Do you sometimes dream of being a better mom? I often think about the kind of mom that I could be, that I desire to be, that I always envisioned myself being when I was growing up.
And I always seem to fall so short of my idealized version of what this “good” mom would be.
Recently, I have realized that one of the biggest things getting in my way of being the best mom to my kids that I can be isn’t that my kids are so strong-willed, or badly behaved, or even just typical kids. It’s myself.
Yep, I get in the way of me being the best mom that I can be.
You see, I often expect way more of my children than they can realistically be or do at their young age. And I am finding that this is especially true of my son, since he is the youngest.
I expect him to be more like his older sister, even though when I think back, I realize that he is, in most ways, at the same place developmentally as she was at two. And because she was my oldest, I didn’t expect anything more from her at the time.
But for some reason, because my son is the second child, and I see how a child can act, and what they can do at the ages of three and four, those expectations filter down and I find myself expecting the same thing of my two-year old. Which isn’t fair to him, and isn’t good for me as his mama.
I expect that he’ll be able to pick up a room full of messy toys without any supervision or help.
I expect that he’ll be able to eat with his fork and spoon without making much, if any, of a mess (Really, what am I thinking? My daughter still doesn’t do that!)
I expect that he’ll follow the directions the first time I ask, without having to be encouraged or reminded when he gets a little distracted.
And when he doesn’t do these things, or when he even does the opposite of what I expect, I get upset and can’t understand why he acts the way he does.
Um… because he’s two. Sheesh.
And so, because of these unrealistic expectations I place on my toddler, I set him and myself up for failure, and take away the opportunity I have to be the kind of mom that I want to be.
I’ve decided I need to make some new expectations of my son and be very conscious and intentional about dwelling on these reasonable expectations instead of my unreasonable ones.
So, here are 7 realistic things I expect of my toddler.
Do you sometimes find you expect too much of your kids? What is one realistic expectation you can set for your toddler today?
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