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Perception vs. Reality

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housewife Ever hear the cliche “Perception is/becomes reality”?  It is often true in many cases.  For example, if we believe that we don’t deserve something, we most likely don’t get it.  Somehow, our brains are quite susceptible to fulfilling even the worst of our subconscious prophecies.  Of course, there are exceptions to this unwritten rule – traffic tickets, adult acne, menstrual cramps, and… the imperfection of motherhood.  No matter how unfair you perceive the aforementioned to be, you’re still most likely going to get a ticket if caught speeding. 

Before I became a mother, I had lots of preconceived notions of how motherhood would be.  I’m the oldest of four children and have always been the mother hen.  Almost every mother will get a chuckle out of this (or perhaps a full belly laugh), but I mistakenly thought that I had… wait for it… helped “raise” my brothers, simply because I helped my parents with babysitting and potty-training.  I now know that my logic was anything but logical.  This probably explains why I wasn’t nervous during my first pregnancy – ignorance is always bliss.  I had so many expectations of myself and others.  The schedule, the organization, the discipline, the perfectly groomed children… well, most of you know how this story ends.  We were discharged from the hospital, and rubber met the road.  Friendships changed or were lost completely, spare time was equally as elusive as sleep, my body was replaced by that of someone I didn’t even know, and to top it off – I became the lady with the screaming baby in the grocery store that I once judged with every ounce of my single, childless wisdom.

Whether you stay at home or work outside of the home, being a mother is hard work.  Is it possible to create an atmosphere with plenty of structure, organization, discipline, and great grooming habits?  Absolutely, but it is indeed hard work!  Before a mom, single or married, can make any of those things happen, the vision must be there.  Who the heck has time to focus on a vision?  But that’s the thing about mothers, we’re so busy ‘doing’ that we don’t realize that the vision is always there driving us to do the best for our children.  Yes, fathers are great and an indispensible part of the family unit, but their day is in June… so, we’ll get back to them later. 

Believe it or not, I have gained my footing, and have grown more comfortable in my mommy-skin.  However, I still consider it a major victory on the days when everyone in the house has bathed.  As we begin our countdown to Mother’s Day, reflect on all the mothers in your life and appreciate them.  Some moms make greatness look easy, but in their case, perception is surely not reality.

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