when motherhood doesn’t meet your expectations.

June 15, 2017

“Motherhood brings as much joy as ever, but it still brings boredom, exhaustion, and sorrow too.  Nothing else will ever make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop his own individuality – especially while you struggle to keep your own.”  -Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons 

Yesterday was an interesting day in our home.  Everyone was losing their marbles in my house and no one was listening.  No one was just doing what they are supposed to do.  Everything was a battle, the disrespect was strong.  Words like, “butt, stupid, mean head, stinky pants.” they were abundant.  I was feeling so defeated.  I tried to shift to my focus to the positives from the day, like how helpful they were at the grocery store, but the bad attitudes of our afternoon superseded that pretty quickly.

We are also in a really delicate place with daily naps, I recently took away nap from both of my boys.  They were waking up crazy early and still going to bed late.  There was a lot of tears and I thought it was time to get rid of naps.  However, every evening around 5 pm.  Shit gets insane around here.  They are in this weird place where its just too early for bed, but too late for a nap.  So, the evening sort of drags on.  Does anyone know this weird nap time transition struggle I’m talking about?

Several things compounded with this yesterday, and by 5:00 pm, I was misty eyed.  You know when you’re having a hard day with your kids, and you begin to question every parenting choice you’ve ever made? (or is it that just me?) By 5:30, I was replaying every time I’d let a teachable moment slip through my fingers.  The more I processed and prayed about this, it became apparent to me the real problem laid within my expectations.

I wasn’t expecting motherhood to be so much disciplining,  I expected from infancy I’d only to tell my children one time and then the habit would be formed.  I didn’t realize there would be so many disappointments.  So many moments of self doubt.  

The truth of it is, I love my children.  I want them to grow up and be leaders of men.  I want them to be kind, happy, and self sufficient.  I want them to have so much fun in this world.  I want to lower my expectations, but still maintain some.  I don’t want to feel guilty for having standards in this household.

To my fellow parents: If you, like me, have ever wrestled with the guilt of discipline. Let it go, set it free, say bye bye.  We are called to guide these children to adulthood.  Parenting is challenge ridden, thought provoking, and not always rainbows and ponies.  We don’t get always get to be the coolest people they know.  I’m writing this to you, but I plan to read it to myself often.  We are doing a great job.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some confiscated toys I want to return.

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    1. I feel you so hard. There are so many times when I beat myself up for failing to meet my own expectations in particular. If I yell, lose my patience, or stick them in front of Elmo as a babysitter, I talk down to myself. It’s not something I want to model for my kids, though, and it’s not good for me, either. I think the balance between unrealistic expectations and no expectations is forgiving ourselves for the moments we miss.

    1. Girl we have the 5pm struggle on the daily! I call it their witching hours! Summer time always brings late bedtimes too but at least they sleep in!

    1. The no nap situation will get better!! It was a struggle for a couple weeks after we took away Isabella’s nap. GF was just MEAN come 5pm. It’s so much better now!

      1. I’m glad to hear this because it’s been incredibly stressful!! Sawyer is just mean too so I’m glad you can sympathize haha. This was never the case with Liam. He could still nap two hours a day and be totally fine lol

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