Is lowering our expectations the key to banishing mummy guilt?

Sometimes it’s ok to lower your expectations.

This is my mantra right now.

I started thinking about this recently when I pretty much reached what felt dangerously like breaking point. I’ve literally been forced to re-evaluate.

Life in the Tavender household has been tough in the past six months. Tougher than things have ever been. A husband on a post-kidney transplant rollercoaster fighting to get back to health, a toddler who’s hatred of sleep seems destined to endure into his twenties and a business and household that still need to be run.

Normal things (like exercise, ironing (yawn), catching up with friends, etc) have simply had to be put to one side at times. Many times. We’ve had absolutely no choice.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you this for sympathy. We’re bloody lucky. We’ve got incredible support and we’ve got our heads down, determined as ever, to get through to the other side.

(My husband, by the way, is as close to a real-life superhero as you’ll ever come across…so no worries about how he’ll be when all of this drama subsides!)

I’m telling you this because it’s an example of how sometimes life can just get a bit much and force you to look at why things have become overwhelming.

Yes, there’s the stuff we can’t control, which steals our time and energy. Health, family and unforeseen curveballs. Plenty of us need and want to work and our beautiful children demand so much of our emotional and physical energy. Then there’s the pets and the house, and all the other commitments our lives are filled with.

But then, there are the expectations we place upon ourselves on top of the uncontrollables.

Like how many workouts we can get in this week. Like how many days we can eat clean. Like how show-home-perfect we can get our homes. Like how many dinner parties we can throw.

Maybe if we just eased up on ourselves a bit and *deep breath* took the pressure off a little, life might just begin to be a bit easier.

Having written those words, it seems so bleeding obvious, right?

And we’ve all probably advised someone we know who’s in meltdown mode that they could help themselves just by giving themselves a break (or even agreed with someone when they’ve said the same to us).

The pressure we put on ourselves to be, do, and have the things we expect for ourselves and our lives are perpetuating the guilt. The guilt has crippled me and many of the bloody awesome mamas I know and love.

And we don’t deserve it.

Because we can rarely live up to our own expectations….since they’re wildly unrealistic in the first place.

We’re screwed from the word go.

I’m not in any way trying to advocate shunning our ambitions or desires. We’re lucky to live in a land of opportunity where we can create incredible futures for ourselves and our families. We should want the very best this life has to offer. And we should want to be as fit and healthy as possible so we can experience it all with the most energy.

All I’m saying is that every so often, we should flip the mummy guilt the finger and know this:

We’re all trying to do the best we can, and if you take a step back and look at it all, as long as we have our health and our family, (and the occasional glass/es of wine, obvs) life is beautiful.

Previous post

The unsaid #2: Motherhood and the confidence vacuum

Next post

Be kind to yourself, Mama