When Expectations Fail

I hate to be negative, so I’ll try not to be, but sometimes a girl’s just gotta vent! And I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post, but the words “when expectations fail” have been haunting my mind the past week, so I thought I would oblige them by unlocking the control of knowing everything (because I do, just ask my boys – ha ha!), and just… well… write.

I have a lot of expectations in my life. Those I put upon myself, those I put upon other people or situations, and those put upon me by others. Those last kind are the kind I don’t like. They are the ones that make me want to (more often than not) scream at people and say “don’t you get it?!” Don’t they see what they’re asking of me? Do they not see I am doing my best and then I am expected to do better, and more, and be happy and energetic and excited about it? Don’t they see things through my eyes?

Well, probably not. I can say with much certainty (see, told you I know everything) that I am the only one that sees things through my eyes. Otherwise we would probably be living in some kind of crazy Twilight Zone – and oh how freaky that would be! I can’t imagine being in my body but seeing things from someone else’s perspective, literally. Hmm… might make a good horror story (if I were the type of person who would want to write that – given that probably the scariest movie I’ve ever seen is Chucky – or something like that – I can’t remember and I’m more of a romantic comedy kind of girl anyway). Ok, so I digress. No horror for me, just love – awww.

And, as I was saying above, I am the only one who sees things from my perspective. No one else can “walk in my shoes.” No one else sees life through my “rose colored glasses” (which sometimes turn a rancid shade of ungodly gray). No one knows the thoughts in my head (except my little voice – shhh – quiet… not now!). No one knows… unless I tell them.

I don’t like expectations put upon me, but I also (gulp) can’t expect people to know what I’m thinking, seeing, feeling… unless I tell them.

As a Mother, I wear many hats. I know a lot of Mothers who wear many hats, and some have more hats than me – so hats off to them (no pun intended). I work all day without pay (other than the love of my children – which should be enough, but honestly sometimes isn’t), and then most nights I jump on my computer until the wee hours of the night/morning, and work some more. It’s not fair. Do I have a choice? Probably, but I wouldn’t like the outcome of the other decision. I am tired of “having” to work after I just worked all day. It’s not that I don’t enjoy what I’m doing – because for the most part it’s okay. It’s not my lifelong dream or passion (I have that figured out, but can’t – don’t want to – find more time without sleep or family time to get that going). It’s easy work, which I’m grateful for. But it’s work – after I already put in a 12 hour day. Add on top of that cooking dinners, doing dishes, laundry & cleaning, bath time & bed – most nights all on my own… I’m feeling a little resentment towards these expectations upon me. Here’s where I’m feeling the failure.

It’s not anybody’s fault – it’s situational, and it just sucks right now. My husband works his butt off to provide for our family – and he does a great job at what he does, but he just is rarely home. I chose this path for myself. I chose to stay home with the boys. I chose to work nights so my husband wouldn’t need to get another job. I chose. I have to deal.

Sometimes I think my husband forgets, or I forget that I haven’t shared my thoughts and feelings with him (trying not to play victim here). There is a lot put upon me, but there is also a lot put upon him. Fair is fair. So where am I trying to go with this? I still don’t really know, other than realizing (outloud) that I need to stop bottling things up and let my husband know how I’m feeling. Maybe it’s just the word “expectation” that’s got me all flustered. It seems pretty close to “assume,” and I have learned my lesson about not assuming anything. We have to have some expectations (or assumptions) in life, but when they get completely unrealistic or out of control, we need to re-evaluate. I think that’s where I’m at right now. Re-evaluate. No one likes to fail. I don’t like to fail. So maybe, just maybe, if I can adjust those expectations a little bit – maybe a little shift here and a little shove there – then maybe the suckiness will start to dissipate.

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About pamelazimmer

Pamela Zimmer is a #1 bestselling author and speaker, transforming her personal pain and experience of Postpartum Depression into her purpose and passion. Through her #1 bestselling book, Reclaim The Joy of Motherhood, and her mentorship program, The HAPPY Mommy Method™, Pamela guides mothers on a healing journey from battling their own Postpartum Depression to embracing motherhood with joy.

Posted on July 13, 2012, in Body, Mind & Spirit and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. You struck a nerve with this blog, Pamela. Different details but same frustrations, and even though you feel alone in this, you have many women shaking their heads, nodding in agreement, sighing that someone else feels the same way.
    I agree with Nohra–you need a weekend off–but I think one day and night should be just you and your husband enjoying fun, relaxation, sex, talk and good food, and one day and one night should be just you. Without laundry, cooking, cleaning, writing (unless it’s just journal writing or something fun for you, and even then write it in crayon on a Big Chief Tablet). Completely break with routine, one day and night for you alone, and one day and night for you and hubby.
    Easier said than done, I know, but do you have a relative or a close friend you can call, or another mother with children you can arrange a trade with?

    • Thanks, Marylin. I’ve been thinking my hubby and I need a weekend (or even just one night) away just the two of us. It’s hard – with Brayden still so little. Well, he’s 2 now, but still for me really little. It’s funny, I keep checking Groupon for cheap, local getaways! Maybe I’ll find something… Anyway, thanks for the inspiration and for listening and commenting.

  2. Great article/blog. My Pamela is human!! Great to know. You articulated the feelings of many of us have and not able to speak out. Thwarted expectations. Time to take a week-end off just you and hubby. Have fun, have sex, talk, eat great meals out…. reevaluate life. This will also be great (on the long run) for your sons.
    Let me know how it goes.

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