11 March 2010


My co-worker C stops me in the copy room yesterday. Our conversation:

CO-WORKER C: Your fantasy? Not going to happen.

ME: [startled] Huh?

CO-WORKER C: The fantasy that you wrote about on the blog...Yeah, not going to happen. [laughing] Just put it right out of your mind. I had all of these fantasies about when I became a mom. There would be me and this beautiful little girl snuggled up reading books all of the time. Oh it was going to be so wonderful! And I'd buy a doll house and we'd play dolls all of the time....Never happened! [laughing more] I was so disappointed!!

ME: Hmm. So I can only hope that it'll be just a little like my fantasy?

CO-WORKER C: [laughing] It won't be. I actually almost went out and bought MYSELF the doll house because I was so disappointed. [laughs again] It was really so different than I imagined it. Actually motherhood was nothing like I imagined it.

ME: [thinking to myself that all of this sounds just a bit ominous] Guess I better prepare myself.

Co-worker C laughs again and gives me a few final words of encouragement before heading back to her desk.

My co-worker is a great mom and the above conversation - while not exactly encouraging - was certainly intended in the spirit of fun with a kind of "welcome to the club" feel to it. She really was laughing at herself and (knowing what I know about her relationship with her daughter) the fact that her fantasy about the books and the dolls didn't play out in reality doesn't seem to have affected her having a positive experience as a mom.

In response to the "My fantasy..." blog post I wrote a few days ago, Campbell left the following comment:

In my opinion, you'd serve yourself and a baby best if you try hard not to imagine the baby being anything...I would think about my parenting style instead and discuss it with the other parent as to how we'd approach things, all things, so that we had whatever was thrown at us figured out as best we could ahead of time. Have no expectations, no preconceived images, good or bad. The only thing here you can control here is yourself. Do you know how you're going to parent?

Good advice indeed. How am I going to parent?

More on this soon.

Gotta run... have a doll house and some books to purchase...


My co-worker, C, sends me this e-mail today in response to the above post:

I loved the post. Thanks for including me as "a guest". While Campbell's advice is good, I think it is a little joyless. We all deserve our little fantasies as long as we don't take them too seriously and set ourselves up for disappointment. Have some sense of the kind of parent you want to be but don't be too set in a "parenting style". Your child's needs will influence that. The fun part is the unexpected and doing things you never imagined yourself doing--singing in public, becoming a sports parent, buying a dog..the list is endless.


  1. Lol, it does read a little joyless.

    Your co-worker has good advice too. I agree that a little fantasy is great also. I mean, one can make little fantasies happen. For me I think they were things that I would have liked as a kid that I made happen for myself and my son.

    Two things I can think of at the moment that I did with my son that my mom would never have done. We tracked down where some fireworks were coming from once and another time a helicopter landing, just spur of the moment. Smiling just thinking about it.

    I think the fantasy that I had about being a mom was being the mom of my fantasies. Very cool, very few regrets. : )

  2. Thanks for coming back, Campbell. Love the great stuff that you did with your son!

  3. My advice to you? BE SPONTANEOUS!

    I'm not always good at this - thinking about what my son J needs, especially since his disability dictates a regimented schedule of diet, sleep, etc. However he's a kid and needs that element of unexpected fun like any other child. So, a couple of weeks ago when J came home from school I met him at the door with my coat on and our dog on the leash.

    "What's happening?" J asked
    "Today is Backwards Day!" I replied
    "Backwards Day is when you do everything backwards. So drop off your stuff, take your meds and then we're going to get ice cream!"

    Epilogue: J still talks about Backwards Day and wonders if it only comes once a year or if more of a quarterly thing.

    Moral: Sometimes give being a grown-up a rest and go be crazy: track down the source of fireworks, eat dessert first, and - no matter what - give your child lots of physical affection (in whatever way works best for him/her) and laugh a lot.

    Life is short - play, laugh and have fun. Now, if I could just remember this!