There’s no doubt the amount of pressure so many of us are feeling can be overbearing and overwhelming at times. Especially during these weird, constantly changing and sometimes confusing days. It’s also natural to put pressure and set expectations on ourselves when we have our minds set on doing something, accomplishing a goal, or solving a problem. The downside of that can create more stress, anxiety and self doubt, and sometimes doubt in others.
As a mom I sometimes can already (how do I put it) overthink and over analyze situations, topics, events etc. Does it help me down the line, no, probably not. Can it cause stress or tension within the family? I am sure it does. Do I want to fix it? Absolutely. Do I try to acknowledge when I am doing that? Yes, I think I have come to the place in my life where I do my best to acknowledge and admit when something is off, not right, or could be handled differently. This ties in with self expectations and expectations of my family and others.
Give you an example. We went on a family staycation and our son had to go brush his teeth, wash his face and do everything he needed to before bed. We forgot to pack his sand hourglass timer he uses so he knows how long to brush. I think the dentist gave it to him. He was freaking out. “I’m not going to know how long to brush and I don’t have a timer.” Our response was, you’re getting to be a big boy now and you can do it without the timer, you don’t need it. His face looked scared and terrified lol. To us, it is something simple, small, it’s ok, not a big deal kind of thing. Shake it off and figure it out. But now trying to look at it from the perspective of a child that is programed to do something that was instilled in his brain might not be so easy to do in a matter of seconds.
That expectation to place on our son wasn’t fair to him in that moment. Ever since he started going to the dentist as a little boy he was prepped to always have a timer when he’s brushing his teeth, and until that point, us parents hadn’t started talking to him and encouraging him to do things without depending on having something he didn’t necessarily need. I will say after reflecting on just that one little moment, I have become a little more compassionate to what we expect from him, and also understanding in order to grow and adjust as a child, sometimes it will take a time. And that’s ok!!
So, with that in mind, I just have a few things I am using to practice lessoning my expectations of myself, our son, my spouse and others. Not sure who this can help, but wanted to share. And please feel free to chime in if you have some ideas, practice certain things or have heard others do.
Take A Breath And Remember It’s Not About Being Perfect – If you are telling your child(ren) that nobody’s perfect, yet you set the expectation on yourself (or anyone else) to be…maybe you should remind yourself of that too. It’s ok!! We sometimes fall into that, but it’s not something we need to be determined to be.
Communicate When You Recognize The Moments – In the moment I gave you earlier, I went back to our son and explained to him I understand he’s use to using a timer, and that was something he learned to do…just like he will learn to brush his teeth without using a timer. In that moment I could see in his face he felt a little relieved.
Don’t Expect Your Kid To Act Older Than They Are – Isn’t it crazy when we say oh my gosh my baby is growing up too fast, but then we turn around and want them to act and grow up faster then they can even do! It’s ok to remind yourself that they are just kids, and sometimes adjustments and changes and growth will take them a little bit longer than our expectations as adults.
If You Don’t Have Peace Of Mind…The Household Probably Doesn’t Either – Us mommas can get so frazzled sometimes!! FOREAL, it’s the truth. And we will go until we are exhausted, but we MUST remember that at the end of the day everyone still looks to us for stability, for peace, for calm when there’s crazy. And if we don’t have that…better believe others won’t either. Our peace of mind matters, so we have to do whatever we can to lessen the level of expectations and anxiety we are feeling.
Remember To Have Fun, Laugh & Be Present – Life has taken a drastic turn for all of us, and while we all adjust, reflect and move in a way we never expected…we should still have fun and be present with each other. The “life is short” cliché has never been so true.
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2 thoughts on “How To Stop Expecting So Much From Your Kids And Yourself”
Love these tips especially the one about not expecting our child to act older than they are. I def do that sometimes and its not fair. Thanks for these reminders.
Me too! I thought about that when we had the toothbrush moment and really had to take a step back. Sometimes we gotta remind each other 🙂