Director Jewels: Motherhood and Setting New Expectations

Friday, April 11, 2014

Motherhood and Setting New Expectations

When I found out I was pregnant, I expected to have a breezy pregnancy and a healthy glow - with a heaping side of productivity.

I quit my full time job when my baby was two months old, and I assumed that there would be hours of crafts and games with my children, and long nap times in which I could rest and rejuvenate (and work from home).

When my second baby arrived, I said to myself, "how much harder can it be? They will be such good friends."

If you haven't yet guessed - none of those things ended up being completely true. Pregnancy knocked me flat on my back. Working from home is stressful at best, when you are trying to care for and entertain small people. And tiny siblings can be great friends - but they also require a lot of mommy interventions because naturally there is only one toy that is worthy of being played with at any given time.

And today, as I sit nursing that second baby - who doesn't sleep on her own - while my oldest is being brainwashed occupied by the Scooby-Doo complete series box set, I feel frustrated that it's 4:30pm and not enough things have been crossed off my to-do list.

My to-do list is ever increasing, but so are the needs of my children. My spare time is not spent sewing dresses or editing videos or writing scripts or blog posts as I had imagined in my fantasy stay-at-home-mom scenario. Instead, I spend my days taking someone potty for the 15th time since noon or breaking up squabbles over a plastic muffin or pulling someone down off the kitchen table again.

It turns out that being a good mom has very little to do with how many craft projects you can do in a day, but a whole lot to do with how many kisses you can give for the same boo-boo in an hour. It's less about planning educational activities and more about accepting that it's really okay for your kids to sometimes watch a movie while you take a shower.

I struggle with finding a balance and often end the day thinking that I have failed my kids. I need to not worry so much about email and be more concerned with fort-building. There will be time to fill my Etsy shop after the days of being a little firefighter's assistant are long past. I need to be present for my kids 100% of the time - and they deserve more than a half-hearted smile when I am met with reading that super annoying book one more time.

I need to be constantly aware that my expectations cannot be the same as they were before these precious little lives depended upon me. Their thoughts, fears, and feelings need to be first priority right now, even if that means setting aside some of the things that are important to me.

Motherhood and making realistic expectations - it's a fine line to balance. What are your tips for making the most of every moment with your littles, even in the overwhelming moments?

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