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I have a lot of expectations where my family is concerned.  This has caused me considerable grief over the years, not to mention a lot of hurt feelings and, sometimes, even anger.
After spending a good amount of time thinking about this, I've decided that I can divide my expectations into 2 categories:

Noble Expectations: these are the typical expectations that parents have of their children; i.e. do your homework, graduate from high school, speak to your elders respectfully, be a role model for your peers, do not lie, do not cheat, do not steal, etc.

Personal Expectations: this is where I get into trouble.  I expect my children to be kind, helpful, considerate and, for lack of a better word, obedient.

While I am very happy with my children's success with the noble expectations, I am less than happy with the condition of my personal expectations.  Here are only a couple of the more problematic situations I've had:

Over the years, I have had my feelings hurt quite regularly.  When facing an important conversation with one of my children, I find that I have the conversation in my head before attacking the subject with my children.  While I think I know how my children will react, I have RARELY been accurate.  

On many, many occasions, I have entered the laundry room only to find the clothes from the dryer either mashed into a laundry basket (unfolded) or tossed onto the top of the dryer (unfolded) so that one of my children could use the dryer for their personal needs.  There is very little that lights a fire under me like this move does.  I consider this to be the pinnacle of disrespect, un-appreciativeness and inconsideration.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I told one of my kids that this move is completely unacceptable.  

I also suffer from having personal expectations regarding my husband.  Something that has always bugged me about him is his ability to make a decision to do or not do something based solely on whether he felt like it!  I can't think of one decision I've ever made with that single criteria!  I'm not sure I resent it or admire it.

So, after considerable thought in trying to figure out why it is that I have such unsettled feelings on such a regular basis, I have decided that I need to look at things in a more productive way.  I've done all I can do to appeal to their good conscience and I still find myself with hurt feelings and anger (which typically go hand-in-hand, don't they?).  I have decided that the next chapter in my life will be spent concentrating on ACCEPTANCE as opposed to EXPECTATION.  I hope to be able to accept certain behaviors in my family without taking them so personally.  I have already begun to bite my tongue, end the conversation or leave the room when a situation between me and one/all of my family is going south (if you had any idea just how murderously difficult this is for me, you’d be on your feet, applauding) and I have already begun to keep my conflicting opinions to myself.  That's a pretty good start, wouldn't you say?

 My children are, overall, terrific people.  My husband is, overall, a terrific father and husband and an excellent provider.  Looks like it's been ME all these years with the problem that needs my attention, not them!



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Aug 26, 2011
    • oh honey you had me with the laundry ........ that is my personnel bug bear.
      The beauty of age I suppose is I have now learnt to pick my fights from being a complete OTT fighter I now pick careful and also have built up a higher tolerance level this way I feel like I’m not let down as much



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Daphne wrote Aug 26, 2011
    • Vicki...it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one with the “laundry issue“.  Also, i agree that my tolerance will need to increase in order for my expectations to decrease.

      I always feel a comrade in you, Vicki!  happy



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