Yes, I am well aware that it is Tuesday 9-28, not Monday any longer. My Mom Swiss cheese brain is pretty bad sometimes, but not THAT bad! I missed yesterday, due to extenuating circumstances, but thought it was pretty important to explain and pass on how a few mindful moments really changed my attitude about it.
My son has been attending a one day a week homeschool enrichment program. Needless to say, it hasn’t been an easy transition for him. The first week, he was in tears and hugging my legs every time I tried to leave. Unfortunately I had my daughter with me and two dogs at home who hadn’t eaten breakfast or peed yet that morning. By lunchtime, I had to just leave and take him with me.
Last week, I went with him, with the full intention of staying the whole day; my daughter stayed home with Daddy. Unfortunately I didn’t pack any food for me so I was exhausted and cranky toward the end. Yesterday, I went with the hopes of him getting to the point in which he didn’t need me there and letting me go run some errands that I was feeling great anxiety about getting done.
When am I going to ever learn that it is fine for me to have expectations, as long as I keep the knowledge close at hand that at any moment, there is a good chance my expectations will need to be let go of?
I experienced a constant ebb and flow of emotions yesterday. First frustration. Then sheer sadness for him, I know all too well how he feels and what his fears might keep him from doing in life. Then frustration again. Then anger. Then confusion as to how to help him. Of course, helplessness wrapped herself around me like a fog as well.
Finally, after I came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going anywhere evidently and somehow I had to come up with a way to let go of the myriad of things on my to-do list for the moment. As a last ditch effort, I grabbed a book at the bottom of my bag I had thrown in at the last minute by Louise Hay called You Can Heal Your Life.
From the book, “What is important in this moment is what you are choosing to think and believe and say right now.” Later, “We often add to that, “And I don’t do enough,” or “I don’t deserve.” Does this sound like you? Often saying or implying or feeling that you “are not good enough?” But for whom? And according to whose standards?”
I began to find my breath again.
What did I believe and think right in that moment of anxiety and frustration with my son who needed me?
“I need to get things done. A dress for the upcoming wedding…to clean our house cause it is annoyingly messy and has been the last couple weeks…to plant the raspberry bushes that are dying on my porch…to get and be with my daughter who was having to entertain herself at home while Daddy was working…to store or plan usage for the food that is coming out of our garden…to exercise…”
And for who?
Who’s expectations am I filling with all of those to-do’s that must all get done RIGHT NOW?
Anyone who might actually find out that I am not perfect and can’t keep up with it all, all the time?
The bride and groom who might think I didn’t dress the way they wanted for their wedding?
My daughter who would most certainly be holding a grudge against me when I didn’t come home until 3:30?
In those few moments between reading those pages and trying not to fall asleep in the hallway, I changed my thoughts. I let go of that to-do list. I really wondered whose expectations I was trying to live up to. I began to relax and actually entered into deep conversation with another Mom who is also in the same boat. Then we were joined by two more Mom’s and we conversed about homeschooling, ideas, cool discoveries we were making, how to help each individual child, how each child produced their own unique hurdles.
I was there for my son when he needed me.
Not perfectly, on the way home I was upset and wondering whether my husband was going to be mad and how I could hurry up this adjustment process per what I assumed where going to be HIS expectations.
Except, when I got home, he wasn’t mad that I was gone all day again. He was fine with it. I had made up expectations I thought would be his. Actually, after we chatted for a few moments, he said, “You have to read Janine’s email, it might help you.”
She quoted Viktor Frankl, a Nazi camp survivor, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”.
She thought maybe I needed to hear that…
Spill it: How do you keep your patience with your kids when they are going through a difficult adjustment you think should be easier for them? Hmmm….or how do you keep your expectations in check so as to remain flexible in the moments of motherhood that test those expectations?Tweet