If you use any sort of social media you will have seen those perception versus reality pictures or those, “This is what my family thinks I do blah blah blah versus this is what I really do” jokes. The first three were funny in the beginning, but much like every other overused social media fad they are getting tired. Why is it that people love them so much? Perhaps it’s because they remind us about what is so true of life. When we dream about the future it very rarely has the weight of reality attached to it. I do this all the time. I imagine how things will be and how I want them to be and then find myself rather surprised when it doesn’t turn out quite the way I expected. Today I’m going to share some of my recent dream versus reality experiences.
The Dream: I am going to have a wonderful, natural childbirth with absolutely no medical intervention. In fact, I will be so amazing that I will barely even need a Dr. I won’t scream and perform like all those silly women and I will gracefully push my daughter into the world without a peep. Don’t even mention the word epidural because I won’t consider it. I have done this before 3 times and I know what I am doing.
The Reality: I go in to the hospital long before real labour even kicks in because I am over it already and Easter weekend is coming up which means I need to be back home to hide Easter eggs for my offspring and my husband needs to be at church. I start off gracefully, but by the time I am in transition I beg for the epidural. Not only that, but I start very vocally scolding myself for not having the epidural when I had the chance. Calling myself stupid girl was not part of my birth plan. Then when I realise it’s too late and the girl isn’t waiting for any pain relief for her mother, I scream like a banshee. So much so, that I manage to traumatise the maternity ward and possibly the whole second floor of the hospital. Thankfully it was quick and that’s all I will say about that.
The Dream: Not one cheese curl is going to touch the virgin gut of my toddler.
The Reality: Because you have decided to over-populate the planet by having 4 kids, you will invariably have to take your toddler along to a sibling’s birthday party, or for that matter, the church baby’s room which is a viper’s nest of cheese curls and marie-biscuits. Your carrot sticks and raisins just AINT GONNA CUT IT and you are NOT, I repeat, NOT likely to win this one.
The Dream: Just because you failed at preserving your toddler’s virgin gut from junk food, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to raise feta and cocktail tomato loving, sushi eating kids.
The Reality: Um, maybe not. We have had far more KFC and McDonlads than I would like to admit. Recently, I again decided not to give up on “the dream.” In a mad frenzy I bought 2kg of butternut, 2 kg of spinach, and 2 kg of green beans with visions of my offspring lapping up the healthy produce while I peacefully breastfed my new born daughter. Can you see the problem with that sentence? Just try looking at it before moving on – it was something I failed to see at the time. The words “NEW BORN” somehow did not spring out at me when I went on my little health fest. You see someone with a NEW BORN baby would have to COOK all the food, genius. To cut a long story short, we had McDonalds for supper that night because I was too tired to cook, I made a disastrous butternut soup which no one would eat and I burnt the green beans on the stove while peacefully breastfeeding my new born daughter. The spinach thankfully survived and by the end of the week I had spinach eating (not loving) kids.
The Dream: I will not allow my children to be consumed by technology. We will take nature walks, build things in the garden and spend hours doing artwork and reading novels.
The Reality: “Boys, turn the play station down. Your sister is trying to sleeeeeeeep !!!!”
I could go on with various dream vs reality scenarios, but I’m sure you get the picture. The truth is, very rarely does life look even remotely like what we imagine. Just remember that the next time you envy somebody’s pictures of their idyllic holiday or perfect, over achieving family on Facebook. Real, everyday life does not look like that all the time. We have a quandary. Be too realistic and you will be depressed. Live only for your dreams and you will be disappointed. As for me, I am happy to be living out my dreams amongst the chaos of real life. Actually I think we were made to be dreamers in a real world.