Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lowering expectations

Today I'm trying to start lowering my expectations. Mind you, I'm no perfectionist. Certainly when it comes to the tidiness of my home or any number of other outward things someone could see, folks would argue lack of perfectionism in me. However, I have struggled inwardly for some time with some mild form of perfectionism related to my role in things. It isn't so much that I actually attempt to be perfect but rather that I beat myself up pretty mercilessly on the inside when I don't live up to certain unspoken expectations I may have for myself.

So today, after beginning to reread "Siblings Without Rivalry" by Faber & Mazlish, I am trying to lower my expectations around how my children behave with one another. I am trying to notice that other children do in fact get into it with their siblings, sometimes even shove, hit or otherwise mistreat them on occasion. I am also trying to realize this is for the most part normal and that my children need to have these feelings validated before being shut down. I'm trying to remain calm even when I see one of my children whack the other (although this is not an easy one for me). The more calm I can be in my explanation of how they must be feeling and how that is most likely justified but hurting in response is not... the better we'll all do.

Lowering of expectations was also reiterated for me in this week's Mommy Lessons from Kelly Nault whose tips this week include:

*** Tip #1. Have the courage to be imperfect!

*** Tip #2. Use a "daring do over"!

*** Tip #3. Let go of having to do it all!

You can find more from Kelly here. So let go of the guilt and those high-fa-lutin' expectations (if you've got 'em) and join me on a lower (and hopefully happier) rung of the mama ladder! And if you have ever been or are regularly able to remain calm when dealing with your children's squabbles or individually challenging behavior, please share. I'm sure all us Mamas (or future Mamas, Papas, Babysitter, Aunts and Uncles too) could use a few more stealthy tricks for our personal use.

1 comment:

  1. Oh woman I hope someone has ideas for us. I need some lifting up in this department. I will try things your way and see if I'm a calmer mom and our house quiet's down. :) Good advice.