Expectations and free passes

Two things happened yesterday that made me think about expectations:

1. I became involved in a Twitter conversation about a 7-week old baby, and what the parents could expect of the baby (in terms of sleeping and not crying) (remember that the peak of crying is 6-8 weeks, and all that info is in the timeline) and of themselves. (I was advocating for cutting everyone a break all around.)

2. Kate Middleton had a baby and we were all watching, and it's been less than 24 hours and we've already seen the baby and seen Kate.

I think we're all expecting way too much of ourselves and each other with regard to parenting, especially parenting little babies. As if we have control over it all, and as if we aren't making trade-offs all the time about what we can do, what we have to do, what's responsible to do, what's better for our children if we do, what maintains our sanity if we do.

It feels like it's probably time for another Free Pass for everyone:


You get a pass when you do something you could have done better. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. You're a good parent, and you do a good job, and when you make a misstep it's just a misstep. Even a whole week of bad days is a week of bad days. You're smart and loving, and you'll figure out how to get into a better pattern.

Your kids are lucky to have you.


Now, comments, confessions, absolutions, laments, offers of hand-holding, primal screams, or a toast to all of us...