The Real Picture

27 08 2008

After sending my first born to 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 Amy. Got it in your mind? No the bangs were way higher!! Oh yeah, they are tall and crunchy… just right now.

I thought…

My kids would look just like me.

They would sleep though the night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And last of all: I thought they would stay with me forever.

 

Now fast forward to 2008! Ah… my hair feels so much better now.

 

Here is the Real Picture:

My kids would look just like me. 

Well, the boy sorta does, but the girl! Well… what do you think?? 

Mini Daddy! This black haired thing came out of me and I was like “Say what???” Yeah, I’m sad to say there was no bonding right away. She had to grow on me. ha! I’m soooo bad! 

 

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.

 

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 have always have 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:-)

 

They would just 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!! 

 

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

Now I cringe just thinking about this! ha. We were just on a flight from hell with a dramatic 2 year old and it was only to North Carolina. 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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. At least he loves one thing, soccer. That boy can RUN!

 

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. The baby, well, she’s a diva and doesn’t like to get her hair wet!

 

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 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. It is hard to not feel guilty when your baby is running around with a stinky diaper while you’re on a conference call and hiding in your closet. More details on this topic will appear later on another post:-)

**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:-)

 

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! 

 

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 grandkids! Both Granddads are gone too. On the brighter side, my grandma has the longevity gene and might just live forever! ha. She’s 82 (I think?) 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 left for kindergarten and started all these rambling thoughts. 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:-)

How did you picture life with kids?  

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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4 responses

27 08 2008
Mary

Hi Amy!
Nice to meet ya! ;o)

Wow. How did I picture life with my kids? Haha – nothing like it is now, that’s for sure. I have 2 – one 12 year old daughter from my first marriage and a 20 month old daughter from my current marriage (which is only marriage #2 by the way – lol).

I really thought I would be more hands-on with them – homeschooling, lots of dance classes, recitals, stuff like that. But my life took some drastic turns and who I am now is not the person I used to be.

God has always been there and that is an important example I have ALWYS tried to show my children – and will continue to do so until I die.

But I’m not that hands-on person. My personality can’t handle it. Just who I am. So they go to private school, daycare and I work a public job. For our family – it works.

Now that we’re in pastoring, we’re hoping to be in ministry full time soon so I don’t have the public job and can be even more involved.

Ahh. . .enough rambling. . . you can read all about me in my blog if you have that much spare time. LOL!

Again, nice to meet you – love your site!

Big blessings to you today!

Mary

28 08 2008
Rosa

Neither of my kids look like me. So I am hoping that genetics is on my side and make #3 have some resemblance to me. When my first girl was born, I didn’t bond immediately either. I kept wondering if she was actually mine, but she looks exactly like her Dad, so I know she wasn’t switched at birth. And now, at 6, her attitude is mine, so I got my just desserts.

29 08 2008
hookedonhouses

I had no idea how little sleep I’d get as a parent. I haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep since my son was born in 1995! He sleepwalks into our room almost every night and it freaks me out every time.

I had the same thing happen when my daughter was born–she had blond hair, and it shocked me. My husband and I both have dark hair. How did that happen? I almost felt like they handed me the wrong baby, even though I saw them pull her out! It took me a bit to adjust. My son had come out looking like “us,” if that makes sense.

Of course, now Lily has dark brown hair and everyone says she’s my “Mini-Me,” so you never know how things–or kids–will turn out! -Julia 🙂

30 08 2008
Michelle

Amy, I loved this post. I didn’t become a mom until I was 35 – and then my daughter was a year old. (She’s adopted from China). So we missed what my husband called the “slug” stage – where they eat, sleep and poop. Instead we went from just the two of us with our normal routine to instant family, trying to keep up with a one year old.

I thought, that because I was going to be a stay at home mom, I would do all these wonderful things with her, we’d go to the park and other outings, music classes, etc. That dream lasted all of a minute and then reality.

But now she is an amazing 8 year old and I can’t imagine life without her. There are things I wished I had done differently during the early years, but all parents have that. You do the best you can and don’t beat yourself up over it later.

Keep up the great writing. – Michelle

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