So for me, giving up on my expectations in this situation means surrendering my idea of what it looks like to be the perfect mom. I wasn't born with the wisdom to know how to raise my children well, or with the self-discipline and consistency to carry it out when I do know. I need to seek regular wisdom and direction from God and any other solid sources I can get my hands on. I have to drown out the voices that tear me down and make me feel hopeless, and cling to the truth of who God is and what exactly he wants from me. Needing growth and learning from trial and error doesn't disqualiy me. On the contrary, surrendering myself to the refining fires of motherhood and allowing them to be a platform for growth puts me in the best place to become excellent, even under pressure. And lastly, if I'm breaking under the pressure of all my self-imposed expectations... I need to extend grace to myself just like I would to anyone else, pick my battles wisely, and allow myself to feel God's love and acceptance in the midst of my humanity. Instead of living in fear and anxiety every day, I will carry the little bit of weight that I can and let God shoulder the rest. He holds my future, he holds my children's future, he holds the weight of the world that's eventually going to burn whether or not I try to conserve water by not taking long showers and giving my kids baths every day or not.
That means I don't have to carry everything by myself anymore. I give up, happily. I can be human, I can ask for help, I can feed my kids cheerios if that's what I have, I can freak out when I'm sleep deprived and not feel like a horrible person...... oh, this list goes on and on in a good way. A happy, surrendering way. I'm not throwing my hands up on excellence, but I am throwing my hands up on unrealistic, perfectionistic, idealistic, impossiblistic(!), unnecessarily strict expectations. Where the line lies, only God knows.. but I plan on staying in touch with him so I think I'm going to be ok.