A meaty topic for a Friday post, especially if you were expecting to see a weekly moment. We are continuing our adjustment to having two kids, to being in Philadelphia, and to being parents of a pre-schooler. Believe it or not, daily snack selection can be daunting! All lighthearted comments aside, I am looking back, feeling the need to introspect, and finding that life isn’t harder than I thought it would be, but harder in ways I didn’t expect.
Expectations are tricky, you see. If you set no expectations, you are bound to not be disappointed. Disappointment, though, like failure, is a part of life. It is good to feel disappointment because that means you reached high, took a leap of faith, or gave someone the benefit of the doubt. Someone I have a great amount of respect for recently said that “… the expectation placed on you changes the expectations you place on yourself …” It seems so commonsensical, but when you really think about what that means, it becomes obvious that this is an incredibly important concept.
I have always placed high expectations on myself and there have been times I have disappointed myself or those around me, but more often than not, I have achieved what I expected to. Expectations have been placed on me from an early age, and I suppose because of that I have learned to place expectations on myself. Extending this to the now—and whether or not we want to—we parent based on what we know. I have noticed that I have started to place expectations on the girls.
Given their ages, these expectations are not anything out of the ordinary. I expect them to behave with respect toward those around them, to ask for permission for certain things, to clean up after themselves in the evening, and to be mindful of the world around them. Perhaps the biggest expectation I have placed on Sophia (Eliza is too young for this) is for her to “buy into” our decisions. I don’t necessarily mean financial “buy-in”, though eventually, that too will be expected. Sophia is fully aware that there are expectations placed on her and I can see now how she is slowly but surely placing higher expectations on herself. More importantly, in placing expectations on herself, Sophia is gaining courage and learning that she can reach higher, expect more of herself.
… and now for some moments…
Disclaimer: One of those pastries belongs to the photographer 😉