Yesterday was not such a great mama day.
It was a holiday in the U.S.- – and many parents were at home with their children. I had very high expectations for this wonderful day. I wrote a family to-do list on a piece of green construction paper filled with fun activities. I had visions of all five of us bundled up outside – tiny puffs of our cold breath leaving our mouths with every fit of laughter we would have while playing tag. 🌬I had gone to the grocery store and bought a roast chicken and all of the ingredients for Valentine’s Day cookies – envisioning our kitchen smelling like delicious home cooking, which I rarely have the time to do these days. I should have remembered my favorite saying that, “expectations can be the greatest barriers to joy.”
It was around 10pm last night when I saw the green construction paper crumbled up on our dirty kitchen counter. Not one item had been crossed off the list. Chris and I both ended up being pulled into some work, which meant more screen time for the kids than we had planned. It was late in the day when we finally made it outside. But, Lucy got cold and asked to go in and make the cookies, which we ended up doing before she left me halfway through to go back outside. Because we made the cookies, I put the roast chicken in late so it wasn’t ready in time and the kids ended up having chicken nuggets (for the fourth time this week?). Finally, during a fit of frustration of how messy our play room was, I put every single LOL doll knick-knack, Barbie shoe and racecar into plastic trash bags. I told the kids that if they don’t start playing with their toys more, they would end up at the dump. I walked away and promptly burst into tears, telling Chris later that the kids deserved a better mom.
I share this with any mom, dad or caregiver who gets frustrated when things don’t live up to expectations. When you feel like the physical and mental stress and noise are caving in on you. Or when you have those days where you think your children deserve better. (Spoiler alert, by the way, they don’t. They deserve YOU). Hang in, parents. Be kind to yourself. And lower those expectations when you can. ❤️