Saturday, 11 January 2014

Word of the Week: Expectations

This week I have been a victim of my own expectations. They are self imposed so no sympathy needed, just a kick up the butt is needed. 

This week we have walked up hills, in rain and really very far. We have been to two new physical baby activities. We have washed two weeks of clothes. We have cooked and eaten from fresh ingredients on all but two days for all three meals a day. We have played with new toys. We have tripped into Central London and wondered around a gallery. We have socialised with our friends and made new ones. 

But still I feel I am not doing enough, that I am letting down my husband and baby by not having a cleaner house, by not having fresh food on all days and by going to bed so early I barely see my husband when he returns from work. 

Who sets these expectations? Who is watching me and assessing me? Who is a bit of a mess because of the above?


It's all me. I set these expectations. I am watching myself and assessing myself as failing and I am a bit of a mess this week because of it. I am knackered, I am stressed. I went to the dentist with tooth ache to be told my teeth are fine but stress is making my jaw seeze up and ache. 

I need to give myself a break, lower my self imposed, impossibly high expectations and realx. It is making me stressed and this is impacting on how I spend time with my baby. 

I sit during dinner and the increasing amount of food dropped on the floor just makes me frustrated. 

When L is being clingy and fussy due to teething or tiredness I lose patience and find it hard to keep a clear head.

Yes the house is a mess. Yes sometimes dinner is curtesy of the fish and chip shop. Yes this weeks ocado shop was a total failure due to forgetting to check out my edited basket. Yes the washing up pile gets higher before it gets cleared.


I have a happy social baby who loves being out and exploring.

I have my health and due to the walking a returning fitness.

I have a husband who loves me and is incredibly patient with my melt downs and tears. 

So expectations which are self imposed and so high I can't help buy fail are finished with. I need to set them aside. Start daily to do lists which are achievable so that I feel a sense of achievement. Start small and build up.

Set aside the expectation that right now I can do it all. Realistically I can not, but that is ok. We eat, we sleep, we learn and we grow. We love and support. We celebrate. We relax. 


  1. You can't do everything, at least not if you want to keep your health & sanity! I think you've got the right idea by creating small, achievable to-do lists so you have got something covered each day, but it's not such a huge task that you end up berating yourself if it's not done. Go for happy, and the rest fits in. Thanks for joining in with #WotW x

  2. Hi there, I too am often guilty of setting my standards so high that the slightest hiccup feels like failure, so you're not alone. And I bet your house really isn't that messy. Patient husbands are a godsend and, as you say, the most important things are that you have a happy baby and you're healthy. I always find the more tense I get, the worse I feel and the more things seem to go wrong. I know it's easier said than done but try to relax and not let your mind run on overtime - I know how draining that is and it's rarely worth it.

  3. Reading your post reminded me of a poem I've seen posted up in play cafes and have since been trying to find... It seems to exist in various forms but this is the original I think:

    Song for a Fifth Child
    by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

    Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
    Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
    Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
    Sew on a button and make up a bed.
    Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
    She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

    Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
    (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
    Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
    (Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
    The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
    And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
    But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
    Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
    (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

    The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
    For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
    So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
    I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.