No Expectations Challenge – Day 3
Yes, this is definitely a test of wills in keeping my mouth shut. Even before starting this challenge, I knew this would be one of my biggest obstacles.
Early this morning, the kids came to me with the request to begin doing chores again to earn some money and to generally help out around the house.
Normally, I would start making mental bets on how long this would last because I had expectations from this specific type of task from them. And because thoughts seem to involuntarily float around in my head, I had to come up with responses to any of my negative generic thoughts.
- They are children, so use this as a teaching moment
- This is how this person does such and such making it work for them.
- This situation is neither good nor bad, do not attach yourself to the outcome.
By having no expectation, I allowed myself to relinquish control of how they went about doing their chores. I then saw 3 of them start collaborating and working together on certain tasks. As soon as I backed away and let them figure it out, the easier it was for everyone involved.
I reminded them that I’m not going to hound them about getting their jobs done but will say one thing at the end of the night. If it doesn’t get done, that’s ok, but they can’t roll over chores to the following day.
This is their idea and while I will support them, my approach is to come at this day by day and not let their work effect my attitude about any of this. If I go in with a deadline or even a guesstimate of how long this will go on then it defeats the purpose for all our sakes. On the flip side, if I over-exaggerate to believe this could become a life long habit, it will also be detrimental to the activity and my challenge.
Having expectations is something ingrained into my being, even as I sit here wanting to write in peace, I am interrupted no less than 5 times. Because I came into this task thinking I would be able to do it in its entirety, I became frustrated with the children who disrupted my train of thought.
- Reminder: They are children who want your attention.
- Teaching moment for all: Breathe, Mom. Then say please give me 5 minutes to finish in silence and then I will be right with you.
This is teaching us all patience in different ways but it is making me let go of the disappointment I felt about my quiet writing time being barged in on by my children who I didn’t inform about my whereabouts. Next time, I will give them a heads up instead of sneaking away.
I caught myself more than a dozen times today being ultra aware of my thoughts and comments. This brain work is going to be intense to get the results I want.
Oh man, even that is an expectation. Rewind, Start over.