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Danielle Heckenkamp contemplates the need to balance our search for the idyllic with our life in a world that thrives on realism.

My grandmother always said, “there is so much to be grateful for.” It was through this mentality that I learned to embrace the good moments as well as the difficult ones. It was through this thought process that I learned how to meld my tendency towards realism with the desire to embrace idealism. Adulthood, no matter the age, the century, the career or vocation, is not absent from difficulties. However, it is in how we learn to deal with the crosses, accept those difficulties, and transfer that knowledge to our children that will eventually bring us peace.

In a world that thrives on realism, have we turned our backs on the idyllic? Do we search for the bad, the stress, the discomfort, and the dislikes rather than to search deeper for the goodness, the truth, and the beautiful? Do we spend too much of our days dwelling upon the problems rather than the successes?


child hugging mom while she works at a computer


As mothers, we are forced in between two worlds – the world of child-rearing (idealism) that holds great responsibility upon our shoulders for the success of the next generation and the world of adulthood (realism) that finds us apprehensive to the future. There is a fine balance here. Has any generation of mothers found the sweet spot of loving and preparing our children for adulthood, while also accepting the future crises that may be endured by them? Probably not. Life is unpredictable and that is where realism tends to dominate our thoughts and actions. We desire a perfect world for our children, but we know it does not exist. Perfection can only be found in God.

This is where we turn to Almighty God. It is through God that we can find the idealism we so often desire, but never find in day-to-day living. Yet, it also through God that we see the realism of this life on earth. He is the perfect balance. God is our source of consolation and our joy. It is through His graces that we can attain perfection – sainthood.


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It is through God that we can find the idealism we so often desire, but never find in day-to-day living. #catholicmom

As we struggle through the worries and joys of motherhood, let’s remember that life is meant to be lived. We are to strive towards holiness by accepting this life for what it is and preparing our children with the ultimate desire for sainthood. Christianity is about moderation and finding that balance – there is also a balance between realism and idealism that we must impart on our children.

So, as we walk (or sometimes run) along this path of motherhood towards holiness, let’s rely on God’s goodness and perfection to assist our souls and the souls of our children in this imperfect world. The only way to do this is by accepting the reality with the idyllic and always searching for what is good, true, and beautiful.


family crossing a footbridge in autumn

Copyright 2021 Danielle Heckenkamp
Images: Canva Pro