This has been a word that keeps going around in my mind of late. Coincidentally, I have had numerous conversations recently with loads of different women and the topic of perception just keeps coming up. How we are viewed by others, work colleagues, friends, family members, other mums. It's funny how we perceive people, the reality is, we are seeing someones world through completely different eyes & in most cases we are all living the same daily challenges that being a mum, homemaker, employee, employer faces.
I remember going on staff retreats with work & doing the whole team building self awareness & development thing. I remember one time in particular when I was so overwhelmed by the way my colleagues perceived me & my abilities. It brought me to tears & really made me take a look at myself, to view myself in a more positive light & to give myself a break! To me, it was like they were viewing a different person entirely. I was amazed at who they thought I was, this confident, successful, caring & generous person! It's so nice to hear that occasionally, that you are great
at what you do and people recognise those very special traits we are often too self critical to acknowledge ourselves.
I look at other women sometimes & think admiringly, "God how does she do it!?" meanwhile, my perception is that she is looking at me and thinking "Oh my god, lady get it together!". I know we can all be very hard on ourselves most of the time, but the fact is we all think and feel the same way & we are all doing a really good job!
It's nice to meet people & talk about the highs & lows of parenthood. To reassure one another that there are times when we all feel as though we are barely keeping our heads above water & other times when life is just a pure & simple joy.
The most profound realisation came over me just the other day...for the first time in 8 years, since I began maternity leave to have my first child, I no longer feel the need to justify being a full time Mum & home maker! I have always felt that there is no greater job in the world than being a parent & raising a family of good, honest, loving, considerate,independent & well adjusted people! My husband & I decided from the beginning that we would be prepared to make the sacrifices necessary for our kids to have one of us at home at least until they all reach school age. While this was a decision that we were very sure about, sadly I always felt I needed to justify myself because I wasn't contributing financially, that it wasn't really considered by others to be a real job & a valuable use of time (or so I thought was how I was perceived).
You know, as the years roll on, I feel I'm getting better & better at my 'job', and now that I have finally let go of the need to justifying my life for the sake of what I think others might perceive me to be, I'm going to enjoy it a whole lot more too! I absolutely love my life. I love that I am a mother, wife and homemaker. I feel blessed every single day that I have been lucky enough to do this full time. Yes, it's a challenge most of the time, dealing with very demanding little personalities all day, but it's all worth it, the fun times far out way the hard. For us, it comes down to simplifying, wanting less, getting back to the basics of good old fashioned family living.
And so in conclusion to this ramble which has taken on a whole other dimension since beginning it, I am going to be sure to let all the other gorgeous hardworking mum's I am surrounded by know just how great a job they are doing too...