Recently, I found myself with a notebook in hand watching my two girls play. (My son was otherwise occupied at Mother's Day Out.)
I've been keeping a notebook in my bag because I'm just old-fashioned like that. It's where I jot anything I need to remember. I'll make to-do lists, write meal plans, keep track of ideas for Christmas gifts, you get the idea.
As the girls played, I found myself making a to-do list. It was already noon so I knew I needed to keep it realistic. Yet, I also knew that the pile of laundry was rather large. Still, I fought the urge to write down "catch up on laundry." Sure, it needed to be done, but it wouldn't get done, at least not in one afternoon. Well, it might if I felt like staying up until the wee hours and sneaking into the kids' rooms after they drifted off to sleep so that I could put their clothes where they belong, but I didn't.
Instead, I wrote, "Wash, dry and fold 2 loads of laundry." That's all I wrote about laundry and it was manageable. I'm learning that keeping my expectations realistic motivates me. Sure, it may not be my ideal to still have three loads of laundry waiting for me in the morning, but that's okay. It's better than not getting the laundry done and also not getting to scratch something off of the day's list.
Also, notice how I didn't include putting away the clothes as part of my expectation. I know from experience that clothes typically get put away in the morning. This way the kids can help. Getting the clothes in baskets folded and on the floor of my bedroom is good enough.
So, I guess you could say that this week I learned that expectations don't have to be the same as my ideals. That is something that doesn't come easy to a perfectionist.