I may have anywhere from five minutes to three hours to write this post. Ezra is finally sleeping for longer than 20 minutes after some sleep regression this past week. I mentioned it a bit more in yesterday’s post.
I’ve been wanting to share my thoughts on expectations for a few weeks. For the first time in my life, my expectations of how things should go are low. I’ve had a baby before and I know that very little will be “accomplished” each day, yet SO much will get done (diapers, feedings, cuddles, rocking to sleep and more). My to-do list will always be three typed single-spaced pages long (or at least until Ezra turns two). And I’m ok with this. That’s a lie. It’s a struggle. Every. Single. Day. But I know it’s the reality and I will eventually come to terms with it.
With Bodhi I honestly thought that getting things done around the house, for work, and even huge projects that we couldn’t even accomplish without a baby would happen because I was on maternity leave. I thought maternity leave basically meant a long vacation from work in the company of a sweet, adorable, cuddly, quiet and sleepy baby.
I was wrong.
There are four household chores I focus on now. Laundry. Dishes. Garbages. Keeping toys picked up. If I did more or thought I could do more, I would fail. But this is manageable for me. Not every day, but most days. So, recently when we got all of these things done, plus the floor swept, our room tidied and this awesome swing hung in our new basement play area, I was thrilled! I could’ve easily said, “yes, but we didn’t get a, b, and c done.” That’s how I used to roll.
Nope. With low expectations, all of those other things are a bonus. The fact that Bodhi and I went shopping alone (without Ezra) for a gift for my husband for his first day on the new job was also a bonus. I felt nothing but joy about that. I didn’t feel that need to rush off and try to accomplish one more errand. Just that one was all I needed because it was a bonus. After all, the garbages were taken out (this isn’t daily—more like every four days), the dishes were done, we were caught up on laundry (ok, not really, but enough to get through another day—you know-the necessities) and there aren’t toys on our floor. Yes, the counters could use a deep clean, our tables aren’t exactly spotless and there is cat hair on our sofa (the list could go on) but we accomplished what we needed to and made time for what truly matters. Our family. Playing. Joy. Peace. TOTAL SUCCESS! WE ARE AMAZING!
It’s a celebration!
And when Saturday we were able to get out with friends to the Minnesota State Fair, I was overjoyed by the fact that we were nearly on time, not disappointed that we were 35 minutes late. Lower your expectations, friends! Be kind to yourself too. OK?! Promise? This goes for you friends with no children too. I was way too hard on myself long before Bodhi was born. Having kids just made it a bit more complicated.
Right now as the baby begins moving around after a shorter than I would like nap, I am ok with it. I did just write a few paragraphs. SUCCESS!
p.s. In case you didn’t notice, I slyly shared some messy images of our house that are still beautiful because they are real life and because Leah Fontaine is amazing!