Expectations vs. Reality when it comes to homemaking and homeschooling. What is it like in your home? Do you look at Instagram and see all the perfect spaces, the perfect children? No mess, no clutter? You know that isn’t reality though, right? I need to make that clear right now. It is not reality!
Do not have the expectation of a clutter free, completely spotless home.
People often put the best of themselves on social media. They do this for a couple of reasons. First, they don’t want people to see any problems in their lives. Obviously, most people want to portray themselves in the best possible light. We all do it. It isn’t bad. When it becomes bad is when you look at this “best moment” and think it is an “everyday moment.”
We all have bad days, that is normal life. If you think that someone never has a bad day, that is the wrong thinking to have.
The expectations vs. reality struggle comes to the forefront in homeschooling.
You see all the things that some other homeschool mama is doing, and expect that you can do all of those things plus the other things you already do amazingly well. That isn’t accurate. You can’t fall into the comparison trap.
Dealing with Homemaking Expectations vs. Reality
Be firm in what your standards are. What are the things that are most important to you and your family? We talked before about a family purpose statement. Look at that statement and use it as a measure against the pretty pictures.
You may love the look of something, but are you willing to say no to one of your family’s priorities in order to have that other thing?
Nobody is perfect. Nobody is going to do everything the same way. In fact, it is hard to find even one other family that has exactly the same values, homeschool philosophy and lifestyle goals as you. This means that you need to be firm in your own convictions as to what is important.
That is how you deal with expectation vs. reality.
Don’t second guess your decisions. Don’t feel bad because you make different choices. And don’t look at what someone else is doing and wonder how they do it all. They don’t. You don’t need to try to either. It will bring more stress than happiness. Expectations vs. reality can be a losing game. If you decide to accept your current reality you will stop being disappointed!
Adjust your expectations so they match your reality. My expectations are now to have happy kids that are thriving in their environment. Engaged learners that are seeking out new information that is interesting to them (not necessarily to me!). My expectation is that our house is somewhat clean. Clean enough that we can find clean clothes and the school books that we need. Clean enough that when friends drop by we aren’t embarrassed by what they walk into. My expectation is that I have to put things away still because my almost 4-year-old can’t be trusted with them. That’s ok. It is also my reality.
If accepting your current reality is difficult, try to list out all the parts that make you happiest. If there are things that you wish you could do right now, but can’t for whatever reason, let them go. Give yourself permission to let that ideal go. It doesn’t mean you will never get there, but this is a season that it doesn’t fit. That’s OK.
If it is really important, take small steps to change your reality to match your expectation. Just remember that you always say no to something when you say yes to something else. Keep that in mind!
Do your expectations match your reality?