Personal Files: Maybe It's Time to Change My Expectations?

Relationships, SMALL CHANGES

Serious mom fun>



Oh man, you guys, I am trying to figure this all out. Puh-lease, tell me I’m not the only one whose house looks like it’s been ransacked by thieves who decided they’d pass on anything Elmo. I can literally count fourteen different piles of junk from where I’m sitting and I can pretty much guarantee they’re all going to end up in one giant pile, which, in turn, is going to get shoved into the back bedroom before the sitter gets here. Because I’m nothing if not efficient. If our surroundings are a metaphor for our lives, well, you can get a pretty good idea of how chaotic things feel right now.

Now don’t get me wrong! My life is filled with super-fun stuff – trips and visitors and projects and all really good things, but what I wouldn’t give for just one day alone to simply get things done and, holy crap, when did I turn into my mother? It’s like I’m up against a never-ending to do list whose only goal is to keep me in a state of constant, mild anxiety so I’m never fully present.

And, I’m trying to give myself a little breathing room as I figure out how to incorporate Fabulistas into my everyday life. But cutting myself slack is not a place where I feel comfortable. I’d much rather set unobtainable goals and then beat myself up when I can’t reach them because life and being a mom/wife/friend/sister/daughter/housecleaner/errand gal/fire put-ter out-ter comes first. Which is how our lives are set up right now (how we chose to set up our lives up right now so I have the time to hang out with my daughter) so that things like blogging regularly and growing my business might take a bit longer than I’d like.

Part of the problem is my expectations haven’t fully made the transition to parenthood. I’m still holding myself to the same standards as my pre-Alice self when I had nothing but time to work and yoga and sleep (or at least it looks like that in retrospect). Things are a bit – oh, I don’t know – different now and perhaps it’s time to let go of antiquated expectations in the same way I’ve let go of minis and tube tops. Some things just don’t fit like they once did.

Maybe it’s time to realize my house is never going to be entirely clean at the same time, I’m not actually going to get out the Christmas cards from last year, and it’s okay if my college jeans still don’t fit because they didn’t button before Alice so let it go, Kara! Because the important things – spending time with my parents and sisters, adventuring with Alice, laughing with Chris, hanging out with friends – are getting done.

I know that I’m working as hard as I can (literally every minute of every day it feels like) to live a full life, to keep our family moving forward, to give my daughter a hilarious childhood, to keep the damn lights on, and I know all of you are too. I’m not sure how this is going to play out (suggestions, anyone?), but how about we start with this? I promise if I come by your house tomorrow and you have a huge pile of whatever sitting in your front room I will say nothing, and together we will slowly push it into the back room where we can shut the door, pour ourselves a glass of champagne, and sit down to a nice, long chat.


  1. Kathryn says:

    All I have is a dog and a cat and I can barely keep it together. Cut yourself some slack – you’re amazing!

  2. Penne says:

    Sounds to me like you have it exactly, perfectly, splendidly figured out. Your sweet girl and your cute husband are what matter. Time for laughs and cuddles and books and even Elmo will all be gone before you know it, so just sit in the middle of the mess and enjoy. Once when my boys were toddlers and we visited my mom they’d gotten hand prints all over her glass door. I hustled to clean it and she stopped me… “Please. I miss little hand prints.” Give yourself a break. You’re a beautiful fabulous mom. If someone judges you on your house and not the happiness of your child, well then, I say don’t have them over anymore.

    • Kara says:

      You’re making me all teary. That is such a great story and one that I’m going to print out as a reminder (and maybe turn into a poster:) ). I’m going to sit in the middle of my mess tonight and just look around and enjoy… Thanks, Penne.

  3. Shawna says:

    From where I am sitting you have it ALL figured out – perfect hair and all.

  4. Shannon says:

    You have your health and a perfect family babe! Your doing perfectly fine! When the days get overwhelming and the mess is up to my knees (every bloody day!) I think stuff it- cant beat it, I’ll just join it! I sit on the floor and play my guts out! My fav saying- You’re here so you might as well dance! – goes thru my mind regularly! Squeeze Alices gorgeous baby thighs and take deep breaths and plan a trip to Oz!!!! Yay! Love you and miss you more than you know lady!!!!!! Xxxxxxx

    • Kara says:

      Yes! We might as well dance! 🙂 We’re actually really good at that part – it’s more the other stuff that never gets done that is what gets to me. I’m getting better about it though at learning to breathe and let go… Not so easy for this Type A gal. 😉 I would LOVE to come to OZ. I need a bit of your wisdom in person, my lovely!

  5. Lotte Juel Ellerbaek says:

    Oh Kara – loved reading it and let me tell you, I have 3 boys and the piles, well they only get bigger….
    I feel exactly how you feel and I think that is the main joys of motherhood :).
    You know what Mothers make the world go around and so do WE. Wish we lived closer would have loved to help you shovel and have champagne with you.
    Lots of love
    Lotte 🙂

    • Kara says:

      Oh, Lotte, you are so sweet and I can’t believe you have three boys! I’m raising my virtual glass of champagne to you. 🙂

  6. jacin says:

    that alice pic is priceless. please frame asap 🙂

    i give moms so much credit – i can barely manage with a dog, nevermind a human!!!! i bet you’re the best mom ever 🙂

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