Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Motherhood: Perception vs. Reality

The other day I was reflecting on my life before children. I had this fantasy of what life would be like when I had children. You know. Like the fantasy you had before you got married. When you thought marriage would be like dancing in the rain. No arguments, love notes through out the house, walks in the park, traveling the world, breakfast in bed....  Hmmmm marriage is a lot more work then I realized. It wasn't long after the honeymoon stage that I got it. Don't get me wrong. I love my husband. We've had romantic moments.  But it's work. Throw in kids, stressful careers, finances (ie. debt) and gosh darn it, you better have a strong marriage.

So I did it again! A perception so far from the truth it will have you in tears! Literally!

Perception: Scrapbooking all day long while my baby napped.
Reality: I haven't touched my scrapbook in 3 1/2 years! My dog has a beautiful scrapbook. Enough said.

Perception: I would have breakfast ready for my husband every morning and I would be sipping on my hot coffee in my pyjamas (Note that in my mind I looked darn cute in those pyjamas) and his brown bag lunch would be waiting by the front door as I kissed him on his merry way.
Reality: Dude you're on your own! I am lucky to have showered and made it to the kitchen (with kids in toe) before he has left for the day.

Perception: I would have a kick ass body because I would be running with my jogging stroller all day long with my kids...... because what else do SAHM's do all day?
Reality: I don't own a jogging stroller.

Perception: Laundry done, clothes hung, bathrooms clean, floors mopped, carpets vacuumed and I get to sit back and watch Days of Our Lives while the kids nap.
Reality: Thank god you can go for months not watching Days of Our Lives and not miss much! And what do you mean the clothes don't get hung by themselves? What's an iron?

Perception: I will never raise my voice at this little, tiny creature.
Reality: Breath, walk away, walk away, WALK AWAY!

Perception: My kids will be so well behaved. They will not be like that terror on the flight home from my honeymoon.
Reality: Pits soaked, sweat dripping down my face, face bright red, huffing and puffing as I drag my terror out of the store.

Perception: My daughter and I will do crafts and sit and laugh and have a jolly good time.
Reality: Don't grab the glue, watch the paint, for the love of god DON'T touch the walls!!!

Perception: Dinner will be hot and ready for my husband when he gets home from work (note again I am wearing a cute little apron and I look darn hot).
Reality: The witching hours may bring on tears and cause extreme heart rates. For temporary solutions call 222-2222.

Perception: Weekend is here! Let's go on a family vacation!
Reality: Let's clean the house.

So that's my reality check. I love my kids. I love my husband. It's nothing like my perception but it's a feeling that no parenting book or movie or person can explain. You can be warned but you won't believe it because you will parent different, right? :)

We all have our strengths as mothers. We all have good days and bad days. It's okay to complain. It's okay to cry. It's okay to have a moment of weakness. While my reality is far from my perception it's darn worth it. The good days outweigh the bad days. And that unconditional love that your little baby gives you is beyond your expectations of motherhood.

Oh, and the days where my perception is close to reality..... those are fan-freakin-tastic days where I feel like I can rule the world!

You may have seen these floating around online. Perception vs Reality.


  1. so good Ester, well said!

  2. Great blog Ester! There are only so many hours in a day, and some things have to give. I'm always grateful when people are honest about the reality of their life, and I think your post will help a lot of moms to feel normal!

  3. No offense, but you were pretty delusional before you had kids! Lol! If theres a dad in the picture, I would say you're very lucky to have that extra pair of hands so you CAN go for a walk! You're lucky your child is healthy- a busy, messy household is a blessed household. Count your blessings and go out with a friend for a break every now and then. Take care! And good luck!

  4. I agree with Anonymous above. It's pretty unrealistic to think that you'll have breakfast ready, perfectly folded laundry, and time to hang at the gym everyday when you have a newborn. However, what I do think is realistic is that you make time for yourself everyday. Whether this be going for a walk, cranking out a workout, chatting with a friend, or doing some scrapbooking if that's your thing. If you have a supportive partner, I am sure they can care for the child while you take a break and chill out for a second. And by chill, I don't mean do laundry and make meals, those are secondary to being sure you have your mental health check for the day. Also husbands can make breakfast and fold laundry too!

  5. Thanks everyone for their comments. I'm overwhelmed by the number of emails or comments here and on the momstown message board about how this made you feel better that you aren't the only one that feels this way.

    To the Anonymous comments, yup, I guess I was delusional, hence the post. :) And no offence taken. It was very unrealistic and I wanted to share this because I know I'm not the only one that had this fantasy of what motherhood was all about. I wasn't around a lot of babies before and was very career oriented. I never changed a diaper before my first child. For me motherhood hit me hard. Do I feel lucky my child is healthy, yes! And I'm very fortunate I have a supportive husband. He often makes dinner, does the dishes, feeds the baby, changes diapers, ect. I tell him that all the time that he is doing a wonderful job. I do think that as mothers we have a right to feel frustrated and complain. It doesn't mean we don't appreciate what we have. Just like our spouses/partners may come home and complain about a hard day at work.

    I wrote this b/c I've been hearing over and over again by so many moms that they are struggling and they feel like they are failing at motherhood. I just want to let them know that we are all going through it too. Or at least I am! Some of us are just better at hiding those bad days. :)

  6. Oh the sweet delusion of pre-motherhood. You know what though, the highs are higher than I could have imagined being a mom and yes, the lows are lower but so worth it :)

  7. LOL! What a great blog post! Look forward to meeting you at the conference, Ester!