Ten years ago, I had a lot of expectations of what pregnancy/motherhood would be like.

I expected that I would get pregnant reasonably easily. It took 2 years and IVF.

I expected that a heartbeat at an ultrasound would equal a baby. It doesn’t.

I expected that since childbirth is something women are “built for,” I would bounce right back. I didn’t.

I expected that breastfeeding would come naturally and be easy. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Anyway, you get the point. In the game of expectation versus reality, I lose. Every time.

The point of all of this is that my daughter—the light of my life—the center of my universe—the miracle that I went to hell and back to give life to—still can’t sleep for shit.

I expected sleepless nights. I did. I remember hanging out with my 4-week old baby in the middle of the night while she frolicked happily in her swing and I propped my eyelids open with toothpicks and feeling like it was okay because this is how it’s supposed to be. Tiny babies don’t sleep through the night. I can handle that. And I did handle it.

Then, I went back to work and had a nervous breakdown because it turns out that it’s really hard to function in the corporate world when you’ve been sleeping in two hour increments for 16 weeks.

Ten months later, I am still getting up with this child 3-4 times a night. Then I get up and head to work so I can adult for 8 hours. And then I come home, feed my family, play with my child, put her to bed and start the whole process all over again a few hours later.

This was not my expectation. Not at all. At this stage in the game, I anticipated a kid who slept through the night and that I would somehow be a model employee and a parenting magazine cover-worthy mother while also maintaining my status as a kick ass wife.

Hello reality. Meet my bitchslap.

I have given up on sleep. I have given up on parenting magazine covers. I have given up on ladder-climbing (I’ll just doze here on my current rung for a bit). I’m actually working a bit on the wife part, but let’s face it—kick ass is probably a level I won’t be reaching anytime soon.

I think I’ve reached a point in my life where it’s time to start lowering my expectations. A lot. At 25, it’s healthy to have high expectations—but if I don’t lower that damn bar a bit at 35, I’m just going to end up with a broken hip and arthritis.

So here we go. My new batch of lowered expectations:

Screw sleeping through the night. I expect that my child will wake up at least 3 times after 11 pm.

Screw losing the baby weight. I expect that my jeans will be tight because I am using sugar as a crutch.

Screw being a model employee. I expect that I will be late 4/5 days a week.

Screw the healthy organic food for my toddler. I expect that my child will refuse to eat the meals I have lovingly spent hours prepping and accept that there may just be a crap ton of frozen pancakes in my future.

Screw having a social life. I expect that I will continue to dodge social obligations out of sheer exhaustion indefinitely.


11 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. Yes, I’ve also lowered my expectations! It has done wonders for my mental health to be honest, lol.

    And Evelyn is 3.5 years old and still doesn’t sleep through the night most nights. Last night she slept from 7:30-4:30 and that was a MIRACLE. Usually it’s a couple times each night. It sucks, but I’m used to it and gave up on hope.

  2. We used a sleep consultant….it was the best money spent. I just completed training to become a sleep consultant myself. Hoping to be certified and up and running in the next few weeks. I’d love to help you! I’ll be doing some introductory offers. I’ll post on my blog once I’m ready. I’m happy to recommend the girl I used if you wanted someone right away!! There is hope I promise!!!!

  3. I am here with you after 6 weeks with a toddler. 6 weeks! How sad is that?! Today M and I fought over me buying him a $44 pair of pants because he got his shorts wet at the park. ;/ Hang in there and here is to modified expectations.

  4. Zzzzz… I hear you. I’d love to tell you it gets better, but I think there’ll always be ups & downs, and new challenges to replace the old – right when we think we get the hang of something. We have had ok success with the happy sleeper stuff with K, but with M we’re still struggling. I recently had a consultation with Alexis from https://www.preciouslittlesleep.com/ – I have often read her blog and like her a lot. We’re working on a tailored plan for M. Good luck in whatever you try. I hope things settle down. Xx

  5. I don’t wanna be a pessimist here but I did quit my job – which I took forever to get in these foreign lands where someone coming from a 3rd world is NOT expected to work for a big company rather than fry burgers somewhere – not ONLY because I couldn’t function after not sleeping for 4 hours straight EVER but, that fact did help.
    On the bright side, the girls are gonna be 3 soon and I read somewhere that by the time they are 6, they should be sleeping just fine!
    Just 3 and a half more years to go, people!
    Oh, and I can’t even get my fat feet through my old jeans at this point!
    Should we be in a magazine cover and warn people about this? hahaha

  6. So I’m desperately trying to clean up my email, again, which I just redownloaded onto my phone after having it wiped, because I don’t have enough time in my life to read email let alone blogs, and I come across this entry, and I realize I really need to make fucking time to read your shit because holy cow I get this on EVERY LEVEL. EVERY ONE. JOEY WENT TO SLEEP AT 9:30 LAST NIGHT. WTAF. (And he still woke at…4:00. 😑)

    Solidarity, mama. Solidarity. I agree with all of this. You’re not alone. Lots of hugs and chocolate and wine from here, to you. 💜

  7. As soon as i realized that my house will never be my standard of clean again, i realized that expectations are just…disappointing. The only thing I’m expecting now is to fuck shit up at least 4 times a day, and if i don’t……..who am i kidding! Of course I will! Kids still alive….#winning

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