Motherhood: Reality vs. Expectations

I can remember the the first time my son started kindergarten, I began thinking of things I wished we had done during his first 5 years. Then I started questioning myself. Did I play enough? Did I work too much? Did I teach him anything at all?? Then my crazy mind wondered on ¦ thinking even further back to when I was younger and what I pictured my life being like with kids.

Rewind back to 4? high 80's bangs and permed hair me ¦ {yikes! LOL }

amyk


I thought ¦

My kids would look just like me.

The only thing my kids got from me was their blonde hair and smiles. The rest is all daddy!

I thought ¦

They would sleep though the night.

For those of you who's kids slept through the night right away, sorry, I hate you! My first born finally slept more than 6 hours straight after about 10 months.

25 Ways to Be the Fun Mom

I thought ¦

I would be doing creative art projects with them each week, such as  painting and learning the color wheel.

I ™m such a slacker here! This is my thing too, I ™m an artist!! I have always had grand plans, but most of the time we just draw with markers or play with stickers. I ™m too lazy to clean paint off of children:-)

I thought ¦

They would automatically know how to pee and poop on the potty at age 2.

I never knew you had to work with them. Sometimes for years!  Boy, did I ever find out the hard way!!

I thought ¦

They would be so well behaved that we would travel overseas on vacations.

Now I cringe just thinking about this! ha. Our last flight with an overly dramatic 2 year old was a year ago and it was only to North Carolina.

I thought ¦

We would have family close by to help out (like they would magically appear where ever we lived!).

The closest relative is 5 hours away.

I thought ¦

They would learn to play an instrument before going to grade school.

Does a really bad sounding harmonica count? My granddad played the fiddle and my aunt sang, played guitar and fiddle. There was always music at my grandparent's house. Like the previous item, I just thought family would magically always be around and my kids would absorb the musical talent.

I thought ¦

They would be outgoing and want to do all kinds of activities.

I have tried and tried, year after year, as my son clung to my leg, to get him to try new things. He would rather be home wearing his Batman costume playing on the computer or with Legos.

I thought ¦

They would be able to swim like fish by age 3.

I spent a lot of time and money on my son to learn survival swimming. By 18 months he could swim like a fish, it was so cool. Then boom! The next summer he was clinging to my leg. He just now started swimming. Better late than never. His baby sister is a diva and doesn't like to get her hair wet!

I thought ¦

We would have a boat and take them skiing and tubing at a lake.

I used to go boating all the time. That was another life. Too busy to even think about that now. I sure do miss it though.

I thought ¦

I would still be able to have my career and be there for them 100% of the day.

I work from home (not the grand career my 80's self had planned) and I am never there 100% of the time. Who really is? If you are, I bow down before you:-) My kids watch T.V. and go to preschool a few hours a week. There I said it, it's out there. I ™m not a perfect mommy. I just do my best and try to keep my head above water. I think the toughest job in the world is working from home with preschoolers. At least my clients are used to hearing screams in the background. ha! I stay up really late, hardly ever have clean laundry and drink lots of coffee!

I figure as long as you are with them at home, you don't have to be playing with them 100% of the time. They are happy to be near you, smell you, and get a hug when they fall. But it's still hard not to feel guilty when your children are looking for you while you're on a conference call and hiding in your closet!

**Side note about the laundry. Thanks to my husband for doing the laundry. We would all be some funky smelling people if it weren't for you:-)

I thought ¦

They would take great pictures and ham it up for the camera.

How I wish this were true. I get more shots of the back of my kid's heads!! Grrrrrr ¦ Sit still already!

I thought ¦

My parents and grandparents would live forever to see my kids grow.

I ™m so sad that my kids don't have any men in their life but their Daddy. My dad passed away before I was married. He would have gotten so much joy from his grand kids! Both Granddads are gone too. On the brighter side, my grandma has the longevity gene and might just live forever! ha. She's 81 and still working! Go Grandma! We have lots of grandmas and aunts to be thankful for.

And last of all ¦

I thought they would stay with me forever.

This hit home the day my boy was old enough for kindergarten. We need to cherish them while we have them. The preschool and elementary stages of life are so tiring and challenging! Life with kids may not be what we imagined, but we have them and that's what matters!! God hand-picked the perfect kids for us. They are each unique little people and wouldn't life be boring if they were all that we pictured or just like us? Where is the adventure in that? I plan to love mine as best as I can ¦ and also pray for sanity each day:-)

Amy no longer has 4″ high big hair and is embracing her reality of marriage and two kids.   She is a graphic designer and writes at Living Locurto.

3 Comments

  1. Great post- I can relate- especially to the part where your first born didn’t sleep more than 6 hours until 10 months of age! That was totally my first born.

  2. So true Amy. Nothing is like my expectations, but what is reality is what is best for us and our family.

  3. I have a feeling I will be saying the same thing in five years

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