Every year we are inundated with expectations and advice. Expectations from society, from family, and worst of all – from ourselves. Mothers in particular often have very high expectations, and I’m willing to guess that a lot of that comes from inside.\nThis year, for Mother’s Day, I wanted to share some insight. There will be plenty of other blogs and articles focused on how-tos and abstract philosophies of self-help or motivation. These are all great things, but I believe the focus is lost.\nI want to share in some of these things too, but with a spin. Let’s talk about you.\nWhat I don’t want to do is write another blog that piles on more expectations. I could give you a “Top 5 Ways to Make Your Life More Complicated” but that just doesn’t feel right.\nWhat I do want to talk about is how to help you realistically. What that means is a lot more questions for you to ponder and a lot less unsolicited advice from me. You’re the only person who knows you best and what you can do. My goal is to lighten the load for your journey, not to weigh it down with more stuff!\nThere are two things that are on my heart right now that I think are universally important for every mom. They both come down to health, in food and relationships. \nI love the idea of sneaking vegetables into my children’s meals. It’s age old, it’s genius, and it looks different for everyone. Think about the kinds of meals you typically make. Where can you hide a veggie in that? You know your kitchen and your abilities best. What small steps can you make to challenge your current methods of cooking without taking on massive projects that only increase expectation? However small, however seemingly useless the step may be, I promise you it is not. If you need help, there are many resources. One of my absolute favorites is a recipe from Jessica Seinfeld. It’s a neat little trick of blending spinach into brownies. The darkness of the chocolate camouflages the spinach perfectly and even the pickiest of eaters can never tell! Tried and tested on my very own children and passed with flying colors. Check out Jessica Seinfeld’s new book Food Swings if you haven’t already! \nThere is no such thing as having extra time. You have to make it. But how can you do that? How can you carve out time in your day to spend with family? It’s such an important aspect in our relationships to one another yet somehow it seems to manage to slip away. What can you do to spend more time with the family without sacrificing the important things on a busy schedule? What trivial things could you sacrifice to make more time?\nWhat stuff in your life is not actually as important as it seems on the surface? Is that expectation more of a fancy or a reality? I think these are big, important questions we have to ask ourselves as moms every day.\nDon’t get me wrong. I do not think we should lower our expectations. We should mold our expectations to meet reality. \nI want to wish you a very happy Mother’s Day. I encourage you to allow yourself to put the phone away, take time to play with your children, and relax this year!