We are all guilty of it, romanticizing our past. We forget the bad….. hard struggle and only remember the good.
We simplify the past and tell ourselves a story that is only a portion of reality. To make matters worse we spit these romanticized partial truths out to other people as advice. For example when someone who has older or grown kids tells you what they did with their own kids and how easy it was. All that does is make the person with the small children feel badly and like they must be doing something wrong because their own reality in the present moment is so much more difficult than the other persons distorted rendition of the truth.
I did it to myself the other day. I saw a woman at Costco loading her toddler twins and groceries into her car. I literally thought for a few moments that she was lucky! I thought “oh that was such a wonderful time in my life. I miss the kids being little like that.”
WTF! I stopped myself! Had I gone completely insane?
That was a wonderful time however it was also the most difficult time in my life. The memory that was playing in my head was leaving out the memory that when I was at Costco with my twins I smelled like spit up, I probably had not showered in 3 days, I had only slept for 2 maybe 3 hours straight, I only had a window of 45 min before I had to get back home feed two babies, change their diapers, put them down for a nap and listen to Sydney scream for at least 30 minutes while I sat in my room and cried because Mark wouldn’t be home for 5 more hours and that felt like an eternity!
The next time someone spits out “oh when my kids were little I just……….” and makes life sound so simple just smile to yourself and know that is NOT reality. They are just romanticizing their own past. Let them have it. It makes them feel really good but know in your head that you are doing just fine with your own life.