Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Broken Expectations- Part I

A few weeks back, I was invited to speak to a group of ladies that had gathered at our church for a Celebration of Life party held for my sister and her new baby, Aiden. I spoke on "broken expectations" and how they can frustrate mothers. Thought maybe some of you women may be interested in reading my presentation. This is just an excerpt... more to come.

I'm sure everyone here is familiar with the book series entitled "What To Expect When You're Expecting/the First Year/the Toddler Years" etc. What I wish they had created 4 years ago was a book entitled "What To Expect When You're A Mom".

Here's a brief history of my life:
-youngest of two children
-youngest cousin was only 4 years younger than myself
-worked (1) summer at a Day Care (all ages)
I have had VERY LIMITED EXPERIENCE with children. In fact, the first few diapers I have ever changed were Arianna's (my firstborn). I was CLUELESS when entering into motherhood.

I have recently been struck with the realization that much of my frustration/anger revolving around motherhood stems from broken expectations, either of myself or my kids.

I brainstormed and created a list of my top 10 most false expectations of motherhood. (Perhaps you young moms can relate. You seasoned moms, go back in time and see if you caught yourself with some of these, too.):

1) that I would be able to spend just as much time in God's Word and in prayer that I used to

2) that my husband and I would naturally fall into a parenting routine/groove and that we'd be on the same page concerning discipline (or other hot topics)

3) that once the baby began sleeping through the night they would NOT relapse into sleeplessness again

4) that I would be the exception and would not experience postpartum depression; or if I did, it would be mild and manageable

5) that I would be able to maintain order and cleanliness in my home consistently

6) that I'd always be willing and available to meet my husband's intimacy needs

7) that I'd adequately be able to balance husband, children, chores, meals, church involvement, fellowship, acts of service, friendships, extracurricular activities, hobbies, finances, etc.

8) that by 6 months postpartum, I would be back to my pre-pregnancy weight AND shape

9) that there'd always be that sense of awe and wonder every time I gazed at my children (like in all those Hallmark commercials)

10) that I'd wisely be able to interpret and handle every mothering experience

This list is not only humorous, but it's also sad because these were just some of the MANY false, but real, expectations I carried walking into this role as "mom".
The reality is (as I've slowly come to realize) is that my expectations are typically not met in my way or in my timing... if at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, Mel! It's good to hear it again.

-Rebekah