While I was pregnant with Lola, back when I was 25 and still thought my life would work out just about like I planned, I had beautiful visions of all this motherhood stuff. Of course, reality confronted me very shortly after that. And reality was not only rude, but relentless.
But in my head, my daughter wore organic cotton, hand embroidered peasant tops and vintage pinafores. Paired, whimsically, with red cowboy boots to keep it young and fun. In reality, my children wear Kohl’s clearance and rummage sale finds. They look adorable in it all, of course. And I have a wonderful life and a wonderful family.
Sometimes I sit in my living room at night by myself, and I just feel such contentment in that quiet moment of looking around at the evidence of my life. And then sometimes I stumble on some fabulous thing on the internet, or in a magazine, and I start coveting beautiful, expensive stuff. And I have a brief, self indulgent period of mourning the life that I imagine.
But the fact remains that I don’t have the money, time, or talent for my actual life to in any way resemble the exquisite, lace-trimmed life of my daydreams.
Let me see if a can better illustrate this for y’all.
Baking with my daughter
In my daydreams, we wear beautiful aprons in gorgeous prints with ruffles. Our bakeware is all lovely high end stuff. We set out our ingredients in pretty bowls before we start. It looks a little like this:
In my actual life, my tiny kitchen is a huge mess. We wear simple, hand me down aprons. And I spend way too much time getting frustrated at Lola for dipping her fingers in everything while she demands more sugar. It looks more like this:
My kids’ clothes
In my daydreams, the fibers are natural, the construction is quality, the setting is always a field. Clearly I’m not the only one with this vision; there are so many incredible examples of what I’m talking about here that I don’t even know where to start narrowing it down. Here are a couple:
My kids’ toys
In my daydreams, they play with the most adorable handmade toys. They are all creative and none of them have batteries. And they entertain my kids quietly while expanding their academic and emotional intelligence. Such as:
Parties and gatherings
In my daydreams, every event is well planned. The themes are lovely without being too cartoonish. The food and drink is perfect. And the dessert table is a work of art. Something like these:
In my actual life, not only can I not afford that, or anything close to it, but my kids have Winter birthdays and I have a tiny house. Plus I’ve gotta do it all myself while working full time. We end up with this:
Furnishings and decor
In my daydreams, Anthropologie:
Come on! Those daydreams of mine are pretty enchanting!
I could go on and on. I’m not sure where this pressing desire for fancy stuff comes from. I was raised by humble women. My mother, who could certainly afford it, would be ASHAMED to pay 24 dollars for a single dessert plate. Yet, here I am, coveting all these Park Slope yuppie-mom treasures. I never ever pull the trigger though. And usually that urge to have, say, a closet full of charming hostess gifts and impeccable gift wrapping supplies goes away for a long stretch. And I get back to living my actual life, which is pretty exquisite in its own ways. Even if it is composed primarily of brightly colored plastic.