Monday, June 1, 2015

Kids. You get what you get.

Hello again! It's me, the girl who has children.

Today I'd like to talk about expectations. And lowering them. A LOT. I think that's the key to happiness don't you? Just have very low expectations and everything will look great considering. Okay. Maybe not. Perhaps a better idea is to have NO expectations. As my husband can attest to, I am the QUEEN of expectations. I get frustrated if it's cloudy out and I was expecting sunshine. It's ridiculous. So it's only natural I had certain expectations about how my children (mainly Henry) would be as a baby and toddler.

Before having kids, I figured that my future children would be the perfect combination of my husband and I. Naturally they would inherit both of our wonderful (because we have SO many) qualities combined with the best of our physical features to make perfect little beings who only do cute, oh isn't it amusing how Henry gives away all his toys to charity, things.

 Hmmm. It doesn't look like he's preparing to donate his toys to an orphanage anytime soon. 

Now that Henry is older I can safely say, "what the hell was I thinking?!"

I guess it's conceited to assume our children are mini extensions of us. It's also pointless to have expectations that they will be a certain way because that's how we see ourselves.  It's like thinking, "Little Billy will certainly be outgoing and LOVE big groups because his mom and dad love parties!" Oh, and just so you know, whenever I refer to imaginary children they are always named little Billy. As in," Hey there little Billy, don't get into that strange windowless van driven by Ronald McDonald. You'll get diabetes."

By the way, I'm not trying to come across like a know-it-all mom (you know the type) who has SO MUCH WISDOM to share because I gave birth. Honestly! I just needed something to write about.

My point (I have one somewhere) is that I've recently chosen to forgo my expectations and just accept the way my kids are because resistance is futile. I can't really sleep train it out of them.

A few months ago I was complaining to my mom about how tough my toddler was to deal with (what two year old isn't) and she wisely told me to just relax. To do my best by teaching him how to manage the various aspects of his personality and then to let go of the outcome. In other words, you can do everything right and your children could still grow up to be jerks. So quit owning their behaviors.

It's a lot easier said than done. I'll gladly own the times Henry is sweet, well mannered and calm. And those other times? Well he must have inherited those traits from his father's side of the family.

I suppose if I hold onto one expectation, one hope for who my children will become it's this; that they grow up being true to themselves no matter what anyone else says or thinks. That they follow their hearts (and act from the heart) in all things. And even if they don't all I can do is love them anyway. That and buy a dog. I hear they are are easier to train.

No reason for this picture other than it's a baby wearing glasses. 

Adios! Until the next post.




6 comments:

  1. I couldn't have said it better myself! Hell yes to no expectations. I have to relearn it every now and then though...

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    1. It's so true! I have to relearn it almost every hour some days!

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  2. If my parents ever had any expectations for me they never verbalized except when saying, "Go take care of the chickens (a house of 5,000), or you can't go to your friends house until all your chores are done." In my mind, that was setting the bar pretty darned high. They never seemed to worry too much about where I was going to be in five, ten, or twenty years. Neither of them were the kind to plant and cultivate dreams, but they didn't squash them either. In other words, it was pretty much up to us kids to figure it out and make it happen. But they did model a strong work ethic, perseverance, integrity, honesty, and love. As a parent, that's a pretty tall expectation to live up to. I hope my kids will say the same about me some day.

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    1. Russell it sounds like you have some amazing parents and role models! I think it's much better to not overthink your kids (which seems to be a lost thing with my generation) and let them figure out how to make their dreams a reality without interfering. Just to provide love and trust that they'll figure it out eventually. Otherwise it feels like we are raising a bunch of potentially weak and entitled adults!

      Plus they had 5000 chickens. Enough said.

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