Dirty dishes. Dirty house. Piles of laundry. Toys everywhere. Messy kids. Nothing for dinner. Kids whining. Impatient, and honestly a little bored. Ever have those days???
Those days leave me overall stressed out and feeling pretty defeated. Those days are the ones where I wish there was a “reset” button so I could start the day over and set a different tone. Those nights are the ones where I cry to my husband that I’m not good enough. I wish I were more patient, more loving, more creative, a better multi-tasker, a better house cleaner, etc.
The other night I had a realization. My expectations of myself are much MUCH too high. The majority of the time, I think I should be the Perfect mom with a capital P! I listed some of my expectations and thought I’d share them with you too just in case you could relate…
- ALWAYS have the house PERFECTLY clean and organized so just in case I have a surprise guest, everything is in it’s place
- ALWAYS feed my kids the healthiest of meals
- ALWAYS make sure they never watch more than one T.V. show a day
- ALWAYS look presentable (all of us)
- ALWAYS be patient
- ALWAYS be kind
- ALWAYS have a fun activity/ies every day to do with my children that stimulate their minds somehow
- ALWAYS have dinner on the table when Adam gets home
- ALWAYS speak gently to my kids- never raising my voice or being naggy
- ALWAYS discipline them PERFECTLY never being too rough or snappy
- ALWAYS be adding to their character and being a good example
- ALWAYS have hours of playtime with me personally interacting with them daily
Now, each of those things have their place, don’t get me wrong. Ideally, that list looks great! I would be “The PERFECT mom” with a capital P if I did them. But is this realistic? Absolutely not.
I make mistakes each and every day, in more ways than I can count. I am learning just my children are how to be a disciplined, loving, kind, compassionate individual, and that doesn’t come with doing everything right along the way.
This is where I think my expectations have stemmed from:
- COMPARING. Goodness gracious. It’s everywhere. Moms sizing each other up in the hopes that they’ll come out looking like the “better mom”- the one more equipped to handle any given situation. We’ve all done it and we should all stop! It’s not fair to us, and more than that, it’s not fair to our children! There is no set manual on how to discipline/love EVERY.SINGLE.CHILD. So, we should stop comparing our children or our mothering methods to others. At the end of the day, it leaves us feeling more down and more insecure. Be confident in your family’s groove! Embrace it. It is unique!
- READING OTHER BLOGS. I know I have read blogs where life seems just peachy all the time. They are constantly posting about a new learning activity, craft, outfit they made, outing they went on, etc. The truth is, these blogs are great- inspirational actually. They just leave me feeling jealous. And chances are, they choose NOT to post about the bad days they have- so it’s not that they don’t have them. I need to remember to keep perspective and not feel bad about myself when I click away from their page.
- UNSOLICITED ADVICE. Have you ever had a time that you were telling a friend some struggles you were having in parenting/life, and they put in their two cents on how you “should” do things without asking? I have! After the interaction, I usually feel more frustrated than when I began. This person (most likely well- meaning) just gave me a list of things I should have been able to think of already (because they did of course!) and implement, but all I really wanted was someone to listen. I’m sure that I will find my way eventually, and while their advice was probably good, change usually comes when we discover it on our own. All this to say, if someone is not asking for advice, don’t give it! Let’s support each other- not impart our ‘all knowing” wisdom 😉
- FIGHTING MY OWN DEMONS. While I’d like to place the blame on everything else, the truth is, I have a ton of my own insecurities apart from people that I have to battle. I read into things other people say and welcome unrealistic expectations where they aren’t invited. I have to work on trudging through my own insecurities, clinging to the truth, and being realistic. I need to dis-spell those lies that I so quickly believe about myself and help it change me into the mother I want to be.