The 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner

On Expectations and Standards

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I have a big issue with expectations.

So does my sweet Mr. Chaos.

I regularly feel out of control about most of my life, and I feel completely incapable of creating an environment {clean home, clean car, organized office, etc.} that would be deemed acceptable or expected of an almost-40 year old woman.

I mean, doesn’t everyone else have it figured out by now?

Geesh, Lisa… get with the game here.

Mr. Chaos doesn’t understand why our kids don’t act like little adults all the time, remember the rules and use basic common sense. I will happily remind him that they are children and need years of repetition, then mumble something about him needing to lower his expectations of them. 

I’m completely willing to adjust my expectations of others, even adults, just not myself. So I’m usually pretty disappointed in everything I’ve done. {While I’m perfectly willing to accept that my children are children, the fact that someone thinks they should do better bothers me, and I determine that they are perfectly normal kids – I am just a parenting failure.}

I have struggled with this long before I had children.

There is a difference, however, between standards and expectations and I need to be reminded of it often.

This time, the reminder came from an unexpected, but wonderfully funny, place: the Homeschooling IRL Podcast from Andy and Kendra Fletcher.

Homeschooling IRL Podcast

 

I discovered Kendra and Andy after I started working at The Homeschool Post. Both their blogs were up for awards and Andy, last year’s Best Dad Blog winner, eventually came on board as our first male contributor! We LOVE having a Dad on our team!

I saw a couple of my friends commenting positively about their new podcast so I thought I’d hop over and give it a listen.

The first one I clicked on was Homeschooling is a BuzzKill.

God knew I needed to hear that one, right then. It was, without a doubt, exactly what I needed to hear that day.

As Kendra joked about her high expectations for their day, she suddenly stopped to make a clarification. There was a difference between high standards and high expectations.

stan·dard noun \ˈstan-dərd\

: a level of quality, achievement, etc., that is considered acceptable or desirable standards : ideas about morally correct and acceptable behavior
: something that is very good and that is used to make judgments about the quality of other things

ex·pec·ta·tion noun \ˌek-ˌspek-ˈtā-shən, ik-\

: a belief that something will happen or is likely to happen
: a feeling or belief about how successful, good, etc., someone or something will be

Having high standards is a great thing. Having expectations that are too high and unrealistic, can be crushing in your daily life.

For example, we have a standard of HONESTY in our house.  We, or at least I, have an expectation that my children are in fact children and will try and skew a story if they feel the truth is not in their best interest. It’s my job, as mom, to stop the fibs and also to reassure them that telling the truth is always better, always. It’s also my job to speak truth, setting a good example.

I can have a standard of wanting a tidy home, and we can strive to get there. Realistically, my expectations for the daily condition of our home should be hovering somewhere around “rotating areas of awesomeness, dotted with piles of wearable laundry, with no moldy science projects under furniture”. Yea, that’s more attainable.

Tween Dresser

Acknowledging our family standards is important! It would serve me well to list them out somewhere.

Acknowledging that we have a variety of maturity levels in our home, each requiring its own customized level of expected behavior, is also very, very important to all of us. Expecting the tween to make decisions like me is unfair, just as expecting the three-year-old to know how to clean the crock pot is entirely unfair.

Bird Seen Fail

Remember today, my friends, when you find yourself unclogging the toilet again, or pole vaulting over Mt. Laundry to fall into bed, that there is a difference between having low standards and having realistic expectations.

You’re standards are just fine….. your kids are just fine….. your house is just fine…. and you, you’re doing pretty dang fine too. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Reality is real, and we are all living it.

Don’t be so hard on yourself, you still have time to inch those expectations closer to the goal line, give everyone time to grow and appreciate to progress.

When all else fails, grab some coffee, a piece of chocolate {or two}, and take some time with God. His Love, and Grace, and Mercy NEVER FAIL.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

Preparing to leave

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

This week, we are busy trying to prepare for our trip to South Carolina.
Once again, we are planning a super early {2am} departure, hoping that the kids will sleep for most of the ride.
I have not forgotten the last trip south, or the three children that stayed awake the entire ride, beginning at 4 am.

Each morning, for the past several days, I have made each of our children a list of tiny chores to do. The list continued with some very basic schoolwork to complete, two group chores, and 3 or 4 things to gather for the suitcases.

My hope has been that things would fall together more peacefully if it was tackled in tiny bites. So far, things have gone smoothly.

The point system, that converts to cold hard cash on Friday, is providing a decent level of motivation.

We have accomplished more schoolwork this week than we normally would have finished by Tuesday and their rooms are half-clean.

I haven’t started panicking yet, or crying. Laundry is in constant rotation through the machines and pet sitters have been arranged.

My prayers each morning for patience and progress are being answered, mostly with a yes.

I have two days left to pack, plan hairdos, mend dresses, and memorize the scripture verse I am reading in the wedding.

I can’t make a full list, it’s too overwhelming. I know God with get us in the van on time. I’m going to rest in that and do my best to not fret.

Do you have any tips or tricks for traveling with kids, or for preparing to travel?

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

Able to Learn

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I just sat down to eat lunch, at 3pm. It will take me at least an hour to eat this one sandwich.

I’m sitting her mulling over a conversation I had earlier with a dear friend.

They are in the season of caring for their parents, and I am in the season of caring for my children.

Both are hard.

We joked a little about me taking their dad in exchange for them taking my son; because both of us are feeling a little ‘done’.

Then they said, “at least your kids can learn and do better, my dad can’t.”

I felt awful y’all.

They were right.

My kids grow and learn a little more each day. They still repeat silly kid mistakes but it’s an opportunity to learn.

Their dad is regressing. Every day he forgets something new. Every day he slips closer to being as needy as a newborn.

He has already started saying that he would rather just pass away and be done with it. What fun is life if you can’t remember how to live it.

Every day, my friend comes home from work and spends several hours with their dad. They make sure he has dinner, and the dishes are done, and the coffee maker set for the morning. They try and navigate him towards his Lay-Z-Boy so he doesn’t end up falling asleep sitting at the kitchen bar watching the countertop TV.

They used to take time to remind him of things but now, they just do it for him, knowing the entire day will be forgotten by morning.

Maybe today, I will pause from feeling sorry for the constant repetition that fills my day, and be grateful that my repetitions will eventually result in a lesson learned.

I will be grateful that my hard work will reap positive results.

I will be praying that when I’m old(er), my children will care for me as much as my friends is doing for their dad.

This post may contain affiliate links. Proceeds from affiliate links go towards the cost of hosting the blog and helps to support our homeschool books, supplies, and classes. Thank you in advance for your support! If you would like to read more about our affiliations please see our Disclosures page.

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