Today, if you are a mom, chances are you are basking in a glorious “Mother’s Day hangover”, pinching yourself from all of yesterday’s happenings. You were brought breakfast in bed, your kids behaved perfectly, you were treated like a Queen, and everything played out exactly like you had imagined. RIGHTTTTT….
While for some of us moms, the above mentioned may have happened, I’d be willing to bet there are more of us moms out there that are basking in a “Mother’s Day hangover” due to unmet expectations, am I right?!? Instead of breakfast in bed, you were greeted with little ones prying your eyes open asking what’s for breakfast at the beautiful hour of 6 am. Instead of your kids behaving like little angels, you played constant referee yesterday and you seriously CAN’T. EVEN. ANYMORE. Treated like a Queen…well, I’ll leave that one up to you. And what about the scenario of Mother’s Day playing out exactly like you had imagined, yea that didn’t happen, didn’t even come close! Ugh, these expectations are such a kill joy.
I’ll admit, I am a big time expectations hopeful. Christmas, Mother’s Day, you name it, I’ve got it all in my head exactly how each holiday and special event should go down. I have a feeling I’m not the only one out there who struggles with high expectations and then has to pick up these unmet expectations off the ground like you would broken pieces from your favorite coffee mug. Kudos to those who live with us “expectation hopefuls.” Chances are, you poor souls aren’t even aware of our expectations because we dare not allow them to live outside our minds and if you are aware, you do your best to meet our lofty ideas.
Allow me to describe how my Mother’s Day went down…My youngest who is 6 months old, woke me up with her crying around 6:30am ready to nurse, after I was up ALL NIGHT the night before with my oldest who was sick. Coffee STAT, people. We decided last-minute that a trip to the beach (with 3 kids under the age of 4, you know exactly how this is going to play out already) for the day was how Mother’s Day should go down. We got everything packed and ready to go. All three kiddos took a nap on the way down and it was glorious indeed. Got to the beach and it was packed. Finally found a parking spot about a mile from the public beach access. I have this scene of my husband walking to the beach with our middle daughter on his shoulders, carrying our youngest in her car seat in one hand and our beach bag in the other. He was done for before our feet even touched the sand. We find the perfect spot and begin to set up camp with our new beach tent and 20 mph winds. Here we are, two kids running around and kicking up sand on nearby sunbathers, me with a screaming baby on my hip trying to help hold down a tent while my husband reads the instructions. We looked like a scene straight out of National Lampoons Beach Vacation. After about 15 minutes of this nonsense and several profanities uttered under our breath later, two precious souls came over and said they couldn’t bear to see us struggle anymore. They helped us set up this tent which I had already deemed was going back to the store that it came from, maybe because it’s poorly made or maybe because I don’t ever want to do that again, but probably a combination of both. My hubby took the two big kids down to play in the water while I LITERALLY held down the tent with my youngest. I couldn’t even relax for fear that the tent was going to fly away and cause bodily injuries to some unsuspecting sunbather. We were there for all of 2 hours, maybe. Packing everything up and trying to get two cold, wet, and sandy kids to walk to the car was a feat in itself. By the time we got back to the van, we were all starving and had grand plans to eat somewhere local on the island but the thought of getting everyone out of the car and waiting for who knows how long seemed like torture. By this point, I was ready just to drink my dinner. Thirty miles down the road and far from any local seafood joints, we settled on my favorite, Wendy’s (y’all, please note the sarcasm here). We finally get home, bathed our sandy kids, and collapse into bed. And that was a wrap on Mother’s Day 2016.
Yesterday played out far differently than I had imagined, for multiple reasons and today I am suffering from a hangover of unmet expectations. But here is what I am learning and what God is lovingly teaching me…expect NOTHING. Not because the people or things in my life are inadequate to meet my expectations, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. But because when I expect nothing, I am in turn filled. I love this quote from Ann Voskamp, “Instead of filling with expectations, the joy-filled expect nothing, and are filled.” When I take the firm grip I have off of my expectations and simply allow them to just sift through my hands, then I take the pressure off of all those around, and especially off those whom I love the most. I am then able to enjoy what happens and what doesn’t and count it all joy.
On our way home from the beach yesterday, I began to think about all the ways yesterday was perfect. I have a husband who loves me so well, that listens to me, and wants to give me the world. I have three beautiful, healthy kids who fill my heart with so much joy and laughter. We had money for gas to drive down and back to the beach and for food to eat on the way back even if it was Wendy’s. We came home to a house that my children feel safe in and a cozy place to lay our heads. And you know what was the best of all about yesterday, my kids had a blast and we ended the day with a dance party in our van on the way home. So Mother’s Day 2016, you were good to me after all!