Changing my Expectations and Opting for Preschool-Mom Sanity!
While working on improving the blog and sifting through my old work, I came across this OLD post that I wrote in 2013. I emphasize that it’s from 2013 because I do not want any of you to get all excited and start thinking I’m expecting a baby. There’s no baby. I’m so sorry to disappoint you. Ha!
I’m sharing this because I want every pre-school mom I know to read it.
Some of you are like me, and you are busy, busy, busy with those little ones, and you are disappointed that you are not out there saving the world. Or you know, at least serving on the PTA. Ha! Because that’s the same right? But why run yourself ragged? Yes, be involved in the community. You need that to stay sane, but once it gets to the point that you feel worn and empty, start cutting things. You can pick them back up later.
Okay, so here’s what I wrote at the time:
It seems I will really never catch up on my housework now. I had booked myself too full of appointments and such the rest of the week to get much done. Alan is fantastic about helping, only Alan is too busy now to do much either. He had work, cub scouts, and baseball coaching this week. We both did our best, but the fact is that we currently have more work than capable working hours.
You know what I think? I think God is preparing us for having four children. Four children, and not one over the age of seven. We need to learn our lesson now to stop signing up for activities, especially leadership roles (that’s Alan more so than me). Most all of my activities are physical maintenance and child rearing (like constant doctor visits). I did sign up to help my friend Margret with Staff Appreciation Week, and I haven’t even been able to be an effective helper! I do feel quite badly about that.
One thing that has been great this year is that I’ve met several more moms in the my neighborhood that also have preschoolers at home. Here I am beating myself up because I cannot do all the things that Joshua’s friends’ moms do with the PTA and volunteering at school, when that is simply not the phase of life I’m in yet! These moms are a few years older than me, with no preschoolers left at home. The fact is we have different roles right now. Daniel and the baby that is soon to arrive (we do seriously plan to name him eventually) are a full-time job.
I had the privilege of walking to my Yoga class (oh, yes, I did sign up for 1 yoga class/week) with Monica yesterday. Monica has a daughter in Caleb’s class. Monica also has a three-year-old, and she said some things that really made sense to me. She said something like, “I just figure for now, while I’m taking care of a little one, I’m just not much use to anyone for much else. Even when it’s not nap time, there’s only so much I can do. You never know what her needs are going to be, or what mood she’s going to be in.”
Oh, yes, never were truer words spoken!
I’m going to finish out the things I am currently committed to (well, as best as I can), and then I’m done. Of course, the Yoga class and the Fitness in the Park class I actually consider to be for my health. There are lots of negative health effects to gaining 50 pounds with each pregnancy, believe me! I’m still not convinced I can change that either though, but ugh I’m so tired of even thinking about pregnancy weight!
I even turned in my resignation for my Sunday school class a few weeks ago. I’m going to do it until the baby comes, and then I’ll just be home for a long time. When I finally go back, I will be attending Alan’s class, since he’s actually going to be teaching an adult class, starting in June.
Gradually, I’ll add back in nursery duty. When you’re breastfeeding you spend a ridiculous amount of time back in the church nursery feeding your baby anyway!
I’m not cutting everything, but it’s time to give my family a little extra grace and time and space to grow in. Reasonable expectations are a rewarding thing to have.
Praise the Lord for our sweet little boys. Can’t wait to meet the new one!
Have you ever gone through a phase where you simplified? Did you see a huge difference? I certainly did, and I’d love to hear about your experience too.