I tried to speak in a kind voice. But I wanted to yell, “Leave me alone!”
I wrested inwardly over something that seemed ridiculous. “Why can’t I ever do what I want to do!?”
Sounds delightful, eh?
What was I trying to do? Exercise.
I wanted to finished my workout and my son had lots of questions and comments! He wasn’t getting in the way, but my brain was just having a difficult time processing his questions and following the DVD’s instructions.
He wasn’t doing anything wrong.
He is a kid. He has questions and comments. (And funny ones at that!)
As I exercised and answered questions I thought about how I was trying hard to act differently to how I felt. I realized that my expectations were troubling me. Why should I expect to workout uninterrupted unless I’ve made provisions for that to happen? (I was not following my own advice!)
If I had told him to play in his room and not interrupt me I would have grounds for being a little frustrated. But I didn’t do that. I just popped the DVD in and hoped for the best.
While I was mulling all of this over, my daughter, who was staking blocks for the baby to knock over (she was trying to keep her occupied for me), piped up and said,
“I’m not even getting mad because this is what I’m doing it for.”
The “this” she was referring to was the stacking of blocks.
Usually, if she had worked hard to build some sort of block structure and the baby knocked it over, she would be disappointed (and possibly angry). But, today she was building block towers fully expecting to have them knocked over. So it was no big deal.
I smiled to myself as I punched and kicked along to the music, my son joining in beside me. This is what I’m doing it for!
I had children because I wanted children.
They require a lot from me. I invest in them daily. Sometimes I do it well, many times I don’t.
This was a good reminder for me to be careful with my expectations. To reach for the best, but to also live in reality!
It is not fair to allow my un-realistic expectations to cause frustration. Instead I need to roll with the punches. And if I really want to work out un-interrupted, then I need to set that up ahead of time.
Awesomeness. Loved this because I tend to set up everyday like that – expectations are waay too high. Unreachable!
I keep trying to clean and fold laundry and every time I set to do it, someone needs me (I have 5 children). It gets frustrating!
But yes, like you said, I need to roll with the punches. I wanted these beautiful children, too. You said it perfectly – they require a lot from me. The sooner I realize that the better!
Thanks so much for this! 🙂
I was going through some old posts and saw this comment from you. Obviously I never responded to it! But, I just wanted to say thank you for leaving such thoughtful, kind comments. You have always been so encouraging.
I really needed this. We are in the throes of toddler-dom, and it is so so hard for me right now. But I love her with all my heart, and no matter how frustrated I get I remember that. Thank you.
The throes of toddlerdom can be very tough! Looking back, it passes so quickly. From reading your blog, I know you are serious about doing your best! Keep up the good work 🙂
Workouts are my huge point of mama frustration. Lately, my 7 month old son goes down for a nap (he’s not a good sleeper, so this is not a dependable thing), and I go for a DVD workout…and I get 5 minutes in and then he wakes up. Argh!!! I’m slowly (s l o w l y) getting better at giving up myself, but man, it’s HARD. Thank you for the reminder! He is more precious to me than all the perfect workouts in the world, but it’s hard to remember that when your expectations are off. 😛