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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Adjusting expectations

As I have sat here at my computer pondering what to write, I read a post from one of my favourite bloggers: Rachel Marie Martin at Finding Joy. Yes, I've mentioned her in the past. She's awesome. In a recent post, 'dear not so perfect but very real mum', there was something she said that stood out to me (and could apply no matter who you are and what stage of life you are in). To paraphrase it was that the hard, not-enjoying-this, struggling, wondering if I matter days are all normal... but the good days are normal too: we just need to take note of them so that we can remember how often they occur too.

I was speaking with a dear friend the other day and she mentioned (and I related) that she sometimes feels she doesn't enjoy being a mum as much as she should. I have sometimes reflected that as I contemplated being a mother I had this picture in my head of what each day would look like: children playing happily while I managed to get a few things done, me joining them in their play once I'd knocked a few things off the list, perhaps putting my feet up while they napped or had down time, part of the day spent with one or both of my sisters or another friend, cooking and having dinner ready so that when Jonathan got home we could sit down together, and then sending the kids to bed so that Jonathan and I could tidy up and then have a few quiet moments to relax before bed.

Haha.

I laugh, but obviously there are days that turn out like that... it's just that unless you adjust your expectations there will be disappointment on the other days. The reality is you have to plan for contingencies. You need to have strategies (or just be prepared to let things go) on days when the kids can't be left alone without causing mayhem, or they just want to sit on your lap all day, or things just take longer with the kids in tow, or you're tired from being up with a young baby, or whatever the case may be. When you change your expectation, it isn't so stressful when things don't turn out perfectly... and you can take note when you've had a great day too!

Of course, you don't have to be a mum or dad for the principle behind all this to apply you. We all have to make adjustments and learn how to be happy with things we didn't plan on and can't change at times. 

Everyday, even the ones that don't go exactly as we hope, we can find the good in that day, or our lives. It all depends on where we put our focus. There are some days that are stressful, and by the end of the day I'm pulling my hair out and ready to climb under the covers... but there's also a lot of amazing: I see my little ones playing and giggling together, and how they run to the door and are so excited to see their daddy when he gets home... I get their sweet little cuddles, I hear them tell me they love me and hear their little songs, have them walk to me with such enthusiasm and pride, and at the end of the day I couldn't be happier. I have a husband who comes home from work and is equally happy to see us, and is thoughtful and helpful, and that's amazing.

I hope I can be better at having a glass-half-full, focussed on the good kind of attitude.

Because there really is a lot of amazing in this life if we look for it.

2 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful post ... you constantly amaze me with your wisdom ... although I shouldn't be amazed really ... Loved reading your words and insight.

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