Expectation vs Reality

I learnt very important lessons this weekend in expectation vs reality.  Two very different but very defining events happened in my life that taught me that in life expectation is not quite what you get in reality.

The first event happened on Saturday afternoon.  We were at a family gathering at my Mother’s house – visiting with my aunt and uncle who live in Durbs and having a grand old time with my cousins – tanning some meat and enjoying some good company.  I was sitting on the floor of my mom’s lounge chatting to my aunts and my mom and playing with Kade when he stood up, used me to steady himself and just looked at me with this determined look on his face.  I scooted back two or three paces, opened my arms to him and said “come…”  And right then and there with all the hubhub of people laughing and chatting around us, my boy took his first two tentative unaided steps into my welcoming arms.

I expected that the moment he took his first steps would be awesome.  But reality was so much better than I could ever have thought it was going to be.  The look of pure joy and exultation on his little face as he showed me he trusted me enough to walk to me took my breath away.  The hearty giggle as he wrapped his arms around me neck wound it’s way into my heart and will be forever branded in my memory.

Lesson 1 : Reality can outweigh expectation in ways you could never imagine, if you just immerse yourself in the moment.

The second event was Mother’s Day.

For years I’ve dreamed about what it would be like to finally get to celebrate this special day with a child of my own instead of only as a child celebrating my mother.  Too many years I’ve cried as my heart broke cos my arms were empty.  I had built this day up to be something so special in my minds eye.

I don’t know what I really expected and imagined  but know I had images of the day being filled with appreciatin for me as a Mother and maybe some flowers and a nicely cooked meal and some time out to have an afternoon snooze or something… instead Mothers day was a very normal and run of the mill day for me filled with food shopping, washing bottles and making my family lunch.    I am hurt and disappointed but am working hard on moving past the hurt of having the image of what I expected burst.

Lesson 2:  Learn to not let your expectations get ahead of you – you will always end up hurt.

I’ve been thinking a lot about expectation vs reality and the lessons I’ve learned this weekend.  I guess the trick is to always be grateful and happy with the blessings you have in life and to live for each moment you get.  To find the joy and the celebration in even the mundane.  To temper expectation to be more realistic so hurts don’t hamper the joy you should find in the normal.

Reality is all we have in the end.  I want to ensure that I make the best of the reality I’ve got – cos when all is said and done, my reality is actually pretty darn awesome.

 

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13 thoughts on “Expectation vs Reality

  1. Well done Kade…
    My first Mother Day started off sad..I felt quilty. This year was better. I am sure that Mothers Day gets better every year..and as soon as Kade is able to put his personal touches on Mothers Day, the magic will begin

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  2. The exact same thing happened to me!!! I think it is because of all the years our hearts were breaking and our arms were empty, we had such high expectations of this day…but you are so right…at the end of the day, just holding our babies is enough now xxx

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  3. Let me share some “assvice” with you. Don’t sit around waiting for your DH to understand the importance of Mothers Day. It’s not going to happen. Make your expectations known and then go with the flow. I told my hunny I was on strike this weekend, and did not cook one meal. Now that Dylan is at playschool, and they help the children to make little cards and presents, Mothers Day took on a new meaning again this year. If you think about it, it is really for your child to show his appreciation (mothers day), and you are not your DH’s mother – although it would be great if they showed a little appreciation of the enormous sacrifices we make as mothers. It will get better, when little Kade is able to be a bit more involved.
    Congrats on his first steps – such an incredible moment.XXX

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  4. Awww….I’m getting the most beautiful visual of Kade walking to you and it makes me want to weep for you.
    I am so sorry that your first proper Mothers Day didn’t live up to your expectations. I actually feel quite hurt and disappointed for you. I do find though that we often assume that people will approach a situation the way we would. It isn’t so. I’ve been a Mother for 11 years already, my DH STILL doesn’t have the Mothers Day thing down pat. I can’t blame him, he didn’t grow up with it being a big deal because my late FIL thought nothing of it. HOWEVER, since I’ve started saying what it is that I want from Mothers day, I’ve been having a much better experience. Last year was the first ever Mothers Day that I truly enjoyed. My requirements for yesterday were very simple. I wanted some time with my family and then some alone time in the afternoon to catch a nap. I got what I needed.
    It does get better when the kids are at school and get more involved. ((hugs))xx

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  5. You know, it was my first as a Mom of 2 this year. And I read that book called “love & respect”. And that helped me immensely to drown out the feelings of disappointment around special days. I also woke a little disappointed, hubby woke up a little grumpy (yay…NOT). He hadn’t done anything with the boys to make me a card. I know that men mostly SUCK at this ‘showing love’ thing, but at least I didn’t blow up because I was let down.

    For us women it’s easy to do the special days – for men, not so much. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t value us or love us any less. Their minds are just wired differently. And that’s why when he sat with the boys on Sunday morning making my card – I didn’t fight or moan – I just left them to it because they were doing something special with me in mind – in their own time of course!

    To me tho, Mothersday does also mean celebrating my boys. I don’t want to sleep late (who am I kidding?!?), I mean I don’t expect to sleep late. There are routines and things that still need to get done and I can’t expect Dad to do it all by himself. BUT we planned to take a trip out the house to the Zoo and enjoy the day with family and doing what was age appropriate and something that could involve the kids – because really – Mothersday isn’t mothersday without our boys!

    Happy 1st Mothersday to you, Sam! Give the boys some time – they will learn what should be done for Mothersday (if you tell them- and remind them.)

    May you have many many many more precious moments with your gorgeous Kade!

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  6. YAY on the first steps.

    I learnt something last week about mothers’ day: tell your DH what exactly you want. Many men can be totally clueless about these things and what their spouse wants or expects. If you want breakfast in bed or some alone time just ask for it, that way you won’t be disappointed as you already kind of know what you are getting.

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  7. I could feel all your emotions of pure delight when you saw Kade take his first steps. It’s one of those milestone moments you’ll never forget.

    Sorry to hear your mothers day was dissapointing. I would also let your hubby know how you feel and I would totally spoil him on Father’s day to show him how it’s supposed to be done 🙂

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  8. So, here’s the deal. Motherhood is WAY HARDER than we ever could have imaged and WAY MORE THANKLESS than we dared to dream. My first mother’s day I remember thinking “So, that’s it?” The amount of time spent serving as a mother can never be satisfied by one measly day on the calendar.

    Someone above mentioned to tell you husband EXACTLY what you want. I think that this is TRUTH. BIG TRUTH! I did that this year and it was a home run. I want a big deal. I spend 365 days at home with 2 small children, a part time job, running my behind off exercising 5 days a week and keeping up with a 3500 SF house. I want presents and sweet hand drawn cards and brekkie in bed and A LAVISH DINNER where I don’t have to cook or clean squat. I made it clear what I wanted and he delivered this year and EVERYONE WINS!

    And? When Kade gets older, you’ll find that he makes it even better. Landry was 3 this year and boy, she really got it for the first time and just kept telling me “happy mothers day to the best mommy” over and over and she picked out a card and present herself and it was…. awesome.

    XOXO

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  9. Pingback: Mother’s Day… | Communiqué

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