Great Expectations

Have you ever had an expectation of how some event (party; shower; wedding; etc) would be or how some person would react or behave (to an event, situation, or news)? And then did you find yourself surprised that your expectation was exceeded or not met at all? Were you ever left scratching your head trying to understand why someone did or didn't react or behave as  you had thought they would?

There were some people in our life that I thought would be our biggest supporters throughout this pregnancy. I expected a certain reaction when we revealed the news about being pregnant, and then I expected a certain amount of support thereafter (such as phone calls, texts, emails, etc). And then there were others that I really didn't expect much of a reaction from or any type of support. I learned that some of those that I had the greatest expectation of totally and completely let me down as far as what I thought their participation would be in this experience for me and Naeners. And those that I had the least expectation of wound up surprising me and being larger source of support and comfort throughout this process than I had anticipated.

This pregnancy has taught me a lot about the expectations I had/have of others. Maybe I expected too much from some people and too little from others. Human behavior is a strange thing, and what I have learned is that I have to throw all expectations out the door. No one owes me the reaction or behavior I expected of them. Besides, they don't instinctually know what my expectation was of was some idea of how I thought things should be that I conjured up in my head. And in the end my expectation, especially when it was a great expectation, set me up for disappointment and resentment. In other cases, it made my relationship stronger with those that far exceeded my low expectation.

This situation also reminds me that no one is perfect. I know that I've let people down that expected more of me, and I am sure that I've risen to the occasion in other situations where least expected.

Maybe it just boils down to a few simple things: the person doesn't know how to react; the person doesn't know/understand the importance of the experience/situation/event to the other; the person is preoccupied with something in his own life.

I've thrown those expectations out. I am letting go of those expectations that I had of some people that left me feeling alone and hurt and disappointed. My pregnancy is coming to an end, and it really doesn't matter anymore. People have the right to respond the way in which they wish with no preconceived expectation from me. I've clung to and fostered the relationships with the people who have come along with me on this journey. I am glad that I got to share this most amazing experience in my life with the people who wanted to be a part of it. And for those who did not...that's okay. I am sure there will be other life experience that I will get share with them in another way. And finally, I've learned that I need to behave/react/support those around me in a way that I would expect of them to behave/react/support me in the same situation.

Life is hard enough without the added distractions of expectations!

1 comment:

  1. A friend of mine is getting married and had a similar frustration that culminated into what I would describe as a nightmare breakdown over her bachelorette weekend. She felt that most of her wedding party was not excited about being in her wedding. I immediately felt guilty - I don't always reply to the emails about the bridesmaid dresses or remember to email her to ask about the planning. It's not because I don't care, but because 1. I've been a bridesmaid 8 times and I forget that it's the first time for every bride and 2. there's just a lot going on otherwise.

    Anyway, her situation reminded me of yours. It all makes me realize that grand gestures aren't necessary and little things can go a long way in showing someone I care.


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