Failing at Your Expectations.

Ever since the day I found I was pregnant with our first son I always assumed that I would make an awesome mom. I even remember one of the first dates I ever went on with Nick where I told him my one dream in life was to be a mother. I told him it was one of the few things I knew I would be good at. Most things in life do not come easy to me, but when it came to taking care of kids I have always been a natural. So it was safe for me to assume that when the time came for me to have my own kids it would be something that would come easy for me. I quickly realized once my kids were born that 1. having your own kids is very different from watching someone else's and 2. there is so much responsibility that comes with raising little humans.

"Expectations ruin relationships" is a quote I heard in the past and seemed to stick with me. In life whenever I have been disappointed with my husband, friends, family, or kids it was because my expectations were not met. Recently, I have noticed I have a short temper and my patience is running on empty. In my mind, I try to blame-shift but really I am failing at my own expectations. I expect to always know how to correctly discipline my kids. I expect to know how to rightly balance my social, personal, and church life. I expect to be liked and loved by everyone. I expect to be listened to. I expect too much and then my expectations are not met. I expect to be this unrealistic super mom who can measure up to all the other moms I see but in the midst of it all I fail to see what I am doing well and right in the here-and-now. 

Instead of having a heart that cries out to God and waives a surrender flag, I am finding myself asking God why don't I have the answers? Why are my kids not listening to me? Why aren't my hours spent reading parenting books working? Why are my recipes not coming out right? And the lists go on.

Jen Pollock Michel wrote in her book Teach Us to Want, "Struggle is the prerequisite to surrender." The struggle part has been happening for quite a few months now and finally I am at surrender. Failing at your own expectations only leads you down a road where you focus on what is not working instead of a road to surrender, asking for help, and becoming more thankful. 

I will never be the mom I always dreamed of being if I set myself up failure from the start. I can't expect everyday to go as planned or prepare for every scenario. My kids are not going to obey me everyday and I can't take that personally. Their sinfulness is not mine, just like my sinfulness is not theirs. My desire for control will keep me from being the mother and wife I want to be if I don't surrender my inabilities and insecurities to the Lord. My worth and identity can't be found in what I can or cannot do, but rather in who I am already in Christ. Thankfully, I serve a God who will never fail and who has clearly laid out what I can expect from him in his Word and through his promises to me and my children.

Jen Pollock Michel goes on to say in her book: 

But the gospel moves us beyond getting stuck in the guilt and shame of our unholy desires. We can courageously own the truth about ourselves because of the sacrificial death of God’s son, Jesus; his innocence has been substituted for our guilt.

Instead of walking in shame and guilt for what I am not, I want the desire of my heart to be that I am pleasing God. God asks for perfect obedience and trust. Knowing our sinfulness and inability to achieve this standard, God sent his Son to do what we could not. God gives us the perfect obedience he requires of us in Jesus. May we rest in the knowledge that Christ has accomplished God's perfect expectations on our behalf. We can't do anything to gain his love and approval, it is a free gift. That is love!!!

Are you failing at your own expectations? Do you wish you could live up to something that is an unattainable self? Be reminded of the truth and remember that God knows our deepest desires of who we want to be, both the good and the bad. And he gifts us with a more satisfying identity through his son, Jesus.

 

 My nemesis...the playroom

My nemesis...the playroom

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 Poop emoji pumpkin was the special request from max.

Poop emoji pumpkin was the special request from max.

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our mornings currently look like this...

I am always interested to see what other moms and bloggers are doing as far as routines go so thought I would give you a look into what our mornings generally look like right now. The timing isn't  the same everyday  but in general this is the flow of how things are running. I have yet to venture out alone with all 3 kiddos besides church (which side note our house is like a circus come Sunday mornings) but once I muster up some energy and confidence maybe our mornings will look a little more exciting. Thankfully we live in a good neighborhood with kids and a big backyard so we are not totally housebound all day long.

-7 am Nick's alarm goes off to go get up with the boys and start the much needed coffee and set the boys up with some breakfast. We are very blessed to have my mom living with us and she has the boys in her room until 7 am (Thank you Momma!!!!)

-7:10 am I wake up and sometimes Leo is still asleep. I take my vitamins and open all the blinds in the house; Having natural light first thing in the morning helps me since I am proned to anxiety and depression early in the AM (at least that is what has happened this time post pregnancy). 

-7:30 am Leo is usually up and I change his diaper, nurse him, burp him, and try to get sips of coffee in my mouth before having to clean up the breakfast mess.

-8 am My mom and Nick leave for work and I try to get Leo down for a nap and dress the boys for the day.

-8:15 am The boys go on my iPhone while I shower real fast (8 minutes or less total). Once I am done in the shower we quickly go outside and soak up some time before Leo wakes up again.

-9-9:30 am The boys usually have a snack and play outside while I nurse the baby again. I also usually have a load of laundry going at this point and the dishwasher. I try to keep up with the housework as I go so that at the end of the day there is not much to do and we can enjoy family time.

-10:30 am Leo is down for a nap again (he is up for an hour and then is back down, this includes the time it takes him to nurse). 

-11:30 am Calvin and Max have lunch and I am usually nursing Leo again (he only has been doing 2-2.5 hour stretches during the day). 

-12 pm We clean up the toys from the morning and I will wash dishes from lunch and empty dishwasher. After clean up Max goes down for a nap and Calvin gets to rest in the living room and play quietly or watch some shows.

The rest of the day is a blend of Leo eating, spitting up, pooping, and sleeping and the boys love to play in their room or outside. The hardest part of our new routine with 3 kids is figuring out what priorities are most important. I usually will pick a shower and putting on clean clothes over eating breakfast and then shove something in my mouth while burping the baby. 

Max is also in a super whiny stage so I am always trying to figure out why he is complaining while simultaneously being a referee for when the boys are arguing which is every 5 minutes. They have a love/hate relationship for sure. I am home 80% of the time because let's be real, getting out of the house with 3 kids is a lot of work (I give all you mommas credit who have 3+ kiddos). Max is ready to potty train so our routine will look different pretty soon and I also hope to get a new museum pass in a few weeks so this will get us out of the house more.

Hope this was insightful to our new life with 3.

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 Thank you to my beautiful friend Shay for sending me this tumbler so my coffee stays hot all morning long. It's honestly been so so helpful!  

Thank you to my beautiful friend Shay for sending me this tumbler so my coffee stays hot all morning long. It's honestly been so so helpful!  

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something every mom needs to hear.

 

I am not a person who needs constant affirmation for my abilities, looks, or accomplishments. I try to give myself a lot of slack and don't take myself too seriously. A few nights ago I went into the boys room and changed Max's diaper in the middle of his sleep, re-put on his socks, and filled his sippy with water. This is a routine I do almost every night. My reasoning behind this is that if he is dry, warm, and hydrated than he won't need to wake in the middle of the night and 99% of the time this works. I commented to Nick on how I am so strange to always do all these things when he isn't up. 

 "G, you're a really good mom." That was Nick's response to me and it has stuck with me for the last few days. I realized in that moment that although I do not need to be affirmed that I am a good mom, it meant so much to verbally hear that I was not crazy but actually was doing something right and good for our child. I know that my kids and husband appreciate both the small and great things I do to serve them each day, but for all of us moms it is so encouraging to actually hear these words. 

In my own mind, I often tell myself "Why do you do that?" or "That is a waste of time" or "No one cares that you do this" and the list goes on. I easily forget that God has chosen ME to be the one who is to love all of these boys and my husband. You too were specifically designed for YOUR family. What you do is enough for them and they need YOU. Not anyone else. Just you, in all of your you-ness.

There will be a day when our kids are grown up and we're no longer needed. But for now, many of us are needed, cherished, and were created to be a good mom to our kids. If you haven't heard that you are a good mom in a while, I am here to tell you that you ARE a good mom! 

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