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Smarter Living: Expectations vs. reality

Posted by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 35 Replies

There is an episode of in Season 3 of Parenthood (one of the best shows on TV right now) that I could totally relate to...well, all of the episodes I can relate to, but this one really struck home. So, Kristina (the character played by Monica Potter) just had the baby and she wants to plan a Family Fun Night, a great, awesome way to get all three kids, herself and husband together. She spent weeks planning what they would do (ended up picking mini golf) and, as they set off in the minivan, what happens? Fights, heated words, annoyances all erupt. Needless to say, the Family Fun Night is anything but fun. 

I get this. Kristina had expectations of a perfectly awesome family bonding time, which didn't match up with reality. As we all know, having certain levels of expectations can really mess things up, but, man, I do it all of the time. I think ahead, about to the way I think a vacation or party or just a regular day should go and try "force" behaviors or situations, while Reality has a totally different game plan. And then I get upset. Not majorly upset, but kind of.

Instead of just doing what I can do to make whatever it is the way I'd like it to go and then letting go and enjoy with what is happening in the moment, I get caught up with how it isn't matching up with what I had expected. I am getting better and not doing this, rememberting that things will be what they will be, but that is so hard to remember sometimes.

I'm wondering if you do this too? Do you have a hard time managing your own expectations, with conrtolling the way things should go?



by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 8:20 AM
I can sympathize completely. It's so hard when things don't go as you're hoping, and they rarely do when kids are involved.

I try to remind myself that attitude matters for me, too, and that if I have a positive outlook it really helps when my son is struggling with his behavior. That doesn't have to ruin my experience unless I let it. And it's never too late to turn a bad experience around, so we always give him a lot of chances to do so.
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by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 8:44 AM

 Yes, I do this a lot. I have really high expectations for something and then at times my hopes get a bit crushed. I keep hoping the next time though!

by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Thankfully not really. Ther are very few times when family time does not work out

by Platinum Member on Apr. 8, 2013 at 9:09 AM

sometimes i can be a control freak but i try to just relax! making sure the kids have used the bathroom, have a snack, etc..can be helpful before you leave the house

by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Yes, this happens to me too. I have this vision and I just have to let go of the vision. 

by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 10:08 AM

I definitely do!

by June on Apr. 8, 2013 at 1:09 PM

I get a lot of practice with this.  My son has Aspergers and we can never predict how he will react to different situations.

by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 1:19 PM

I have high expectationsfor this I buy and pay a lot for.  Like my cable for example.  I bundle and have internet, home phone, and cable all with Comcast and it's not a cheap bill, so when someone goes wrong I get upset.  Yep, I know it's wrong sometimes, but I also do spend what I do for errors.  I understand from time to time there will be the tech issue, outing due to weather, but other then that I expect me service to always be great.

by Luci on Apr. 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM

 I used to, but after a while, I realized it all went better when I didn't have a lot of expectations about exactly what should happen. Better to go with the flow, but I don't tolerate whining and bad attitudes.

by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Absolutely! I do this to myself all the time!
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