The Perception Gap

One of the real issues that I have encountered as a parent is the confrontation of life not being like the cover of Parenting Magazine. Every parent strives to make a world for thier children that reproduces perfection. There’s a differnce in perception of how life should be and the reality that we experience. Especially when we observe peers and some of our role model’s lives and social media. Glamorous parties, impeccably timed smiles, clean homes, luxurious vacations, all perfectly taken in portrait mode and published in valencia with a little shadow removal and contrast work. Remembering that social media is just a highlight reel; we only see the best of the best, the edited and filtered product. This production makes us think that all our friends, family, and paragons really have thier lives in order ; “they’re succeeding in life where I am not.” This perception creates a confusion of our lives…

My life isnt like that; I don’t have extravagance, I don’t drive a brand new car, my dinner doesnt look like a masterpiece creation of Gordon Ramsay. Hell, I’ve never even seen a yacht, let alone party on one. So we begin to think, “how do I present myself?” We do what EVERYONE ELSE DOES. We attempt to present a carbon-copy of the content supplied by our idols. In our vain attempt, we crop out our reality, our sadness, our challenge and our humility. We want to feel one with the social norm and the concept of what should occur and be exhibited. The difference between our reality and our fabrication creates a problem. The emulation of the compared lifestyles creates a lack of reality.

The reality of life is we are all broken people, living broken lives, in a broken world. There is not one person on earth that hasnt experienced brokenness in life in some respective form. The gap between our featured instagram lifestyles and the one we live from moment to moment, that is where the true beauty of parenting and individuality takes place. My house is overrun with baby dolls, puzzle pieces, and HotWheels. The “new to us” Explorer already has a variety of bodily fluids dried in it. And I cook with an excessive volume of butter and garlic and I put Tony Chachere’s on just about everything.

There’s no amount of filter or cropping that can eliminate who we really are as parents. Its a messy, loud, and exasperating job. But it is a part of how we have come to identify ourselves. Take joy in the fact that we are all essentially the same anxious, scared, insecure, envious people that masqurade as composed and confident parents. We’re right where we need to be. Love your family and give it your best. Our kids are going to love us all the same. It’s good to be back in the swing of writing and I’m looking forward to moving foward!

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