One of the most challenging aspects of being a mom is managing the expectations of yourself and others. Motherhood is a world of compromise, flexibility and negotiations. It’s a balancing act between doing what you want to do and doing what you have to do.

One of the most practical ways that you can achieve balance is by modifying the expectations that you place on yourself and others. Unless you have a cape, or can morph yourself into a supernatural creature that allows you to be everything to everyone, you’ll have to recognize and embrace your limitations. But the good news is, when you manage your expectations, you can forget about being everything to everyone, and focus on being the best you, you can be.

Wondering how to get your parental expectations under control? Here are some tips for how:
1. Let go of the guilt! Just because you feel guilty, doesn't mean you are guilty. If you are doing the best you can do, that's really all you have control of. It's not that you don't want to go to your son's baseball game. The reality is you can't be there and at your daughter's doctor appointment at the same time.
2. Think outside the box. If you're struggling with trying to meet two sets of expectations, think creatively! While you can't make it to your daughter's art show because you have be to at your son's parent teacher conference, suggest sending her with a video camera and a trusted family friend to capture the event for you two to watch later.
3. Identify your limitations. Don't be afraid to embrace your limitations! When you understand what your limitations are, you are able to effectively work within them. When you acknowledge that you can't say yes to being the room mother, you are freed to find other ways you can be involved.
4. Forget about the Smiths. Like a fingerprint, each family is unique. Resist the urge to compare your family and how you do things to others. Instead, focus on being the best family you can be. While you may not have the brand new minivan, like the neighbors, make yourself a family that takes the best care of the car they have.
5. Embrace support. Motherhood doesn't have to be a one-woman show. Whether you are single, married or divorced, create a solid support system for yourself. Look to your local church, moms group and your community to build your own "momtourage."

While we are all, at one time or another, tempted to be everything to everyone, when we put our superwoman capes down, manage the myriad of expectations, we are better able to be the best moms we can be.
How do you manage your expectations? What tips do you have for balancing the expectations scale?

Author's Bio: 

© 2011 by Dr. Caron B Goode, NCC, DAPA.
Dr. Goode is the founder of the Academy for Coaching Parents International, a global online school for training successful, wealthy parenting coaches in home-based businesses. She is the author of fifteen books, including the international best seller, Kids Who See Ghosts, the national award-winner Raising Intuitive Children. See and review all of Dr. Goode’s books here.