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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Expectation Redux

(This originally appeared as a link-up post for Five Minute Friday but has been modified and completed.)
This post is also linked up on Allume.

I wasn’t sure what it would be like.

We’ve all heard the stories of cooing, of breakfasts of burnt toast and spilled juice in bed.  The sugar coated kisses that come from little faces smeared with chocolate.  The hugs that never end.

I imagined swinging in the park, strolling around town gazing up at the majestic high-rises, splashing in water.

I expected to be tired from joy and fun and care and doting.
What I got was quite different.  Oh there were messy kisses galore and splashing in water, but there was also the dark side.  Those things that others know about, but don’t want to tell for fear of discouragement, or even embarrassment.  The dark side exists and it can be found in the chubby little fingers of a toddler.  These same that fingers that play with your hair and smoosh your cheeks can also draw blood and hit with the sting of a prize fighter.

The expectation should have been to know what was coming and love unconditionally in spite of that.  Motherhood is a journey we often start without a map.  Can we please start being good tour guides for each other now?


(The following is the completion of this post as an exercise for the 15 Habits of Great Writers Challenge.  The five minutes I originally had left this in an ugly, unresolved place.  Let’s see if this helps.)

Why do we set ourselves up for failure by creating expectations in the first place?  Motherhood is hard.  Darn hard.  And as Lisa-Jo likes to say, I sincerely believe motherhood should come with its own super hero cape.It would be wonderful to have that cape, especially if it came with some superpowers like mind-reading, speed cleaning, and being in multiple places at once.  Wouldn’t it be nice for one of you to be napping while the others of you were doing all the other stuff?

Why do we expect that we can do it all – BY OURSELVES?  I’m sure pride is at the root of this.  At least for me, it seems to be the thing that causes most of my problems.  When in history did moms ever do it all by themselves?  Eve?  That’s the only one I can think of and she had problems with the kids, too, didn’t she?

We live in a fallen world people, in case you hadn’t noticed.  And part of that is dealing with fallen people with broken parts.  Sometimes these broken parts need actual medical attention.  Have we become so prone to gossip and judgment that we avoid the help lest we become the focus of the gossip and judgment?  I would hope not, but I’m afraid so.

When we are brave enough and muster up enough humility to admit what our life is actually like we find that we’re not alone.  Most likely someone else was waiting for you to be brave first.  Then we get the opportunity to encourage and offer EMPATHY.  This isn’t feeling bad for your sister; it’s KNOWING what they are going through.  It’s a win-win!

Real is the new perfect, my friends!

Be honest, be kind, be prayerful!

We’ll survive, but we have to help each other through it.  I’ll make you a deal: if you help me, I’ll get your back for the same!



  1. Unite indeed! WHOO HOO!!!!

    Side note: I think I'm one of the only moms I know who openly admits that I can't do it all, and don't pretend to. Oddly enough, most people in my "real life" find me rather strange for it!

    1. And to think with all that caffeine around.... :) Thanks for admitting that because to outsiders it would certainly seem as if you can. BTW - I don't think you are strange at all. (Hoping my coffee arrives today. I'm so excited to finally try it.)

  2. Real is the new perfect- LOVE that! Well said!!!

  3. Absolutely GREAT post, Amy!!! I agree wholeheartedly. When people say they are impressed that I homeschool, my new response is, "Oh, don't be so impressed. I'm just a smidge away from being totally insane" -- how's that for REAL? Your post made me laugh. Out loud. Several times. Yes, I did just admit to being totally insane (almost), but otherwise, hopefully I can still appreciate good writing. xoxo

    1. A smidge?? Maybe a little more than that. I'm glad you found humor in my pain and anguish. ;) Glad I could make you laugh. Was it one of those nearly insane laughs with the crazy eyes?

  4. Hi Amy!
    I love the Redux. Lots being said these days about being transparent and growing a community of girlfriends and Christians who are supportive and non-judgmental. Who are we if we can't lean on others for help and comfort and encouragement and true understanding?
    BTW - I think Moms are superheros ... they have super-sized hearts to love their kids to bits - amidst the chaos. Never forget that God gave you your child to shepherd for Him ... that's a BIG deal ... but all you need to be is real ... He's good with that and who are we to say otherwise?
    So glad you stopped by today.
    Pleased to meet you!

    1. Oh the thought terrifies me at times that I am responsible for this little heart and mind placed in my care. But, I know that God is the One that does the real work.
      Your blog is beautiful. Looking forward to seeing what you will do. Thanks for coming by to visit.

  5. Motherhood can be downright competitive, and when that happens, no one tells it like it is! So awesome that you are getting REAL! And as for me, I'll take it all, the clean and the dirty, the joy and pain - it's the best job ever! :)

  6. Isn't it? Probably the most mentally, emotionally and physically demanding job, too! High investment - high reward! Thanks for coming by.