8 Important Ways Moms Can Surrender Unrealistic Expectations

by | Dec 10, 2019 | Blog

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Take your resolution list and give me grace. It’s about that time. Time to lose that weight, judge ourselves, and add even more to our overflowing to-do lists. Everyone does it, right? I mean who doesn’t want to be “better?” Not I friends, not I. This year I resolve to throw the mile-long unrealistic resolution list out the door. Because life in all its messy, unattractive glory is beautiful and so are we. It is time to give ourselves a little grace and embrace the season of life we are in.


Here are the ways I am going to let go of unrealistic expectations and embrace the here and now this year:

  1. To be genuinely proud of the store-bought snacks purchased thirty minutes before the class party I forgot about . . . again. Since we’re delving deep into the honest here, friends, let’s all give a slow clap to the working moms walking into the shark tank of Pinterest-worthy homemade delights. If it’s between an extra two hours of sleep or intricately carved oranges, always choose sleep. Mommy tried child, she tried.

  2. To feel zero guilt about spending a grocery trip budget on a swank date night with the husband. There is simply no substitute for a night out to remind drool-covered parents all over the world of the reasons they got together in the first place. There is, however, a price tag. Reigniting the old flame is always worth it.

  3. To mantra “it’s only for a season and seasons change” each time the PCS paperwork cues the crazy in our lives. Whether you find yourself with a less than thirty-day window to ship cross-country or are rationalizing normalcy when this year means two moves in six months, do try to remain calm. Overwhelm is the understatement of the year, but it’s critical to remember that this season, like all seasons, will change.

  4. To choose more mommy playdates over clean houses. If you feel like you’re failing for not having an allergen-free dinner on the table promptly at six, with a sparkling clean house full of perfectly hospitable children, join the club. Agree to choose one task on the list and do it well for the day. This is currently being written with laundry, toys, and parts of dinner strewn all over the floor like a Picasso.

  5. To show up for myself whether at five a.m. with weights in the garage or ten p.m. with a glass of wine. Mamas, sweet mamas, this might be the year in which it makes logical sense to NOT drop anything but the weight of the long day you just had. Self-love is both mental and physical health. It’s naps and ice cream and Barre class and always extra coffee. This year show up for yourself however and whenever you need it without feeling the pressure or guilt.  

  6. To ask for help, unafraid of the raw and realness of my request.  “Can you watch my kids for an hour or two” does not have to be a dirty set of words. It doesn’t mean you can’t hack it and believe me you deserve it. Whether you’re raising one human or four, there’s no yardstick for judging when and how often simple breaks for fresh air are needed for sanity.

  7. To fully accept we will more than likely be late for the foreseeable future. When I show up to the doctor’s appointment fifteen minutes late with two runny noses, four requests for snacks, and bodies darting in every direction, I somehow feel the need to apologize for the tardiness. Instead, this year I fully plan to flop my haphazard belongings down on the counter and say with pride, “we made it.”

  8. To know that whether I am working or staying at home, my children are loved, which is all that matters. At home, you feel like you’re failing yourself. At the office, you loathe your ambition and hard work as if they are sucking the credibility of motherhood right out of your body. Stay or work, it never seems to be perfect. Whatever you choose to go back to work this year or later this decade, at the end of the day, remember that those impossible parenting standards you set for yourself are a sign of deep and unfaltering love.


In the last decade, I’ve been every mom. The single mom, stay-at-home mom, working mom, and homeschool mom. All seasons with different feelings and expectations both from myself and the world around me. Being all these moms has taught me that no single phase is perfect. It’s living all these lives that has taught me that more than needing to add another resolution to my list, my goals need to both be obtainable and realistic to the phase of motherhood I’m in today. My walk and my life is my story. A story which was designed to be beautifully unique and full of grace.

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Samantha Peterson is a freelance writer and storytelling photographer. She uses military life as a platform for unique opportunities to travel with her family nearly every weekend. Determined to ‘live a thousand lives,’ she’s tackling every path life has to offer. Their on-the-road lifestyle can be found though their blog or Instagram.

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