Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Moments vs. Reality

My reality tonight wasn't pretty.  Three of my four children were in tears at bedtime (for various reasons),  I couldn't figure out how to stop worrying about some personal issues that have popped up, and, as I looked back at my day, it seems that I literally ran in circles without accomplishing anything (and I'm the Mind Organization Mom!).

What's hard about the blog-world (or even the Internet, in general), is that we capture moments, but not reality.  Unless I'm actually in your kitchen or living room, I can only guess what your life is like--and I usually guess wrong. 

We compare ourselves to visions of perfection (and sometimes try to replicate those images in our own homes), and then we get frustrated when it doesn't turn out as planned.

For example, I watched a cute video on my friend Shawni's blog last night.  Her children were dancing in the kitchen while they cleaned up after dinner, and it looked like so much fun.  See?

My children have been great at picking up their "zones" each night, and we do work together throughout the day, but we don't usually do dinner clean-up together.  After watching this video, I thought I'd give it a try.

It didn't work out.

One of my children had been going straight for 13 hours and, being overly tired, started sobbing in the middle of the table-cleaning.  Spencer was still eating his corn, and he didn't like eating the "ends," so he went from cob to cob, just eating the "middles."  Our phone kept ringing off the hook--important calls we had to take--and then since my husband only had 15 minutes before he had to leave for meetings, he wanted to hold me on the couch (which I LOVE), but then the kitchen clean-up fell apart because the jobs weren't clearly defined, and I wasn't in there to supervise, so I ended up putting everyone to bed and just cleaning up all by myself while I cried.

The reason I'm bringing this up is because I'm ultra-sensitive about giving a false representation of my reality on this blog.  My real goal here is to be helpful to other moms.  I'm not seeking compliments.  I'm not trying to live my life for an audience.  I simply believe in the power of moms, dads, children, and families, and I want to do whatever I can to be useful.

I wrote up this post a few months ago and included a video of a Perry dance party. 

This was a moment--a happy one--but it's not my reality. We don't dance every single day. I'm often in my pajamas until noon while I juggle computer work and my little Spencer.  Sometimes I don't think motherhood is "fun."

So my goal is to enjoy my good moments, stop worrying if I can't replicate others' good moments, and try to learn as much as I can from the chaos and wonder that is often my reality.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.  What helps you to focus on your own sweet moments and not feel frustrated when your "reality" doesn't seem to measure up?


  1. I loved this April! We are going to get along so well when you come to Australia for the retreat next year....?? ;) hahaha! Check out the post below from Naomi at Seven Cherubs (she's the lovely lady I mentioned in the email to you) it goes along so well with what you are talking about here!!

    Felicity xo

  2. Oh April-I love this post! Last night I had a very 'REAL' evening too. We had family prayer without my husband and daughter who were in another room having a major melt down/discipline time, no one brushed their teeth and I snapped at my daughter instead of giving her a hug and so on and so forth. As I tried to race my boys through their prayers, I got teary eyed thinking about what a bad mother I was and how my whole family is going to fall apart because of this and that.

    When the reality is-that too was just 'a moment.' Our family and my mothering aren't so bad (most of the time...).

    Today I sat down and wrote a post about a few 'moments' I've had lately, though they clearly aren't the reality of our life.

    Blogging is great, and we can learn so much from each other, but I think it really gives people, moms especially, a false sense of REALITY!

    Great perspective, as always.

  3. April, I find real life so refreshing --and funny at times. It's something to laugh at later (even if not always in the moment) and nice to know that other's live reality, too.

  4. I liked the video of the Pothiers doing zones compared to our family doing zones! Thanks for being such a great mom! I love you a lot.


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