I have over the past couple of years been learning about expectations and how they effect each one of our relationships. How we ruin most of relationships because of them but also how our relationships will not thrive with expectations hanging over each relationship.
Now I am not talking about just romantic relationships but EVERY relationship with every person in your life. We all place these expectations on the other person from how we expect a person to act in a situation, their behaviour, their behaviour towards us, the way they think and behaviour social situations.
Us mums are the worst at it because half the time we expect our children to act a certain way. We expect them to be kind, clean up every mess, act appropriate, don’t get upset, don’t yell , you get the hint. And we they don’t act the way we want we get mad. That’s our first reaction, to tell them off. Now while some behaviour needs to be told off, a child getting upset because they can’t express their feelings is something we shouldn’t tell off. They themselves are learning how to express their feels and they only know to cry! That means we place and expectation on them to be able to tell us how they feel. Which lets face it will just ruin your day!
I first read about expectation in Melissa Ambrosini book Mastering Your Mean Girl. It was eye opening and I just couldn’t believe the amount of expectations I placed on those around me. No wonder my days would be filled with frustration. I was expecting the people around me to do as I wanted them to do. I would go and pick the twins up from day care or kinder, I would ask them about their days and when they got mad or didn’t want to talk I would get upset because I EXPECTED them to come home and want to talk to me and be all over me because they should of missed me right? Wrong!!! They would come home tired and just wanting to chill out. Talk to me about what they wanted to, eat food (lets face it when kids go to school, kinder & day care they have too much fun to eat enough). This would leave me in a bad mood and then the twins would get in a bad mood. It really just wasn’t working. I use to count down the hour to bed because I felt hurt that they didn’t act the way I wanted them too.
This then went over to the other relationships around me. My partner, my family and my friends.
Melissa Ambrosini says “Expectations are the fastest way to ruin relationships”Melissa Ambrosini says Click To Tweet
I completely agree. When we set these standards for those around us who actually have no idea that we have set these standards we will feel let down or angry when they don’t hold up to those expectations. The amount of time I wanted my partner to understand how he upset me during a disagreement is amazing but he is they type of person who just lets it go and then just move on from it basically right away and I would be their holding onto it. I would be expecting him to say sorry for what he did wrong or how he behaved or what was said in the argument is unbelievable. It would make me feel upset because he wasn’t responding the way I expected him to so I would hold a grudge. And let me tell you that is not fun! However when ever I let the expectations go the relationship flows more. Why? Because I am letting him be him. I am letting him express himself the way he knows how to. But also I can communicate clear and I open myself up for him.
The other type of expectations is the ones placed on us by other around us. The normal. The things we should be doing.
For example, my relationship is not normal. Its never going to be. It is going to be different to everyone around me. Why? because my situation is not normal.
I have two kids and I live with my mum. He lives at his nan and pops and he is only a step father to the kids. We have been together for nearly 3 years. But we have never lived together or spent longer then a week straight together. Why? Because it doesn’t work for a situation. He works in the city and has to travel 6 days a week for a 4 hour round trip. I have two kids to get to school, activity, family time, I work nights, I am studying and I run this blog. Our priorities are each other and our little family but realistically we can’t spent every night together or every weekend. The twins have activities on the weekend and Kev works every saturday and only has one day off a week. I don’t feel the need to place the expectation on him to be around for the full day because it is his one day off a week and I need him to get to work safely and home safety each day. We do have set nights we do things together and we plan and set aside time for us all however I will not make him come to James soccer game on a Sunday morning because that does not serve us as a partnership. I will not make him sit around at home if he has things he needs to get done on his day off.
This works for us. While we are currently building a house we still have a few months to go with the build and then a slow move into living together for the sake of the kids. Now most people don’t understand that around me, but I am starting to not justify our relationship to those around me. It works for us. It may not be perfect but it works. The twins get to see him as much as they can and we get time together as a couple for a date night every week. And we are HAPPY. I don’t care about making others happy around me about my relationship becasue my main focus is making sure the twins, kevin and myself are happy with our dynamic.
Now it wasn’t always like that, I use to expect Kev to be around all the time when ever he had free time, but it wasn’t serving our relationship. It was placing stress that just needed need to be there. Because I was listening to those around me telling me how he should be acting and what he should be doing. But it wasn’t working for us. It wasn’t working for the twins. I work night so I spend a lot of night away from the twins, they have their activities and I need to study and work, so the three of us need time for the three of us. That makes our bond strong. So not spending every night together at the moment is working for us. Now that will change in a few months and we will have to find a new dynamic once we have the house built but until then we will do what we want to do to make our relationship work and thrive.
Our relationship is not perfect by any means but once I let go of the expectations of those around me and how my relationship should look like I found happiness and felt the flow of our relationship grow strong.
Don’t allow other to ruin a relationship based on their expectations. Do what is best for your situation. DO what makes you happy and thriving with life. Make your relationship work for you. That goes for ALL relationships. Mum’s stops placing expectations on yourself on how your should parent, clean, act ect… It will not serve you. It will make life not fun or enjoyable. Be the mum you want to be. If you want to have washing pilled up in a room then go for it, if you want your house spotless go for it, JUST DO YOU! Stop worrying about others and how they think about your way of parenting. You are the best parent for your kids, they chose you for a reason!
My main points on expectations-
- Don’t allow others to tell you how each of your relationships should look like.
- Dont place expectations on the relationships around you, allow them to be them and find their own way.
- Read Mastering Your Mean Girl!!!
- Don’t place expectations on yourself on how you should act in a relationship. We are allow to f**k up, but own it and move on
- Enjoy life and stop living to standards that don’t serve you or your family.
All in all stop living for others and start living for you. Stop place expectation on the relationships around you and just allow them to flow. Everyone is different, own that, understand that.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on expectations, leave a comment below on how you place them on other or expectations have been placed on you.