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Choosing Joy: Lowered Expectations

First, you should go read this. Go ahead; I’ll wait right here.

Finished? I love what Heidi has to say about being the type of woman who wants to finish work before allowing herself to play. And trust me; I know her in real life. She is like that. Not rigidly so, but she does command a tight ship, so to speak. But I love to see her growing in this area, because I am, too.

I am definitely a recovering perfectionist. I like everything in its place and a place for everything. I love my lists, my paper planner, checklists, Sharpie pens and crossing things off my “to do” lists. I have grand visions of a daily schedule where the day is divided into fifteen minute sections and we switch activities seamlessly and Little Man moves from learning activity to learning activity and is groomed into this genius well behaved child.


Well, as most of the country has been, the past few days we’ve been buried in our house under snow and cold weather. We’ve watched a lot of television, played a lot of wii games and not done a whole lot of anything.

I had initially planned this week as a review week of sorts, in terms of homeschool. We had taken most of December off because of holidays, sickness and other things popping up here and there. I’ve been fairly non-structured, surprisingly, when it comes to homeschool. I think I am resisting because I don’t want to admit LM is growing up 🙂

Anyway. I have a point. What was it?

Oh! Yes! Joy!!

I have been noticing that if I let go of my expectations, I am much more likely to find joy. So…laundry didn’t get finished today, but I played bowling with my son and he was thrilled? Joy! The dinner dishes sat a little longer but the three of us had giggle fits playing an after dinner game of Chutes and Ladders? Joy!

I am not talking about completely abandoning my responsibilities as a wife and mother. But I am talking about cutting myself some slack. I think it’s in the margin there where I will find the most joy. I realize that there are things that I cannot slack around in, and that as LM grows older I will have to institute more and more structure. But for today, when the school system is in its third snow day after two weeks of Christmas break? We’ll make peanut butter birdseed squirrel treats, play in his indoor tent and do sticker sheets. Reviewing the letters he’s learned so far can wait a few more days.

2 thoughts on “Choosing Joy: Lowered Expectations

  1. I've struggled with the amount of screen time my son has in the course of the day/week. I've realized I have to let it go a little bit because it makes me a crazy person if I'm constantly stressing/feeling guilty about it. The truth is we do make efforts to do other things (read, play games, build legos, etc.) with him. I definitely have built these idealistic ideas about raising my son and am trying to learn how to let some of it go. I want him to remember happiness and love…not how many rules or restrictions he had placed on his activities while growing up. Thanks for this post!


  2. Thank you! I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who struggles in this area. It is easy to find ways to criticize ourselves and how we handle our days, managing our responsibilities. I'm trying to let go of my expectations so my son has a low stress environment to live inside.


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