Perception v reality
I’ve said tons of times to plenty of people not to judge your inside against someone’s outside. Meaning that if you feel like your a wreck half holding it together and you see someone breeze in with a perfect looking outfit and well-behaved child you are comparing what you feel and know about yourself against what you see and perceive about someone else. To that other lady you might look cute and laid back and totally pulling off an outfit that she is too nervous to try and she is a paranoid mess that worries constantly – Who knows!
With the influx of summer activities I’ve had a relapse of judgment/self-evaluation as I tote kids to and fro and chatting with strangers for 10-30min on the side of a field. Occasionally I hear myself saying something completely true but it *sounds* like such the over planning control mom that I am really not (and don’t want to be) like saying “Niamh has to rush from tennis to make track camp because they overlap and then later tonight she has karate and tomorrow is swimming and and and..” The reality of that statement is I signed up for 2 things so she could try them and they are both squashed into the same 2 weeks. Karate is a dad thing – she does it because he does and a BFF there does not hurt. Swimming is also a dad thing, he is good at it and it really is just a good activity to give me a bit of time off and him a bit of kid bonding time. I know other dads that (nobly) take their daughters golfing, fishing, hunting etc and I’m sure it is a blend of wanting to give mom a break and wanting to share an interest of theirs with their child. Personally I remember quite a few boat rides with dad collecting clams and crabs from the bay. But the way it *sounds* to a person who has not experienced the same thing is quite pretentious – “oh yes, my 6-year-old is out golfing/boating/karate 2x a week”.
After a few years in the circuit of stay at home mom land I’ve gotten decent at seeing beyond the outside and believing the best in each person. I also try not to worry about what I say/do/look like because if I think about it, except for a brief moment, I do not know at all what people were wearing. As long as they had clothing generally right for the situation I don’t even notice and I can’t believe there is anyone much paying closer attention. We are all, as far as I can see, concerned with ourselves, our kids, the schedule, the fact that it is too sunny or cold or hot or something that requires us to find a solution and of the15% of our concern used for other people 14.9% is used for spotting danger to another kid. I love my social interactions with other people, it isn’t that I’m not paying attention, it is just that I’m not concerned in the least about what they are eating/wearing/driving etc. I mostly care if they are friendly to hang out with and if our kids play nicely and I’m extremely lucky to have had fantastic luck finding plenty of ladies that fit that criteria.
I started this post intending to share a funny Niamh track story but I’ll just write that next. I got to thinking about how my blog is such the ‘good stuff’ and while I’ve said it a million times I don’t want anyone feeling ‘bad’ or that I have it all together with my kids all rocking tennis and track and such. Right now I have one kid who refuses to shower (good thing she isn’t actually stinky) and another who thinks it is fun to shriek for no reason (she says she is whistling). We make it out of the house with bribes and someone usually does not have their hair brushed. I would post a picture of my rummage sale of a bedroom but I just can’t do that to the internet – just know; changing sizes and seasons for a family of 5 is not pretty and requires a ton of totes. If the zombies come I can fortify my house with totes.
There is no good way to close out this one so I’m leaving with an early Father’s day note to the dads out there. Thanks – on behalf of your wives, even if they don’t say it, we are all super happy that you are interested and participate. I only speak for myself here, but, I don’t care if you take them shark grooming, an hour of them happy in your care is an hour I can rest my mind.