Friday, January 15, 2010

Lowering My Expectations

It's the only way I'm going to survive.

I've always found joy in accomplishing a lot in a day. I love to make lists and am happiest when I can get everything on that list crossed off.

I distinctly remember a break down I had when Abigail was a newborn. I make pies. So, one day I decided to make an apple pie. Halfway through the process Abigail started screaming and I wasn't able to make the pie. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but for me, it was. I no longer had a say in what I did and when I did it. I was completely at her mercy. And for someone who wants to get everything accomplished on the list, that can be very hard.

Abbie was one of my harder babies. Connor, Emily and Holly have all been relatively easy and by a month I felt more or less like I could do what I did before. Holly even slept through the night from the beginning. What more could you need?

Raising Grant is taking me back to my days with Abbie. He really isn't that hard. But adding him to trying to raise four other kids is proving harder than I had expected. Once again, I no longer have a say in what I am able to get done or how much sleep I will get. I am completely at his mercy.

And that is why I have lowered all expectations for myself. Because I want to be completely at his mercy. I want to hold him when he needs it (which is lots and lots!!) and wake up with him when he is hungry. And if I expect myself to make pies, keep a clean house, lose weight, exercise, take care of others-you get the point-then he becomes a burden rather than a joy.

So for now, I'm going to be content with the extra pounds. I'm happy when breakfast dishes are done by lunch and if they are still there by dinner, no worries. As for the rest of the house-there will be a time when my house will stay clean for more than a few hours. Now is not that time. I'll do what I can. I want to fulfill my calling and help others when I can, but if Grant and my four other kids need me, then that is where my attentions will be. I'm not trying to volunteer in the kids classes all the time and am happy that I only have a handful of piano students.

There are so many things I look forward to being able to put on my list again. But for now, I'm going to spend my days holding my little miracle and realizing just how lucky I am.

14 comments:

Emily A. Gunderson said...

I loved this post! I'm feeling many of the same things after my little #5.

Happy Mothering!

Tonya said...

And that is EXACTLY what you should be doing. Family first always!!!

meganconser said...

Just letting things go that really aren't that important anyway. You are an amazing momma and your children are loved. I understand being ready to get back to life on your own terms, but really, this time is just a blink of an eye isn't it? Hang in there-- call me if you need anything!!!

Stephanie said...

He's just really scrumptious!

vaxhacker said...

Yeah, I know where you're coming from, or at least something more or less equivalent... and yet you're choosing to let the most important things come first, so you're doing it right!

Danielle said...

What a wonderful reminder. I too am a list person, and after Jake it was a wake up call to me. Now, I feel like if I brushed my teeth and got dressed, it was a productive day. Anytime you want a little extra sleep--I'll come snuggle that adorable baby.

Lady Fox said...

Well spoken my dear. I agree 130%.

Alesha said...

You are an amazing person. All the things you can do makes me look up to you. He is so cute. So is the rest of the family. I always love it when I get to try to simplify.

Robin said...

My ma would be proud o' you, Heidi (and yours, too).

Breezy said...

Wow the beginning of that sounds so familiar. You are an amazing mother and someone I hope to emulate. Their is such a spirit of love and peace in your home that I think whatever you choose will be the right thing for your family.

Elisabeth said...

Yep ya have to surrender, done a lot of that this past year. Loved your words.

Tami said...

I'll bake you a pie. You'll just have to lower you expecations because it won't be as good as yours.

Stace said...

This is such a great picture. I feel how you do. I didn't know this before I was a mom. The hardest thing for me is losing my freedom, but only a mom understands that it isn't just the freedom to go out and party or whatever-- it is the freedom to pee when you need to pee or take a shower or eat or brush my teeth... so many things I never imagined that are basic. But it is all worth it, that is my hope. Take care.

Dave Raddatz said...

Do you remember Pres. Jesse? He had a word he used for things like your list. Minutiae. The little things that really don't make a big difference. I am not very comfortable with the idea that you think taking time to be the great mom that you are requires you to lower your expectations. Make no mistake about it, I miss eating the great pies just like you miss making them, but all the pies in the world would not make up for the peace I feel as I watch you and Rick raise your children. Seems like you have raised your expectations to the highest level.