Struggling through motherhood
Parenting & Family

Struggling through Motherhood: How to Let Go of Expectations Right Now

Mom Struggles 

Are you struggling through motherhood?  Being a mom is hard!!  I recently typed into Google, “What are the biggest problems moms face?” and came back with a list of 19 things.  It looks like this: 

Sleep deprivation
Breastfeeding problems
Difficulty balancing work and personal life
Financial strain
Balancing family and work
Identity loss
Lack of time
Child care and housework
Difficult in making choices
Emotional challenges
Feeling fat
Getting personal time
Healing from childbirth
Limited access to quality childcare
Postpartum depression
Social factors
Working mom problems
Working too much

Wow.  Just wow.  I mean, reading that list made me want to cry, scream, cry again, and basically just feel depressed.  I have definitely felt each and every one of those on the list at one point or another.  Can anyone else relate? 

This next chapter of The Peaceful Burrow blog was inspired by a coworker.  She is a working mom of 2 young kids and was venting about all the daily tasks that fell on her and how stressful it was.  I could feel the tightness in my chest as she spoke and the overwhelming need to shake her and say, “I KNOW!!!  I HEAR YOU AND I FEEL YOU AND WE ALL NEED MORE HELP!!!!”  

We need fewer responsibilities and less guilt and shame.  We need more grace with ourselves and more understanding from others.  We need to be confident in our roles – whatever they may be – and seek solutions for our problems before they get too big and heavy.  

So for all of March, I will be focusing on one overarching problem each week. I know I can’t do a deep dive on all of these, but if I can lessen your load, offer encouragement, or give you permission to release expectations just once, I will feel like I accomplished something major this month.  

Speak now or forever hold your peace!  Is there something on the list you don’t see that you’re struggling with?  Let me know in the comments!  Don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly emails so you don’t miss Mom March posts!

Let go of expectations right now

Before we dive in next week, I want to leave you with one thing.  And that is to let go of expectations.  Right now.  Let go of expectations you have of others and, most importantly, expectations you have of yourself.  They’re not serving you.  

Expectations are beliefs you hold about the outcomes of events.  Expectations can be a good thing, however, far too many of us hold on to expectations that just let us down again and again. 

Let go of the expectation that you will cross everything off your to-do list today. 

Let go of the expectation that your husband will remember to take out the garbage bins without reminding. 

Let go of the expectation that your house will look like Pinterest if you just do one more project. 

Let go of the expectation that your toddler will sleep through the night. 

Just let go.  

It’s amazing how much lighter you will feel by releasing expectations.  Most of us probably don’t even realize we’re holding on to so many!

How do you let go of expectations?  

There are a few ways you can start to release expectations.  But they all start the same way:  identify the expectation.  State it out loud or write it down.  

Next, put it in perspective.  Sometimes we just need to take a step back to realize we are putting an unfair expectation on someone else (or ourselves).  Ask yourself the best and worst outcomes of your identified expectation.  

For example, if you identify that your expectation is to cross everything off your to-do list every single day, what’s the best case scenario? You put a nice, neat line through each item and give yourself a pat on the back for finishing all the errands, housework, and paying bills.  What’s the worst case scenario?  You move undone tasks to tomorrow’s to-do list or decide it’s no longer important.  

Is that it?? I don’t know, maybe you don’t register for soccer quick enough and it fills up so your kid has to get on the waitlist or switch to tennis.  The horror!  To-do list management is not a life and death situation.  So why are you putting so much pressure on yourself to get it all done?  Let go of that!

And lastly, listen to yourself.  Take time for reflection or journaling or just listening to the things you tell yourself.  Speak kinder to yourself outloud and in your thoughts.  A little kindness can go a long way in shaping your mental health and preventing undue expectations in the future. 

Struggling through motherhood

Do it Right Now.

What do you think?  Will you give it a try?  I challenge you to notice an expectation once a day for the next week that you can let go.  I bet if you think real hard you can come up with a lot more, but we’re all busy and struggling so I’ll challenge you for one a day.  

Let me know what expectations you released and how it made you feel.  Don’t forget to join me next week as we get into MOM MARCH and address the struggles together.  

Mom March Week 1: Tired of Being Tired? 10 ways to reclaim your energy when you struggle with sleep
Mom March Week 2: 3 Simple Ways to Navigate the Emotional Rollercoaster of Motherhood
Looking for more? Check out my ebook for Stay-at-Home Working Moms. Read more here!

Thanks for reading, 

the Peaceful Burrow

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