So often, our expectations in life just don’t quite work out. Especially during 2020! I find myself adjusting my own expectations a lot about our life, my family, parenting, and what I am able to accomplish. While this is stressful and at times challenging, I think it is extremely important to work on particularly since so little of this situation is truly in our control. The main thing we can control right now is how we cope and how we respond to the situations we are in.
Most parents did not elect to become homeschooling, often simultaneously working, parents. This situation has just been thrust upon us and the feelings of frustration, despair, fear, anger, etc. we might have about this mess we find ourselves in are totally valid. I have been witnessing firsthand just how hard this virtual learning life has been for the families I work with, but also for those doing it in my personal life. While this situation is immensely challenging, one thing that I think can help is to work on adjusting our expectations of both ourselves and our children. While that might look different in different situations, and I honestly would expect it to, there are some steps to help walk you through this process.
While the process of letting go of what we would like our lives to be like can be difficult, most people feel a sense of relief when they realize they are trying to do something that is actually not possible. This usually can help us realize that if we approach the situation differently, we will most likely feel better about it.
For example, we recently transitioned our son into a toddler bed and I kind of expected the transition to be smooth and for him to stay in bed all night. This way, I still would have my downtime in the evenings that I have come to rely on for self-care. As you can imagine, our son had his own ideas and it quickly became a game to launch out of bed at all hours. While we worked on a solution and ways to help keep him sleeping, I had to release my expectation that I would be “off parenting duty” after 8 pm. That just wasn’t realistic and caused more frustration for me to want something that was impossible for us for a period of time. I just accepted that this was a period of time where we might sleep less and tried to remember that it is a temporary season of life. While not fun, I do feel that changing my mindset was helpful and the only thing I could truly control.
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"Watch your thoughts,
They become words.
Watch your words,
They become actions.
Watch your actions,
They become habits.
Watch your habits,
They become character;
It becomes your destiny."