Perception V. Reality

How we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us can often be very contrasting! My husband and I recently had a pregnancy photo shoot and I am marvelling at how lovely we look (though I say so myself!)

What these photos don’t capture are:

  • My husband hobbling down on to the beach in his leg brace, having just had knee surgery
  • Me waddling next to him, 8.5 months pregnant, trying not be pulled over by our dog
  • The dressing gown I had on in between photos to stop me shivering
  • The anti-nausea medication that is in his pocket in case I start throwing up in the middle of the shoot
  • Me frantically trying on every piece of underwear and bikini I owed an hour prior to the shoot, trying to find something that actually still fits
  • The patience of the photographer as we try to get our dog to stay still 
  • The gasp on our faces every time the cold waves hit us whilst we were busy trying to look adoringly at each other

I wonder if these are things I will still remember when I look back on these photos in fifties years time, or whether my perception will have changed by then? 

It has reminded me of the various perceptions parents have when they watch our end of term Marrzipan shows. I always marvel at how differently parents can interpret the same performance. 

Every term, during our end-of-term team conference call, all the Marrzipan teachers share with each other their ups and downs of the term. Without fail, there is always a story about how a parent has commented to us about struggling to hear all the lines some of the “actors” were saying. It is great feedback for us to ensure we are constantly trying to ensure our performances are the best they can be.

However, almost without fail, we receive different feedback from another parent who has watched the exact same performance, who is absolutely thrilled with the progress of their (very quiet!) son/daughter. Could they hear the lines their child way saying? Nope. But they are over-the-moon that their child, (who was previously too nervous to even whisper their name to the teacher in the first lesson and needed Mum there for half the term before they felt comfortable being in the class), was able to get up on stage in front of all these people and say their line to the audience. 

It is these sorts of stories that make what we do at Marrzipan so rewarding. We know how far some students have come in just nine short weeks. For many, they have suffered from social anxiety or extreme shyness all their lives, and just to see them on stage is one of the most rewarding feelings on earth. Finding their voice can come next term!

I am just about to go on maternity leave, and though I am trying to enjoy these last few “precious days” of being pregnant…to be honest…I am not enjoying it in the slightest. Get this kid out of me! I hope that with the passage of time, my perception will have been warped enough to look back on this time fondly!

I look forward to sharing the news of our arrival with the Marrzipan community shortly – no doubt with a cute photo that really doesn’t reflect the reality of the previous 24 hours before said photo was taken! 

What is your perception of your pregnancy and birth, and is it different from what you perceived at the time? I would love to hear your experiences!

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