We all have them. We like to think we don't, but we do. I never understood what it means to expect nothing, so you won't be disappointed. Is that even possible? I don't think so. Even when I don't think I'm expecting something, when nothing happens I feel let down. I think this is the major problem in all areas of our life. From marriage to parenting, to friendships, and even the expectations we put on ourselves.
Marriage, at first seems so romantic, and exciting. It's like squeeee! We are in love and going to live happily ever after. The expectations here really are so numerous I will only touch on a few or else I would write a book! The main one is how EASY it's going to be, and how my husband knows me so well, he will meet all my needs. At first you think you will FEEL in love all the time. That is until you realize wow, my husband is so annoying. It could be from the small things like, leaving a wet towel on the bed, to much bigger issues, like money, working etc. throw a few kids into the mix, and wow, suddenly all hell has broken loose! Don't even get me started on the snoring! Seriously though, marriage, is work. You need to work at it EVERYDAY! Problems won't magically disappear, and men are not mind readers. Keep the lines of communication open and explain what you want, need and how you are feeling. Men process very differently, and have no clue what you mean if you say something like, sometimes I don't know who I am, or that you're overwhelmed, or just can't seem to get a grip. Explain what you mean, and what you need help with. Men like to feel useful, and that they can fix the problem.
Ah, parenting. Again the expectations are almost endless. I will just share my own. I really expected children who would listen, were well behaved, didn't fight, and appreciated the wonderful life I gave them, not to mention would understand all I've sacrificed having them. Yeah, that sounded a lot better in my head! Very unrealistic I now realize. Kids are just little people, who we have to teach and guide, and eventually let go into the real world. It plays out so different then you think when you are rubbing your pregnant belly! I have finally come to terms with the fact, I shouldn't expect my children to be thankful for the life they have. All they see are rules, and limits, and boundaries and what they need to be doing.
Friendships are probably the hardest for me. I don't think I have a lot of expectations, but then I obviously do since I am ALWAYS let down. I guess I just don't think it's too much to ask for someone to care about me, the way I care about them. Or be there for me when I need them. Sometimes I think it might be the kids, or I have a very involved husband, but then I think that's just BS, since if you're my friend, you should be MY friend. Not based on my parenting, or what kind if wife I am. Why do you care anyway? Maybe that's the real reason I don't have friends, I'm not looking for you to tell me what I'm doing wrong, I just want you to be there with me, going through the journey together. I think for me it's that I have a strong personality, and people don't want that, they want fluffy rainbows, and that's not me.
I probably have the highest expectations on myself. I fall short EVERYDAY! There is just not enough time in the day to do everything I ideally would want to accomplish. I have come to realize the most important thing to do is take care of myself, and not feel guilty about it. The kids, and my husband need a healthy mom and wife, and I don't mean just physically. When I'm tired, I sit down. When I don't feel like cleaning I don't. Some nights, they have sandwiches for dinner, and you know what? It's ok.....those unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves don't need to be there. Doing just enough, is ok too. :)
"Being in control of your life and having realistic expectations about your day-to-day challenges are the keys to stress management, which is perhaps the most important ingredient to living a happy, healthy and rewarding life."
What unrealistic expectations did you have?