Great Expectations

I’ve had a short fuse lately. My patience is meager, at best. I’m not sure if it’s just the compilation of circumstances or the pressure I put on myself or PMS. Whatever it is, it’s keeping me from being the mom I want to be; the mom I think I was before I had #2. I had so much more patience with my older one then. Maybe because she was my sole focus or because she wasn’t testing me as much or because I felt guilty about bringing someone else into the world who would force her to share me (and everything else). But most of all, I think it’s that now I have greater expectations.
My husband used to marvel at my patience for our older one and ask me why I couldn’t exhibit the same with him. My response was, “I don’t expect from her what I do from you and my expectations grow with age”. I never get annoyed at the baby from whom I expect nothing. And I expect a lot now of our almost 3 year old while she’s barely out of the toddler stage. Why do I expect her to act like such a big girl? Why do I think she should snap to and stand at attention like a good little soldier? (ok, paying attention to me sometimes would be nice). I don’t want her to think of me like a drill sergeant, I want her to think of me as her greatest supporter and closest friend. Shouldn’t that start now? Obviously, this is easier said than done and I’m going to have to keep working at strategies to be this wonderful mom creature. I’m not there yet, but with this new mindset, today was better.
I saw myself start to snap today when I heard her water bottle slam to the ground in a parking garage. I was about to say “why’d you do that?” in my stern voice when I realized I already know why. Just to see what would happen. She needs to do these things. She needs to see what consequences will come of her actions. Is a dropped bottle really the worst thing? “No use crying over spilled milk”. I think that saying is really directed towards the moms.
Extrapolating this further and examining why I get upset about lots of things in life really comes back to my expectations. If I have something in my head and it doesn’t work out that exact way, I get disappointed. Going into my surgery and reconstruction, I’m going to have to come up with a way not to envision unrealistic results. As my dad has said, “Expect the worst, hope for the best. That way you’re never disappointed”.

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