Self Love 19 days ago by Liz Adams

Unfiltered and Letting Go

shop the post: SEA puff sleeve midi dress, Loeffler Randall sneakers (sold out)
on Charlie: Vineyard Vines shirt (old), Zara pants (old)

As I type this, I’m watching my children swim in a blow-up pool, naked, in our new front yard. Person after person walking by, Jack yelling, “What’s your name!” and Charlie pretending he is an alligator trying to scare those walking their dogs. This scenario is something I worried about moving to a new place, that their sweet, unfiltered little souls would have to zip up a bit to fit in. I’m quickly realizing those silly boundaries I set in my head for them should be thrown out the window and watching their joy, and the smiles they bring to those walking by, is EVERYTHING.

I was trying to think about these expectations we hold for ourselves and our children. Like there is a specific personality that they should reflect in order for those around them to think they are respectable people. Who set these rules? Who decided what is and is not expected of someone? Somewhere along the way these expectations became so high that people stopped living their lives, that they feel they need a filter in order to be respected or admired and we follow accounts to better ourselves because we’re convinced that the way we do it isn’t enough.

I’ve realized recently that these filtered expectations have seriously fucked us up (sorry for the language). So much of my own inner stress and anxiety is based on what I think I should be doing, how I think I should be raising my kids or how I assume I should act or express myself in certain situations. Let me tell you, no one gets to decide who we want to be, how to behave or how we choose to parent. There is nothing in this world that should ever make you feel that your best isn’t good enough.

A reminder that who you choose to follow on social media is important. We (I) waste enough of my life scrolling through Instagram that if someone isn’t encouraging me or relating to me or cheering me on then I don’t have time. The filtered feeds, perfect feeds, constantly styled and posed feeds just don’t do it for me anymore. What use to inspire me now can sometimes make me feel less than so I’ve chosen to support those people from afar. We are all at different phases in our lives, and my content make not be super relatable to you right now either, and that’s okay! Life is short and wasting your time on wasted time isn’t going to serve you.

I’m kicking myself for trying to silence my loud, usually naked, potty talking boys with the biggest hearts, kindest eyes and sweetest dispositions. I’ve learned that life is so much more enjoyable if you let it all go. Let go of the filters, of what you think you should say or do, of the silly expectations that don’t have to apply to you. And do what you know is best. Be a kind person. Raise your kids to respect others. Build a foundation of trust and compassion and empathy within your family. And laugh! Controlling situations that don’t need to be controlled is exhausting.

So here is to fewer expectations and more living authentic and happy lives! Not that you needed permission to but I’m here to tell you that it’s okay. xoxo

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  1. Liz- this is so true! I was just thinking about the the other day with my now 14 year old son. When he was younger I would have such anxiety because he was, well, a boy!! I wanted him to look his best and say the right things and be the kid everyone says what a nice boy. I have now realized that it has put a strain on our relationship. I always call him the vinegar to my oil! The past year has really improved because I have laid off, but I always think what would it be like if I wasn’t so high stress over how he acted.
    He is such a sensitive boy (hard not to be when he is sandwiched in between 2 sisters.). We still have our moments but he always comes to my room to say good night and he loves me!
    Enjoy those boys! My sister has 3 boys and my mom always told her “There is a special place in heaven for a mom of all boys!”

  2. Every word of this touches my heart. My two are now adults and I have the most precious grandson that I am lucky enough to be part of his days. The time I’ve wasted, and the things I get triggered by catch me up short. Reading your blog today, seeing you and your son on Instagram reminds me of the joy I stay in when I drop others expectations.
    Thank you, Liz.

  3. I read something somewhere (I forget where) but it said “don’t should yourself to death”…this post reminds me of that…too much thinking about what we should do based on someone else’s standard. As long as we’re doing what we believe to be the best for ourselves and our family than there is nothing else we “should” be doing. Great post!

  4. I love this!!! Thank you for the reminder. This pandemic has really made me re-evaluate my own priorities and expectations, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone. I’m at a pretty different place in my life than you (early 20’s, grad student), but I love your content & am so excited to see/hear/watch your new journey!

  5. How timely. I unfollowed 50ish accounts today- with a couple dozen being people who’s stories I was watching daily until recently. Many I still like, but I was being brought down by what was once aspirational or relateable.

  6. Liz, this post speaks to my soul! We actually live in Australia and have found that to be a major difference in raising our young children here- kids are expected to act like kids! Tantrums are expected, mismatched clothes accepted and childish behavior encouraged! Cities are filled with the coolest playgrounds you’ve ever seen (even some adult-size equipment so kids of all ages can play). Every restaurant is family friendly and airports make traveling as a family so easy (strollers are available to borrow from check in to your gate). It’s amazing and such a gift. I wish the rest of the world would adopt this carefree and leisurely outlook on life with kids; beautiful, messy and filled with so much joy!! Cheers!