Amy Beth

May 7, 2013

Adjusting Expectations

I’ve always struggled with unrealistic expectations. I’ll wake up on a Saturday convinced that I will get the whole house clean AND cook a healthy dinner from scratch AND do that craft I’ve been wanting to try AND take my baby to the park. A perfect Saturday.

But then it takes longer to get through breakfast than I had planned, and there are dishes I forgot about that need to be cleaned and then it’s already lunch time and I haven’t even taken a shower yet! Then my baby takes forever to take a nap and by the time he wakes up it’s time to think about dinner which we end up ordering and we’ve missed our chance to go to the park. My perfect Saturday has turned into a waste of a day.

At least…that’s the way I tend to view it. I let my expectations hijack my attitude. Instead of viewing the success of the day based on reality and those things that are truly important to me, I base it on a sense of already being inadequate and needing to “get it together”. I base it on how my life compares to what I perceive other people’s lives to be like.

In retrospect, here is what I *should have* done to make that Saturday more enjoyable for everyone involved:

* I need to go into the weekend with a focus on recharging and spending time with my family rather than on catching up on all the unrealistic to-do items I give myself during the week. That longer-than-planned breakfast could have been a relaxing family time instead of an annoyance that was keeping me from what “really” needed to be done.
* I need to remember when I’m planning meals that I really don’t like to cook. For some reason I forget this when looking at all the wonderfully tasty photography on food blogs and I decide that roasting a rack of lamb with brussels sprouts sounds like a great idea. Then I get to the day I’m supposed to do this and realize I’ve never roasted lamb or Brussels sprouts before and I don’t have enough mental energy to learn how to *now*. So we order pizza…again. Maybe if I would just remember this truth about myself I would make more doable plans for dinner. That’s a good goal.
* I need to be prepared to have flexible plans for the weekend, so whether Charlie naps for 3 1/2 hours or not at all I can feel like I made good use of my time. Sometimes I make plans that are so set in stone that I can be a little oblivious to the fact that what’s actually happening might be better than my plan. A 3 1/2 hour nap is a gift, but because it threw off my plan it made me cranky. I mean, come on, THE BABY WAS SLEEPING. I should have been *thrilled*! In the future I should just think of some different choices that would all be equally enjoyable. Maybe if Charlie won’t sleep we just go for a walk, but if he does I can do some crochet. Either choice would be fun and relaxing and it wouldn’t matter if others decided to go along with them.

So this Saturday I’m going to serve grilled cheese sandwiches and leftovers for dinner. I’m going to hang out with my family. I might clean some dishes.

A perfect Saturday.