Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Setting boundaries.

A change of pace...but, please stay!

Hey parents, did you find that once you became a parent, it was easier to set boundaries or limitations for yourself? If you aren't a parent, I'm curious, what was your catalyst? This is something that I've been thinking about this past week--you know, in between struggling with "what hell is the deal with the Easter bunny anyway?' and scraping hardened dough off the Kitchen Aid.

While it seems most of my current life is spent setting boundaries for my precocious little one ("No, despite your wailing you may not wear the dinosaur pajamas to bed that are currently covered in jelly"), one of the most surprising things to me as a parent is that it's been easier than ever to put up some boundaries for myself ("No, you don't need to dye Easter eggs with beets and onion skins or whatever else Martha is doing these days, the $1.88 Paas kit is just fine!" and "No, the coworkers do not need homemade scones just because it's Monday"). Boundaries seem to equal more sanity and less stress which means I enjoy life more. I used to say Yes to everything and everyone and I have no issues saying No now. It's a beautiful thing.

It's no coincidence I'm mentioning this as we ramp up for another holiday weekend. I adore hosting holidays and couldn't be happier being surrounded by friends and family in my home--the more the merrier in my mind, but having a baby was the only thing that made me simplify holidays a bit. The best part of this change is that I don't feel I have sacrificed any part of myself (seriously, I cannot handle those who assume the role of The Martyr Mother), I just simply became realistic in my expectations. How? Having The Boss made me learn to have almost no expectations about how anything would go from that point forward. That is saying a lot from a control freak. I'm not saying there aren't ever situations where I want to be in control, but there are far more situations that I'm completely fine if I'm not. The rest of my life followed suit, not just the parenting aspect. As a result of becoming ok with boundaries I set for myself, I feel like I am getting really balanced. It's like I have an internal thermometer (do not insert Butterball turkey timer joke here) that lets me know where I need to make up for lost time. For instance, right now I'm feeling like I need some friend and hobby time and would like to ditch laundry for about eight to ten years (or infinity), but I'm really well rested, healthy, and connected to my family.

So, in the spirit of balance, this Easter, I am probably going simpler than ever.
This glaze will be on the ham. I'm thinking this dessert will be delicious, and Grammy's pierogies will be part of the fare as well. Everything else is at the whim of the other guests and no doubt it will be perfect. If it's not, I hope I'll be too busy enjoying myself to notice.

I know I hinted at a pierogie recipe here last week and really, I swear, I'm getting there. I have been looking at what I scratched down as my sidekick would yell stuff like "she said 1/2 cup, but I just saw her add another!" It's not easy being an apprentice. Of course I already know that I am not the boss either!

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I too have experienced this lessening of expectations for the sake of my own sanity. I know I can get crazy again later, and decided to only eat fresh homemade pasta some day. But right now Barilla does a fine job.

Now Mrs T... she might have a little more competition!