Posted September 25, 2011 by jimhigley
One of my favorite parts about the “Dad” world is hanging out and learning from other fathers. It gives me a much needed reminder that – in spite of differences – us dads have a lot in common.
I recently had one of those fun opportunities during a radio interview with Matt Roloff, the dad from TLC’s huge hit television show, “Little People, Big World.” Matt and his wife, Amy, both dwarfs, are parents to four kids ranging in age from 14 to 21. One of their children is also a dwarf.
I remember the first time I saw their show three or four years ago. My teenage daughter, a devoted fan, was watching and I quickly became a follower myself. While the world of little people was, candidly, the initial draw, I came to enjoy the show simply because of its relatable topics of family life, raising kids, and working through those nagging life adversities. It seems millions of other fans felt the same.
But, after six hugely successful seasons, Amy and Matt decided it was time to pull the production plug about a year ago.
“We needed to get back to being a normal family,” Matt explained to me. “We had gotten on a treadmill and it put stress on our family and our relationship. We started to lose some perspective as to who we were.”
As Matt shared his personal journey with me, I realized what a common problem the Roloff’s had. Keeping life in balance. Holding on to priorities. Sure, most families don’t have television production crews hanging around their house six days a week, 300+ days a year. But many of us know what it’s like to have things slip and feel out-of-control.
Matt talked about missing out on some of those simple, tender moments of family life due to the requirements of producing a television show.
“Sitting reading to your kid or throwing a ball doesn’t always make for exciting television,” Matt relayed as he tried to explain the types of daily moments his family realized they were letting slip away because of the demands of producing a show. And that, as he told me, was the essence of why they needed to stop and take a break. They needed a breather to reconnect as a family, enjoy those vanilla moments, and figure out if – and how – they could ever come back to television.
Fans will be happy to hear that the Roloff family will be back on TLC for four limited specials this year. The first special airs October 2.
“I think people will be happy to see how things have worked out for all of us over the last year,” he told me.
I’m sure people will. As for me, as someone who considers Matt a new friend, I’m happy to hear about another family who’s found their balance.
That’s no little feat. It’s huge.
Want to hear more from Matt? Check out my TERRIFIC radio interview with him on Bobblehead Dad WebTalk Radio.