I have made the same basic New Year’s resolution every year since college. It’s to make this year the best year of my life. I have never given much thought to resolutions because my new year is when school starts in September, folks. By January I’m already on a roll with the goal train.
But this year is different. For 2018, I’m not committing to drink more water. I’m already good at that one because #nursingthirst. I’m not kicking into high gear to get down to pre-baby weight. I’m not even planning for daily meditation, though this one I could sure benefit from.
Instead, I’m resolved to lowering my expectations. This is the hardest thing for me for so many reasons. As an educator, it’s been drilled into my head by mentors and by experience that high expectations are hugely important. If you set high expectations with kids and you give them the right supports, they rise to the challenge. I often thank God for my teacher skills now that I have kids of my own. But it turns out that not everything in motherhood can be likened to a classroom.
This past year was tough. I learned that I am, without shadow of a doubt, not supermom. I cannot fix everything, and there are some challenges I can’t “teacher” my way out of. Unfortunately, there are some challenges that just are. They’re not there as a test, they’re not there as a milestone, they simply exist. Nobody likes not having the answers, and nobody likes to fail. But some failing (and flailing) is inevitable in this parenting thing.
It’s about time I learn to fail with a little more grace and a lot more compassion.
You know that saying that life is about the journey, not the destination? I feel that so hard right now. With two small humans underfoot, it’s such a wild ride, and it comes with detours. I need to be ok with the flailing. There is no destination, and it’s ok to lower the bar.
So what if we embrace our own imperfection and all the imperfections of our life? What if we rejoice in them? I’m here for the journey. Happy New Year Mamas.