So much stress comes from living by other people’s expectations. And too often we only have ourself to blame for taking them on.
A few months ago I sat in a Mothers Day Tea for my kindergartener. The kids had yet to arrive and it was just a room full of moms, scrunched into their small chairs and desks as we waited for them to arrive. As I began small talk with the mom next to me, she told me all the hours she regularly volunteers at the school. Immediately I felt guilty. I’ve used the excuse of having a 1 year old at home deter me from volunteering. I suddenly felt compelled to let her know why I didn’t volunteer at the school. After listening to my excuse, she revealed that she had 5 kids, 2 of which were still toddlers, and she simply hired a babysitter to watch the ones at home so she could volunteer. My excuse was no longer valid. For two weeks I have let myself feel shame over my choice to not volunteer. I’ve since seen this mom at school functions and have been certain that she must think I’m a total slacker. This week has been especially tough for me in dealing with anxiety. Mainly the anxiety over not being perfect. You know… like not being able to be superwoman and meet all my commitments PLUS volunteer, PLUS do a million other things that aren’t really required either?
Expectations are not one size fits all. The other mom may also have kids at home still, but what on the outside looks like the same circumstance isn’t always the case. So many other factors play into our individual life that determines not just what we are personally capable of, but what is actually most needful and important for us personally to spend our time on in this current season. I have carried unnecessary shame and guilt over not being able to live up to her personal expectation for HER. Her expectation doesn’t fit me. Because it wasn’t custom fit with the measurements of all the other pieces of my life right now. Today I set my own expectation for me that is custom fit. I let go of her expectation. Things are feeling so much more comfortable. #reallifebalance #setyourownexpectations #letgofotherpeoplesexpectations #customfit