viewers get a glimpse into some of the challenges of little people. I tell my kids that everyone faces adversity. As a little person, my disability is visible to others but everyone has challenges!
EB: How do you balance the show and normal family life?
AR: First of all, we have an amazing crew. The incredible people who produce the show care about our family. I can tell them, at any time, to shut off the cameras, if something is off limits...they respect our boundaries. I think our crew is one of the reasons the show works for our family...they've got our back, there is a mutual trust and respect.
Second, I am so grateful to our friends, the families who allow their children to come over to our house with the cameras there. Our friends have been really great and that has made it easier to go about our lives while the show is being created.
The people involved with the show and our friends are a big reasons why the show doesn't disrupt the children's lives more.
EB: What's the best thing about doing the show? What's the worst?
AR: There are too many good things that have come from the show to name! We've been blessed with meeting people all over the world, we've been given opportunities we could have never imagined. There are too many blessings that have come from doing the show to focus on the bad parts.
However, I've had to developed "thicker skin" being in public eye. For example, there were things written over past year about my messy house. But you have to shake it off, not let it bother you.
EB: What do you want people to take away from show?
AR: I'm just a regular person who happens to be little. The show has brought attention to people with all kinds of different disabilities, not just little people. We all live just like everyone else.
If a person has never encountered someone with a disability, they don't know how to relate. I think that as people become more aware, they can understand and connect more with people with disabilities.
EB: Do you have any advice for moms?
AR: What works for us might drive another family crazy. I think spending time with your children, and keeping focused on your family is a priority. Clearly I am far from "perfect" but I've found that by making the family come first, the rest of my life falls into place.
I love being a mom. The twins are 18 but they're still my children! Things change, and kids grow up. But the job of being a mother continues, no matter how old the children are.
Amy is my kind of mom. I watch the show and I always crack up when I see her give the kids the "mom look". Every mom on the planet knows that look! Amy Roloff is a mom, wife who doesn't pretend to be perfect, and admits she doesn't have the answers. In a world that rewards the perfection of Martha Stewart, Amy Roloff is a breath of fresh air. I hope I get the opportunity to talk to her again and I hope you enjoyed reading about her.