Do you ever feel like you’d be the perfect mother, if only you didn’t have kids?
In my head, I feed the kids healthy meals and snacks without fail. They’re colorful, balanced and so delicious that no one turns up their nose at what I serve.
In my head, I never yell or get frustrated, and I always respond to disobedience and meltdowns with grace.
In my head, we read together for hours each day and I never shush their questions or comments.
In my head, I will teach my girls to cook, sew and play the piano, all on top of our regular homeschooling (even though I’m not very good at any of those things myself).
You get the picture…in my head, I know exactly what a perfect mom looks like, and it all sounds perfectly achievable!
Except those kids of mine keep getting in the way.
Or, more accurately, my expectations of them keep getting in the way.
I expect to be able to sleep seven hours straight each night — and so I plan my schedule without much margin — and when we have a string of bad dreams, coughs or any other disruptions, I end up sleep deprived and exhausted.
I expect them to play nicely, get along and be helpful without fail, and so when I spend the morning dealing with their bickering or trying to keep the little ones busy, I don’t even want to think about cooking.
I expect them to be calm and pay attention, and when they act silly during our reading time, I give up and want to throw in the towel.
What I’m learning, day by day, is that when I let go of my expectations, I appreciate them a whole lot more, I yell less and I get more done — a win-win for everybody!
What kind of mom are you in your head? How do your expectations contribute to your frustrations?