Parenting and Expectations

The Next Family

By: Danny Thomas

Parenting,

Lately,

has been about

adjusted expectations…

No, not just parenting,

Everything in my life.

And not just lately.

But always…

Here’s a message the universe sent me recently

About adjusted expectations:

I wanted to take a shower.

It was Sunday afternoon,

Two days after Thanksgiving.

I had been on vacation,

So to speak.

I needed a shower.

Fin had been helping me fold laundry;

She was in tow.

She may have even led me into the bathroom,

For a potty break.

(She’s good at the “break” part.

The potty is getting there.)

Anyway,

We are in the bathroom together…

She’s half undressed,

And wants to play in the sink,

In fact, I think by playing in the sink

She managed to soak her shirt, her last remaining piece of clothing.

She’s enjoying playing in the water.

Of course she is –she’s two; playing in water makes her brain grow….

“Wanna take a shower?”

“Yes, Please.”

(Understandable enthusiasm!)

Here is the adjusted expectation.

On another day, a day when I was feeling…

Less…

Or down, or overstrained…

I could easily view this as an invasion of my privacy

As a burden

A cross to bear…

And yet,

On this day I was able to delight in it.

The joy of water play.

The joy of getting clean.

The joy of sharing time with my family.

Fin and I had an awesome shower.

She continued to play in the water

While I got out and dried off.

Adjusting my expectations.

Expectation: a shower is best as alone time.

Expectation: for time to be restorative, I need to spend it alone, or
without my children.

Expectation: that a shower, a chore, or any other event must fall in a scheduled time or be part of a routine.

Expectation: Showering with my kid is a chore and takes away from the experience.

But, in that moment on Sunday afternoon the reality was totally different.

Reality: A shower can be a positive shared experience.

Reality: Time with my children can also be restorative.

Reality: Variation from the routine is okay, and sometimes great.

Reality: Showering with my kid was a lot of fun!

I guess I feel like

Expectations

Are like judgment,

And are part of a system that is hard-wired in our brains…

Being in the moment is not,

As far as I can tell,

letting go of expectations,

But having the ability to

Constantly and rapidly adjust expectations.

Redefine judgments…

.

[Photo Credit: Flickr image: Martin-James]

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