From Expectations to Acceptance
"Let go of your expectations." "Go with the flow." "Just accept what is."
The number of times that I have told myself one of these things over the past 2 1/2 years in my role as a mother exceeds anyone's ability to count. As a type A personality, I like things to happen when they're supposed to happen and to be where they're supposed to be. Anal? No. OCD? No, it's not that extreme, but definitely a strong type A.
Add to that a husband with a strong will, 2 strong-willed Australian Shepherds, an incredibly strong-willed cat and, last but not least, 2 boys. Result: mommy sometimes is about to lose it (and occasionally does). House is never clean anymore, the laundry hamper is never empty, there are always muddy prints (dog, cat, or human) somewhere and it's becoming a challenge to keep an eye out for everyone. Is my house out of control? No, I'm not saying that, but my type A personality would prefer a bit more of it (control that is) at times.
A lot of these things have caused a certain amount of stress for me. Things never go exactly the way that I want them to go. Things are never all in the place that they are supposed to be. But...I think I am at times (not always) pretty capable of remembering one of the phrases from above. And it helps. If I let go of my expectations, if I let go of how I think things (or humans for that matter) should be, then they won't cause me to get stressed when they're not. And trust me, they often 'are not'.
Me stressing about the fact that Kai doesn't always tell me that he has done a poo-poo, doesn't make him tell me. If anything, it might cause the opposite. It still bothers me when he smushes the content of his diaper all over the place by plopping down on the ground, but me stressing about it and getting upset that he did that (not on purpose), is not going to change anything. I still have to clean the smelly mess that is now about to squirt out of his nappie. Ah, the joys of motherhood.
The past few years of being a mother have taught me a lot, but one of the things is that babies and toddlers behave the way they do. Yes, for a big part I can influence their behavior, but at the end of the day, me stressing about it and being of the opinion that he really should be eating more of his dinner, isn't going to make him (or at least not peacefully). Motherhood is making choices, picking your battles. And sometimes it's just better to move from having expectations, to accepting what is. For the sake of peace in the house, trust from my boys, and mommy's sanity.
On that note of wisdom, I am signing off to get ready for a little get together with friends. Some BBQ, some Margarita's, some lounging outside. You get the idea.
Day 5: Fear Nothing
You already have the courage to "Face, Explore, Accept and Respond" to fear. All you have to do is move beyond inertia and discover your true potential. Then, courage will enable you to take action in spite of fear.
Click here for the 'pause - think - act' elements of the challenge.