A dear friend of mine once said that expectations are always what ruin us. It seems that with each new challenge in life I learn, once again, how true that is. This time around I have created for myself a whole new set of expectations. Expectations about how long it should take Soren and I to figure out nursing, or how much time I should hold Soren each day, or how I should network with other new moms, or how quickly I should lose my baby weight...and it goes on and on. It's amazing to me when I reflect on all of these "shoulds" that I am the one who inflicts this prison, this rat race upon myself. No one is pushing these standards in my face. Of course there are the judgmental strangers offering motherhood advice or the biased parenting books that have their formulas. But if I am free from my own expectations then I can take the world's words with a grain of salt. So at this moment, this is my heart's prayer--that I may free myself from all expectations of what being a mom should look like and offer myself daily doses of grace. Now the trick is to not make this prayer an expectation as well.