They can involve everything from lengthy vacations and walks along sandy beaches, to the simple pleasure of going to the bathroom uninterrupted.
But a lot of my mother-type fantasies don't involve being away from my kids, they involve being with my kids. In my mother fantasies, no one fights at the dinner table, kids just decide to do their homework, and they somehow manage to put their dirty clothes down the laundry chute.
And sometimes I can be ridiculously hard on myself when things don't measure up in real life, to how they worked out in my head.
Let me give you an example.
This weekend I've been on a quick visit to California. My husband and I had been having so much fun with Liam at home, we just couldn't imagine being away from him.
We started to consider bringing him out with us.
In my fantasy, Liam would have a wonderful time. Sure, I spent more time following him around and making sure that he didn't get into things. But then there would be peaceful hours, spent reading books in a chair, and playing games.
So, we brought him with us.
The reality of the trip has involved temper tantrums and a lot of tears. Some of them Liam's.
He's in an unfamiliar house in a different time zone, and with little that feels familiar. And while I'm not sorry I brought him (it hasn't been all bad), this is just one more time that the fantasy and reality of motherhood are not nearly as close as I would like them to be.
In my maternal fantasies my house is cleaner, my kids listen to everything I say, and the whole world runs more smoothly. But while fantasy leaves out the bad, it can never really capture the good things either. Like how great their hugs are. And I live for their hugs.
I just have to remember not to be too hard on myself when things don't work out the way I planned. Reality may be messy, and a little loud, but real is generally much better. .
And my life is nothing, if not real. I might as well embrace it.
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