This has been one of my favourite lines recently, and although seems bitter at first, I think when properly used, is a key to freedom.
When I first became a SAHM and my hubby returned home from work and expected a clean house, he was often disappointed. This then would put me ‘in the negative’ before we’d even had a chance to greet each other.
I do this with my children too. When I expect 100% perfect attitudes and behaviour – I don’t get it – and then feel like we are in a battle.
What I should really be starting with is reality. The grace to know my kids have not had the years of life experience I have to know right from wrong. What brings good results, and what reaps bad.
And what a gift to be able to educate them in that before the world does!
Do my kids know my expectations? Am I aware that my husband expected the house a certain way? When these subconscious expectations are spoken of – are they really achievable? Realistic?
Have you owned and become aware of the expectations you’ve placed on others? Even subconscious ones?
Next time you find yourself disappointed, do a little head searching and work out where that came from and why.
Are you expecting the ex to raise the kids the same way you do? This could be a great reason for disappointment! You already know they don’t see your perspective / reason / negotiate / have the same values – so be free of carrying this disappointment in your life! Do the best you can, and educate your kids while you have them…
Do you expect a tidy toddler? Feel you’re always barking at them to put away their stuff? They may not see it as a mess – but a room full of fun and excitement!
Take time to express to them the dangers of stepping on objects, or how clutter makes it harder to find things. You could vocalise examples where you are displaying behaviour that you’d like them to imitate. “Mum has finished making lunch, so I’m putting everything away.”
I’m sure their little hearts (at this age!) would love to please mum and have her happy and not disappointed. Tell them how that can happen. Give them a little hand up!
Once you lower the expectations on others – you then create more space to see their achievements, see them trying and see them grow. Don’t forget to vocally recognise this and give praise when due.
I hope this glimpse into my head has somehow helped – and I would really love to hear any examples of when you’ve tried this out!