The Lesson My Four-Year-Old Taught Me to Deal with Overwhelming Expectations

The Lesson My Four-Year-Old Taught Me to Deal with Overwhelming Expectations

Some is better than none… a lesson from my four year old in facing anxiety and overwhelming expectations of day-to-day life.

In a world of glutton and greed, we continually hear moderation is key, but what about when you are so overwhelmed with the day-to-day expectations of being a fully functioning human being that you don’t even know where to begin? You can’t get started anywhere, even to implement moderation?

That’s where my four year old has taught me that some is better than none. That time when he was throwing a fit because he couldn’t have ALLLLL of the Halloween candy, and I asked, “some or none?” He chose some. When he wants all of anything, he will always choose some over none.

The concept of “Some or None” has struck me in my own life as I start to think of ALLLLLLL the things I should be doing as a wife, woman and mother.

I should eat healthy and feed my family only organic, non-processed foods.

I should exercise every single day.

I should have my house de-cluttered, cleaned and spotless.

I should find time to meditate daily.

I should drink all 64 oz. of water every day.

I should play with my kids and read them bed-time stories and make sure that they have enriching educational experiences at all times.

I should be paying more attention to my husband, in and out of the bedroom.

All of the blogs I read on my Facebook page tell me I should be doing all of these things.

Then I start thinking about doing it all and I freeze with overwhelming anxiety and have no idea where to even start. And really, let’s be honest, if I attempted to do all of the things I’ve been taught to believe I should be doing in order to be the best me possible, I wouldn’t sleep ever, and would still need an additional 20 hours in a day.

So here is that lesson from my 4-year-old that has changed my life and gotten me started, comes into play—“Some is Better than None.” When I put this phrase into play, I can get down and do 20 sit ups while the kids are watching TV. I can de-clutter for 15 minutes, and that’s one pile less to worry about later. I can eat some more vegetables tonight instead of macaroni, and that’s just a little bit better than I did yesterday. I can turn on my meditation app right before I fall asleep at night.

I am discovering that it’s all about perspective. I can appreciate that doing some of what I should be doing is better than doing nothing at all, and maybe it will lead to change, a little bit at a time.

I can be gentle on myself, and give myself credit for what I am doing each day, knowing that my day is packed from the second I wake up to the second my eyes close at night.

I will do some, maybe not all, but some is always better than none. 


Work with Catalyst Elizabeth Olson on a New Beginning without Overwhelm. Join the Defeating Anxiety and Worry Tribe, Starting February 6th!
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